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November 9, 2022

Benefits of Grain-Free and Grain-Inclusive Cat Food Recipes

  • Grain-Free
  • Grain-Inclusive
  • Cat Food
  • Cat Health
Ragdoll cat sitting on table with tongue out in front of kibble bags

With so many premium cat food options available it can be hard to know how to choose the right one for your cat. One of the most common questions from cat owners is whether to go with a grain-free or grain-inclusive formula – which is best for your cat?

Grain-Inclusive

Let’s start off by going over some of the most commonly used grains in pet food.

These grains include:

  • Wheat
  • Corn
  • Rice
  • Oats
  • Barley
  • Rye
  • Millet

Grains are an important source of complex carbohydrates – more slowly digested compared to simple carbohydrates. Although carbohydrates are not considered essential, they play a critical role in your pet’s body. Carbohydrates are a highly digestible, readily available energy source.

Grains in particular are a good source of:

  • Fibre
  • Protein
  • Vitamins
  • Minerals

You can find grains included in most of our SKIN + COAT CARE recipes and in our GO! SOLUTIONS DIGESTION + GUT HEALTH recipe for cats.

GO! DIGESTION + GUT HEALTH cat food bag on kitchen counter with grains

Grain-Free

Now, what about grain-free recipes? Grain-free are not carb-free and not the same as gluten-free recipes. Many grain-free pet foods are higher in protein than their grain-inclusive counter parts.

Grain-free doesn't always mean reduced carbohydrates - often, but not always. All foods contain a balance of carbohydrates, fat, and protein – decreasing the amount of carbohydrates in food will increase fat, protein, or both.

For example, our GO! SOLUTIONS CARNIVORE recipes are our lowest carbohydrate recipes, formulated to be grain-free and have up to 99% of protein from premium-quality animal sources. There are 6-11 animal proteins per recipe.

When a food doesn’t contain grains, it will use non-grain carbohydrates sources such as:

  • Tapioca
  • Potatoes
  • Or pulse ingredients like lentils, peas, or chickpeas

Some pets with food sensitivities may be intolerant to one or more grains. For these cats, GO! SOLUTIONS SENSITIVITIES Limited Ingredient recipes may be a good option.

In Conclusion

So, to grain or not to grain? Overall, there is no “right” choice – only the best choice for you and your cat. Both grain-free and grain-inclusive ingredients offer many health benefits and can be used to make a safe, healthy, balanced, and complete diet. The most important consideration in choosing a premium quality cat food is that it provides complete and balanced nutrition and is the best fit for your cat.


Authors

Natalie Asaro

Natalie Asaro

Nutrition Manager

Natalie received both her BSc in Honours Biological Science and MSc in Companion Animal Nutrition from the University of Guelph.

Theresa Lantz

Theresa Lantz

Companion Animal Nutritionist

Theresa received both her BSc in Companion Animal Health and MSc in Animal Science from the University of Alberta.

Michele Dixon

Michele Dixon

Health and Nutrition Specialist

Michele studied animal nutrition through Colorado State University and the Companion Animal Sciences Institute. Involved in animals and nutrition for over 25 years, Michele had the pleasure of receiving a High in Trial with her first Borzoi Yascha at an early age.