Cat food and providing the best nutrition for our cats to keep them both healthy and happy can be sometimes be a bit of a headache. After all cats can be fussy eaters and how do we know which food provides the best nutrition.
Do we always have to buy the most expensive?
Thankfully the answer is no, but not all food is suitable for all cats and sometimes we do have to take into account our own cats individual needs.
Did you know that cats require special nutrients in their diet to keep them healthy? Unlike dogs, cats are unable to produce an amino acid called Taurine which is needed to prevent heart and eye diseases. Taurine is mainly found in animal protein, which is why cats are predominately carnivores.
Cats also need to have a balanced diet like the rest of us which includes:
So how do you know that the cat food you are giving your cat contains all of these thing and why is it so important that they have them all? To find out more about your cats nutritional requirements and whether or not commercially bought food contains all of these, please read my article about cat nutrition.
Both wet and dry cat food contain all the nutritional requirements your cats need and so you can either feed them separately to your cat or a combination of both for variety. At the end of the day it all boils down to how you want to feed your cat and your cats own preferences.
However in my opinion dry pet food does have some advantages:
If you do feed your cat tinned wet food, remember that it should not be left out for more than 30 minutes especially in warm weather as flies can easily and quickly contaminate it.
Either cover it or place it in the fridge, however wet food removed from the refrigerator will have less smell at first, so you may find that your cat will only eat it after it has warmed up.
There are many options to choose from these days as to what pet food is available to feed your cat. From hundreds of commercially prepared foods, pre-packed and ready to eat meals to food you can prepare yourself.
Which cat food you choose for your cat depends on many factors.
Here are some of the options open to you.
I know I said that cats need tuarine in their diet to survive which is only available in meat and that is why cats are predominately carnivores. But it is possible to feed your cat a vegetarian diet if you also add a tuarine supplement to it.
Why would you want to do this? Well for those cat owners who are themselves vegetarian some may feel so strongly about killing animals to put into tins that they would also not want to feed their pets with commercially produced canned meat products.
if you are interested in feeding your cat a vegetarian diet you will find more information in my article vegetarian cat food.
Many people are concerned about the chemicals used to produce our food and similarly this includes cat food too.
Luckily these days if you choose to, you can now buy commercially prepared food for your cat which conforms to the strict organic rules of production.
Find out more on my page about organic food for our pets.
What do I mean by natural? Surely all food is natural. But is it?
For me natural food is wholesome food, food that contains no additives or artificial flavourings. I' am often concerned about the cheaper brands of pet food and wonder just what they have put in it to bulk it out or to make it taste like prime meat.
You may not be worried about it and that's fine but if you are thinking of feeding your cat only natural food I have more information here.
Home made cat food, why not? you cook every day for your family so why not your pet too?
if you think about it, it could work out best for both you and your cat. They are getting fresh food which has not sat around in a can for weeks or even months and you are not having to spend out on commercial pet food.
if you enjoy cooking then making your own cats dinner really isn't that hard at all. Please see my page about homemade pet food .
Cat treats can play a important role in the bonding of owner and cat.
For owners it gives us the lovely feeling of giving a gift and showing ow much we love our pets. It is one of the few ways that we can directly reward our cats and be one on one with them. Knowing that it gives our cats pleasure.
For our cats it is of course a lovely tasty snack filled with excitement and expectation. But it can also help them to feel safe and secure with a human. Often treats can be be used during times of nervousness and stress, like during firework displays, to help reassure the cat and distract them from their fears.
Check out my page for some extra special cat treat ideas.
An Adult cat should be fed only twice a day. In the morning and in the early evening. Although I must say this is news to our cats who think every time I enter the kitchen it's dinner time.
Luckily our cats are very active and haven't put any extra weight on and also we are quite strict with how much we feed them.
It is important though not to over feed your cat as this can lead to owning a fat cat and this so unhealthy (for more information on the dangers for an overweight cat see my page here).
Always follow the recommendations on commercially bought food. Often they will recommend a certain amount of food per day in relation to the size of your cat.
There is also a visual guide to determine if your cat is a healthy cat weight or not.
Depending on how active your cat is, most cats need a daily calorie intake of between 60 - 90 kcals per kg of their body weight. But there are many factors involved to keep your cat at a healthy weight.
Water should always be available to your cat especially in hot weather. If your cat loses just 10 per cent of it's total body water content they will become seriously ill.
Cows milk does have fats and proteins which are good for your cat. But milk contains lactose which your cats digestive system may find difficult to digest causing diarrhoea. Milk should only be given as an occasional treat.
There are special cat milk products available which do not contain lactose. Our cats love cows milk but unfortunately it does give them diarrhoea if they have too much. So we generally only give them cat milk and then only a little every day, water is available to them all the time.
Some cats require a special diet to ensure that they stay healthy. these include:
I have covered these groups on my page about special diets.
If your cat has particular dietary needs due to a medical condition, then your vet will be able to recommend or prescribe the correctly formulated food for them.
Just like us humans sometimes our cats also go through phases of not eating their food. Find out some of the more common reason for this here.
However our cats are far more complicated than we think and the reasons behind these eating problems can be more complex and varied, read my page about eating disorders for more information.
It is important that we take notice of our cats eating behaviours as it may be an indicator of something wrong and should not be neglected.