Cat food won’t please diehard vegetarians. Dogs are omnivores and can live on household scraps. Cats have remained wild animals: eating meat is still necessary for them to survive.
Have you ever seen a cat walking away with disgust from his plate?
Felines are unpredictable eaters. They may reject a brand they ate for years. If this happens, just try another one. Your cat may gormandize again. If not, see the vet.
Whatever you give her, one golden rule applies:
NEVER SERVE YOUR CAT A HUMAN DIET.
Cats have a great need for proteins. Their digestion completely relies on animal products – even when some cats might like an occasional green pepper. In the wild preys provide the proteins. At home we have to do it by serving them a healthy meal.
Other essential ingredients – in varying amounts – of food for cats are animal fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and salt.
Felines have problems with detoxifying and excreting harmful substances from their body. Some food preservatives that are used in human diet, can be poisonous for your cat.
However, fresh homemade food is much appreciated by felines. But you must respect a few guidelines.
- Make sure that meat is fresh, but be careful with raw meat. It may contain harmful bacteria. Cook it lightly if you want to feel sure, but … don’t overdo it, or you might lower the nutritional value.
- Don’t give too much fish, and definitely not daily. Remove fish bones.
- Keep it varied. Give beef, chicken, turkey, fish. Avoid pork.
- Tell your vet about the diet; he might give some food supplements like calcium, vitamin B or vitamin E.
In the past people were not aware of the differences in metabolism between people and cats, apart from the cat’s obvious dislike of vegetables. Commercial pet food makes life much easier.
Although the quality of commercial cat food is often discussed, most vets agree that canned food from reputable brands is nutritionally balanced. The same applies to dry pet foods.
If you buy cat food in supermarkets, stick to famous brands. Quality is almost guaranteed then. Or buy premium cat food that is exclusively sold in pet stores. The larger chains have web sites where you can check the price.
Many people – maybe you are one of them – ask what is better: canned or dry food?
The nutritional value is not much different. But they have their pros and cons.
Canned food contains a lot more liquid than dry food which is … dry!
A cat that gets mainly dry food will drink more water. If a cat that eats only canned food suddenly starts to drink a lot, you better visit your veterinarian.
Dry food is cheaper and good for the cat’s teeth. Because it is more concentrated your cat doesn’t need so much of it.
The smell of canned cat food is irresistible for most felines. Store the tin in your refrigerator, but no longer than three days.
All cats love a treat now and then. But treats should never become the main dish.
Adult cats have problems with digesting milk, although they find it very tasty. The lactose in milk causes gas and diarrhea. Nowadays there is special milk available for cats, that is far better than the cow milk we prefer.
THE AMOUNT OF FOOD A CAT NEEDS DEPENDS ON ITS AGE, WEIGHT, PHYSICAL CONDITION AND THE KIND OF NUTRITION.
Kittens need a special diet.
Older cats eat less than younger. Individual differences may also contribute to their needs.
Many cats just stop eating once they’ve had enough. However, there are cats who eat a lot out of boredom. Also some medicines can cause sudden hunger.
ALWAYS REMEMBER: A CAT SHOULD NOT GET FAT.
If your cats eats too much and gains a lot of weight, change the amount of cat food. There is a clear relationship between fat cats, heart diseases, feline diabetes and other cat illnesses.