Adopting a cat from the local shelter was the beginning of a lifetime love and a long-term education. He was approximately six years old and diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy. How did this beautiful tabby get this affliction and what was I going to do for his health and well-being? Excellent cat nutrition was the answer.
I was told by my veterinarian that a good diet probably had been lacking in his former years. Taurine, which is an essential amino acid in cats, is critical for heart muscle function, normal vision and digestion. It must be consumed on a regular basis. Felines have a limited ability to manufacture taurine, but it is available in animal-based proteins.
Tip 1: Give Your Cat the Best Nutrients in His Diet
Know the difference between the types of foods for support cats. Feed your kitty the best food you can afford. Good cat nutrition will help your beloved feline stay healthy, active, and happy. The alternative is time and money spent at the veterinarian’s office.
Most commercial cat foods contain a balanced and complete diet. Conversely, the quality of the ingredients may be another matter. One must become an ingredient detective. Inspect the list of components and stay away from meat, poultry, and grain byproducts.
Those with limited ingredients containing meat, poultry or fish with vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and fatty acids are usually the best choices. Scan the holistic sections in the larger chain pet stores. They also carry prescription and specialized diets. Organic and natural cat foods are considered premium cat nutrition diets.
What is the Difference Between Organic and Natural?
Organic livestock eat organic feed. They do not receive growth hormones or antibiotics. Many times, these types of cat food products may contain non-organic ingredients. Always look for the USDA organic seal. Pet foods with this seal must contain ninety-five to one hundred percent organic ingredients.
A natural pet food must be made without artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. The ingredients in natural food comes only from plants, animals or naturally occurring minerals. The exception is certain vitamins.
Choose the option that makes you feel most confident you are purchasing the best cat nutrition. Make sure it is complete and balanced for your feline’s particular life stage.
If the pet food makes these claims, it must meet or exceed the standard set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). This voluntary membership association follows local, state, and federal laws to regulate the distribution and sale of animal food and drug remedies.
There are various organic cat food brands out there. Buy a few different options and see which one your cat likes the best.
Are Mice Good for Cats to Eat?
Cats are born predators. Their natural diet nutrients are found in animal products. Nature has supplied mice and other small prey animals to satisfy the dietary needs of the wild feline.
However, mice can be infected with roundworms, which can in turn infect the cat. Mice also carry an agent of toxoplasmosis. It is a common parasitic disease which can infect pets and humans alike.
What Are the Types of Formulated Cat Food?
Commercial cat food is available as dry, canned and semi-moist. Cats are very picky eaters. You may need to vary the kind of food periodically and offer it gradually. Sudden change in diet can cause stomach upset. You may offer a combination of the formulations such as dry and wet foods.
Dry food is a popular choice for “free feeding”. It is also generally less expensive than the other types of cat nutrition. The convenience of this also has some drawbacks. The pieces are often coated with flavor enhancers which are loaded with fat and other synthetic products.
Those additives can get rancid with time. Keep it in an air-tight container. These ingredients could also lead to obesity. Purchase smaller bags and check the expiration date. Change out food daily and do not let it get stale. The water content in dry food is about six to ten percent.
Canned food or “wet food” is more natural and palatable. It is also the most expensive. Always cover the can with any unused portions and refrigerate. It is available as a pate’ which has a creamy smooth texture. It is also sold in meaty, chunky bits and minced with gravy.
The moisture content is at least seventy-five percent. The kidneys of cats appreciate this fact. Remove any wet food within four hours if not eaten. Always return or replace dented cans. Botulism can occur within these damaged containers.
Semi-moist foods generally come in packets. They contain about 35 percent moisture. Some cats find this more digestible than dry food. It also contains a lot of byproducts and preservatives. The price is generally mid-range. Leaving it exposed for a time can cause it to dry out and spoil.
Tip 2: Water
Only filtered drinking water should be offered to your cat. Give fresh water daily and thoroughly wash the bowl. Tap water may contain added chemicals and contaminants such as fluoride and chloride.
These substances are known to cause certain kinds of cancer. Clean water keeps organ tissues hydrated. Water is necessary to flush toxins from the kidneys. Dehydration in cats can lead to death.
Tip 3: Food Dishes and Bowls
Use stainless steel and ceramic plates and bowls for food and water. Elevated bowls are usually preferred by felines. Avoid plastic dishes. These develop minute cracks and fissures that harbor harmful bacteria. Washing and sanitizing plastic is nearly impossible.
These microorganisms will irritate the skin and are the main cause of cat acne. This medical condition is an inflammation of the feline chin and face. It results in the formation of blackheads, whiteheads, and lesions.
Tip 4: Foods Not to Give Cats
Foods toxic to cats are the following: dairy, dog food, alcohol, chocolate, grapes, raisins, currants, caffeine, raw meat, raw dough, raw seafood, raw liver, raw eggs, cooked tuna, bones, onions and garlic.
Tip 5: Feed According to the Cat’s Age, Health and Preference
The amount and frequency of meals should not be complicated. A kitten under six months of age needs up to three meals a day. This is a critical period. The quality of the cat nutrition offered should be the best possible. Use the kitten formulation with a combination of both wet and dry foods.
After that period, feeding twice a day is optimal. Pick quality adult foods that are pleasing to your cat. Treats should not exceed ten to fifteen percent of the daily caloric intake. Although not harmful, they are not a balanced source of nutrition.