If you’re a cat owner, you’ll know that choosing what to feed your cat takes a bit of planning. With so much choice in the pet food aisles, finding a balanced diet that suits the needs of your cat can be a confusing process. Here, we look at some of the things you’ll need to consider.
Every cat is different and their dietary requirements change as they grow older. Kittens eat around 3-4 times per day and adult cats eat between 2-3 meals. Among adults, activity levels vary, so what is sufficient for one cat, may not suit another. It’s important to get the balance right so your feline friend can stay agile, bright-eyed and purrfectly happy.
Most cats like to graze, so leaving food out for them is an easy option. Eating small, regular meals has been shown to promote better urinary tract health. However, if you notice your cat is putting on weight, it might be better to restrict them to two meals a day. Obesity in cats is quite common and can contribute to a shorter life span so keep an eye on your whiskery friend’s weight.
But what is the healthiest diet for a cat? Unlike their omnivorous canine counterparts, cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they can’t survive without meat in their diets. Their bodies need certain amino acids, such as taurine, which can only be found in meat and fish. Too little taurine can cause heart problems and eye issues that can lead to blindness.
Natural, minimally processed food, that delivers the right balance of protein and nutrients, should be a non-negotiable on your shopping list. At Applaws, we use prime cuts of chicken and fish that contain naturally high levels of taurine and arginine, the amino acids that keep your feline its best. Unlike humans, cats choose their food based on smell, texture and how they feel once they start to digest it, rather than on taste. Natural cat food is always better received than cheaper foods that contain low-grade meat and lots of preservatives.
Most vets agree that a combination of wet and dry cat foods is beneficial for cats. Dry food helps scrape and clean the teeth, leading to better oral health. Wet food is full of moisture and, as cats are prone to kidney problems as they age, can help ensure they stay hydrated. Both raw and cooked meat or fish can be served up, just remove any bones, that could cause injuries as they chow down. To accompany their meal, provide plenty of fresh water, but avoid milk, as most cats are lactose intolerant. We know, surprising, isn’t it!
Most owners are tuned into their cats and know when it’s time to make small adjustments to their eating habits. If in doubt, ask your vet for advice specific to your cat. Of course, diet is only one factor that contributes to a healthy feline. Lots of enriching, active play and a safe home will ensure lots of loving snuggles and contented purring.