When it comes to picking a cat food, it is known that there are lots you need to consider. And if you’ve been raising cats for years now, you know that they can be picky eaters. Nothing to worry, though. The key to ensure your cat stays healthy is proper diet. Milk, tuna from a can, and leftover food is not considered a proper diet.
The Right Amount of Food Your Cat Needs
The most common mistake most cat owners commit is feeding them a lot. According to studies and statistics, obesity is the most common nutritional problem among felines. The media even reported that 50% of cats in the United States are obese. If a cat is obese, it becomes prone to various illnesses, including diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and live disease.
So, what is the right amount of food you should give your cat to keep it from becoming fat? Well, that depends on certain factors. Generally, 25 to 30 calories per pound of the cat’s body weight is recommended. But just to be sure, you should ask your cat’s vet.
Kibble or Canned Cat Food: Which is Which?
Also called dry cat food, kibble is the most popular cat food. It is preferred by many cat owners because it is easy to prepare and does not leave any fuss. Unfortunately, it is becoming a less preferred cat food option among the vets.
In case you are wondering why, kibble has an effect on your pet’s genetic make-up. Cats are naturally carnivores. When in the wild, they would eat meat because it has lots of water. If fed with kibble, they tend to drink more water because it is dry and does not have enough amount of liquid.
On the other hand, canned cat food has 70% water. It’s about the same amount of water they get from a meal of mouse.
Now, if you feed your four-legged friend with kibble on a daily basis, you may be putting him at risk for urinary tract issues because of lack of water. But that does not suggest you should not feed him kibble at all. It’s just that it’s not a good idea to make it a mainstay in your cat’s diet.
How to Meet the Dietary Needs of Your Cat
Regardless of the brand of the cat food, the most important thing you should check is its formulation. It has to be made specifically for the dietary needs of cats. If you fall short on any of these needs, your furry friend will most likely experience health problems.
While homemade cat food, treats, and table food are becoming a popular option among cat owners, they should only be given occasionally. These homemade cat foods and treats are not always healthy and safe.
If ever you want to whip up a special diet treat for your feline friend, you must incorporate the right balance of phosphorus and calcium. In addition, you should duplicate the amount of minerals a cat should get when eating its prey.
Other things you should avoid are:
- Less Amount of Meat. Giving your cat too little meat may result in heart trouble, blindness, or worse, death.
- Too Much Tuna. Having too much of this will cause your cat to have problems like joint pain, dry skin, and brittle bones.
- Excessive Eating of Raw Fish. Too much of fish can destroy the amount of vitamin B1 in your cat’s body. As a result, he may suffer brain damage and muscular weakness.
Keep Clean and Fresh Water Accessible
As stated above, cats need a lot of water in their diet. But they cannot always get all this water from cat food alone. And if they don’t get enough water, they would suffer. Hence, you should always give them access to clean, fresh water at all times.
If possible, put water in all the locations that your cat spends most of his time. You can put it in areas near his cat scratching post or under the table. If that is not possible, distribute water containers in different areas of the house.
Interestingly, cats are also finicky drinkers. For instance, chlorinated water may cause their noses to turn. If your cat is among them, consider offering tap water instead.
Another thing you must take note of is the amount of water he drinks. If he drinks more or less than the normal, call the attention of his vet. Too much of water can be an indication of an underlying illness like hyperthyroidism or diabetes.
Do It Right
Even if you think you are the most responsible pet owner, we cannot deny that there are times when we don’t pay attention to the tiniest details that may be causing your cat to suffer. But now that you know about the importance of the right diet and what it is made of, then you can definitely enjoy your feline’s company for a longer time.