Nutritious cat food is necessary to keep your cat healthy. However, talking from our experience, cats are picky eaters, and they develop most of their food preferences in their first year of life. Therefore, have your kitten take different types of food, ranging from wet, dry, to semi-dry.
If the cat is older, ensure that the food contains all the necessary nutrients needed for a healthy pet. Feeding your pet with nutritious food is one way of showing love for your pet. More so, a healthy diet gives your cat a glossy coat and adequate energy for the day to day activities. There are many ways to feed your pet, and it can be hard to figure out the healthiest way.
But first here are things you need to know about cats.
- Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning that they need to eat meat to survive. There are a number of reasons why cats don’t do well on a vegan or vegetarian diet, but it all essentially comes down to this: they aren’t adapted to it. Feeding a cat, a plant-based diet is a lot like feeding a cow a meat-based diet—their digestive system isn’t geared to handle it, and they will not thrive on it.
- Taurine: Taurine is an amino acid (the building blocks of protein) essential for cats. Taurine can only be found in animal sources such as meat, milk (don’t feed milk, unless it is raw or fermented), etc. It is not found in plant sources. Taurine can be synthesized in humans and dogs, but cats are unable to do this and require a direct source from an animal product. Cats who are fed a vegan or vegetarian diet will often develop a deficiency of taurine because the diet doesn’t provide them with this essential amino acid. Cats with taurine deficiency can develop a heart issue known as dilated cardiomyopathy or DCM. In cats with DCM, the heart muscle becomes very thin and weak, preventing them from pumping blood and supplying oxygen to the body normally. This is a fatal disease if not corrected early on. A lack of adequate taurine can also cause severe eye problems in cats, including blindness.
- Protein: Cats require a diet high in protein. Plants simply don’t have high enough levels of high-quality, highly digestible protein to meet a cat’s dietary requirements.
- Carbohydrates: Cats are not good at digesting carbohydrates. They don’t get much energy from them, and a carbohydrate-rich diet is not appropriate for cats. They need calorie dense options that meat provides.
So what to feed?
1 – Raw or Homemade Cat Food
Fresh cat food is probably the most nutritious cat food. Some pet owners purchase fresh cat food from local stores while others prepare it at home. By creating your pet’s food at home, you ensure that your cat gets all the required nutrients. Cook the food or give it raw, but you also need to know how to prepare homemade cooked cat food recipes. Giving fresh cat food can compare to what cats eat in the wild, and the food is free from preservatives.
2 – All-Natural Cat Food
The ingredients used in making cat natural diet are of high quality with no corn, dairy, chemicals, or wheat. Cat food protein content matters and the types of protein sources used are eggs, chicken, chicken liver, turkey, and herring. Eggs contain complete protein, which is easily digestible. They are also loaded with vitamins essential for cell growth. Turkey is easy to digest and is an excellent protein source.
On the other hand, herring is vital for shiny fur and healthy skin. The all-natural food contains liver since it’s high in vitamin A, and this is useful since cats have problems converting vitamins from veggies.
3 – High-quality Kibbles & Wet food
If your cat is not taking to raw or home-cooked food or you can’t afford all-natural cat food then choose a high quality kibbles with limited ingredients but making sure that it has the highest amount of meat, fish and less carbohydrates. Since, kibbles will dehydrate your cat, make sure you feed wet food too. Not just the tuna can as they contain lots of salt but a high-quality wet food plus make sure they have access to clean water.
4 – Hydrate your pet
Water is essential for all of us, and cats are no exception. It assists in digestion, expels waste, and regulates your pet’s body temperature. The amount of water your pet needs varies depending on their activity and diet. Ensure that your cat stays hydrated. Besides, most dehydrated pets are likely to suffer from urinary tract infections, and this could result in other severe problems. To encourage your cat to drink more, place water bowls in different locations, or acquire a re-circulating water fountain. Cats love drinking running water, and such fountains encourage them to drink more.
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