How to Feed Your Cat: What You Should Know

How to Feed Your Cat: What You Should Know

How to Feed Your Cat: What You Should Know
How to Feed Your Cat: What You Should Know

How to Feed Your Cat: What You Should Know

How to Feed Your Cat: What You Should Know. Your cat will very certainly let you know how they feel about the food that you put in their dish, regardless of whether or not they are a finicky eater or tend to be on the heavier side.

According to Julie A. Churchill, DVM, PhD, associate professor of nutrition at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine in St. Paul, “Cats are quite opinionated about food, and a lot of their dietary preferences are determined in the first year.” If you have a young cat or kitten, now is the time to introduce them to a variety of foods, including wet, dry, and semidry varieties of food.

But there are still things you can do to ensure that your senior pet is getting all of the nutrients they require to maintain their health, even if they are getting on in years. To begin, educate yourself about the item you intend to get as well as the requirements of your cat.

Choose Foods That Are Well-Balanced.

According to Richard Hill, PhD, associate professor at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in Gainesville, all cat owners should be familiar with how to read the label on a bag of cat food.

“Because there is so much advertising, people have a tendency to focus on the ingredients, but the nutrients, particularly the protein and the fat, are more essential,” he explains.
Churchill asserts that grains and carbs are not always to be avoided in pet food, despite the fact that it is currently fashionable to criticise these ingredients. In addition, foods consisting solely of protein and fat tend to be more expensive. “Carbs can be useful for holding dry food together and making food more inexpensive, and many cats enjoy the crunch that dry food provides.” It is not a problem as long as the amount of carbohydrates consumed is within the cat’s tolerance level.

How can you tell if the food you give your cat is complete and balanced? On the product’s packaging, you should be able to see a statement from the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).
“It will declare that the food is full and balanced, either through a feeding study or because the recipe satisfies cats’ nutritional requirements,” explains Hill. “This may be because of a feeding trial or because the recipe meets the nutritional requirements of cats.” If the food has this particular quality, there is no need to give your cat any additional vitamins or supplements because the diet already has all they require.

How Much, How Often?

Since dawn and dusk are the times of day during which most cats take their primary meals, and since this is the time of day during which they would ordinarily be hunting and collecting prey in the wild, this is often the optimum time to feed them.
The amount of food that should be put into your cat’s dish on a daily basis is determined by their age, size, and level of activity, but on average, they require around 200 calories. It is a good idea to consult the staff at your veterinarian clinic for assistance in determining your cat’s requirements. Churchill recommends paying close attention to the calorie counts listed on any and all meals that are given to a cat. It’s possible for the calorie count to be very different between different foods.

If you leave food out for your cat during the day, it is likely that it may nibble on it, but you should be aware that cats are poor judges of how much food they require.

Churchill identifies “overfeeding” as a widespread problem. When cats put on too much weight, they put themselves at risk for health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, and joint illness.

According to the advice of veterinarians, it is preferable to only feed cats during predetermined mealtimes and to hide their food at all other times.

According to Hill, it may be more beneficial to move to a meal that is fewer in calories rather than reduce the amount of food given to your cat if your feline friend is more of a chowhound than a picky feline. The danger of limiting a cat’s food intake is that it may cause the animal to become aggressive.
What about sweets and snacks? It is OK to dish them out on occasion; nevertheless, you should be careful not to overdo it. They should account for no more than 5 to 10 percent of your cat’s total daily calorie intake at the most.

Vegetarian Cats? Homemade Food?

Diets that are vegetarian or vegan may be a healthy option for you, but choosing such a diet for your cat is not a good idea. Cats, in contrast to dogs and humans, have a requirement for particular vitamins, minerals, and proteins that can only be obtained through the consumption of meat.

Not the raw flesh though. According to Hill, this behaviour is not natural for domestic cats even if it may be a normal part of life for huge cats living in the wild. In the wild, they consume not just the flesh of the animals or birds they catch but also the rest of the body. If you only eat meat, you won’t get enough of the essential nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.

In addition, pathogens such as salmonella and E. coli that can be found on raw meat can make both you and your cat extremely sick.

You might want to try your hand at producing your own cat food at home. Churchill advises that you shouldn’t embark on this journey alone if you do decide to do it. “I can’t stress enough how important it is for you to seek the assistance of a veterinary nutritionist. The average weight of a cat is just 8 to 10 pounds, but even a little alteration in one component can have a significant impact on the diet’s overall nutritional content.
Commercial cat food is recommended as the best option by the vast majority of animal nutritionists.

“The beauty of commercial food is that it is created particularly for cats, so you don’t have to worry about whether or not it is full and balanced or whether or not it satisfies their needs,” explains Churchill.

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