People make mistakes when feeding cats
People make mistakes when feeding cats . There are several instances in which we get our own nutrition wrong. We consume an unhealthy amount of sugar and salt, then we undereat and then we consume an unhealthy amount. Is it any wonder that we get things wrong when it comes to feeding our cats considering all of the issues we have with our own diets?
So, which mistakes are we making, and why are we doing them? Our animals are unable to communicate verbally with us in any way. When our cat is sick, we don’t often realise where we went wrong until it’s too late.
Don’t be concerned. WebMD contacted professionals in the field of feline medicine, such as veterinarians and animal nutritionists, and asked them to outline the most common feeding mistakes that are made with cats. This will allow you to avoid making these mistakes and ensure that your feline companion remains fit, feisty, and well-nourished.
People make mistakes when feeding cats: Giving the Cat Too Much Food
According to Joe Bartges, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, DACVN, professor of medicine and nutrition, Acree Endowed Chair of Small Animal Research in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Tennessee, the most common error owners make while feeding their cats is overfeeding them. “The most prevalent dietary disease observed in cats is obesity.”
Obesity in cats is linked to a number of health problems, including diabetes, arthritis, and diseases of the urinary tract, despite the fact that a chubby cat can be endearing to look at. According to what Bartges tells WebMD, cats may suffer from a sickness that is quite similar to a syndrome that affects humans called metabolic syndrome.
According to Linda P. Case, MS, author of The Cat: Its Behavior, Nutrition, and Health, it’s not necessarily the case that we’re purposely providing our cats more food than they need. It’s the fact that our cats now have more inactive lives in contrast to their former lives as barn cats, in which they led more active lives. They are no longer active children, therefore their dietary requirements are considerably less demanding, and it is therefore much simpler to overfeed them.
To answer your question, how much food does your cat require? If you want your cat to maintain a normal, healthy weight, the average advice is between 24 and 35 calories per day per pound of body weight. However, this question is best answered by a trained specialist.
“I encourage people to ask their vet to help them determine their cat’s body condition score,” says Susan G. Wynn, DVM, a veterinary nutritionist in Georgia and author of Manual of Natural Veterinary Medicine. “Many of us don’t really know what normal looks like,” yet, so “I encourage people to ask their vet to help them determine their cat’s body condition score.” They will be able to detect aberrant behaviour and work toward normal behaviour as a result.
Feeding Only Dry Food to Your Cat is a Common Feeding Mistake
According to Lisa A. Pierson, DVM, a veterinarian in California who specialises in feline care and nutrition and who is also the founder of CatInfo.org, the most common error that people make is giving their cats dry food.
It turns out that the domestic tabby we know today descended from predecessors that lived in desert environments. This history very certainly bestowed onto our fluffy felines their elegance, hunting prowess, and low thirst drive.
According to Case, “We are aware that a cat’s sensitivity to thirst is less in comparison to that of a dog.” They are not like dogs in that regard; they do not deliberately drink water. And because cats create highly concentrated pee as part of their normal process, “we’re setting them up for urinary tract issues when their diet is poor in liquids,” as one author puts it.
According to Pierson, “the advice is to get cats onto a diet that is high in water content whenever they appear with urinary tract issues.” However, why are we locking the stable door once the horse has already travelled a mile down the road? Why not engage in preventative nutrition by providing them with food that is preserved in a liquid that is rich in moisture before they develop issues with their urinary tract?
According to Pierson, it is natural for cats to consume their water together with their meal. Although mice, which are a cat’s usual meal, are around 70 percent water and canned food is approximately 78 percent water, dry food is only between 5 percent and 10 percent water. According to Pierson’s comments on WebMD, this is why canned food is “a lot better job” at keeping a feline’s body well-hydrated. “Think of feeding your cat canned food as repeatedly hosing down your cat’s bladder throughout the day.”
Mistakes in Feeding a Cat: Providing Insufficient Amounts of Water
Water is obviously very important, both for people and for cats. According to the specialists at the ASPCA, water makes up between 60 and 70 percent of an adult cat’s total body weight. Water is essential to life. A severe lack of water can have devastating effects on animals, including the development of life-threatening illnesses or even death.
According to the experts, even though wet meals can go a long way toward satisfying your feline friend’s water demands, you should also make sure that there are many sources of fresh water available around the house. Case recommends that you pay attention to the places where the cat likes to hang out so that you may place water in those spots. “Also, keep in mind that some cats favour flowing water, while others are sensitive to the taste of chlorine in tap water, so you may want to consider purchasing bottled water for them instead.”
The following is an excerpt from The Veterinarians’ Guide to Natural Remedies for Cats, which offers a delightful suggestion to assist persuade your cat to drink more:
Find a few of fresh catnip leaves and set them aside.
Crush the leaves while holding them under the water in a dish that you have filled with water.
Relax and enjoy the show as kittens that are easily affected “go crazy.”
Mistakes in Feeding Your Cat: Adding Garlic to Prevent Tapeworms
Some of us have noticed those peculiar white segments that wiggle and wind around around our cat’s rear end. These segments, which are about the size of rice grains, are part of a tapeworm that has made its home in your cat’s small intestine. Some people feel that adding raw, pungent garlic to your cat’s food is the most effective home cure for warding off these wriggly parasites.
According to Bartges, who was interviewed by WebMD, this is one of the most common misunderstandings. There is no evidence that eating garlic may protect against any kind of parasite infection, including fleas or intestinal worms. On top of that, garlic has the potential to kill a cat’s red blood cells if it is administered in excessive amounts.
Tapeworms are the most frequent type of internal parasite identified in adult cats. The infection is often brought on by the cat ingesting a flea. If treatment is not sought for tapeworms, the condition may result in a loss of weight, vomiting, stomach discomfort, and other symptoms. Tapeworms do not pose a threat to life.
Why, then, is garlic coming to the rescue? According to Case, “I suppose the root of this is that people felt garlic prevented fleas,” and he is correct in his assumption. However, giving your cat garlic won’t protect them from fleas or tapeworms even if you do it.
If you find segments of tapeworm in your cat’s faeces or around the anus, you should consult with your veterinarian, who will most likely recommend a medicine to treat deworming. Don’t treat kitty’s worms yourself — not all therapies work on all worms and you might end up inflicting more damage than good with the wrong medicine.
People make mistakes when feeding cats : Switching to a Vegetarian or Vegan Diet for Your Cat
One other common oversight that people are doing when it comes to feeding their cats is that they are trying to convert them to a vegetarian or vegan diet.
Because of their dietary needs, cats are classified as obligate carnivores, which means they must subsist primarily on meat and the internal organs of other animals. One example of this is the amino acid taurine, which can only be found in animal tissue. Taurine deficiency can bring on serious health issues for cats, including heart disease, blindness, and even death.
Synthetic versions of the essential elements that cats can only get from meat may be included in their food, according to Case. However, you need to use extreme caution and be conscious of the dietary peculiarities of the cat. As a result of the fact that the majority of us aren’t quite certain of our own nutritional requirements, it can be nearly hard to estimate what our cats require.
Careless feeding practises can lead to nutrient deficiencies in cats.
According to those in the know, there has been an increase in people making their own cat (and dog) food in recent years. It is essential, however, to keep in mind that “homemade” does not necessarily equate to “healthy.”
“A mistake that I frequently see well-intentioned individuals make is the feeding of imbalanced homemade meals,” says Pierson. “It’s a mistake that I regularly make myself.”
Because some people forget “that a cat would be eating both the meat and bones of their prey, which provides a proper calcium-to-phosphorus ratio,” some people make the mistake of not balancing the amount of calcium added to the meat when they make their own cat food from scratch. This is the reason why this happens.
It is possible for a cat to get vitamin A toxicosis if their diet contains an excessive amount of tuna, liver, or liver oil (such as cod liver oil). This condition is characterised by painful bones and joints, brittle bones, and dry skin. A diet that is excessively high in raw fish might degrade vitamin B1, which can lead to weakened muscles, convulsions, or harm to the brain. According to Pierson, “if a feline carer wants to cook their pet’s food, they need to follow a recipe that is appropriately balanced.”
Talking to your veterinarian is a good place to start if you want to achieve this goal. Your doctor can steer you away from unhealthy food trends and point you in the direction of a well-balanced and nutritious diet for your cat.