Sometimes, cat owners love their pets a lot, but simply don’t know what kind of diet their furry companion needs. So, in order to ensure a healthy, happy and long life for your cat, here is a guide to a proper cat nutrition, as well as common mistakes and benefits of the balanced feline diet.
Don’t listen to cartoons—milk isn’t a perfect cat food
Even though you can see cats drinking milk in every cartoon or TV show, once they grow out of their kitten phase, most cats become lactose intolerant. Some cats can handle an occasional saucer of milk, but a steady milk intake often leads to diarrhea.
What about raw fish?
Cats generally like fish, but a steady fish diet isn’t the best choice for your kitty, especially when fed raw. Raw fish contains thiaminase, an enzyme with can destroy thiamine, one of the B vitamins. This thiamine deficiency can cause appetite loss, various seizures and even death. This harmful enzyme can be destroyed during cooking, but still, fish diet doesn’t have all necessary minerals and vitamins.
Give any cat tuna and it will be over the moon! Tuna is an irresistible treat for cats, but it doesn’t have enough vitamin E to be used as a foundation of a diet. Giving it to cats every now and then is fine, but too much tuna can cause steatitis. Additionally, a steady tuna diet can cause mercury poisoning. However, this is not the only problem too much tuna can cause. Since it has a very strong taste and smell, cats can easily become addicted to it. There’s even an expression for those cats – “tuna junkies”! These cats can start refusing any other food but tuna and cause great problems for the owners.
Dog food is not good for you cat
Even though it doesn’t make too much sense, some pet owners who have both cats and dogs choose to give all pets the same food. But, if you feed your cat dog food it can have serious health consequences. Dog food has nowhere near enough protein and fat to satisfy a cat’s nutritional requirements, and it’s not supplemented with taurine that cats require. Cats that eat dog food can become malnourished, while dogs that eat cat food can develop kidney problems and become obese.
Don’t give human food to your kitty
Table scraps are super delicious for your cat, but they are what a cat needs for a balanced diet. Human food usually contains too much fat and spices and too little necessary nutrients. Some table scraps can contain dangerous bones that can lead to choking while others can splinter and cause injury to the esophagus. Additionally, feeding your cat people food can cause your cat to start stealing food from the table. This behavior can be difficult to correct, so be careful.
Cats are not vegetarians
Unlike dogs that can survive on all-veggie and fruit diet, cats are obligate carnivores. This means that they get their vitamin A from meat, and feeding them a diet that lacks meat will cause serious deficiencies, health problems and even death. With cats there’s just no compromise—they need meat!
The importance of balanced, natural food
Even though cats are carnivores, an all-meat diet can also have negative health effects and can result in sore joints and weak bones. The best food option for your furry friend is a well-balanced natural diet. If you give your feline some natural cat food that has a perfect ratio of meat, fish and different garnishes, they will be fit, healthy and happy. Best natural foods usually contain plenty of meat and are grain- and additive-free, which makes them a perfect choice. Additionally, cats in different stages of life have different dietary needs. For instance, kittens have double to triple energy needs of an adult cat, so they need to eat more often and need to be given food rich in protein, amino acids and minerals. Lastly, cats NEED water! For some reason, some cat owners forget to provide enough water to their cats which can result in kidney problems, dehydration and even death. So, make sure to always keep a bowl of fresh water for your kitty to drink.
Treats are not meals
Cats love their kitty treats, but they are not a replacement for meals. They are super tasty but don’t contain nutrients cats need for a balanced diet. If your cat eats too many treats, they will not have an appetite for real meals and will miss out on valuable nutrients.
Over-supplementation is a thing
People who give their cats a balanced, natural cat food have absolutely no need to add any supplements to their cat’s diet. Over-supplementation can lead to toxicity. So, stay away from supplements, unless they are prescribed by your vet.
If you provide a balanced diet of natural food, plenty of protein and enough water, your cat will have a strong body, shiny coat and happy personality. For all other information, make sure to consult with your trusted vet during your next checkup.