Cats are just like human beings – they need tender love and care. Nutrition in a cat plays a really vital role. The cat owner not only needs to take special care about what the cat ingests but also the quality of the food that is given to the cat.
Cat foods vary from brand to brand. Ultimately, the owner needs to decide if he wants to feed the cat quality food or just garbage. There is the question of dry foods or semi-wet food; which is better for the cat? What food is better for the cat? Feeding your cat dry food has its demerits. Here are some answers:
1. Dry foods versus wet foods: Dry foods are very low in moisture content, meaning they lack water in their composition. Cats will tend to consume more drinking water in the long run. Dehydrated foods are subjected to high temperatures in order for them not to expire easily. Wet/ semi- wet foods tend to expire faster than the dry foods. This is due to all the fat in their composition.
The high temperature used on dry cat food distorts all the nutrients in the food; this means the cat will be consuming sub-standard foods, or those that lack few or no nutrients at all. Desiccated foods tend to have a longer shelf life which is not really good as the cat needs to consume fresh food. Refrigerated food is alright but the fresher it is the better for the cat.
2. Protein Packed Dishes: Encourage serving the cat a diet that is packed with protein. Proteins are really essential for cats of all ages. However, precaution must be taken as to which protein is given to the cat, and how much is administered as well. More mature cats tend to be lactose intolerant. Cat owners may observe that once their cats grow older they may even have loose bowels once they consume dairy products. Therefore the amount which they ingest should be reduced.
3. Animal protein versus Plant protein: Semi wet foods tend to contain more animal protein in them; the dry foods consist of more plant protein. Cats are carnivores unlike humans who are omnivores; however, cats can eat vegetables but they add very little value to their diet. The vegetables provide them with roughage. Cats need meat to survive – it is essential to incorporate it in their diets.
4. Omega 3 & 6: Cat owners can never go wrong with fish. Regularly feeding the cats with omega 3 or 6 dishes will not only keep their coats shiny but also prevent shedding, which every cat owner wishes he could avoid. Fish is really good for cats, but in moderation. Too much fish can lead to a reduction of the supply of vitamin E in the cat’s body. There are some breeds of fish that contain a lot of mercury; swordfish, tuna, and salmon are just to mention a few. Flounder, halibut and cod are a little safer for the cat to consume. Eggs are a good source of protein for cats. The cats use protein to get energy.
5. Human Foods: The cat owner may be compelled to feed the cat leftovers. but it is something that needs to be done with caution. There are foods that the owner can feed the cat and others that the cat owner needs to avoid totally. If unsure, the owner may need to consult a vet. Here is a list of human foods that are totally safe to feed your cat:
• MEAT (COOKED)
• EGGS (COOKED)
• FRESH FRUITS
• FRESH VEGETABLES
DO NOT FEED
• CAFFEINATED DRINKS
• ALCOHOLIC DRINKS
• SUGARY DELIGHTS
The cat owner needs to be very cautious as to what he feeds his cats. Raw fish for instance may contain tapeworms. Though cats should be dewormed every now and then, the cat owner should not be careless with what he feeds his cats.
6. Fresh vegetables: Serving the cat with veggies such as asparagus, broccoli, carrots, chopped greens, green beans or even squash is really great for cats. Cats enjoy food that is cooked in diverse ways; the cat owner can try and spice things up by baking, cooking and even steaming the veggies. Try to avoid raw carrots. Chopped veggies are a great source of roughage but are not entirely essential to the cat’s nutrition.
7. Grass: The neat thing about cats is that they’re really resourceful and if and when they find that they have ingested something that is not favorable, they will look for some grass, and eat it so that they are able to throw up. If the cat’s owner does not have a lawn then the cat will look for some grass. Grass helps with indigestion in cats. They tend to administer the dosage themselves.
8. Canned foods: There are owners who prefer store bought canned food which is an option if cooking is not a thing that the owner likes to do. Some vets even say it is safe to give the cat canned baby food. It is totally safe for the cat.
9. Supplements & multivitamins: Giving cats multivitamins and supplements is a great idea. The diet the owner could be giving the cat may lack certain nutrients and they could be gotten from the supplements. This will give the cat all the necessary nutrients needed. Cats are not really big on taking pills. So a neat trick that the cat owner can use is to take a little bit of cheese or even butter, crush the pills and add them to the mixture and cats will eat it up. Alternatively, you can use sour cream, yoghurt or cottage cheese. Cats love these dairy products.
10. Probiotics: These are also crucial additives to a cat’s diet. Probiotics are the good bacteria. When incorporated into the cat’s dietary plan they advance the tom’s digestive system. This is because they regulate the overgrowth of the bad microorganisms in the large intestine.
Regardless of what you choose to feed your cat, you need to be thoughtful when picking the cat’s food. The cat’s well-being needs to come first. A whole lot of consideration needs to go into how much the cat is being fed. Over feeding the cat can lead to obesity just like in human beings. Your cat is what it eats and the health of a cat can be seen in its fur. Chances are if the cat has a shiny coat, then it is healthy.