Tips for a Healthy Diet for Your Cat
Considered sacred in ancient Egypt and loved by royalty of all ages, the charm of felines has conquered men, women, young and old, all over the world, but when it comes to nutrition you are sure to know everything about food for cats?
The cat is a predator since it belongs to the felidae family, carnivorous mammals, and has a very short intestine that prompts it to eat small but frequent quantities of food every day up to a total of meals ranging between ten and sixteen. Felines tend to chew little and their diet includes a large consumption of protein as well as fat and a low percentage of carbohydrates.
To feed them adequately, you can choose a diet based on homemade preparations or opt for the purchase of products on the market and designed to meet the animal’s dietary needs. What must never be missing in the diet of the cat at home is taurine, present in the meat, a derivative of the amino acids that the cat produces in insufficient quantities and which must be integrated through food as it contributes to the correct body development of the cat and avoids the onset of ocular and heart diseases and the manifestation of reproductive problems in females.
Naturally, the nutritional needs of the cat change according to age, lifestyle, health conditions, habits and breed: the nutrition of a Persian cat, for example, will never be the same as a Siamese cat.
However, although it is necessary to pay attention to the dietary specificities of each animal, there are foods totally forbidden to any type of cat that can cause indigestion, vomiting and diarrhea and among these we find: lemon, vinegar, onion, leek and garlic, avocado, chocolate, salty foods and nuts. Even milk (and its derivatives) after the lactation phase is to be avoided as it can cause problems related to digestion just like raw fish which can contain bacteria and cause dangerous poisoning.
So how to choose the right cat food? In our guide you will find all the useful tips to guarantee your cat a healthy and complete diet that meets its nutritional needs.
Cat Food: Dry, Wet and Hydrated Feline Food
The health of an animal also passes through its nutrition for this reason when it comes to cat food you must be sure you have made the right choice that meets the dietary needs of our cat.
For owners who choose to feed their pet with the proposals available on the market, the main doubt concerns the type of food to be given to the cat: is it better to choose dry food or prefer wet food? The answer is… better both!
If you want to guarantee your cat a long and happy life, it is impossible to think that you can grow it by choosing only one of the two types of cat food, because it is precisely the alternation between dry and wet food that guarantees the correct nutritional supply to the animal.
Let’s explore together the characteristics of wet and dry cat foods
- Dry food: we are talking about kibble, a food that helps the cat to keep fit and allows it to have strong and clean teeth by preventing the formation of plaque and tartar. They cost less than wet food and, compared to the latter, they keep their characteristics unaltered for hours if they are forgotten inside the bowl. They keep for a long time and are easy to dose but contain little water.
- Wet food: these are meat or fish-based cans that contain more water than dry food in addition to the amount of fats and proteins necessary for the healthy growth of the animal that prefers them for their texture and taste. Wet food is highly digestible, but costs more than dry food and spoils faster.
Another important aspect that should not be underestimated and which influences the diet of our cat is water. Cats are not big water drinkers, but this does not mean forcing the cat to drink or on the contrary neglecting the importance of proper hydration and to be sure that the water bowl is not completely ignored by the feline, a few small ones are enough. Precautions:
- bowl: choose one preferably in metal, glass or ceramic, avoiding those in plastic. The bowl must be wide and shallow to allow the cat not to have to put his head inside and dirty his whiskers (the same recommendation applies to the food bowl);
- food and water: do not place the two bowls too close to each other as this will not prompt the cat to drink more and could annoy him;
- water: cats hate standing water so make sure the bowl is always filled with fresh, clean water.
Cat Food: The Principles of Barf Feeding and Feeding With Cooked Food
If you choose canned food for your cat’s diet, the recommendation is to read the label very carefully to make sure you choose the best product on the market. On the contrary if you prefer to cook at home the cat food then a solution is the use of Barf Diet.
Barf stands for Biologically Appropriated Right Feed and indicates a diet based on the consumption of raw meat, in other words on what the animal would eat in nature, providing the cat with the right amount of nutrients necessary to have shinier and healthier coat and stronger, cleaner teeth. The ideal for those who decide to follow the principles of the Barf diet is to avoid do-it-yourself and contact a veterinarian who knows this type of diet and the state of health of your cat because the Barf is not always the right choice for the cat animal and in the case of cats suffering from particular pathologies it may be necessary to prefer a home diet consisting of cooked food.
Warning: when we talk about cooked food we do not mean either the leftovers of lunches and dinners or the use of cooking such as those in the microwave, griddle or grill, because in both cases they can cause damage to the cat’s digestive system causing vomiting or diarrhea. The recommended cooking methods are steam cooking, which does not compromise the flavor of the food and retains most of the nutrients, and cooking by boiling which involves immersing the food in water and using high temperatures.
Also in this case, the advice is to consult your trusted veterinarian to be sure to include in the cat’s diet all the elements necessary to guarantee him a correct diet that focuses on his needs and promotes healthy growth of the animal.