Healthy Food and Diet for Cats

healthy food and diet for cats

Healthy food and diet for cats.

Providing a proper diet for your cat is one of the best things you can do to help him live a longer, healthier life. Putting a little thought into what you feed your cat(s) can pay big dividends over their lifetime and very possibly help them avoid serious, painful, and costly illnesses. There are numerous diets for cats available, and some are better and safer than others. Going through the major options can help you understand your pet’s nutritional needs and identify the best food to feed him.

Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they have different nutritional needs from other animals. What does it mean to be an ‘obligate carnivore’? This means that they need the nutrients found in animal tissues to meet their nutritional needs. These needs are met by the consumption of a large amount of animal-based proteins (meat/organs) and derives much less nutritional support from plant-based proteins (grains/vegetables). Healthy foods for cats is an important part of a cat’s growth.

As a Cat owner, there’s a lot you can do to help your Cat become healthier. Below is a list of practical tips that can help you transition your Cat to a healthier diet.

Reduce the Carbohydrates you feed your Cat

In their natural state, cats whose unique biology makes them true carnivores would not consume the high level of carbohydrates (grains, potatoes, peas, etc.) that are in the dry foods (and some canned foods) that we regularly feed them. Even though cats have no physical requirement for carbohydrates, unfortunately, they can become addicted to them quite easily. Carbohydrates supply energy, and since cats are very efficient at digesting these nutrients, a low-carb diet is sufficient for them.

Pay attention: dog’s diet

The need for plenty of water

Water is an extremely important nutrient that contributes to overall health in every living creature, and cats are no exception. Water accounts for between 60 to 70 percent of an adult cat’s body weight. Being properly hydrated is important for a cat’s normal body functions, so your cat should have access to fresh water at all times.

Consider canned foods

As long as a product is labeled balanced, wet, semi-moist, and dry formulas are all acceptable for cats. Canned/wet food can be a nice intermediary between raw and kibble. If your cat’s already accustomed to wet food, you can probably cut out the kibble altogether and use a raw-canned mix for the transition. Dry food typically contains up to 10 percent water, and it tends to have more carbohydrates and less protein than wet food. Semi-moist foods contain about 35 percent water and are often more palatable to cats, while canned foods have at least 78 percent water, which helps assure a cat will get the moisture he needs and it tends to have more animal protein and fat than dry food.

Learn how to read a pet food Ingredient Label

All pet foods come with Recommended Feeding instructions. The problem is that these recommendations are not absolute requirements even though most pet caretakers think they have to feed their pet the recommended amounts. Most cats, if fed at the amounts stated in the label recommendations, will eventually become overweight. Unfortunately, pet food labels are not held to the same standard as human food labels. This means that pet food labels are seriously lacking in usable information when compared to a package of food for a human. Feeding the “Recommended” daily portions indicated on pet food labels will nearly always result in feeding more calories than the animal needs for an average day’s energy requirements. The carbohydrate excess, unneeded as fuel for metabolism or physical activity, gets converted to fat and stored in the cat’s fat reserves. Adjust the amount fed to the cat’s body character and physical activity. Regardless of what the pet food label’s suggested amounts to feed are, you must feed less than that if the cat is to have a healthy body weight.

Ask Your Vet for Help

Sometimes a cat has to be transitioned immediately, such as when there is a serious health problem or the cat’s food has been discontinued or recalled. In those cases, you may need to let your veterinarian hospitalize your cat and force-switch her. Your veterinarian is uniquely qualified to help you choose the right diet for your cat. Ask for recommendations on which brands/formulas deliver the best nutrition for your pet’s age and current health.

A good quality, well-balanced diet doesn’t just nourish your cat, it strengthens and helps prevent ailments. Feed your cat the high-quality food that he deserves and you’ll be rewarded with an energetic and healthy companion for years to come.