When you think about your cat’s diet, do you think they have to eat some food?
While it’s true that cats will often gobble down things that we consider junk food, it doesn’t mean you should feed them scraps or bargain food. .
Often, cheaper cat food contains ingredients that are unsafe, full of toxic preservatives, humectants and flavorings to entice the cat to eat it.
You’ might be saving money in the short term, but you’ll be setting yourself up for hefty vet bills in the long run, and also creating serious pain and discomfort for your company.
After all, they are an important member of your family. Cats are known as healers and they often have different ways of sharing their love.
3 reasons to choose a healthy diet for cats
Cats, like people, will not thrive on a fast food, high carb, kibble diet.
Eating the wrong cat diet, they can fall victim to arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease, and more. Diabetes,
The only difference between us and felines is that when they live in captivity, they have very little control over their diet. Cats depend on us to provide them with healthy food, especially when they live indoors.
Cats are natural predators… their diet must mimic that fact, so here are three reasons to choose a good cat diet that will extend your pet’s life.
1. Dental health
Just like humans, many health complications arise in domestic cats with poor dental hygiene.
Your cat may have bad breath – which is uncomfortable – but the infections that can cause halitosis can be much more serious than you think for the immune system and overall health.
Kittens lose their milk teeth between four and six months. During that time, there are holes in their mouths that are bacteria magnets.
You probably go to the dentist regularly to make sure your teeth and gums are in good shape.
But how does your cat maintain oral health? They need good quality food and treats that help remove plaque and stimulate the gums to maintain the strength of the teeth and the cleanliness of the mouth.
2. Cats are carnivores
Like it or not, your cat is a hunter, a predator, a predator. They will never manage on a vegetarian or vegan diet.
So while you may have chosen to eliminate meat from your diet and have replaced the protein with beans, meat alternatives and supplements, your cat needs animal protein.
It is a source of an important amino acid – taurine – which helps in the development of strong muscles, including the heart.
Fish-based cat food can work well – it’s packed with Omega fatty acids that energize your cat’s body… and suit their digestive system. However, most fish have been contaminated with heavy metals and other nasty toxins or parasites, and are very unhealthy. Offering fish as an occasional treat to a healthy cat should be fine, but be sure to provide a steady diet of it.
Avoid foods that have an excess of fillers, such as wheat and barley. They may fill the cat’s stomach, but they will not provide the protein they need for healthy development. And they can lead to obesity and diabetes, and many other problems.
Also, cats are naturally designed to hunt and eat their prey raw, which has not been baked in an oven or processed at high heat in a can. Prey animals have blood, moisture (water) and partially digested food in their intestines, bones and organs and much more.
When deciding what to feed your kitten, choose high quality wet food, not dry cardboard style. Some cats do well enough on high-quality wet food, and some do better on raw food.
3. Cats need hydration
There is nothing wrong with feeding your cat dry food occasionally as a treat or topping. It’s easier to store, usually less expensive, and you have more options for ingredients to suit your cat’s palate.
But remember, they also need easy access to water, and they can overload on carbohydrates, just like us… so follow the instructions on the package and take your cat’s needs into account.
On the flip side, the wrong wet food can rob cats of the roughage they need to keep their digestive system running. You will often see outdoor cats and dogs eating grass… they are simply trying to get their stomachs working again so they can clean up inside.
If you have an indoor cat, consider keeping catnip (or adding another source of fiber to their food) which will help keep their digestive tract on track.
Your cat can’t go to the grocery store
Your cat has basic dietary needs… and then they develop their own tastes, just like children. In fact, there is a phase while growing up where they learn what is good to eat and what is not good to eat, and after that it can be quite difficult to change their minds about what is acceptable and what is not!
But unlike your kids who will grow up to be able to shop on their own and satisfy their taste buds, and – hopefully – make wise dietary choices…
Your cat cannot do the same. It is up to you to communicate with them, explain why different foods are good for them and why some are not, and then meet their dietary needs.
You might think that good quality food is too expensive, that researching the options is too much trouble…
… but think of the pain you could put your feline friend through if they end up with kidney stones, ulcers or stomach cancer because you’ve overloaded their bodies with toxic food.
Cats are designed to hunt and eat kibble during the day, but free grazing (eating whenever they want) with poor quality kibble is a bad idea. Smaller, more nutritious wet food meals make for a healthier, longer-lived kitten.
It helps if you can talk to your cat and find out what suits their palate, and what meets their nutritional needs, and what makes them feel sick or cause pain.
Remember that your cat goes through growth phases, just like we do. Food that suits them at six months won’t keep them fit when they’re five years old… or ten or twenty.
You can set your cat up for a long, healthy life without stressful visits to a veterinary clinic by feeding it a quality cat food.
If you would like to learn more about cat health, please contact us.