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10 Tips to Improve Your Cat’s Diet
Tips on Diet Essentials to Help Cats Live Longer, Healthier Lives
Paying attention to diet will ensure your furry felines live longer, healthier lives. Healthy nutrition acts as a preventative medicine, saving you lots of money you’d have to spend dealing with disease and complications. With the following ten tips, you can make changes that will make a big difference in improving your kitty's health.
1. Choose Canned Food Over Kibble
Cats are strictly carnivorous, meaning that they must eat meat to stay healthy. Dry food does not meet their needs as wet food does. Kibble tends to be low in animal protein and water, and too high in carbohydrates. Over time, you’ll save money on vet bills if you invest in high-quality canned food.
2. Choose Balanced Food
Make sure you know how to read cat food labels. Look for a statement from the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) stating that the food is complete and balanced, and meets cats’ nutritional requirements.
3. Careful with Homemade Foods
If you decide to prepare food for your cat, you should talk to your vet about ensuring a balanced diet. Foods you buy are formulated to carry the nutrients essential for your kitty’s health, and the likelihood of homemade food meeting all your cat’s needs are slim. Your vet may suggest vitamins or supplements for a balanced diet.
4. Pay Attention to Your Cat’s Specific Needs
If your feline friend has any health concerns, talk to your vet who may recommend specific types of foods or supplements needed. You want to make sure you manage your kitty’s condition and keep it healthy.
5. Avoid Foods Toxic to Cats
You may want to give your furry friend some treats off your plate without realizing that some of these foods are toxic to cats. Make sure to avoid feeding your cat chocolate, caffeine, dairy products, grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, chives, and yeast dough. The Pet Poison Helpline has a complete list of foods toxic to cats.
6. The Amount and Frequency of Feeding
Cats are carnivores, and in the wild, need to hunt several times a day to stay healthy. It’s important to mimic their natural habits by feeding them small, frequent meals. The amount you feed your cat will depend on age, size, and activity level. Consult with your veterinarian to determine your cat’s needs. Don’t leave food sitting out all day to avoid overeating and obesity.
7. Keep Your Cat at an Ideal Weight
Obesity can hurt your cat in many ways, including increasing the risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, joint disease, and more. Talk to your vet about the best way to keep your cat at a healthy weight.
8. Transition to New Foods Gradually
Make sure to transition to new cat food gradually. Any sudden diet changes may cause stomach upset and diarrhea. Talk to your veterinarian about safely transitioning to your kitty’s new menu.
9. Keep Your Cat Hydrated
Cats typically get most of their hydration from animals they hunt, so they are not inclined to drink enough water on their own. A water fountain may encourage your cat to drink more because cats prefer moving water. Canned food also provides some hydration to your kitty.
10. Find a Feline Specialist Veterinarian
Try to find a veterinarian that specializes in cats to help your furry friend maintain optimal health. You can count on us at All About Cats Veterinary Hospital to provide the best possible care for your felines. We are more prepared to help you in every way possible when it comes to your cat because that’s what we are all about!