7 Healthy Cat Diet Changes
Every cat owner wants to give their pet the best possible life, but occasionally we can be a little too nice to them, giving them a few more treats than maybe they should have. We can be forgiven for feeding our cats the odd treat now and then, though this really needs to be done responsibly, or our pet’s health could end up paying the price.
If you’re concerned that you’re spoiling your pet, or you feel that they’re not in as good shape as they could be, it might be time to take a more thorough look at your cat’s diet. Petplan looks at 7 healthy changes for your cat’s diet.
Just like every animal, cats need access to fresh clean drinking water, if they are to live healthy and happy lives. Cats’ water requirements are dependent entirely on their size; for every 2kg of weight, your cat will require roughly 100ml of water. If you have a 4kg cat, then they should be consuming around 200ml of water.
However, if you feed your cat wet food then they’ll probably get most of their water from this source. Wet cat food is roughly 75% water as is, so try to measure how much they’re eating, combined with how much they’re drinking.
Always make sure your cat has plenty of clean drinking water, to ensure they’re getting the amount they need.
Easy On The Treats!
As we’ve already mentioned, it’s really hard not to give in to those big pleading eyes when they’re staring straight at you, but you need to be strong. It’s important for both you and your cat that you don’t replace attention with treats. Think of other ways you can fulfil your cats demand for food by replacing it with attention through playing with them.
Just like humans, it can be beneficial to cats if they stick to regular mealtimes. Not only does feeding them at the appropriate times, typically morning and evening, ensure that they have enough energy to go about their days, but it also helps them to learn when they will be fed.
If a cat knows exactly when it’s going to be fed, then they’re much less likely to pester you for food at random intervals. Though of course, some of them might still want the odd treat.
Similarly, to provide your cat with regular mealtimes, it’s also important that you provide your cat with the correct amount of food. Obesity can cause long-lasting problems such as diabetes and joint pain.
Different foods have different degrees of nutritional value, and it’s important to feed your cat according to the recommendations of your chosen brand of food. If there is any doubt or confusion regarding this, then be sure to consult your vet.
Cat food typically comes in both dry and wet forms and both are valid. Dry food is typically cheaper, helps strengthen teeth, and can be left in a bowl so that it’s available for your cat to chew at all times. Many cats also enjoy wet food, but this is typically more expensive and more perishable than dry food.
While there’s no right or wrong answer regarding what you feed them, vet’s recommend feeding your cat just one kind of food, as this helps to keep the intestinal constitution of your cat at a consistent level. Speak to your vet for advice on which diet plan is best for your cat.
Too Much Human Food
This is another one that will require some willpower on the part of the owner. When you’re trying to eat and your cat clearly wants some of what you have, it’s important to set boundaries. Try not to let your cat dictate what you feed them and instead make them wait until you have finished, provided what you have is edible for them.
The majority of your cat's diet should come specifically from cat food, but if you have some meat left over, or other food that occurs naturally in their diet, then there’s no harm in a little sharing. Just make sure you’re not overfeeding them or letting them take advantage of your kind and generous nature…
Don't Force Them To Be Vegan
Veganism and vegetarianism are becoming increasingly popular in our society, motivated by a desire to protect the planet and the animals that inhabit it (including ourselves). However, this works for us because we are omnivores, capable of subsisting on either plants or animals or any combination of the two. Cats, however, are obligate carnivores, which means they need meat to properly power their bodies and organs.
Cats are unable to produce certain types of amino acids themselves which other mammals can, particularly taurine. Taurine is crucial to heart health.
Cats can eat vegetables and plants, and they have even been known to eat grass, but to remove meat entirely from their diet will ultimately lead to poorer health and eventually death. Because of this, vets actually consider it to be neglect when cats are not fed the meat that they need to survive, regardless of the owner’s intentions.
Do you have any creative weight loss tips for your cats or any diet recommendations? Let us know in the comments below.