A cat is an amazing animal that can make the life of its owner happier and more fun. With the right care and upbringing, he can bring you a lot of joy, as well as become a true friend to you. So, if you are going to get a cat or have already done so, then first of all you should take care of the selection of the optimal way of feeding. This is very important, because not only the well-being of your pet, but also its appearance, as well as life expectancy, will depend on the quality of the food and the feeding method.
In this article, we will talk about how to feed your cat properly, as well as give some useful recommendations on this topic.
Feeding the cat with ready-made food: features and nuances
The easiest way to feed your pet is to use ready-made food, created in an industrial setting. It is considered simple because the owner of the cat does not need to stand by himself near the stove and prepare food for the animal. All you need to do is just open the package and pour the contents into the cat’s bowl (remembering to clean it under water first). At first glance, everything is simple, but you need to remember that ready-made pet foods are different, so you need to take into account many subtleties and nuances, which we will discuss below.
Dry food economy class
Basically, these are products of well-known brands that almost everyone knows about, because they are constantly advertised in the media (especially on TV). It is sold in almost any grocery store or supermarket. Unfortunately, this is the only advantage of this, because otherwise it has only drawbacks. The main one is the low quality of the feed itself, as well as a large percentage of the content of harmful chemicals and dyes.
If you carefully examine the packaging of budget-class dry food, you will notice that it contains a minimal amount of meat (or none at all), while the main ingredient in their preparation is by-products of meat and vegetable origin. In normal language, they are made from various waste and very low-quality, cheap products. As a result, it can have a very negative impact on the health of your pet.
Many veterinarians recommend that their clients completely abandon inexpensive dry food for cats, since their long-term use very often leads to the appearance of diseases in the animal or its death. Therefore, you should not save on cat food by choosing cheap food, because you can spend much more money in the end on its treatment.
Premium dry food
Premium dry food is significantly different from budget options for the better. They are created not from offal, but from natural meat that has undergone special processing, cereals and much more. At the same time, they are very well balanced, that is, they contain all the trace elements and minerals your cat needs. This feature allows you to feed the animal only using premium food. An important feature of such nutrition is that the percentage of meat in the finished product is very high. This is correct, because cats are, in fact, predators and need a significant amount of protein every day.
Another difference between premium dry food and inexpensive options is that they are sold not in regular grocery supermarkets, but in specialized pet stores and veterinary pharmacies. In addition, their manufacturers offer for the buyer a wide selection of rulers designed for certain occasions. For example, there are foods specially designed for kittens, for animals with urolithiasis, for castrated, fastidious cats.
Note! The cost of premium dry food for cats can sometimes be quite high. Therefore, it is more profitable to buy food not in small, but in large packages (for example, immediately 5, 7 or 10 kilograms).
Veterinarians generally favor the use of premium dry food. You also need to remember that your kitty always has access to fresh and cool drinking water.
This cat food is sold in cans and is a canned food for cats. Also recently, you can find food sealed in elastic sealed bags. This type of food for our smaller brothers is divided into two types – cheap and expensive. We will not consider the first one, because, as in the case of budget dry food, its use can cause significant harm to the health of your pet.
Therefore, it is advisable to purchase canned food for cats only from well-known brands that offer premium products for their customers. You also need to carefully study its composition and make sure that it does not contain offal, but is created on the basis of natural meat. The main advantages of this type of food are easy digestibility and high calorie content. In addition, cats love him very much.
But there are also disadvantages. Firstly, this is the most expensive food option that exists today (it is more expensive than natural food and premium dry food). Secondly, it has a limited shelf life after opening. Many veterinarians approve of canned food, but do not recommend mixing it with dry food.
Feeding Natural Food: What You Need to Know
Many cat owners prefer to feed their pets with natural food. There is nothing strange in this, because in nature all animals consume only natural products, and not what was created at the factory. On the one hand, this is good, but it must be remembered that the natural food of the cat must be well balanced. That is, you need to be smart about the choice of food and their relationship with each other.
After all, the animal must receive a certain amount of proteins, carbohydrates and microelements every day. In this regard, it is dry food that is more practical, since everything is already balanced there by default, and the owner of the cat only needs to adhere to the dosage indicated on the package.
Important! When feeding an animal with natural food, you can give it vitamins in tablets, which are necessary to strengthen its health and improve the condition of its coat, teeth and nails.
Another disadvantage of eating naturally is that the pet owner needs to spend time preparing food. Although this can be called a minus only conditionally, since many people take care of their furry pets only pleasure. You also need to remember that not all products that humans eat can be given to animals. For example, you cannot give them potatoes, river fish or pork. But let’s talk about everything in order.
Meat is a staple in the diet of any adult cat. This is not surprising, because no matter how much we love to hold our furry pets on our arms, we must not forget that they are predators. Veterinarians say that for a cat to feel good, it should eat about 220 grams of food, and at least 110 grams of meat.
It should be noted that some owners boil meat products. In general, this is not necessary, since the cat will easily digest a raw piece of chicken or lean beef. In this case, it is advisable to pre-freeze the meat in order to eliminate the parasites.
The second part of the diet of an adult and healthy cat should be fermented milk products. The cat should definitely eat cottage cheese, as it is the most important source of calcium. Also, the kitty can eat natural yogurt or kefir. It is important to note that fermented milk products should not be too fatty (the optimal fat content should be up to 9%), but the use of completely fat-free products should also be abandoned. As for milk, it can be given to cats, but not very often. You also need to remember that in adults, it can cause stomach upset, since their body absorbs lactose worse.
Fish can be given to cats, but not very often, since this product can provoke the development of urolithiasis in an animal. Also, you cannot feed the cat with meat from river inhabitants. The best option is not too oily sea fish that has been pre-frozen. If desired, food for the cat can be boiled, but do not forget to remove the bones after that. Also, veterinarians do not recommend giving fish to cats that have undergone the process of castration or sterilization.
Certain types of offal can be fed to adult cats, for example, chicken hearts, ventricles, necks. But it must be remembered that the process of their assimilation for the animal may not be easy, therefore, in the event of side effects (vomiting, indigestion), the use of such products should be completely abandoned. Also, many veterans advise against giving cats a liver.
How often should you feed your cat?
In general, it is advisable to select a diet individually based on what type of food you feed your animal. In addition, the condition of the cat also matters. For example, when using dry food, it is advisable to feed him two or three times a day. But if the pet is castrated and eats natural food, then some veterans recommend reducing feeding to one or two times a day.
It is also important to remember that food should be given to the animal at approximately the same time. This will allow him to develop the correct feeding regimen. A separate topic is the nutrition of a kitten or a lactating cat. Therefore, on a case-by-case basis, it is best to seek the advice of an experienced and reliable veterinarian whom you trust.
How to properly feed your cat at home: valuable recommendations
Here are some helpful tips on how to feed your cats:
- The animal should always have access to drinking water (especially when the pet eats dry food);
- When buying ready-made food for cats, be sure to check the expiration dates, the fresher the food, the better;
- Try to get food of proper quality, because the health of your pet will depend on it;
- Canned food must be warmed to room temperature before giving it to the animal;
- Do not buy canned cat food that has been damaged or dents;
- Do not mix different types of food;
- It is important to feed the cat with dry food of the same brand and type;
- It is necessary to transfer from one type of feed to another gradually (over several days);
- The pet’s bowl should always be clean;
- Do not leave for a long time the food of the animal that he did not finish, as it may deteriorate (this does not apply to dry food);
- If the cat refuses to eat, then this is an excuse to show it to the veterinarian.
Take care of your cat’s nutritional status. And he will certainly thank you for this with his affection and love.