Cats are wonderful and lovable creatures that need proper care and attention. As a cat owner, you will always want your feline friend to live a happy and healthy life. You need to offer your cat a nutritious and balanced diet to ensure her good health. The diet of a cat depends on its age and overall health. A kitty needs more carbohydrates and vitamins to gain weight in the first few months of its life but adult cats need a low calorie diet. Let us know how to feed your cat a balanced diet in detail.
Which foods should you choose for your cat?
The nutritional requirements of cats vary according to their age, breed, activity level, and health conditions. Cats need different nutrients according to their stages of life. You can feed your cat foods that offer a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals. Carbohydrates, and fats offer energy for activities, while proteins and vitamins maintain cats weight and overall health. ,
There are wet, dry, and canned foods available in the market. Some people prefer offering wet foods, while others prefer dry foods. The best way to feed your cat is to offer a combination of both types of foods. You can consult your vet to learn about the quantity and proportion of wet and dry food your cat needs in a day.
It is important to understand that cats evolved in jungles and are carnivores by nature. By carnivores, we mean that they rely on nutrients that are found in animals or animal products.
Cats evolved as hunters who kill animals that contain high proteins, moderate fat, and minimal carbohydrates in their bodies. Cats’ diets still require that proportion of nutrients today.
In addition to high protein, moderate fat, and minimal carbohydrates, your cat needs vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. If you are feeding a complete and balanced diet, you don’t need to use any supplements. Moreover, you should never feed your cat supplements without getting a recommendation from your vet.
Your cat’s specific needs
If your cat has any special dietary requirements or has a health issue, talk to your veterinarian, as they may recommend special foods or supplements. Cats need special care and attention during health issues. An overweight cat needs a low calorie diet and exercise to lose weight. On the other hand if your cat is weak, your vet may recommend vitamins for the cat to gain weight. Make sure you feed it the recommended diet and supplements to help it recover from the condition.
The frequency of Feeding
Cats are carnivores, and their ancestors used to hunt several times a day to feed themselves. It’s important for cat owners to mimic those behaviors and feed their cats small but frequent meals. Some pet owners feed them three full meals per day like humans, but this is not good for cats.
Amount of Food
The amount of food you should feed your cat depends on its breed, age, health, and any special conditions. If you are a first-time cat owner, you can consult your vet for a recommendation.
Most experienced pet parents know how much food they need to feed their cat. And those who don’t know can browse the internet for authentic pet food websites that offer pet diets from experienced veterinarians.
Always feed your cat with the right amount of food, as overfeeding may lead to unnecessary weight gain and underfeeding may lead to weakness and fatigue in your cat.
If you want to feed canned commercial foods to your cat, you need to know about them. Most healthy cats don’t need any supplements, but if you feel that your cat is weak, you can consult your veterinarian for a recommendation. As cats are carnivorous animals, vets recommend commercial foods with high protein and low carbohydrates. Moreover, these foods also contain minerals and vitamins for cats that maintain weight and overall health
Consider the Metabolism
Cats’ digestion and overall health depend a lot on their metabolism. When you feed dry foods to your cat, their metabolism changes, which makes them more likely to gain weight.
Wet cat foods are good for metabolism, but whatever you choose also depends on digestion and overall health. If your cat has a high or low metabolism, tell your veterinarian about it and follow the recommended diet. Your vet may recommend some vitamins to improve cats metabolism.
Dry Food vs. Wet Food
Some pet owners feel that dry food is good, while others feel wet food is better for their cats. Let us know the difference to decide which is better. The main difference is the amount of water present in these foods.
Dry foods contain around 10% water content and 90% dry matter such as protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals. On the other hand, wet foods contain around 70% water and 30% dry matter.
In terms of nutrients, dry foods contain more carbohydrate content as compared to wet or canned foods. The protein and fat content vary according to the formula. So, overall, wet foods contain more water content and fewer carbohydrates, which is good for cats’ health. However, if your cat is thin, your vet may recommend dry food, as it contains more carbs, proteins, minerals and vitamins for cats to gain weight.
If you decide to feed wet food to your feline friend, you can follow a helpful chart for wet cat food feeding to prepare the meals. Wet cat foods are considered low-calorie foods and good for keeping your cat hydrated throughout the day.
Homemade foods are better for cats than packaged foods or frozen foods you see in grocery stores. Lightly cooked foods retain all the essential nutrients present in them. Homemade foods are better than the best-packaged foods available in pet food stores, as all the nutrients present in them are in their natural form.
Some experts also say that the nutritional value of raw foods increases with light cooking. So, you can feed your cat lightly cooked homemade foods for complete nutrition.
Our cats need a balanced diet comprising all the essential nutrients. Instead of merely focusing on foods recommended by a vet, you should feed your cats a mix of dry and wet foods. Unless your cat suffers from a specific medical condition, you can feed it both homemade and canned foods. In addition to feeding your cat healthy foods, make sure to offer your cat an active lifestyle. An active lifestyle maintains a healthy metabolism and the overall health of your feline friend.