Almost everything you need to know about pet care.
Cats - Food and Diet - Cat Feeding
Although more expensive than average brands, premium cat foods are often better for your cat. They are low-bulk, which means that cats will digest more of the food. They also contain less food colourings. If your cat vomits regularly it is easier to clean up and probably better from a dietary angle. One of these kind of brands is IAMS. These foods are also beneficial for the cat’s coats and good health.The crude analysis provides more nutrition info than you can get on the vast majority of human foods. Any major commercial cat food is formulated with either natural ingredients (including meat by-products which supply nutrients to cats that meat itself doesn't since cats in the wild eat the whole animal) or are supplemented with the required nutrients to make them balanced diets for cats.
Canned cat foods
These contain quite a lot of water and are expensive. Tartar build-up may be a problem. Smell (of the food, the cat's breath, or the cat's faeces) and flatulence may be a problem. The food can spoil quickly. The dishes will have to be washed every day. Stools will be softer. Only cats that have medical conditions requiring higher water intake may benefit from the water in these products.
Dry cat foods
Tartar build up will be reduced as a result of crunching on the kibble. Generally less expensive and less smelly. Dishes will remain clean and food will not build up nor spoil quickly. Feaces will be firmer. Cats will require more water on this diet.
Moist cat foods
These are soft pelleted. They are more appealing to humans than anything else. There is no anti-tartar benefit and not much difference from canned food. They are fairly expensive. The benefits are difficult to ascertain. There appears to be more dye in these foods, which makes vomit very stain prone. It is believed by some they are actually bad for your cat; propylene glycol used as a preservative in some products can damage red blood cells.
Snack cat foods
Many products are out there for cats. Some are fine for supplemental feeding, but of course they should never take place of normal cat food. Try to use treats that have a nutritionally balanced makeup, although treats like dried liver, which are not balanced food, should be used sparingly. These products can be very useful in training.
Milk as a cat food
Some adult cats are lactose intolerant and drinking milk will cause diarrhoea. Cream is better than milk, as most cats digestive systems can handle the butterfat. A desertspoon sized serving of cream will satisfy the cat more than a saucer of milk and will contain less lactose.
Homemade Cat Food
Provided you follow a recipe from a reliable source your cat will probably love this.
Scraps as a cat food
It is not a good idea to feed cats table scraps or food from your own meals. Firstly, table scraps do not meet your cat's nutritional needs and only add unneeded calories or indigestible solids to its diet. Second, you risk having your cat become a major nuisance when you are eating. Stick with prepared cat treats. Any food you do give should be placed in the cats food dish.
Cats need grass! Cats benefit from some vegetable matter in their diet. When devouring prey, the intestines, along with anything in them, will also be eaten. Some owners grow some grass for their cats to munch on, both for a healthy diet, and to distract them from pot plants! Do not be tempted to grow your own from bird seed as you may fall foul of the law!
Cat Feeding Schedules
You can feed your cat in one of two ways; this will depend on your cat and the food you give it. The first is to put down a set amount of food at specific times of the day. This is necessary if using home made or canned food or if your cat overeats. For working households you can use one of the automatic cat feeders, pictured here, which will keep your pets food fresh all day. Don’t assume a cat will only eat what it needs. The other method is to leave food available all the time. The food must be dry to avoid spoilage.
Cat feeding tip
If your cat bolts its food down (and throws it back up), you can slow it’s eating down by placing several 3 - 4 cm diameter clean stones in its food bowl. Picking the food out from between these will slow it down. Be sure the stones aren't so small or the cat could eat them by accident.
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