Cats Feeding | Tips for feeding your cat
Whether your cat may be a picky eater or a touch on the pudgy side, they probably allow you to skills they feel about what you set in their bowl.
“Cats are very opinionated about food, and tons of their food preferences are formed within the first year,” says Julie A. Churchill, DVM, PhD, professor of nutrition at the University of Minnesota College of medicine in St. Paul. So if your cat may be a kitten, now’s the time to urge them wont to differing types of food — wet, dry, and semidry.
But albeit your pet is older, there are still ways to form sure they’re getting all the nutrients they have to be healthy. Start by learning more about what you’re buying and what your cat needs.
Choose Balanced Food
All cat owners should skills to read a cat chow label, says Richard Hill, PhD, professor at the University of Florida College of medicine in Gainesville.
“With such a lot advertising, people tend to specialise in ingredients, but the nutrients are more important, namely protein and fat,” he says.
It’s trendy to bash grains and carbohydrates in pet food, but those aren’t necessarily bad, Churchill says. Plus, food made from only protein and fat gets pricey. “Carbs are often valuable to carry dry food together and make food cheaper , and lots of cats like that crunch. As long as carbs are in an amount cats can handle, it’s OK.”
How does one know if your cat’s food is balanced? search for a press release from the Association of yank Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) on the package.
“It will say that the food is complete and balanced, either through a feeding trial or because the recipe meets cats’ nutritional requirements,” Hill says. If the food has this distinction, there’s no got to give your kitty extra vitamins or supplements — the food has all they have.
How Much, How Often?
Most cats will eat their main meals at dawn and dusk, once they would normally be hunting and catching prey within the wild, so those are often the simplest times to feed them.
How much your kitty should get in their bowl depends on their age, size, and the way active they’re , but the typical is about 200 calories per day. It’s an honest idea to ask your veterinary team to assist you calculate your cat’s needs. Pay careful attention to the calorie counts on all foods you give to your cat, Churchill says. “The calorie count can vary significantly from food to food.”
Cats also will nibble during the day if you allow food sitting out, but be aware: They aren’t good judges of what proportion they ought to eat.
“Overfeeding is a plague ,” Churchill says. When cats gain an excessive amount of weight, they will have problems like joint disease, heart condition , and diabetes.
Vets say it’s best to feed cats at specific mealtimes, and to place food away in the least other times.
If your cat is more chowhound than finicky feline, it’d be most helpful to modify to a food lower in calories instead of crop on quantity, Hill says. “The problem with restricting food is that it can cause mean cats.”
What about treats? It’s fine to dole them out occasionally, but don’t overdo it. they ought to be no quite 5% to 10% of your cat’s daily calories.
Vegetarian Cats? Homemade Food?
Vegetarian or vegan diets could be a healthy choice for you, but they’re a nasty idea for your cat. Unlike dogs and humans, cats need specific vitamins, minerals, and proteins that only come from meat.
But not meat . which will be a part of life for giant cats within the wild, but it’s unnatural for house cats, Hill says. “In the wild, they eat the entire animal or bird they catch, not just the meat. Meat alone are going to be deficient in vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.”
Plus, bacteria on meat , like salmonella and E. coli, can make your cat (and you) very sick.
What about making your own cat chow at home? Churchill says if you opt to travel this route, you shouldn’t roll in the hay alone. “I strongly recommend that you simply get a veterinary nutritionist to assist you. Cats are only 8 to 10 pounds, and changing one ingredient can change the entire nutritional value of the diet.”
Generally, most experts say commercial cat chow is that the thanks to go.
“The great thing about commercial food is that it’s formulated specifically for cats, so it’s complete and balanced and meets their needs, and you don’t need to worry about it,” Churchill says.