Cats are the cutest little fellows giving you their love and warmth. Anyone who is a cat parent must have known the comfort of having one roaming around their home. However, if they’re so kind giving us the attention and not asking much in return then being their owners, it is our responsibility to take good care of them.
The first part of nourishing anyone, whether a person or a cat involves a change in lifestyle. So, if you want to take good care of your cat, then you have to improve their lifestyle, which starts with researching favorable cat nutrition and healthy cat food. The research part must be daunting. But, it takes similar efforts to raise a kitten just as to raise a baby. You have to be careful about the healthiest cat food to give them. Have specific knowledge about the nutrients vital for them and also the appropriate cat food keeping them healthy and fit.
Eating Mechanism Of Cats
Before getting any deeper into the right nutrition for cats, let’s learn a little about cat biology. Cats are carnivores which means that just like lions, tigers, etc. they feed on animal protein.
While cats usually eat flesh from smaller animals like birds, fish, rodents, etc. by preying them on their own. However, once they get to be at homes, they are entirely dependent on their owner to get them what’s best for them. It is essential to learn about the right nutrients for cats for maintaining their weight according to their breed. Otherwise, similar to human, they have obesity problems which can affect their health.
Ideal Cat Nutritions
If you’re someone concerned about the nutrients and ratio of your cat food, then the following information will be beneficial for keeping them healthy.
The best thing for cats is said to be proteins, mainly animal flesh. It usually helps them to strengthen their lean muscle, making them stronger and sharper with proper growth. Mostly, it is better to give them precooked meat, which will help their minds stay domesticated.
Another essential cat nutrient is fat. When we say fat, it doesn’t mean giving raw one only, but you can provide any type of food having an appropriate amount of omega-3 and omega-6, which are the healthy fatty acids.
Cats are similar to a human when eating, as an excessive amount of fat can result in their weight gain. But a certain amount can help them maintaining their skin and keeping their coat healthy and shiny.
Fiber is also another essential nutrient for cats. Giving them the correct amount of fiber can maintain their digestive system. Fiber enriched food like brown rice can also help smooth flow of gas and prevent any sort of gastrointestinal problems.
Daily, cats need a considerable amount of clean and freshwater for staying healthy and hydrated. You have to give them an efficient supply of water as much as they want.
Many cat parents have auto-filling bowls to ease their efforts. This way every time the bowl gets empty, the cats automatically get a refill. It also helps when you’re at work or out with your family.
Vitamins & Minerals
Just like humans, cats also need vitamin-enriched food supply and have minerals in it as well. Wild cats get their share of vitamins and minerals easily as they hunt. Whereas providing adequate vitamins and minerals via food is a bit difficult for domestic cats.
Cats need essential vitamins, including Vitamins A, K, E, and B. Also, the correct amount of pantothenic acids too. All these vitamins complement healthy and productive maintenance and growth of cat muscle.
According to pet medics, vitamin C isn’t the one needed by cats as cats themselves naturally produce it. Other vitamins required by the cats include iodine, calcium, phosphorus, etc. If you want to make your cat more healthy, then you must also contain amino acids like Taurine in their daily feed. There isn’t any need to mix supplements in cat foods if you’re adding all these nutrients in the proper ratio in their regular feed.
Until now, you must be wondering there is an entire food group that has been left out, i.e. fruits, vegetables, carbohydrates, and grains. Without a doubt, all these food groups are essential and healthier parts of a diet; however, in cats, the large intestine is relatively shorter than humans, which is the main reason behind cats being intolerant to such food groups.
You can’t give a large number of carbs, fruits, or veggies to them as it’ll take them to the vet. Instead, you can give them a precise amount of carbs in a form that can be easily digested.
Variation Ratio Of Food
Usually, nursing parent cats and kittens need an adequate amount of nutrients and calories enriched food. At the early stage, kittens need more proteins and fats to strengthen bones and proper growth. In contrast, nursing or pregnant cats need other types of fat and other relevant nutrients for supporting their babies. Kittens and nursing mom cats both need more calories and more nutrient-dense foods.
As far as the elderly cats are concerned, they are more sensitive towards the nutrients so they shouldn’t be given extra fat. More fat can result in fat in their body that can lead them to vets. Every stage of cat life requires a different mix of nutrients.
Choosing the Healthiest Cat Food
You can not directly go to the grocery store and get the best cat food. Choosing the cat food with the perfect balance of taste and cat nutrients is a very hectic task. Make a feed plan for your cat taking consideration of vet, making sure it is easy to keep up with, and involves food liked by your cat. This should be a combination of both dry and canned food.
However, if your cat is ill in any way or having any serious health issue, then you should entirely be dependent on your vet to suggest the food. It will make sure your cat gets all the proper nutrients for recovery. This would also include full consideration of allergies, intolerance, managing weight, and related to their kidney or other organs.
Some pet lovers want to feed a single form of food for every meal. Like, they give proteins in breakfast and vitamins enriched food at night. Some of them also prefer filling out their cat’s bowl with dry food as they head off to work so that they won’t create a mess.
Similarly, they provide cats with wet food at night. However, this is the ideal way of maintaining the feed of the cat by easily keeping track of their weight and giving them adequate nutrients as well.
Types of Commercial Cat Food
Commercial cat foods are often generally the combination pf semi-liquid, canned, and dry products. These products usually vary in nutrient levels; some have higher water ratio and lower protein level. Others differ in palatability, digestibility, and caloric density.
One of the most preferred foods for cats around the globe is dry food. Most commonly, dry food contains around 6 to 10 percent of water. It also has an adequate combination of different ingredients specially formulated with the extrusion and drying process. The final product is one-bite pieces of the meal eaten in bulk.
The ingredients combined to form dry food may include:
- Poultry and other poultry by-products
- Fiber enriched food
- Meat and its byproducts
- Grain and its byproducts
- Vitamin and mineral supplements
- Dairy products
These pieces of dry food after the entire process are coated with products used to enhance the flavors including animal fats or artificial flavors making the food delicious for cats.
The primary ingredients needed for the creation of the semi-moist food products are usually meat and its byproducts. It also contains nearly 35 percent of moisture. There are other ingredients added. These ingredients include preservatives, cereals, grain byproducts, soybean, which are mixed well to make the final product. are the primary ingredients of semi-moist food, which contains approximately 35 percent moisture.
These types of food are generally priced around mid-range. Some cats get appealed by semi-moist products more than dry cat food being their first choice and can be left free to feed. After you opened it, the packaging is difficult to keep, so they are usually a one-time product, becoming stale and gooey by time.
The last time of cat food is the canned products which contain almost 75 percent of moisture in it for durability purposes. Canned products are usually the best for cats needing more water than usual as it is a hydrating agent. The price of these products is generally higher, but almost all types of cats are fond of these products.
These canned cat foods are available in different varieties and can also help you even if your cat is a picky eater. The best thing about canned products is you can keep them as long as you want if not opened. If your cat hasn’t finished it somehow in one sitting, you can also store it in the fridge without the fear of getting it ruined or spoiled.
High quality canned cat food generally has extravagant meat as their primary ingredients including liver, kidney, and sometimes whole byproducts of meat. However, there are some brands that don’t keep cat nutrition into consideration, so you have to read the label thoroughly before buying any exceptional cat food. Eating the wrong type of cat food can affect your cat’s health and give them gas problems.
Common Cat Nutrition & Cat Food Concern
If you have just become a cat parent, then here are some of the common cat nutrition concerns you should be having in your consideration. By following these dos and don’t you’ll have your cat’s health and diet in your control.
Just like humans, cats are fond of eating. The only difference between both species is that humans know where to stop and can’t don’t. As we know that cats are entirely relying on us to feed them, so we are supposed to give them the food according to their requirement.
Overfeeding cats can result in different types of health problems, so don’t melt by seeing those cute innocent eyes and give them a proper amount of food on their time.
Multiple Food Group
Don’t just rely on a single food group, when making a meal chart for your cat. Just like humans, cats want to experience different food during every meal. So, try designating each type of food group for every meal. Starting from dry food for breakfast, semi-moist for lunch, and moist or canned products at night.
Keep Them Hydrated
Give your cats a plentiful supply of water as they usually get dehydrated very quickly and require more water. Try using autofill or water conservatives so that you don’t have to fill the bowl after every half hour.
No People Food
The most important thing to consider when choosing cat food is you can’t give human food to them. Human food includes chips, chocolates, fizzy drinks, onions, grapes, etc. All these food items are poison for cats.
Try giving them their food at an appropriate time without mixing it with your experiment.
Another essential point to note is all cats aren’t milk-lovers. Most of them are often lactose tolerant and giving them milk or dairy products can cause gas or upset their stomach. If you desperately want to give your cat a treat, then you can designate a particular cat food for this purpose, or you can make some at home as well.
The ideal cat nutrition and the right type of cat food can keep your cat stronger and sharper for many years. All you have to do is keeping them hydrated, giving them adequate nutrition, and avoiding the myths related to cat food. This way you can be the best cat-parents keeping them pampered and cherished forever.