In the wilderness, cats survived on nothing else but meat. The mouse which is considered to be the ideal natural cat meal constitutes 50% fat, 3% carbohydrate and 40% protein. Cats tend to have reduced enzyme activity compared to dogs. Increasing the carbohydrate quantity in the diet of a cat does not increase the production of dietary enzyme nor their secretion. To retain good health, cats must be fed on a diet that contains specific amino and fatty acids and these can only be found in meat. In the absence of these, a cat will not have a strong immune system that will enable it to fight diseases, reproduce or grow normally or even maintain overall good health.
Choosing the right diet
Cat owners have the option of using commercial cat food or making a homemade diet. Commercial cat food which is most popular is categorized into semi-moist, canned and dry. These are available in premium, branded or generic forms. Similarly, refrigerated and frozen forms are available.
It is important that cat owners understand that any nutritional comparisons on cat food types should be made on the basis of dry matter. This tends to factor out the water content of both canned and semi-moist products. A veterinarian should be consulted during the decision making process on what foods available in the market is best for your cat.
These foods should be served on good automatic cat feeders especially for owners who do not always get home in time to feed their cats. Automatic cat feeders are equipped with timer settings and are easy to access without creating a mess. This way the cat will have full access to food at the appropriate time of the day, regardless of the owner’s presence.
To go with the automatic cat feeder, is a cat water fountain. Cat water fountains are primarily designed to provide the continuous flow of fresh and oxygenated water. It is a sure way to keep cats both hydrated and in good health. These accessories are a must have for any dedicated cat owner who does not mind investing in their feline companion.
Guidelines on selecting the right cat diet
Here are some general guidelines to consider when selecting the ideal cat diet for good cat health:
It is critical to feed your cat on the proper diet during the various life stages i.e. kitten-hood stage, adult-hood stage and geriatric stage. There are extra nutritional needs for cats that are highly active, lactating cats and pregnant cats. Cats that also have certain medical conditions may gain from specialized nutritional prescription. For instance, bladder stones, allergies, skin and coat problems, gastrointestinal problems and diabetes.
Dry cat food
Generally, dry food is far from appealing to cats. In terms of nutrition, carbohydrates found in cat foods are nothing more than non-essential fillers. However, dry food assists in keeping the teeth of the cat healthy. It should be noted that dry cat food of low-quality lacks adequate protein from meat sources.
Canned cat food
This is usually considered to be the tastiest by cats. The reason behind this is that it contains a lot of water to prevent dehydration. Canned cat food of high quality usually contains minimal carbohydrates or none at all while containing a high percentage of meat protein and fat. On the other hand, those of low quality contain absolutely no meat products. There is also a high probability that they may not be balanced. It should be warmed to the specific room temperature before being fed to cats.
Semi-moist cat food
These are normally aesthetically appealing as they come in different colors and shapes. This is usually in an attempt to resemble meat, poultry and fish. Unfortunately, it is usually filled with artificial colors, sugar and preservatives.
Companion cats tend to become fat as a result of overfeeding. Ideally, healthy cats should have a fat layer covering their ribs, this primarily provides insulation and padding. This layer should not be too thick but the ribs should also not be prominent. A side view of the cat should clearly show a defined waist in the flank region. This is the area just behind the cat’s rib cage and just in front of the cat’s hips.
Cat owners should invest in commercial weight-loss diets that are well balanced to help their felines reduce some pounds. These are available at pet supply stores. Cats have very specific nutritional needs that are hard to achieve with diets that are home-cooked.
Potential health impacts
Cats that are overweight have a high risk of developing health problems. These include heart problems, arthritis, bone and joint disorders, hormonal abnormalities and even type 2 diabetes. Car owners with obese felines should consider assisting them lose weight. This can be effectively done via modifying the diet of the cat and also increasing the level of activity that the cat is involved in. This combination has been proved to be very effective in helping cats lose weight.