A healthy diet for your Cat
Obesity and diabetes are two conditions that don’t just affect humans. They are becoming more and more common among cats too, especially kitties who don’t get enough nutrition.
The clichéd diet for a cat is pretty simple – cat food from a tin can and milk, that’s what they all eat, right? Not necessarily. Some cat foods can be high in salt while as kittens grow older into full-sized cats, they can become lactose intolerant meaning their bodies can no longer break down the lactase enzyme in milk. Dry food is also recommended for kittens but in my experience, it can be quite hard to wean a kitty off their beloved wet food. That’s why I mix wet food up with dry food, so my cat is getting a bit of both. Portion size can determine your cat’s weight so to avoid problems with obesity in the future don’t overfeed your cat. Indoor cats should get 20 calories per day, while if your cat ventures outdoors, it can eat an average of 35 calories.
Your kitty will always want milk to quench its thirst and while lactose-free milk can be bought in supermarkets, never underestimate the importance of water especially if your cat is on a dry food diet. Your cat gets some water through wet food but always have fresh water available for the cat to drink as a low intake of H2O can be fatal. Leaving a water bowl is a right of passage for me, but still my cat prefers to drink from the taps or even from the glass I’m drinking from!
Be very cautious when feeding your cat anything that isn’t meat-based – they are carnivores after all. Too many carbohydrates can cause obesity and even a reliance on processed meat like ham isn’t too good for felines in the long term.
For more tips and theory around what your cats should and should not eat, I’d recommend picking up a copy of The Veterinarians’ Guide to Natural Remedies for Cats.
Older cats need special diets, particularly when faced with many of the diseases impacting cats in their teens, such as diminished kidney function / capacity. My cat, Bandit, lived to the ripe old age of 16 but the last three years of his life were spent with reduced kidney function, down to 20% when we finally had to have him put down. He required special cat food, readily available, and close monitoring of his water intake. He also peed outside of the box a lot on days when he felt weakened by his condition. We used Uricide to control pet odor and cleanliness around his litter box, a safe and effective product usable in many situations and on many different surfaces.