A cat’s diet is crucial for its healthy development, it is not something that should be underestimated because a bad choice of food can mean a serious health problem for your beloved pet.
Cats are meat eaters so their primary diet should consist of that. Fish in particular is one of the preferred types of “meat”. Even as time has passed and felines have evolved and we have domesticated their eating habits the consumption of animal protein continues to be the safer choice.
Having said this, it is also pertinent to add that there are other foods that are also recommended in the feline diet as complements to achieve healthy nutrition and long life. There are some foods consumed by humans that can also be ingested by cats, however, you should be well documented on this subject, since there are also other foods that are totally contraindicated for cats, so you should never make the mistake of supplying any food or treat without first having properly investigated its impact on the health of our pet.
What Foods Can Cats Eat?
Cats are carnivorous animals, therefore, their diet must revolve around animal protein. Every cat owner should know and understand what are the nutritional requirements of your pet, as well as know in detail what are those foods prohibited for the health of your kitty. Like most animals, cats anatomically have a digestive and masticatory system that allows them to digest some foods correctly and take advantage of their nutrients, but there is also another important group of foods that their digestive system will not be able to digest naturally, so their intake would represent a great risk to the feline’s health.
The main foods recommended for feeding your cat are:
- Cat foods: These foods, besides having an appropriate base of animal protein, also have among their ingredients other nutrients that will be of great benefit for the development of the animal and will not spoil the taste of the food.
- Salmon and Tuna: One of the best sources of protein and omega 3 is salmon and tuna, and besides being beneficial, it drives cats crazy for its delicious taste. Although in the case of humans it is completely normal to ingest some of these foods almost or totally raw, it is recommended that the cat be given cooked salmon.
- Spinach: Spinach is a plant rich in vitamin C, K, A, iron, and calcium so its use in the feline diet is widely recommended as an ingredient or complement to other main meals. For all these reasons, spinach is among the top 5 foods recommended for the natural-based diet of adult cats. However, if your cat is prone to or has a medical history of bladder stone production, you should avoid this food.
- Fish Oil: Whether you give your cat salmon or not, it is recommended that you provide a vitamin supplement rich in fish oil as it is a major source of omega-3, which is essential for the healthy development of your cat’s coat and will help prevent dry skin during the winter season.
- Eggs: Eggs are a great source of vitamin B and are completely safe in cat food. You should not give raw eggs to your cat, always cook them in order to avoid unnecessary risks.
- Melon: Melon is another highly beneficial food in the cat diet. It is a fruit high in beta-carotene and antioxidants that will help your pet maintain healthy skin and prevent eye diseases.
- Chicken: Since cats are purely carnivorous animals, the lean meat of these birds is ideal in their daily diet. It should be known that chicken, in order to be suitable for feline intake, must be well cooked and free of skin, viscera, and cartilage, since they cannot be processed by the animal’s digestive system.
- Bananas: Bananas contain high concentrations of soluble fiber and potassium, so they can be the ideal snack for your pet. Although it is a completely healthy food, experts recommend that its daily intake should not exceed 10% of the total caloric diet.
- Oatmeal: A great source of vitamin B for virtually any pet. It is healthy food for your cat but that does not mean that it necessarily has to be liked, so if that is the case with your kitty, you should introduce it gradually and combine it with products that your pet does love and thus get acceptance of this healthy cereal.
- Pumpkin: Some may wonder if cats can consume pumpkin and the answer is definitely yes. Pumpkin is very low in calories and high in fiber, plus it has the benefit of being a natural remedy for those cats suffering from abnormal stools.
- Cheese: Is it wise to offer the cat some cheese? The first thing is to observe if the feline is interested in this type of food, if so, it can be given in moderate amounts and from time to time some hard cheeses such as Swiss cheese, cheddar, or gouda since they are rich in protein and calcium and can be easily baked to integrate them to treats or snacks.
- Bread: Bread is a source of fiber and protein and can be given to your cat as a supplement to other foods or snacks.
- Apples: Being a fruit rich in vitamin C and fiber are ideal to feed your cat, you should only take care to remove the skin before giving this fruit.
- Blueberry: It is another ideal snack for kittens as they are a rich source of vitamin A and C, there are even cats that consume them even frozen. Experts recommend not to exceed a daily dose in snacks of 20 calories.
- Peas: They are important sources of vitamin A and C and can be given frozen or raw without any risk.
- Turkey: It is another lean protein of great acceptance in the feline world, and like chicken, it should be given without skin and completely cooked.
What Foods Should Not Be Fed To Cats?
As previously reviewed, there are a series of ideal foods to create a fantastic diet for cats, but on the other hand, there is a group of foods that should be totally avoided from the animal’s diet if you do not want to create a short, medium or long term health problem, and in specific cases even fatal.
It is pertinent to remember that the delicate digestive system of cats will not have the capacity to correctly process all types of food, even though the smell or taste of these foods may be very pleasant, that is why some of these foods should be avoided at all costs are listed below.
Raisins, grapes, chocolate, onions, coffee, tea, raw bread dough, avocado, nuts, fruit pits or seeds, apricot, corn cobs, tomatoes, mushrooms should be avoided. Milk should also be avoided, and it may seem contradictory as cats have always been shown drinking milk from a bowl, however it is important to report that most cats are lactose intolerant. Fish should also be avoided every day, they should only eat it once or twice a week as a treat. They should also not be given cooked bones of prey, fish bones, animal entrails, or any canned food other than cat food.
So What Would Be The Best Food For Kittens?
After having carefully reviewed the main fundamentals of the feline diet to enjoy a long and healthy life, it is time to answer a question that perhaps many are asking themselves at this point, among all the list of products mentioned, what would be the best option for feeding my pet?
The answer to this question can have several aspects and all of them would be equally correct. A list of beneficial foods for the health of the cat has been listed, where each one provides some nutrient and vitamin essential for the healthy development of the animal, that is, the best food for cats is based not on a single product but on the appropriate combination of a group of foods that although they are safe and beneficial must be supplied in the correct doses or rations. Another answer that would be valid to this question is that if a cat owner does not have the possibility to offer his pet a varied diet composed of multiple products and on the contrary only has the possibility to choose one or two components to integrate the diet of his pet, he should opt for a diet based on animal protein.
Feeding a kitten is a process that requires the commitment of its owner since it involves researching with interest and care in order to know and understand what is best for the health of your pet. The easy path of feeding only cat food or the same food consumed by humans can be very costly in the long run in terms of the animal’s well-being. As with humans, cats should have a balanced diet that ensures they get the vitamins and nutrients they need for long and healthy life.
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- Can Cats Eat Watermelon? How Often Can They Eat It?
Shawn Manaher is a serial entrepreneur but when he isn’t working, he loves dogs. He’s owned different pets over the years, and always gives a part of his heart to each pet.