Making sure your pet eats properly is a big concern for many cat owners, we want our furry friends to get the proper nutrients to live a lengthy life, and sometimes it’s hard to decide between the many brands and options there are in the market.
Cats are natural carnivores, they eat meat, which means they will love it if you feed them anything from poultry, red meat, and seafood, but make sure the food is properly cooked because there are several risks associated with raw food and your cat could end up sick.
The food animals eat, supplies energy and helps them grow, your cat will need a series of nutrients such as vitamins and minerals but you must consider its specific needs as overfeeding your cat is not beneficial.
What Is Safe For Cats To Eat?
It’s important to consult with a vet before deciding on a cat’s diet, the amount of food a cat need varies depending on many factors.
Like any other animal, cats need a specific amount of macro and micronutrients, bear in mind that their metabolism is not capable of digesting some nutrients, such as carbohydrates, as efficiently as other mammals.
When buying cat’s food, specialists recommend looking for packages with the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) label, this non-profit organization that enforces and ensures manufacturers include proper ingredients to animal food.
Some of the food options designed for cats we can find in stores are:
Canned cat food, this option in particular is usually moist therefore will help with the water intake and this version is considered low carb, these arguments sustain the theory that canned food is better for the physical and health condition of a cat. However, this is just a hypothesis, many other factors are to be considered before we determine canned food is the winner.
Another benefit is that you always can add the water from the can to homemade food to make it smell more delicious.
Dry cat food, this option is convenient to owners who prefer to buy large amounts of food, as long as you store them in a dry place, dry food can last for months and you don’t have to worry about buying it frequently. When going with this option make sure you fetch a drinking bowl with enough water.
Foods You And Your Cat Can Enjoy Together
There are several cooked dishes a cat owner can get to enjoy with their cats:
- Cooked meat: deli meat, chicken, beef, or any kind of cooked meat would be suitable for your pet, but make sure cooked bones are not included in their servings because this can cause a blockage into their digestive systems.
- Cereals: anything ranging from oats, rice, and corn is a good option to feed a cat, these whole grains are a great source of dietary fiber, protein, and carbohydrates.
- Seafood: salmon, tuna, or any other cooked fish is appropriate for your cat, however, keep in mind sushi night is not suitable and can cause food poisoning.
- Eggs: boiled, scrambled, or any type of cooked eggs are safe for a cat.
- Fruits and vegetables: this one could be considered a trial and error because some cats like vegetables while others don’t, but it is safe for a cat to eat them.
- Cheese: this one should be considered as an occasional snack, even though cheese is considered a great source of protein, dairy can upset its stomach.
What Do Cats Naturally Eat?
Cats found in the wild are natural hunters, their prey includes birds, mice, insects, and many other small animals. This is a natural instinct all cats have, thus it’s not weird to find your pet coming back home with a recently-hunted treat every so often, don’t worry he’s just trying to share it with you.
This meat doesn’t represent a threat to the cat’s health because the cat will not eat the bones, and there’s little contamination in a recently butchered animal.
What Do Cats Drink?
Experts suggest cats should only drink water, newborn kittens will drink their mother’s milk during the first 2 months of life, during this period they are able to digest lactose, however, this ability is lost as they reach adulthood, turning them lactose-intolerant, if they drink whole milk, lactose enzymes will not be easily broken down and absorbed, and will start to ferment causing severe pain to the cat.
Some people suggest other drink options for your cat are apple juice and meat broth.
What Can We Feed A Stray Cat?
Stray cats can eat just the same exact food as any other domestic cat, here the importance relies on the amounts, not the food itself. They may be fussy eaters, sometimes they are reluctant to be owned, adopting them is really a challenge when it comes to adapting their behaviors, such as teaching them to use the litter and so on. Again, it’s extremely important to take it to the vet before adopting it as your new roommate, since you might not know how long he’s been living without an owner, it’s key to assess its health conditions.
How Much Food Does My Cat Need?
The amount of food needed to feed a cat varies depending on its age, weight, health conditions, and level of activity, it is recommended to consult a veterinarian to make sure you don’t overfeed or underfeed a cat.
A veterinarian would examine your cat, to diagnose any diseases or deficiencies it may have and will suggest a balanced diet adjusted to your furry animal needs. Some experts suggest going with the following scheme when feeding your cat: Adults – 4 to 5 small meals throughout the day.
Kittens – their nourishment relies solely on cat’s milk. There are some store-bought kittens formula options if you need a substitute for their mother’s milk.
Foods You Should Never Feed Your Cat
- Garlic, onions, and shallots: They belong to the same plant species, if ingested, your cat can develop diarrhea, vomiting, and anemia.
- Chocolates: like dogs, chocolates are life-threatening to cats, a chemical compound named Theobromine is responsible for intoxicating them.
- Cooked bones: this can cause constipation, and your cat might feel anxious about not being able to excrete.
- Raw meat and raw eggs: uncooked meat carries bacteria such as salmonella, e. Coli, toxoplasma, and many others. Similar bacterias are also found in raw eggs.
- Grapes: it’s unclear why, but consuming grapes lead to kidney failure in cats.
- Alcohol: Alcohol consumption can intoxicate the cat, this can cause them vomiting, internal damage, or even death.
- Milk: grown-up cats are lactose intolerant, meaning they cannot break down lactose enzymes.
- Coffee: Caffeine is not suitable for a cat, just as in some humans, they start feeling distressed, breathing rapidly, and anxious.
- Avocado: avocados are high in fat, and cats are not able to easily digest fat without compromising their health.
- Bread dough: the yeast in bread dough will continue to rise in the cats’ stomachs if they eat it.
- Nuts: Although nuts are not toxic to cats, they are not recommended for cats as they can cause overweight mainly because of their high-fat content.
- Meat trays and absorbent pads: make sure your cat doesn’t have access to this type of garbage, the smell of it might attract them, but if ingested, these materials can cause suffocation.
- Orange juice: there are several essential oils in oranges that cats are not able to digest.
My Cat Doesn’t Want To Eat, What Can I Do About It?
There are many reasons why your house cat has lost its appetite. See below some of the most common: Diseases: there are times when the cat won’t eat because it’s feeling sick or something inside his body is not working as usual. Make sure you keep them on the lookout as other symptoms may appear, also it’s recommended to talk to other members of the household, if possible, to find out what your cat has eaten lately.
Unusual environment: If you are frequently traveling or has recently switched houses, there’s a high chance your cat will experience a loss of appetite.
Vaccines: after visiting the vet for its regular shots, it’s common to see a temporary decrease in appetite.
Distress: there are times when psychological factors might affect how your cat feels, and your cat won’t feel like eating. It also could mean your kitty’s taste has changed and he’s no longer interested in the food you are offering him.
Heat: when going through the mating cycle, your cats may spend a lot of time wandering away from home, and you’ll perceive that they are not eating properly.
Whenever you are in doubt about what to feed your cat, the best idea should be to take it to the vet, this article can give you an outline about what could happen when feeding certain types of food, what are the things they would eat if living in the wild, how to comfort stray cats, and the foods that you definitely shouldn’t be feeding your cat. We hope this information is useful to you and your feline friend.
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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.