Cat Nutrition (Feeding For Fit Felines)

 By Dr. Jennifer

Felines have a much different metabolism and dietary requirement than many domesticated animals.  Unfortunately, most cat diets are meant to be convenient and appeal to humans, not cats.  There are many steps we can take to try to help them eat a more appropriate natural and healthy diet.  The better we feed our feline family members, the better their lives will be.  Dr. Jennifer is a certified Purina Weight Coach for animals and our Cat Advocate, so if you have questions please contact us for a consultation!

 Cats are “true carnivores”   

  • They require meat to obtain their nutrient requirements
  • They do not require carbohydrates in their diet

 Cats often do not drink water as well as they should

  • Domesticated cats are descendants of desert cats
  • They may require encouragement to drink water                
  • Many cats like different types of water stations so several options should be available

 Most veterinary nutritionists and feline specialists recommend feeding canned food             

  • Canned food helps cats to keep a good body condition
  • It increases metabolism and is easier to digest
  • It contains extra moisture to help cats get more water into their diet
  • Canned food and dry food  (kibble) combined
  • Great combination effect
  • Helps with tartar and better for metabolism
  • Dry food should be low in carbohydrate content
  • Learn to read labels!

 Domestic cat lifestyle has changed

  • Historically hunted and ate many small meals a day
  • Now obesity is a problem due to overfeeding and decreased need for activity
  • Simulating normal feeding behavior can increase activity and decrease boredom
  •  Hiding kibble throughout house to encourage natural hunting behavior
  •  Puzzle feeders to encourage problem solving and activity
  •  Toss kibble to encourage chasing behavior
  • “Free choice” feeding is strongly discouraged
  • Leaving access to food all day leads bored cats to overeat
  • One of the primary causes of obesity in cats
  • Feeding multiple small meals daily is the best for a cat’s health and metabolism

Cat Nutrition

 There are many high quality foods (both dry and wet) available for your cat.  If you feel overwhelmed by all the choices, we are happy to provide you a list of our favorite foods.

 

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