Everyone knows that proper diet is important to keep us healthy and happy – but do you realize that the same applies to your cats? But what’s best? Should you feed them commercial products such as Royal Canin cat food, or homemade choices? Age targeted meals, or cover-all options.
Felines are ‘obligate carnivores’ and must have meat and fish in their diet, and lots of it, to stay in top shape. And while they can digest carbohydrates, there’s no real need for them to be included in their food.
But cats have different needs and requirements, depending on their age, underlying health and lifestyle. Older cats will usually need less food than a young cat – and, just like us, if your cat likes to lie in front of the TV instead of running around the garden, the amount of sustenance they need varies. You must keep this in mind when selecting cat food.
Commercially prepared cat food is scientifically tested to ensure it contains the right mix of nutrients, which is difficult in homemade food. Brands usually have a wide range of choices, including those aimed at different age brackets.
In terms of those added vitamins, the most important are B-group vitamins for the central nervous system, vitamin A to keep cells working properly, vitamin D and phosphorous for health bones and teeth and vitamin E to protect against cell damage.
Check the back of the label to ensure that these are all included in your chosen product, as this will make sure you’re giving your pet what you need.
Dry and wet foods have different benefits. With dry foods, it’s easy to measure and use, easier to store and have a long shelf life, as well as helping to keep a cat’s teeth healthy by removing plaque. However, some cats prefer wet food’s smell and texture. It also allows them to eat more in one sitting and requires them to drink less water. Many owners choose a mixture of these two options.
Grass is useful for cats to induce vomiting, which helps them to empty their body of potentially harmful parasites and hairballs. The vegetation contains high levels of folic acid, which will react with a cat’s digestion. “Cat grass” from pet shops is free of pesticides and weed killer, so is therefore a good option.
Follow this simple guide and you’ll be able to keep your cat at the top of its game – and, for more intricate enquiries, always ask your vet for advice.
This guest post comes courtesy of Pets at Home, the UK’s leading pet supplies retailer. The company offers a wide range of cat supplies as well as specialist insurance, to ensure your pet’s long-term health and to make sure that any trips to the vet don’t prove too costly.