Think of cats as taking care of a baby. As they are unable to communicate how they feel using words, we have to carefully observe, follow, and monitor what we feed them.
If this is your first time owning and taking care of a cat, you may feel excited seeing all the choices in cat food available at your local pet shop. Should you buy dry food or wet food? Should you get the most expensive brand in a large bag or try out samples first to see which one your feline companion likes?
Before you go on a buying frenzy, check out these tips from our cat food expert. By taking heed of these dos and don’ts, you can reduce the amount of frustration when feeding your four-legged pal.
✅ Keep cats hydrated
Today’s felines did not start out as house dwellers. Some of their ancestors were desert hunters, which accounts for their ability to chase prey and hold water. As a result, cats don’t drink as much water like a dog.
With little drive to drink water, cat urine tends to be more highly concentrated. It is recommended to feed your cat a diet that features a mix of kibble and wet food. To reduce the chances of your cat developing urinary tract problems, you need to provide them with food with high water content. Canned cat food often contains gravy, which provides your feline what it needs to stay healthy and hydrated.
Cats may be less inclined to drink water, but it is still essential to provide them with adequate amounts of water. Put bowls of water where your cat likes to hang out to encourage it to drink. If your cat likes to drink from the tap, you may want to buy a filter to reduce the taste of chlorine.
✅ Provide a balanced diet
Much like parents, some fur owners opt to whip up meals for their felines from scratch in the hopes of keeping them healthy. One of the issues with this is that most people are unaware of their cat’s nutritional needs. Cats were initially hunters and would consume both the meat and bones of their catch and getting food from a range of sources.
To avoid feeding your cat an unbalanced diet, take your cat to your local veterinarian. The veterinarian should be able to provide you with suggestions and tips on what you can feed your feline that is in line with their age and current condition.
✅ Make gradual dietary changes
If you find better food options for your cat, it is crucial to introduce the changes slowly. Cats have sensitive digestive systems. Any abrupt changes may cause them to vomit or not touch the food at all.
To transition from kibbles to wet food, try adding a tiny bit of the gravy and the meat to the bowl. See how your cat handles the change. You can gradually add more of the meat and gravy each day while reducing the amount of kibble.
⊗ Overfeed your cat
Resist the temptation to fill your cat’s bowl with food. It may look small but keep in mind that a feline’s nutritional needs are different from people or other animals. Going overboard with the food can cause your cat to become obese or develop a host of health problems.
Cat food is also energy-dense. It doesn’t take much to keep your cat full for the day. As such, always check and follow the recommended feeding guide to prevent overfeeding your pet.
⊗ Give raw meat
Keep in mind that cats need more than raw meat to stay healthy. Plus, raw meat often contains bacteria that can make your pets and your household sick.
Before you decide on changing your cat’s diet, check with a veterinarian. Preparing the right meals for your pet requires a lot of time and effort.
Experts still recommend feeding your pet commercial cat food brands as they contain the nutrients needed to keep your cat healthy. Remember to check the label carefully to ensure that you are getting the right type for your cat’s needs.
Having a cat at home can be wonderful. Follow these tips to ensure that you are feeding your cat enough to keep them healthy.
Farah Al-Khojai is the Managing Partner of Pet’s Delight. A passionate entrepreneur, Farah holds a Bsc in Government from the London School of Economics. She is always on the lookout for new opportunities to develop and grow the pet and equestrian retail and wholesale market in the UAE and beyond, and is proud to be at the helm of the first and the largest pet care provider in the market representing world-class brands including Orijen, Applaws, Hunter, Savic, Flamingo, Ruffwear and Rogz.