The affection and company that cats give us are indisputable. That is why they are one of the favorite pets in all homes. Of course, if we want our feline friends to live healthy, happy and for many years, we must provide them with a certain care. Among them, it is essential to know how to feed a cat correctly. We tell you all the keys!
How to feed a cat: what is the best diet?
According to experts, it is best to bet on quality commercial food. This is because this food is specifically formulated for the animal, taking into account all its nutritional needs.
The dry feed can be one of the options. It is usually the first that is taken into account. However, this can be supplemented with wet cat food.
What’s more, according to professionals, the nutritional content of wet food is much more similar to the food eaten (or rather, hunted) by wild cats.
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In addition, wet food is tastier, easier to eat, and has higher water content. For all these reasons, it is especially favorable for elderly cats whose urinary system is beginning to fail, in addition to having dental problems.
Better not give him homemade food
When wondering how to feed a cat, you can question whether or not it is good to provide homemade food, thus knowing, firsthand, where the ingredients come from.
As we said before, the positive thing about commercial meals is that they are made taking into account all the food needs of the animal. In addition, the higher the quality of said food, it will mean that it is made with very optimal products, with an abundance of animal protein.
That does not imply that it is completely forbidden to prepare a homemade diet for the pet, but if we are not correctly informed, we may not be feeding them properly and completely. For example, do you know how important taurine is for cats?
Commercial foods include a percentage of it, but if we give you food made by us, we must add foods with taurine to your diet.
In addition, we must take into account what foods are prohibited for cats, as well as always avoid giving them our leftovers.
The consumption of water
That your cat does not drink enough water is a cause for concern, as it can end up seriously affecting its health, starting with urinary problems.
For this reason, the animal must have several drinking fountains distributed throughout the house, each one with clean and fresh water so that they can drink it whenever they want.
If the feline eats dry food, the water intake should be higher than when wet food, since this in itself is more moisturizing.
Another key to how to feed the cat: is the doses
How many times a day should the cat be fed? There is no exact answer to this question since the amount will depend on different factors such as:
- The weight and size of the feline.
What lifestyle does the cat have?
However, a general amount is usually 30-40 grams for a cat of 2 kilos and up to 85 grams for an adult of about 6 or 7 kilograms.
The exact amount is normally indicated on the food packaging itself, but your trusted veterinarian is the one who can best clarify this information for you, as he will do so based on the real and specific needs of your pet.
The full daily dose should be distributed throughout the day in several doses. In the case of puppies under 6 months of age, feedings are usually 3 to 4, while an adult cat usually eats twice a day.
Should milk be included in your diet?
Milk is only advisable in the case of newborn cats. However, said milk must be breast milk or, in the case of orphaned cats, it must be formula milk. That is, formulated for puppies.
Cow’s milk is contraindicated for these animals, both when they are small and as adults, and can cause serious intestinal problems.
What not many people know is that most adult cats are lactose intolerant. This is because when they stop nursing their lactase production decreases and lactase is the enzyme responsible for digesting lactose.
Therefore, if you are wondering how to feed a cat, milk is not the answer for felines that are not puppies, and for them, only breast milk.
The cat treats
Another issue to analyze within the feline diet is the prizes. These are suitable when the cat is learning behavior patterns or to assess certain positive responses.
However, they should not be provided on an ongoing basis:
- They can make the cat picky about food.
- They could lead to obesity.
- They unbalance their diet.
If you want to give the cat a prize occasionally, you can resort to those formulated snacks for sale in specialized stores. Another option is to offer a small piece of cat-appropriate fruit.
Malt for cats
As you know, grooming cats is a fundamental part of the day to day of felines. For them, this act goes far beyond hygiene or aesthetics, but it has consequences: they swallow a lot of hair.
To help keep that hair from turning into balls in its stomach, the animal can be offered a little malt paste for cats.
Each food container will provide its specific indications to be properly preserved. In general, it should be stored in a dry place and at room temperature if it is not very hot.
Beyond the food, when faced with the question of how to feed a cat, you also have to take into account the dishes in which the food is served.
To begin with, it should be a wide and shallow dish, as cats find it uncomfortable when their whiskers hit the edges of the bowl.
If possible, avoid plastic plates, as these are the worst quality, and can even give off odors that affect the taste of the food. The most suitable are ceramic.
In addition, it is very important to wash pet dishes frequently, just like we do with our own. Otherwise, bacteria and fungi will accumulate in them which will also affect the quality of the food, and the cat’s appetite and can also affect its health.
It may be that now you are more clear about how to feed a cat. Do not ignore any of these indications and, if in doubt, consult your veterinarian!