A healthy and happy cat needs a balanced diet along with an easy access to clean drinking water. Now, cats can be finicky eaters but you need to pull up your socks and do your bit to make your pet eat a healthy diet which is necessary to maintain their good health and longevity.
You must be aware that cats have their own dietary needs and leftovers from your plate, cold milk or canned tuna is not a balanced diet for your feline friend. Another thing to keep in mind is that how much your cat eats is as important as what they eat.
The general mistake that cat owners make is to overfeed their pet and that is why obesity is on the rise. So, the best way to find out how much food your pet needs is to ask your vet. Although, generally a regular calorie intake of 25 to 30 calories per pound of bodyweight daily is enough for most cats.
Dry or wet food?
Kibble – The problem with dry food and the reason why they are not so popular with veterinarians all over is the fact that there is no presence of water in the food. The water needs to be fed separately to your pet and they may or may not drink the required amount which will lead to health complications like urinary tract infection.
Cats are basically carnivores who require a meat based diet. Since meat contains water there is no need for them to separately drink more water as their food itself contains the requisite amount of water. This does not mean that you should not give kibbles to your pet. You can give it to them occasionally.
Wet food – Canned food contains 70 percent water, the same quantity found in a meat based diet. So, this is a better option. The only pitfall is that canned food is expensive and have a shorter shelf life.
Your cat’s dietary needs
You must ensure that the brand of cat food you choose must be specially formulated to meet the dietary needs of cats. Cats have their own special dietary needs and the failure to meet any of those needs will cause them unwanted health problems.
A homemade food is a daunting task as you need to include all the vital components which is often not possible. Just serving cooked meat is not sufficient as it needs to be balanced with calcium and phosphorous that a cat would naturally receive while eating the bones of a prey.
Feeding too little meat can cause blindness, heart trouble and even death. A diet comprising only of tuna will cause brittle bones, dry skin, joint pain and vitamin A toxicosis. Giving your pet too much of raw fish will destroy vitamin B1 in their body, leading to muscular weakness and brain damage.
So, it is better you prepare the meal based on your vet’s advice or feed them a readily available meal that is specially recommended for your pet with the vet’s approval.
Clean drinking water
Your pet must drink adequate amount of water. So, provide them water that is within their reach at different locations where your cat is usually found. You must keep a watch on how much water your pet drinks as drinking excess water is a sign if a health issues like hyperthyroidism or diabetes. Drinking less water is also bad enough and can lead to kidney and urinary tract infection.
So, once you ensure that your pet is eating the right amount of food and is drinking adequate water you will have a lively and healthy cat. You can always contact your vet for their professional advice.