As a cat owner, you want to provide the best life possible for your kitty. One of the most important things you can do to help ensure your cat’s long life is to provide adequate nutrition. Nutrition and lifespan go hand-in-hand, not only in people, but in cats, too.
When a cat is overweight, you might think he is perfectly healthy – the typical “fat cat.” However, obesity leads to health issues in cats, including diabetes, joint pain, and liver disease. These health issues, in turn, can reduce your cat’s lifespan.
On the other end of the spectrum, a malnourished cat is also going to suffer from health problems and a decreased lifespan. Malnutrition can lead to a myriad of health issues, including:
- Loss of weight
- Lethargy and fatigue
- Muscle weakness
- Impaired vision
- Organ failure
So, where does that leave cat owners like you? With the big responsibility of providing your cat with the right nutrition to give him a long and healthy life.
Keeping Your Kitty Healthy and Well-Fed
Your first step to ensuring proper nutrition for your feline friend is a visit to your veterinarian. Your vet will help you determine if your cat has a weight or malnutrition problem. If either are present, your vet will advise you on the best line of action. If your cat is in good health, your vet will help you map out a plan to help your cat stay on the right path.
One of the most vital things to remember when it comes to your cat and nutrition is that your cat has different nutritional needs than your other pets. Cats are pure carnivores. They get the nutrients they need from prey – and they need a lot of different nutrients. When your housecat is not able to go out hunting for food every night, he may not get the right level of nutrients. It is up to you to find the best foods available to meet his needs.
Choosing the Best Nutritional Cat Food
You can start by reading the labels on cat foods. We highly recommend all natural diets that are grain free. Remember, cats are pure carnivores; they should never, ever be fed any food that contains corn or wheat. Cats have shorter digestive tracks than dogs or people. Therefore they need pure, highly-digestible proteins to thrive.
Kittens have different nutritional needs than adult cats, and senior cats have differing needs, as well. If your cat currently has kittens or is pregnant, again, the nutritional needs are different.
As you compare different cat foods and read the labels, pay special attention to the ingredients. You want a cat food that has meats and/or seafood listed first on the ingredient list. This helps to ensure that your cat gets necessary amino and fatty acids that come from these ingredients. If you are considering a raw food diet for your cat, veterinarian assistance is essential to ensure that all nutritional needs are met.
Make Your Feline Comfortable
Finally, the last step in proper cat nutrition is meeting your cat’s specific eating needs. This goes beyond the food you serve. These needs include the feeding environment. It is no secret that cats can be quite finicky. Some don’t mind eating in a busy kitchen with people and other pets around. Others are more reclusive and only eat in quiet, dimly-lit rooms. Pay attention to your cat’s particular quirks and do your best to give him a comfortable environment in which to enjoy his meals.