Cats are labeled as picky eaters. If you’ve seen feral cats eating out of dumpsters and trash cans you probably wouldn’t agree with that statement. However, feral cats typically have many health issues and shortened life spans due to the conditions they live in and the food they eat.
Find a Balanced Food and Stick with It
Cats have specific diet needs. To ensure the proper nutrition for your cat, you need to pay attention to what’s in the cat food you buy. Many people buy the cat food brand that is on sale for that week. The next time they shop, it could be a different brand on sale. Switching back and forth on inexpensive cat food can lead to digestive issues with your feline friend causing loose bowel movements.
The problem with many inexpensive brands of cat food is the type of protein in the food. The protein isn’t animal protein as much as it is plant based protein. Cats have much shorter digestive tracks than dogs and people due, and thus need highly-digestible, meat-based protein. Plant-based protein is purely digestible in felines, and the partially digested residue of these diets can trigger severe harmful reactions in cats.
Cats Require Taurine
Cats need animal protein. In nature, cats eat rodents, birds and other small animals. Large cats like tigers, eat larger prey. This protein is what their body needs. Animal protein contains “taurine”. Taurine is not found in plant protein, only in animal protein. A deficiency in taurine can cause heart problems and blindness in your cat.
Most commercial cat foods have taurine added to ensure your cat remains healthy. Because of your cat’s taurine needs your cat should never be fed dog food, as it does not contain supplemented taurine. Also, cats on a home-cooked or raw diet should have taurine supplemented to their diet.
Canned, Dry, or Fresh Cat Food?
While canned food is better than dry food for your cat, fresh food is better. Canned does not equal fresh. Processed canned food has additives and chemicals just like dry food. The difference is dry food is processed harsher than canned food. These added ingredients can cause illness and allergies in cats.
Cats are pure carnivores and carnivores crave meat. Many people who feed their cat fresh food like to cook it for them. Cats in the wild eat raw meat. There are no ovens or stove tops in the wild. This is the way they were designed to eat. Any bones in the meat should be ground to a fine powder to eliminate choking and intestinal hazards.
If feeding a fresh, raw diet, always buy from a busy, reputable store. And transport the meat from the store to home in a cooler with ice packs to ensure that it never warms to room temperature before being stored in your refrigerator for feeding. For more information on raw diets click here and here.
Pay attention that your cat doesn’t go hog wild with the new appetizing food and become obese. Overweight cats aren’t active, can get diabetes, and can’t maneuver to properly clean themselves.
It’s always a good idea to check with your holistic veterinarian for any information on your cat’s diet. Your vet can work with you to dictate a food regime that will address any health issues your feline might have.