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How To Feed A Cat
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Feeding your cat may seem like a simple task, but it’s important to make sure your cat eats a healthy diet and doesn’t overeat. You need to start by choosing the right type of cat food, whether that’s a brand recommended by your vet or a special formula designed for cats with certain medical conditions. Before you choose a type of food, you should ask your vet about the food you’re considering.
It’s also important to make sure your cat isn’t overeating. Even if you choose healthy cat food, your cat may become overweight and develop other health problems such as diabetes if they eat too much. You might want to consider timed feeding, where you feed your cat on a set schedule to make sure they don’t overeat.
As a cat owner, you shouldn’t take feeding your cat lightly. From choosing the right cat food to feeding your cat on a regular schedule, there are lots of things you can do to make sure your cat has a healthy diet. It’s also important to know what to do if your cat starts gaining weight or isn’t eating. If you want to know more about how to feed a cat, check out this cat feeding guide.
- Deciding What to Feed Your Cat
- How Often to Feed Your Cat
- Free-Feeding vs. Timed Feeding
- The Importance of Ensuring Your Cat Isn’t Overeating
- What to Do If Your Cat Isn’t Eating
- Final Notes
Deciding What To Feed Your Cat
One of the most important decisions you have to make about your cat’s diet is what you’re going to feed them. You need to make sure your cats get the essential nutrients they need from their food, but you don’t want your cat to become overweight as a result of their diet. There are different types of cat food to consider, and there are several foods you should avoid feeding your cat altogether.
Nutritional content is the first thing to consider when you’re deciding what to feed a cat. Cats need the right amount of protein, fats, fiber, carbohydrates, and vitamins in their diets, just like humans. You also need to make sure your cat is getting plenty of healthy amino acids. If you want to choose the best food for your cat, you need to consider your cat’s nutritional needs with your veterinarian and which foods are best for that. You can visit ASPCA.org to learn more about what kinds of nutrients cats need to maintain a healthy diet.
While overeating can be a problem for cats, it’s also important to make sure your cat is eating enough. When it comes down to it, your cat might simply dislike some of the food you put in front of them. If your cat doesn’t like a food brand that your vet recommends, try another brand until you find a healthy option that your cat likes. Mixing in a little bit of wet food can help your cat get enough to eat.
When it comes to how to feed a cat, your cat’s age and health are both important factors. Like humans, the nutritional needs of cats vary as they age. Certain health conditions may also affect the nutritional needs of your cat. If your cat has diabetes or another medical condition, you should ask your vet about switching to cat food that’s designed for those conditions. Some cats may also have allergies that require them to switch to a different type of food.
Types Of Cat Food
You might notice that there are different types of cat food, and you may be wondering which option is best for your cat. Dry food is an easy way to make sure you’ve always got plenty of food on hand for your cat, but some cats may prefer the taste and texture of wet food. No matter what type of cat food you choose, it’s still important to consider the nutritional value they’re getting from their food.
Dry food typically comes in large bags that last for quite a while, so you don’t have to worry about running out of food very often. However, it’s important to keep in mind that cats who eat dry food need to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. You should also look for dry food that has a named source of fat and protein, as well as taurine and plenty of vitamins and minerals.
As popular as dry food is, many cats prefer wet food. Wet food typically comes in a can and has a much different texture than dry food. Because this food isn’t dry, cats derive a large amount of their daily water intake from it and may drink less when eating canned food. As far as nutritional content goes, you should look for the same stuff you’re looking for in dry food. However, the moisture content of wet food for cats should be at least 75%, so that’s something to keep an eye out for.
What You Should Avoid Feeding Your Cat
Every cat owner loves spoiling their cat now and then, but that spoiling can lead to health issues. There are certain foods you shouldn’t feed your cat if you want to keep them healthy. As a general rule, you should avoid feeding your cat most human food because some human foods are toxic to cats and any human food can lead to excessive weight gain in cats.
If you want to know more about what foods you should specifically avoid feeding your cat, here’s a list:
How Often To Feed Your Cat
One of the most important things to know when it comes to how to feed a cat is how often you should be feeding your cat. According to Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, how often you should feed your cat depends on several factors, including their age and medical history.
Kittens typically need to be fed three or more times per day, but that’s because they eat smaller meals. As cats grow and begin to eat larger meals, it’s not uncommon for them to eat two meals per day. As long as your cat is maintaining a healthy weight and not experiencing any health problems, feeding an adult cat once or twice a day is enough.
Free-Feeding vs. Timed Feeding
When it comes to deciding between free-feeding and timed feeding, it’s all about the behavior and eating habits of your cat. If your cat stays active with cat toys and only eats occasionally throughout the day, you can leave a bowl of dry food out for them to snack on. However, free-feeding like this may cause some cats to become overweight, so it’s important to monitor your cat if you free-feed.
Timed feeding is a simpler solution to keeping your cat healthy, but it doesn’t work for every schedule. However, you may need to switch to timed feeding if your cat is overeating.
The Importance Of Ensuring Your Cat Isn’t Overeating
Speaking of overeating, it’s important to make sure your cat isn’t eating too much and gaining excess weight. Obesity is the most common nutrition-related problem in cats1. If that’s not bad enough, obesity can lead to several long-term health issues for cats, including diabetes, arthritis, bladder problems, liver disease, breathing problems, and cancer.
While certain medical conditions that cause your cat to become less active can lead to obesity, that’s rare. In most cases, obesity in cats is caused by overeating and a lack of activity, so it’s important to keep your cat on a healthy diet.
What To Do If Your Cat Isn’t Eating
You might be concerned if you notice your cat isn’t eating. There are lots of reasons why a cat may stop eating, including:
- Intestinal Parasites
- Other health conditions
Figuring out why a cat has stopped eating can be difficult. It could be that your cat has simply grown tired of their food or is unhappy with the location of their food dish. If your cat isn’t eating, make sure you take them to the vet for a diagnosis.
There are lots of factors to consider when it comes to feeding your cat. You need to choose the right food, avoid the wrong food, and make sure your cat isn’t eating too much. Fortunately, your vet can help you make a nutrition plan for your cat.
If you need help getting your cat on a healthy diet, Dutch can help. With Dutch telemedicine for pets, you can create a diet plan for your cat from the comfort of your home. Contact Dutch today to learn more about what to feed your cat, how often to feed them, and more.
Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, https://www.vet.cornell.edu/departments-centers-and-institutes/cornell-feline-health-center/health-information/feline-health-topics/how-often-should-you-feed-your-cat