Our vets recommend following healthy cat diets to improve your feline’s quality of life. Unfortunately, pet parents nowadays are more confused about selecting among so many cat food brands. There are hundreds of cat food brands, and everyone is marketing its food, assuring it to be the best. However, as a pet parent, you need more information and education regarding the needs and demands of your cat so that you can either better opt among all the cat food brands or make your own homemade cat food.
This article will educate you about the physiological needs of your cat and guide you to offer the cat food that will satisfy all the growth and developmental needs of your cat.
As a cat parent, it is your responsibility not to put anything in front of your cat unless you completely understand the components and their effects on your cat. You should be aware of what food you should offer to your cat and whatnot.
Sit back! And start your cat food journey.
Essential in Cat Diets
By understanding cat physiology, we know that cats are carnivores. So, their diet plan should be according to their physiology. Being carnivores, cats require many proteins, an intermediate amount of fats, and little carbohydrates. These are the ground rules that you should follow before offering anything to your cat. When you make a diet plan, you should keep in mind to provide maximum protein, a moderate amount of fat, and the least amount of carbohydrate; only then will your cat benefit.
Let’s see what the functions of essential nutrients in your cat’s body are.
Proteins: are the basic building block of your cat’s body. Proteins make up the muscles, bones, skin, hair, and other body structural parts. Provision of protein is necessary during the growth and developmental stage.
Fats: make up the structural and functional part of the cell membranes of the body. Fats are essential to carry out the metabolism in the body.
Carbohydrates: are the primary energy source; they are the only source of energy for the brain.
Vitamins and minerals: are essential for the body’s metabolism; most of the primary metabolic processes carry out only in the presence of vitamins and minerals.
Types of commercial foods
Three formulations of cat food are available in the market. These three formulations differ in water contents, ingredients, calories, palatability, and digestibility. Out of all the differences, the most important ones are water contents and digestibility. Water contents/fluids in the body are essential to carry out all metabolic processes. Digestibility is the number of crucial nutrients absorbed out of whole food ingested by your cat. Therefore, these two factors are more critical in choosing between these three formulations.
The most famous of all cat food is kibble. Kibble is a dried formulation that contains the least water content among all three formulations. However, it includes many nutrients; the essential nutrients are grain, poultry, meat, and their by-products, milk, fish meal, fiber source, minerals, and vitamins. It makes kibble a fully nutritious and complete diet.
Semi-moist food attracts your cat’s attention because of more water contents (35%) than kibble. The primary ingredients are meat and meat by-products, grains, cereals, and soybean meal. However, they add some preservatives to complete the formulation.
Canned food/moist food
Canned food has the most water and is the most appetizing of the three cat food formulas. They are the most costly, but they are an excellent source of nutrients and liquid for cats. Canned food has the longest shelf-life compared to the others.
Choosing the best commercial food for your cat
There are some technical standards that you should follow while purchasing cat food most beneficial for your kitty. The first and foremost standard is the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) and the American Food and Drug Authority (FDA).
Once you see the approval of these two authorities on the cat food brand, you should observe the ingredients list. As a pet parent, you should know that cats need different nutrients in their various life stages. A high nutritional value diet is required at an early age to make up for the growth and developmental needs. On the contrary, an adult needs a less calorie diet. Read more about senior cat foods.
Once you select a highly nutritious diet according to your kitty’s age, the decision to purchase dry or wet food is solely on your cat. All three formulations differ in palatability, and your cat is the only authority who decides which cat food she will eat. So, if you have a new kitty, you should offer her all three cat foods and see which she like to eat. Read more about switching a kitten to cat food.
Homemade food for your cat
Scientists have studied the beneficial effects of raw feed, lightly cooked raw meals, and commercial food for cats and dogs. They have concluded that factors like digestibility, nutrient, and water contents are much higher in lightly cooked raw food than any other food available for cats. In addition, light cooking does not destroy the essential nutrients and somehow maintains the food’s natural texture and nutrient value.
As we have discussed that cats are carnivores, they have their innate desire to eat live and fresh meat. A lightly cooked diet can mimic the live and fresh meat; the purpose of light cooking is to eliminate any chance of bacterial or viral contamination and to allow minimum loss of nutrient values because of cooking. In addition, you can have the control to offer a properly balanced diet right according to your cat’s taste.
One thing to consider is that you will have to cook for the cat daily. If you don’t have a busy schedule, you can enjoy cooking for your beloved furry friend and have fun. In this way, you will be better able to control as many things as you can.
Treats that your cat will love
If you ever have had a pet, you should know the importance of giving a treat. During the day, many occasions come in which you need to persuade your cat to cooperate. In addition, if you have a kitty and you want to potty-train her or train her to play fetch, you need to offer treats.
Occasional treats don’t harm your cat unless given in a limited amount. Therefore, treats are the best-opted method to make your moody kitty cooperate with you.
However, you should ensure that the daily treat doesn’t exceed 10-15% of the daily calories. Below this limit, treats are helpful, but above this limit, they give harm to your kitty.
Treats are of various types, and you should provide the treatment that your cat loves to eat. Several commercial treats are available in the market that is nutritious and delicious. Treats usually don’t have balanced nutrition, but they contain essential supplements for your cat’s health and well-being. These supplements include essential vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that are needed for metabolic processes. Besides these, some human foods are safe and beneficial for your cat that you can offer as a delicious treat.
How can you make your cat lose weight?
Cats these days are readily suffering from obesity. Cats are famous for their lethargic attitude, and if you provide unchecked food, you are creating the opportunity for your cat to become obese. Two factors contribute to obesity in your cat. And the same factors, if controlled properly, can help your cat maintain weight.
One of the factors is the controlled diet. Diet, when provided unchecked, will contribute to obesity. But if you correctly calculate the required daily calories of your cat and provide your cat with the same amount of food she needs, you can easily control the weight. Then, your cat will not face the problem again.
The second factor is daily exercise. Cats are lethargic; they don’t like to do exercise. But for the sake of good, you have to motivate your cat for daily practice. One way or the other, you have to prepare your cat to do the exercise. Both factors can easily control your cat’s weight. If your cat is already obese, she will lose weight. And if your cat is fit, she will not be obese if you make her follow these two principles.
The well-being of your cat
The health and well-being of your cat start from healthy habits. The most important healthy habits are a balanced diet and proper exercise. These two habits will significantly reduce the chances of any abnormality. Furthermore, you should care for the health of every system. For example, regular grooming, paw care, and provision of a healthy diet take care of skin, paws, digestive system, urinary system, and other systems associated with them. It is also essential to carry your kitty to a vet for a regular checkup and a control plan to prevent prevailing diseases.
If you have a pet, you can have lots of fun and entertainment. A healthy cat is always a happy cat. You need to take care of your kitty’s diet, grooming, exercise, regular checkups, control, and prevention strategies for complete health. Concludingly, you need to take proper care of your kitty to have all that fun and entertainment.