Good And Healthy Cats
What do cats eat? Cats are carnivores by nature and their main source of food is meat or animal protein. Every potential cat owner will want to know what do cats eat to better understand their eating pattern before they decide to own or adopt one of these furry creatures. Outdoor cats or cats in wild prey on rats, carcass, and meat. Cats are a bit fussy about what they eat. Though cats are carnivores they do eat small amounts of vegetables that is found in the intestines of other dead animals.
Cats require diet rich in proteins that too animal protein to energize their bodies. Cats require nutrients like proteins, niacin, calcium, and thiamine. All these nutrients are found in abundance in animal fat instead of plant and vegetarian foods. Vegetarian foods lack all these essential nutrients that are required for cats. Diet of cats will change according to their age and breed. The food that you feed a kitten or a young cat will vary from an adult cat.
Dietary Requirements of Kittens
Dietary needs of kittens are different from an adult cat as their energy requirements are different. Dietary requirements will change after each developmental stage. A pregnant or lactating mother will require a diet rich in nutrients. A vet will chart you a diet ideal for such cats. A newborn kitten will require milk for a period of three weeks till it graduates to eating solid foods. Kittens require frequent meals at regular intervals as compared to adult cats. By the age of six to ten weeks they start to wean.
Diet for Adult Cats
Adult or young cats should be fed diet specific to their age group as their nutrient requirements are very different. You can prepare food at home or can opt for commercial cat food, which is rich in nutrients. If your adult cat has any medical condition, then the diet will need to be changed to suit his health. Avoid feeding cat’s foods rich in sugar as they run the risk of developing diabetes.
Which Type of Cat food is Ideal?
You can decide what to feed your cat be it commercial canned, dry, or semi-dry food or opt for pure homemade foods. You can even combine both kinds of food as this method will compensate for any deficiencies. The most important rule in feeding cats is they should be fed cat foods and not foods meant for humans. Meat based foods like chicken, tuna; lamb, turkey, rabbit, etc. should be ideally included in your cat’s daily diet. Outdoor cats have easy access to raw meat like mice and rodents.
Make sure that any raw food that is offered to cats should be fresh and natural to prevent any infections of the stomach. Stay away from meat containing preservatives and processed foods, as such foods can prove harmful for your cat’s health. Meat meant for human consumption is safe to feed cats. Raw meats with soft bones are good for improving the dental health in cats. The bone should be large enough for the cat to eat without the risk of swallowing. Supervision is necessary while feeding bones to the cat.
It is necessary to provide cats with some wet food daily to improve the moisture content in the body and for better urinary tract health. Fishes like canned mackerel, sardines, and tuna can be fed occasionally as a treat. Avoid feeding cats with milk as a cat’s body is not able to digest lactose present in the milk. Milk can cause diarrhea and upset tummy in cats. Provide ample amount of water at all times.
Foods to Avoid Feeding Cats
DO NOT FEED CATS chocolate, alcohol, garlic, milk based products, onions, tuna in large quantities, caffeine based foods, raisins, avocado, nuts, grapes, regular fish, tomatoes, bread dough, and mushrooms.
Please also see: Twenty Foods Your Cat Should Never Eat
The amount of dietary requirements in cats will depend on the age, breed and size of your cat. An adult cat will eat smaller meals many times a day. You should take care not to overfeed or underfeed your cat as it can be detrimental to your cat’s health. A vet will be able to check the weight of your cat and decide the diet chart that will meet the nutritional requirements of your pet accordingly.