If you’ve ever done research on diets before, especially if you wanted to lose weight, you’ll have read that a healthy life starts in the kitchen – meaning that it all begins with what you eat (you are what you eat). This is the same for cat diets. The path to a healthy cat all starts with its diet.
In this guide, you’ll learn what to do and what not to do when it comes to providing your cat with a healthy, nutritious and safe diet. After you’ve learnt all of that, we will then briefly explore obesity in cats, the health risks it poses and some advice to get you going on solving the problem. A chubby cat may be cute, but it poses serious health risks.
Scroll down to find out more.
Table of Content
Cat Diets: What Not to Do
Obesity in Cats
Cat Diets: What to Do
Below you will find a list of all the things you should do to ensure your cat has a healthy diet. Some of them you will have heard of before, while others will make you go “ah-hah, I get it now!”:
- Portion size and frequency – ask your veterinarian for specific advice – it will depend on current age and weight
- Life-stage feeding – there are different requirements for different ages, from kittens to old age
- Split your cats’ meals across the day
- Check the nutrients not the ingredients – don’t just rely on what is stated on the front of the packaging
- High in protein, low in carbohydrates – cats are natural carnivores, they require the protein from meat and cannot digest carbohydrates as easily as us humans can. Click HERE to start searching.
- Keep food and water away from the litter tray – this is for hygiene purposes, you know the saying: don’t **** where you eat
- Noticing abnormal drinking and eating behaviour – seek veterinarian advice, they may have contracted diseases such as worms or kidney disease
- Cut down the number of treats – treats do not provide the necessary nutrients; they just add unnecessary calories – use them sparingly (my cat, Tiggy, has an adorable method of letting us know she wants treats – see the About page for pictures)
- Increase physical activity – there are plenty of toys out there: click HERE to start searching.
- Metallic or ceramic food bowels – these are easier to clean and more hygienic than plastic: click HERE to start searching.
- Provide both wet food and dry food – if your cat is reluctant to drinking water, although they shouldn’t be if you’ve purchased a cat water fountain, then the best way to provide them with all the nutrients they need is through wet food (highly recommended). Click HERE to start searching.
Cat Diets: What Not to Do
Below you will find a list of all the things you should avoid when it comes to cat diets:
- Feed them cow’s milk – this causes digestive problems and often leads to diarrhea
- Feed them your own food – the food we consume can be poisonous to cats. Occasionally feeding them small pieces of meat is okay, but don’t serve them their own portion of whatever you’re having for dinner tonight!
- Feed them vegetarian meals (cats are carnivores, in the wild then catch prey and eat it, they need the protein)
- Overfeed them – this may seem like common sense but it is often overlooked
- Only feed them dry food – cat’s produce highly concentrated urine, if they don’t get enough liquids, it harms their bodily functions, leading to poor health consequences such as urinary tract problems)
- Rely on cheap food – the cheaper food products contain less protein, such as meat and fish, and instead provides more carbohydrates, such as grains. This will inhibit your cat from obtaining the correct nutrients they need to grow and be healthy
Remember, if you are ever in need of professional advice on cat diets and nutrition, don’t hesitate to contact your local veterinarian.
Cat Diets: Obesity in Cats
We all raise a smirk or even let out a laugh when we see pictures of overweight cats. This is great for us, but in reality, the cat we are laughing at is facing serious health issues. For this reason, obesity in cats should raise concern.
It was estimated by the Pet Obesity Prevention that 60% of cats in the United States were overweight or obese. Now, there’s nothing funny about that statement. When cats are obese, it can lead to severe health consequences such as:
- Chronic inflammation
- Kidney disease
- Orthopedic disease (muscles, ligaments and joints)
- Poor quality of life
- Reduced life expectancy
- Respiratory disorders
We all love our cats, so the right thing to do is to act straight away.
You may be thinking: “Where do I start?” Well, having read the advice above, you are in a great position to make a change. As well as this, you should consult your local veterinarian for advice on:
- Your cat’s current condition – this will include physical examinations and blood chemistry analysis
- Correct portions – you will learn about when to give your cat food and how much to give them eat time
- Correct types of food and nutrients – you may be recommended specific weight-loss food for your cat
- Setting goals and monitor their progress – tackling obesity is a slow and steady mission, it requires long term commitment: it doesn’t just happen overnight
- Exercise plans and routines – if your cat isn’t currently active, then you will be recommended activities to help get your fluffy one back into shape