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Food Basics for Cats

shutterstock_37335916One of the first things a new cat owner may want to know is what they should feed this adorable addition to the family. The answer to this question depends on the age of the cat, its weight, if it has any special health concerns and the cat’s preference. The latter item is important, because you can take a cat to its food, but you can’t make it eat. The good news is that it is relatively simple to feed a cat. Felines, unlike other creatures such as humans, do not need a balanced diet and subsist mainly on meat-based foods with some carbohydrates. This simplifies the issue of feeding a cat tremendously, because the main choice may be between wet or dry.

Dry food is familiar from bags of cat chow and other brands we see in the supermarket aisle. it may be one of the most economical ways of feeding a cat, and is certainly unobtrusive and convenient. Many pet owners find they prefer the smell of dry food over wet. Dry food has plenty of carbohydrates and is good or younger cats. You can just leave out a lot of dry food and let the cat graze as he or she pleases. When a cat gets older and may need portion control, you may not be able to do this, but enjoy the luxury of leaving dry food out when your kitten is young and perpetually hungry as it grows.

Wet food is filled with protein and moisture. It is the right food for older cats and kitties who need to lose weight. Wet food is packed with nutrition, but it does not provide an opportunity for a cat to chew and give its teeth a workout. For this reason, many pet owners combine wet and dry food or give their wet food eaters hard treats that cleanse the teeth and make the gums healthy.

Many pet owners combine wet or dry food. Your cat may not like this if he or he is not used to it. I your cat shows a marked preference, it may be a good idea to give in to what he or she wants, since not eating enough can cause liver problems in cats. This is true unless your cat has special dietary needs, such as kidney problems, which require special cat food. It is usually a good idea to go with what the cat will eat, because cats are  notoriously finicky.

There are many specialty cat foods, including food designed for kittens and older cats. It is a good idea to pay attention to these distinctions and get your cat the food appropriate for its age groups. There is low-calorie high-protein food for obese cats, and this is a good idea if your cat is getting chubby. While fat cats look cute, feline obesity is no laughing matter, and can lead to some serious problems as a cat ages, such as diabetes. Arthritis, which is common in cats, is aggravated by extra weight.

Give your cat the food he or she prefers and products that are suitable to its weight and age group. You can supplement your cat’s regular diet with treats now and again, but a quality cat food should contain everything he or she needs.

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