Reviewing Cat Food- Some Important Considerations
Dog food is not for cats
Both dogs and cats live with us as our pets, but their nutritional needs are not the same. Cats cannot live on the dog foods available commercially. Giving dog food to cats can cause several health problems in them, including eye disorders and cardiac problems and neurological issues.
Cats are truly carnivorous in nature. That fact should be kept in mind when preparing homemade diets too. When buying commercially available pet food, always check the labels for “complete and balanced food for cats.”
Importance of water
Water is needed for the metabolic functions of all animals, including cats. Cat owners should pay attention to the water requirement of their pets and provide plenty of clean drinking water. You could try making water fountains and bowls more attractive to the cat to encourage regular consumption.
Drinking enough water is particularly important for cats which have kidney disease, a commonly seen medical problem in older cats. Since dry cat foods have very little or no moisture in them, cats fed exclusively on them can develop dehydration unless they regularly consume additional water too.
If you are concerned that your cat is not drinking enough water and is at risk of dehydration, you might want to include canned food or raw food in their diet. Water content is typically higher in these foods, and it may be sufficient to meet the water requirement of most cats. But this doesn’t mean you should avoid dry cat foods. They are fine as long as the cat owners ensure that their pets are drinking enough water every day.
Consider the cat’s age and health
Our domestic cats live a life way different from their wild counterparts as well as their ancestors. For example, living with humans, our cats generally have a longer lifespan compared to their ancestors who had to hunt for survival. The downside is that, the domestic cats go through the usual problems of aging such as kidney and liver diseases, diabetes, obesity and thyroid problems.
While it is essential that cats of all ages should have a meat-based diet, we cannot feed older cats with age-related ailments the same food as we give to healthy young cats. For instance, diets high in protein are good for young cats, but they can seriously harm an older cat with kidney disease. If your older cat is having any medical issues, you should seek the advice of a veterinarian regarding its diet.
Obesity in cats
This is a major issue with house cats. Today, they lead a very relaxed life indoors while taking a calorie-rich diet. Most cats are fed high-fat, high-protein diets that have a high calorie count. To avoid obesity in cats, there are two options: either feed the cat less amount of food, or feed it a low-calorie diet.
Canned food can be a good choice here. For one thing, it is easier to practice portion control with canned food. The cats too find it more filling because of the higher water content in canned foods, compared to dry cat food which is more concentrated in calories.