When you think about cat nutrition, think carnivore to the nth degree. Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they must eat meat.
A cat’s digestive tract is shortened and optimized to digest proteins from meat. They can’t process plant materials. However, you’ve probably witnessed a cat or two nibbling on a plant from time to time.
The theory is that they are trying to balance an upset digestion or attempting to get vitamins and minerals they are missing in their diet. Maybe, just maybe, they like the taste. Of course, it’ likely a combination of factors.
We just don’t really know. (Cats are so secretive!)
When it comes to cat nutrition, you can choose from a wide variety of nutritionally balanced foods available in pet stores and they will generally satisfy his or her taste buds. But choose a good quality food. It does make a difference in the health and appearance of your pet. It’s a good idea to find one your cat likes and stick with it. Cats don’t need much variety. In fact, changing their food a lot turns them into picky eaters.
If you do have switch from one type of food to another, do it gradually over the course of a week to help prevent digestive upsets. You may need to switch foods because your store may stop carrying the brand you like or perhaps your kitten has grown old enough to graduate to adult food. Do the changeover slowly and your cat will thank you for it.
Cat nutrition requirements vary by age and size. What kittens need is quite different than adult cats. Be sure to follow the instructions on the bag to avoid feeding too much or too little.
Cat Nutrition Basics
The average adult cat will need about one cup of food a day. Keep in mind that cats like consistency in their feeding schedules. Try to feed them as close as possible to the same time each day. I know, sometimes that’s pretty difficult with our hectic schedules.
It’s not a good idea to feed your cat people food. Some things are actually toxic for them, such as chocolate and raw liver. Others cause digestive upset. Remove the bones from any cooked meat you might want to give your cat. Poultry and pork bones in particular can splinter and injure your cat.
Feeding treats is something for you to decide if you want to do it. Some people are dead set against them. Others lavish treats on their pets at every opportunity. There are many good cat treats on the market today. Read their directions carefully. You don’t want to overindulge your cat and turn her into a furry beach ball with legs.
The only other thing a cat requires is water. Do your best to keep a nice fresh supply of water available for your pet. With a little thought and planning you can keep your pet healthy and happy for a long time to come.
For more detailed information on cat nutrition, I recommend Pet MD here >>