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Cats Need a Balanced Diet Too

Zara Lewis offers some top tips to ensure your cat has a healthy balanced diet. Find out what they can eat and what to avoid, weight control, and essential nutrients all cats need.

Cats and diet

Whoever called it “puppy eyes” clearly hasn’t seen a cat staring at them while they eat. The sad little meow, or even the violent glare of “how dare you not share food with me, human!” is not an easy thing to escape. And then they put their little paws on us and we just turn into mush and hand them whatever we were eating. A lot of cat owners are a little guilty of giving just a tad too many treats to their beloved pet, but even if you’ve learned some restraint, your cat could still benefit from a balanced diet and specially prepared meals for them. If you want to make sure your fluffy ball of cuteness is fit and healthy, we’ve got a few nutritional tips just for you.

Protein and other necessary nutrients

Protein and cats

Cats need to eat meat. It’s absolutely essential for muscle development and stamina; it’s so important that the lack of it can lead to serious deficiencies and even death. Sadly, it’s very difficult to keep your cat vegetarian and healthy at the same time, so if you follow a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle, you will probably have to exclude your cat from it. Not even supplementation works in most cases, so be careful of how you restrict your pet’s food.

Cats are simply obligate carnivores, and the fat, carbohydrates, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, protein, and other nutrients are all found in animal products and commercial food that we feed them. Don’t restrict your kitten to only one type of meat either – same as humans, they need variety and will thrive when given the right kind of food. Ask your vet to help you create the right meal plan, and this way you can avoid having to use too many supplements to keep your pet in good shape.

Milk isn’t as great as you think

Cats and milk

One of the most common mistakes we see with pet owners is the almost obsessive urge to feed their cats milk. For the most part, our pets become lactose-intolerant after being weaned, and cow milk really isn’t all that great for them and can lead to digestive issues. Milk is also not a replacement for water – your kitty needs to stay hydrated, same as you do.

Avoid human food

The problem with the table scraps we slip to our pets is that it’s usually way too spicy and over-processed. Human bodies can definitely handle this, but our cats don’t respond to it well and can get sick. Even if they’re fine, it encourages some bad behaviour, and you might end up with a cat who refuses to eat their own food because the human food you kept giving them has a more interesting taste. You can also be sure that they won’t miss a chance to stare at you across the table whenever you sit down to eat because they know you’ll eventually give in and feed them.

Avoid too much fish

Same as with milk, cartoons, movies, and children’s storybooks are probably to blame for the idea that cats only eat fish. Cats love tuna because of its strong smell and taste, but they need other types of meat to stay healthy because fish alone doesn’t have enough nutrients that are necessary to keep them healthy. And similarly to the table scraps problem, they can get addicted to the taste and refuse to eat anything else. Also never feed your cat raw fish because some of the enzymes in it can lead to thiamine deficiency and parasites.

Now all cat food is made the same

Food for cats

There are various types of cat food: dry, semi-moist, and canned food. Your cat will benefit from eating all of these, but you do need to bear in mind that some brands are better than others, depending on your cat’s particular dietary needs. The best thing you can do is simply let your pet sample different things and see what suits them better, and definitely consider incorporating organic food into their meal plans. Places like the online shop Net to Pet offer the benefit of having a lot of various foods with descriptions of each, so you can really look into what you’re buying.

Letting your cat get fat

Yes, chubby cats are cute, but being overweight is pretty terrible for them. Beside food, you need to keep in mind that cats have to stay active. It’s same as with humans, really. A balanced diet, and a lot of exercise will make your kitty a lot happier. If you have issues getting them to move around, try using catnip, or some of these tips to help you out.

Your furry little buddy depends on you for a lot of things. They love you and trust you, so knowing what kind of a meal to put in front of them to ensure their health is very important. We hope these tips help you and your feline stays happy and fit.

Zara Lewis is a regular contributor at highstylife.com and a full time animal lover. Passionate about creating a better world for the generations to come, she is a mum of two, raising them inseparably from their furry family members.

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