Cats are very opinionated about their food and many of their food preferences are formed in their first year of life. So, if you have a kitten, now is the time to get them used to different types of food – semi-dry, dry and wet. But if you have an adult, there are still many ways to ensure that they are getting all the nutrients that they need.
We do not recommend homemade or raw diets. Cats need specific vitamins, minerals, and protein that can only come from meat. Meat alone is deficient in many of the nutrients cats need. Bacteria on raw meat, such as Salmonella and E.coli, can make you and your cat sick. Not worth the chance. Commercial cat food is the best choice as it is formulated and balanced for cats to meet all their nutritional needs.
It can be hard to determine if your cat’s food is balanced; but, to help make it easier for you, look for a statement on the package from the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).
The AAFCO statement will say that the food is complete and balanced, either through a feeding trial or because the formula meets the cat’s nutritional needs. If the food package has this AAFCO statement, then the diet is complete and balanced and there is no need for extra vitamins and/or supplements.
The pet food industry is a multi-billion dollar a year industry and everyone wants to jump on that wagon and make some money. With so much advertising, people tend to focus on the ingredients but not the nutrients. Many cat food companies are being critical of grains and carbohydrates in cat food, but they are not necessarily bad. Cats are true carnivores but as long as the amount of carbohydrates in their food is of a level they can handle, they are fine. Carbohydrates can be valuable to hold dry food together, they help make the food more affordable, and many cats enjoy the “crunch” it provides.
Most cats will eat their main meals at dawn and dusk – times when they would normally be hunting prey. But cats also like to “graze” or nibble all day long. There is nothing wrong with this, but you will have to monitor them as they can easily gain weight with this type of activity. This is the reason why many vets recommend feeding meals in attempt to keep their weight controlled. Allowing them to graze vs. feeding meals or a combination of both depends upon your lifestyle and your cat’s individual requirements.
How much to feed your pet depends on a few things.
- the age of your cat
- their activity level
- the type of food that you are feeding
If you need help in trying to determine the amount you should be feeding your cat, the best diet for him/her that will actually get eaten, or the diet that is best suitable for your cat just contact us and we will be glad to help you figure out the perfect diet for you and your feline friend!