For those of you who share your home with a friendly feline, you’ve certainly noticed cats can be picky eaters. The aisles of most supermarkets can also compound this as shelves are often stocked with dozens of varieties to entice your cat. If you choose the wrong kind of food your cat will not be able to maintain good health. Conversely, if you have overfed a hungry feline, he or she will get fat. Obviously, you want to reduce the number of costly visits to the local Animal Hospital, so making sure your cat maintains a healthy diet is of utmost importance.
Any veterinarian will tell you that both age and size certainly make a difference when it comes to food quantity. Kittens require more food to support their growing bodies while adult cats should be fed only once a day. Many cat owners feed only dry food to their felines. This is fine, but it’s important to make sure the food is complete and balanced, which will provide all the vitamins and nutrients your cat needs. Additionally, cats that predominantly consume dry food must be provided lots of fresh water each day.
Canned Cat Food Options
Canned food is typically about 80 percent water and is found to be more palatable for cats, which is perfect to mix both wet and dry food together. That said, keep in mind, just like people, overweight cats are at an increased risk of diabetes, joint pain, and liver issues—so serving size is very important!
Cats, who are natural meat eaters, are also safe to enjoy the occasional table scrap. Meat is essential for cats to maintain good vision, a healthy heart, and a healthy reproductive system. For this reason, feel free to share a small portion of fully cooked beef, turkey, chicken, or lean deli meat, free from seasoning or excess salts.
The Fish Diet
Cats are also well-known for their attraction to fish. Fish are very high in healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which can help your cat maintain his or her sharp vision. Adding a small portion of cooked or canned fish to your cat’s dry food as a treat is fine from time to time, just don’t overdo Also, don’t ever share your sushi—as that contains certain ingredients that are unhealthy for our feline friends. Plus, raw food always has the potential to hurt our pets.
Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Feline
There are foods that your cat should absolutely avoid. These include chocolate, raisins, grapes, onions, macadamia nuts, garlic, bread dough, alcohol, and xylitol, which is an artificial sweeter found if many sugar-free desserts. All of these items are toxic to cats.
Cats are also very curious, so it is important that you are aware of certain houseplants which could be poisoned if ingested by your feline. According to the Human Society, there are more than 700 plants that include active or toxic substances which cause harmful effects in animals—this could be anything from mild nausea to death.
Plants to Keep Away From Your Cats
Some popular houseplants to keep away from your cat include tropical elephant ears, as the entire plant is poisonous to animals, Hyacinth bulbs, Mistletoe, Poinsettia, and a Castor Bean. Flowering plants such as the daffodil, Lantana, and Lily of the Valley can also make cats very sick.
If you’re looking to treat your cat—and feeling ambitious—you can always whip up some healthy homemade treats.
Try the Cat Attack Cookies for an extra special indulgence. Combine one cup of whole wheat flour with 1/4 cup of soy flour, a tablespoon of Catnip, one egg, 1/3 cup of milk, two tablespoons of wheat germ, 1/3 cup of powdered milk, a pinch of molasses, and two tablespoons of butter. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roll the dough out on a cookie sheet and cut it into small, cat bite-sized pieces. Bake for 20 minutes, let the treats cool and store them in an airtight container.
You can also whip up some coconut fish croutons that your cat will adore. Combine 1.5 ounces of canned tuna with one cup of coconut flour, one tablespoon of olive oil, a spoonful of dried catnip, one egg, and a splash of water. Mix this up and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll small pieces of the sticky dough into croutons and place them on the baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Serve them to your kitty when cool. (These should keep for about a week).