Whether a feline is a picky eater or loves to eat quite much, she lets her human know how she feels about what is served to her daily in her bowl. Felines are naturally opinionated about the food they eat and their food preferences get established in the first year itself.
So if you are a new feline parent and you’ve brought home a kitten, it’s the perfect time to get her used to different types of food – wet, canned, dry and a mix of wet and dry both.
But even if you have an adult feline, there are secret ways to make sure she’s getting all the nutrients adequately to be healthy. Through this article, uncover these secrets to feed your feline better by buying what she needs.
Reading Cat Food Labels
Excessive advertising of commercial cat foods can make a feline parent focus more on ingredients and less on the nutritional value. As a general rule, all feline parents should know how to read a cat food label carefully. They need to look mainly for the protein and fat content and fewer carbohydrates.
A major part of reading cat food labels is finding out if the cat food is nutritionally balanced or not. If one doesn’t, look for this statement “Complete and balanced”. This means the recipe meets the feline’s nutritional requirements and there is no need to give her additional supplements of vitamins or minerals.
Quality cat food labels mention this clearly on their labels and also if the food is formulated for a specific age. For example – “For Kitten” on the label signifies it’s cat food for kittens or “For Adult” on the label means it’s cat food for adults.
Feeding: When & How Much?
Generally, the average calorie intake for a feline is about 200 calories per day. But this can vary significantly from one cat food to another.
A feline parent needs to pay attention to the calorie intake in their feline’s diet. How much a feline should get in her bowl, depends on her age, size and activity levels. For the same, a feline parent can consult their feline’s veterinarian to calculate her needs.
Overfeeding should be avoided as felines can gain excess weight and as a result, have problems like heart and joint disease and diabetes. Veterinarians recommend that there should be a specific mealtime when feeding a feline. It’s not right to leave food sitting out all day as she may nibble at any time. Overfeeding is also to be avoided when feeding treats. Occasional is fine and it shouldn’t be more than 5% – 10% of their daily calories.
Unlike canines, felines derive specific proteins, vitamins and minerals mainly from meat. But not from raw meat. Raw meat is highly susceptible to bacterias like Salmonella and E.coli that can make a feline sick.
This may turn you to the decision of preparing cat food at home. For some feline parents, a homemade diet may be a healthy choice for their feline. But this is a bad idea for them. Firstly, this route shouldn’t be taken alone. A veterinary nutritionist’s advice is a must because even if there is a change in one ingredient, the whole nutritional value of the diet gets changed. Secondly, a homemade diet may lack or may not have all nutrients in adequate amounts vital for a feline’s proper growth and maintenance.
Most experts say a wholesome and holistic commercial cat food is the best way to feed a feline. Holistic cat foods are formulated specifically for felines and these perfectly meet all their nutritional needs.