Balanced proper nutrition is one of the main conditions for maintaining your beloved cat's health and long life. Cat food must contain all the substances necessary for animals: proteins, carbohydrates, fats, microelements, fatty acids, micro- and macroelements, fiber.
Because of the complex composition of a perfect cat meal, it isn't easy to cook on your own, observing the balance of all the necessary substances. That is also the reason why food from your table will not suit cats. Nutrition of cats that do not correspond to the natural needs and individual characteristics of the body can cause:
- renal failure;
- metabolic disorders, obesity;
- joint problems;
- skin diseases and deterioration of wool quality.
To avoid these problems, you need to choose the most high-quality cat food among all offers in the markets. Please note that veterinarians and experienced breeders do not recommend mixing feed and natural food. In this case, the animal's body does not have time to produce the necessary enzymes, and the food is absorbed worse.
What type of food to choose?
First of all, you need to choose the right diet for a cat. In most stores you can find such types:
- food for cats of different ages;
- food for sterilized cats;
- hypoallergenic cat food;
- medical food for cats.
In each category, food is divided into dry and wet (canned). Dry cat food is the best option for the owners. It has perfect storing conditions, and animals can eat it at any time from its bowl. The main thing is that the product does not contain chemical additives.
Wet cat food is most commonly available in cans. An open bag is not recommended for storage for more than one day in the refrigerator - the food dries up and loses its taste and smell. Wet cat food includes pieces of meat or poultry, broth, fruits, vegetables. This is a complete diet that contains everything you need and does not include preservatives, salt, sugar, or flavorings. High-quality canned food can completely replace all other foods and provide the cat with the necessary nutrients.
What is the difference between Wet and Dry Cat Food?
Despite the assurances of advertising, budgetary and affordable dry cat food practically do not contain substances valuable for cats. Instead of meat, the composition includes by-products and a large amount of starch, flavorings, special flavor enhancers, and dyes. However, animals eat them willingly thanks to flavor enhancers and particular substances that are addictive.
Wet feed brands usually offer only natural ingredients. Manufacturers use high-quality chicken, turkey, herring, lamb, pike, duck meat to create well-balanced feed. Separately, it is worth talking about vitamin herbal supplements, the cultivation of which does not use fertilizers and aggressive insecticides. Vegetables and fruits are carefully selected before processing and preserve phytoncides, antioxidants, and vitamins during processing. The price of feed corresponds to the high quality. However, proper nutrition will later save on veterinary services.
Effect of Nutrition on Life Expectancy
The importance of proper nutrition for cats cannot be overestimated - since the duration and quality of their life directly depend on this. With adequate nutrition, cats live for 15-20 years or more - of course, also under good conditions of detention and timely provision of medical care.
Factors affecting life expectancy, according to the World Health Organization:
- 20% - heredity
- 50% - food and lifestyle
- 20% - environmental conditions
- 10% - the level of development of medical care.
As can be seen from the above data, proper nutrition and care most of all guarantee a cat's longevity. Of course, hereditary risks in the case of pets are difficult to predict. But otherwise, that is, 80% or more, the life of a pet depends on the owner. Such a serious responsibility can be intimidating, but realizing it, you can, in the most positive way, affect the well-being of your cat.
Is Natural Cat Food Suitable?
So, you need to provide the kitten with proper nutrition, so it grows healthy and lives for a long time. But how exactly do you do this? It is even intuitively clear that a cat's diet at home should correspond to the diet in its natural environment as much as possible, simply because the cat has adapted to such a diet in the process of evolution, such food meets the characteristics of its metabolism.
The cat is an obligate predator, that is, a predator that feeds exclusively on animal prey. Accordingly, the basis of its nutrition is proteins (35-45%), fats (15-20%) of animal origin and carbohydrates from vegetables and greens (15-20%).
It would seem that everything is simple: you need to feed the cat with meat, and everything will be fine. Not really! As you can see, cats also need a source of carbohydrates and fiber. This raises the question for us, is it possible to provide proper and balanced nutrition at home if we feed it natural food?
Theoretically, this is, of course, possible - if you accurately check the balance of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, eliminate foods harmful to the cat, monitor the presence of vitamins and minerals, etc. As you understand, in practice, this is energy-consuming and difficult to implement at best. In other words, if you feed a cat with natural food, it will receive the wrong - to one degree or another - nutrition. And this will affect its health.
Perhaps you want to argue: well, for ourselves, we also do not check the balance of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates with mathematical precision.
However, man is not an obligate predator. We are accustomed to a more varied diet, so our body is much more tolerant of some deviations from the standard natural diet. What can not be said about cats! In addition, some foods for felines are more harmful than helpful, if not even dangerous.
Harmful and Dangerous Products
In no case should a cat be given:
1) Raw meat and fish
This is a space for parasites that can cause irreparable harm to health. Neither boiling water treatment nor freezing is a guarantee of the absence of parasites in the final product.
Crumbling and getting stuck in the digestive tract, sharp edges can damage the mucous membrane and go deeper into the internal organs or rupture the intestines.
3) Food from the table
Salt, spices, sugar, and various additives cause an imbalance of substances in the cat's body, which negatively affects the functioning of organs, leading to their failure.
4) Chocolate, cocoa, alcohol, tea, coffee, mushrooms, tomatoes, potatoes, avocados, broccoli, garlic, onions, legumes, seeds, nuts, rhubarb, raisins, grapes, lemons, oranges, kiwi, pineapples, baby food, raw eggs, bacon, liver, sausages, bread, pasta, salt, sugar, spices, dog food. All of these foods are either toxic to cats or are not absorbed by their organisms.
So what to Feed the Cat?
Experienced volunteers and veterinarians recommend using professional feeds instead of natural food: they have a precise balance of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, and contain a vitamin and mineral supplement. However, not all ready-made food is equal to each other, and not all of them are suitable for feeding a cat.
First of all, pay attention to the composition: low-quality by-products, bone meal, cereals, and flavors. For example, cereals in the feline diet are generally an extra element. And of course, not caring about the composition of the products, manufacturers do not worry about the quality of the packaging - it does not provide the tightness and integrity necessary for proper storage.
Based on this, we recommend super-premium food and holistic foods as food for your cat. A quality food contains all the necessary micro and macro elements, vitamins, and minerals to meet nutritional needs. This is the kind of food our beloved pets deserve to receive!
Keep in mind that professional feeds differ not only in class. There are dry food and wet food. Wet food can be given as a treat. For kittens, it is even desirable. However, dry food must be present in the diet. The fact is that, among other things, it performs an essential function: when a cat eats it, it thereby cleans its teeth from dental plaque. This helps prevent the development of a number of oral diseases. Also, take into account that you should not combine food with natural food, such as meat and other products - this leads to an imbalance of substances in the body and, as a result, disrupts the functioning of individual organs and the digestive system as a whole.
Thus, the super-premium and holistic class's dry and wet professional food (with a predominance of dry) can be considered proper nutrition for a cat. Having stopped your choice on them, you definitely will not be mistaken and provide your mustachioed pet with health and longevity!