Cats sometime get a reputation for being finicky eaters. They do have evolved taste instincts that help them distinguish what is good for their health from what isn’t.
But they also are usually very particular about the smell of the food, the temperature of the food and the “mouth feel.”
Many pet owners may not know that providing your cat with a healthy, nutritious cat food has many long-term benefits, including fewer trips to the vet and a shinier coat.
Here are some handy tips to keep your feline friendly:
1. For dry food, shop in a specialty pet store that sells premium quality pet food. Many commercially available/economy brands of cat food are made from inexpensive ingredients, which might not be easily digested, due to possible degradation of protein sources or oxidization of fat sources. While the ingredients may technically meet the legal specifications for percentages of protein, fat, carbohydrates, etc., these foods have lower energy values and lower-grade proteins and don’t provide the same quality nutrition as premium brands.
2. Look at the ingredient panel: * Look for a species-specific meat or meal as the first ingredient (e.g. “chicken” or “chicken meal”, not “poultry meal”). * Ensure that the product is naturally preserved with vitamin E. You don’t want any chemical preservatives, such as BHA, BHT or ethoxyquin listed in the ingredient panel. * Look for the “extras” (e.g., pre- and probiotics, digestive enzymes and antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables).
3. Finally, ensure “wet” food and plenty of water are a regular part of your cat’s diet. Cats need a great deal of moisture in their diet. Ensure you are feeding a wet food and ensure that they have always have access to fresh, clean water. Running water is best as it mimics their instinct to find moving water in the wild. At a young age, be sure to offer different types of wet food to your cat (e.g., chunks with gravy and pate) to ensure they don’t get addicted to a specific style of wet food. Some cats also don’t like wet food after it’s been refrigerated, so try letting the portion you’re going to feed warm up to room temperature before you offer it to your cat. There are many diets that are specifically tailored to unique health needs, such as allergies, mobility issues or weight management.
Find out what food is best for your cat.
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