Uncanning Cat Food: A Nutrition Guide for Felines

Buying cat food can be an overwhelming and bewildering experience. Which brand? Wet or dry? Indoor or outdoor? Should I switch to Adult? Do I need hairball control? Do I need weight control?  Or both? Read on and learn how to bring home a bag that will suit your cat’s nutritional needs without succumbing to the pressures of clever advertising!

First, it is important to know that cats are obligate carnivores, which means their biology demands that they eat meat. Without the proteins that meat provides, their bodies can’t make the amino acids that are necessary to survive. So, no vegetarian diets allowed! What’s more, their digestive tract is adapted to digest raw meat, so it is very important to buy high-quality food, which is less processed. Don’t try to pinch pennies and avoid the slightly higher price of quality brands. If you purchase high-quality food, you will probably save money in the long run because your cat will be healthier! Most of the better-quality brands of food will include feeding recommendations on the packaging. Every cat’s energy needs are different, but these recommendations will provide your cat’s diet with a great starting point.

We also recommend that you only provide your cat with an appropriate single meal portion at a time. If you leave a bowl of food out for them to snack on throughout the day, your cats are likely to overindulge and gain unhealthy weight.  Also, if you feed your cat a mixture of wet and dry food, make sure to cut the portion size of each type before mixing. Otherwise, your cat will get the full calories from both, and just like us, overeating will eventually catch up to your cat in the form of obesity.

As nice as it is to give your cat a treat, it is always best to stick to low-calorie options. You can even set aside some of your pet’s daily kibble allowance for treats. Sure, this will reduce the size of their main meal, but a small snack will help to give your cat sustained energy throughout the day and kibble is much healthier than most treats. The absolute best treat is showering your cat with affection and attention!  In fact, a 2017 scientific study showed that domestic cats preferred affection and attention over treats! So try to spend a little extra time playing with them each day with a favorite toy instead of giving out treats that are quickly devoured and gone!

If you are having difficulty keeping your pet at a healthy weight, or have questions about the most appropriate food for your cat’s diet, contact us to schedule an appointment or consultation.

CEDARCREST Animal Clinic provides medical and surgical care for every stage of your pet’s life including preventive wellness care exams and vaccines, spays/neuters, and a variety of specialized care for your dog, cat, avian, or exotic. We are home to the only veterinarian practitioner in Virginia to be double Boarded in Avian and Canine/Feline care and provide care for birds, small mammals, and reptiles of all sorts! Plus, we are home to Virginia’s most exclusive dog boarding resort that includes heated floors, an expansive play area, and even webcams so you can watch your pet while you’re away. We’re located in Fishersville, Virginia, and serve Augusta County and surrounding areas including Waynesboro, Staunton, Harrisonburg, and Charlottesville. 

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