So, what do cats like to eat besides cat food? Being natural carnivores, cats cannot survive without flesh or meat in their diet. Their early ancestors used to survive on small rodents as a part of their dietary requirements. Cats need a protein rich diet with necessary vitamins and nutrients like calcium, arginine, taurine, thiamine (vitamin B1), niacin (vitamin B3), and pyridoxine (vitamin B6) among the few. Since most of these nutrients can be found only in animals, it is almost next to impossible to make a vegetarian diet fit for the feline family.
What Do Cats Like To Eat?
For this feline group, dietary requirements are different for different phases of life. For example, a young kitty would be needing milk during the first three weeks before it slowly starts on solid food between 6 to 10 weeks.
Pregnant cats and lactating mom cats would require a higher nutritional diet which the veterinarian may recommend prescribing a proper diet chart.
1. Raw Foods
Many commoners have raised questions like what do cats like to eat or what cats need to eat. After many research and analysis, it has been found that the best-formulated diet for the feline family resides in the raw food. Experiments have revealed that cats who consumed raw food achieved greater health and less severe medical issues than those cats who were given cooked food.
Most of the raw food formulas include vegetables, nuts, seeds and raw bones in tiny measured amounts. It mainly consists of raw meat. When buying from a favorite pet store, you can expect to get high-quality raw food product for your cat with a particular mentioning of handling instructions and care.
Apart from the excellent nutrient contents, fresh food includes several other advantages. As the cat family is well adapted to digest raw food, the cat can digest the moisture of the food through the intestine. Moreover, natural foods and bones contain essential vitamins and minerals which supply excellent nutritional values to cats.
2. Wet Food
Wet food is also a potential alternative which can take care of the cat’s diet. For cats that do not prefer raw food and bones too much or even for cats which cannot handle raw food items, wet food option has been found a feasible alternative. The advantage is that wet foods provide the necessary moisture that helps in better digestion. Additionally, the ingredients in the wet food are minimally processed and are mostly natural.
In high quality wet food items, you would mostly find whole ingredients, with protein as the primary ingredient. The wet meats are listed as chicken-by-products versus chicken. Avoid food items that contain grains like soy, corn, fillers and any artificial colors and ingredients. Also look for low ash content. Although cats would continue to hunt for mice or other domestic insects to satisfy their hunger, it is advisable that you never stop supplementing your cat’s diet with cat food.
What Should Be The Preferred Choice?
There are possibly two main choices to feed your cat:
- Homemade food
- Commercially prepared food
Several pet owners choose to combine both the diet to supplement their pets with all essential nutritional requirements and take care of their overall health. Although there are many, who are not very comfortable to put their cats on raw food diet thorough scientific analysis has proven that cats do much success with homemade or raw food.
For commercial cat food always rely on big brands. With big and reliable brands you can be assured of the quality they are providing so as not to compromise with your kitty’s health. Of course, don’t forget to read the ingredients to know the nutrients they are offering. Whereas a quality product would be infused with rich protein, a cheaper brand may mainly consist of carbs.
Prescribed Diets For Cats
If your cat needs any special attendance for an underlying medical condition like urinary crystals, diabetes, kidney disease, oral health, weight reduction or sensitive skin, then your cat might need to go on a special diet or “prescription diet” which might be recommended by the veterinarian. Today you can also find customised diets with a lot of varieties for specific breeds that cover each life stages like kitten, adult, old, etc.
When Should You Feed Your Cat?
It depends on the pet owners and the food habit their pets have. Many prefer to leave the food out for their pets to munch on, while some others feed their pets at specific schedules. Young kitties, pregnant or lactating mom cats need to have more frequent meals than the adults.
During summer months, the raw foods have the tendency to perish fast; therefore, care should be taken to discard any leftovers lying for
Which Food Should Be Avoided?
Yes, some foods might better be avoided to remain safe. Some major food groups include:
- Vegetarian diet
- Dog food
- Some human foods which are considered toxic to cats and should be completely avoided.
Also, make sure that your cat remains hydrated. Therefore, there should be provision for fresh drinking water for your pet cat 24/7.
Should Cats Consume Cow Milk?
Surprisingly, cats and milk don’t go together. Studies show that most cats are lactose intolerant and therefore, consuming milk may result in tummy upset and diarrhea. If it is necessary to feed your kitty milk, you can find cat milk in the pet store which is completely safe.
When in confusion about the diet plan of your cat, it is recommended that you discuss with the veterinarian who can guide you with proper advice and suggest something that is best suited to your loving cat.
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