Diet Tips For Cats

Diet Tips For Cats

It can be very easy to lose track of how much your cat is eating, especially as they tend to go off exploring during the day, making specific meal times difficult. Keeping on top of your cat’s diet is not only important to keep them at a healthy weight, but it is also important to ensure they are getting the correct nutrients to keep disease and other health problems at bay. Of course, this is especially important for cats that are noticeably overweight, but it is also important to prevent healthy cats from becoming overweight. Here are some tips on how to ensure that your cat has a healthy diet, and how to keep them healthy in other ways than just monitoring their eating habits.

Determine Whether Your Cat Is Overweight

Before you make any changes to your cat’s diet, you should first determine what it is that needs to be changed. If your cat is overweight, you should look at adapting the amount of food they eat, as well as swapping foods that are lower in fat and carbohydrates. You can check if your cat is overweight by very gently squeezing around their ribs: if you can’t easily feel its ribs, your cat is probably overweight. Also, a cat at a healthy weight will usually become more slender towards their hind legs.

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Monitor Mealtimes

Whilst cats do spend a lot of time outside exploring, if you need to limit the amount that your cat is eating, you should try to limit the amount of time that they have access to food. This will mean putting down smaller portions at regular intervals, allowing you to monitor what your cat is eating and when. Your cat will soon learn when they should arrive home for food.

Buy Good Quality, Specifically Formulated Food

You should be prepared to spend a little more on cat food to ensure that your cat is getting the best quality nutrients possible. Be sure to read the ingredients before making a purchase: cheaper, lower quality foods will often be bulked out with lots of carbohydrates and other unrecognisable ingredients. You should also choose a food that is specifically designed for your cat’s age, breed and size in order that they are receiving all the necessary nutrients at that point in their life.

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Provide Plenty Of Water

Just like humans, if there is not sufficient water available, cats will turn to food when they are actually thirsty. Not only will providing your cat with plenty of water mean that they feel they need to eat less, keeping hydrated will also help to keep your cat healthy in other aspects.

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Don’t Feed Them Human Treats

As bad as you may feel rejecting your cat’s sorrowful look as you are enjoying your evening meal, you could actually be doing more harm than good by giving them the treat. Processed human foods will often contain more sugar, fats and salt than suitable for a cat’s diet, which means that it can not only have a negative impact on your cat’s weight, but also their health over a long period of time.

Encourage More Movement

What better way is there to supplement a healthy diet than with extra exercise. Obviously, it is not as simple as taking your cat for a walk, but you can encourage your cat to exercise more by playing with them on a regular basis. Treat your cat to some new toys that require them to run and jump as part of the game.

You should always consult your vet if you have any concerns about your pet’s health, and ask for their advice before making any changes to their diet. Any change in weight can be a sign of other health issues, so it is important to visit the vet regularly with your cat.

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  • Sarah Addison

    my cat is overweight so how do I go about reducing his intake? He’s on a dry biscuit only as wet food gives him diarrhea,he eats little but often and is an neutered male who only goes in my garden so he’s not getting much exe

    • Ethel Aardvark

      Have you actually weighed the amount of biscuits you feed, Sarah? I ask because it is quite frighteningly little in appearance – the other trap is that the manufacturers usually cite a DAILY quantity, so split between 3 meals this often amounts to just a gently rounded dessertspoonful per meal. About 60g per day is fairly typical. Rehydrated this amounts to quite a lot of food. I’d say this is the first thing to check.

    • Erika Weston

      How’s the diet going? My advice is come off kibble. Even the most expensive has rubbish in it. It’s also known to cause kidney stones and failure. Check out raw diet as my cats slimmed down, muscle mass increased and coat improved. You need 2-3% of their ideal weight fed a day. Must include taurine! From organs like liver and kidney, not heart, and calcium from bones or shells. Never ever cooked bones as they splinter. Avoid bones for about a week to allow stomach to balance itself and be acid enough to dissolve the bone. Chicken wing tips are great to begin with. Oh and begin with minced chicken and increase the size to manageable chunks! Great for their teeth. Check sites on Facebook for detailed diet sheets and advice.