As your cat develops from kitten to adult, you might feel tempted to switch them from their current brand or flavor of food. Before you do, there are a few factors that you should consider first.
KITTENS: Kittens up to the age of one year will require mainly meat-based proteins in order for them to properly grow and develop. This means that their food should consist of around 50% protein, 20% fat and 30% carbohydrate.
ADULTS: As cats become adults, they require less protein in order to stay healthy. It would be extremely dangerous for them to have too much protein as this can cause health problems later on in life. Now it’s important to remember that adult cats *do* need protein in order to stay healthy, but they can get this from the fat and carbohydrates that are naturally found in their food. It’s recommended for an adult cat to get around 25% protein, 15-20% fat and 50-60% carbohydrate.
CATS WITH HEALTH PROBLEMS: If your cat has certain health problems such as heart or kidney diseases, diabetes or obesity, they may benefit from a specially formulated veterinary diet. If your vet recommends that your cat should be on one of these diets then you should feed them nothing but this kind of food for the rest of their lives.
ADDITIVES: There are a number of things that you will find in cat food that are meant to be good for your cat, but aren’t really necessary. These include taurine, fish oil, niacin and vitamin A supplements. The only one of these elements that is probably required by cats is taurine, since it’s an essential amino acid.
To give you a better understanding of how to properly feed your cat, here’s a few examples of what you should and shouldn’t do. It’s also important not to just follow the instructions on the food label, as these are generalized for all cats.
* Dry cat food is great for supplementing your cat’s diet or feeding them exclusively, but it doesn’t have the same high moisture content that wet food does. You can add a little water to your cat’s dry food in order to bring the level of moisture up closer to what you would get with wet food.
* In addition, cats require a lot more protein when they are kittens than they do as adults. As such, it is better to feed kittens a brand of food that has a higher percentage of protein.
* If your cat is used to eating dry food and you want them to switch over to a wet food diet, it’s important not to make the change too quickly. Start by mixing in some extra water with their current dry food and slowly decreasing the amount while increasing the wet food.
* It’s not necessary to switch your cat’s food every time you buy a new brand or flavor, even if the ingredients are slightly different (for example, if it contains more fish oil). Their digestive system can usually handle quite a wide range of foods without any problems.
* Kittens should always be given wet food when they are weaned or starting out on solid food. If you feed them dry food, it can cause digestive problems later on in life.
* An overweight cat should always be fed a diet specifically for cats who are over the weight limit, rather than trying to slim them down by feeding a brand of food that is more suitable for a lean cat.
* It’s important to remember that kittens need a lot more protein than adult cats, so make sure you don’t give them food designed for fully grown cats.
If your cat is unwell or having trouble keeping their food down then it would be best to take them to the vet first and get their advice on what type of food you should feed them.