As any cat owner knows, cats can be picky eaters. Moreover, each cat has unique dietary needs based on age, health, and activity level. Therefore, knowing what to feed cats and having access to the best cat feeding advice can be challenging.
The food you give them, how much you feed them, and when you feed them can impact their health. That’s why it’s essential to have some basic knowledge about cat feeding.
By understanding the basics of cat nutrition, you can ensure that your cat gets the nutrients they need to stay healthy. This article will give you tips for caring for your feline friend. Keep reading for more information.
What to Feed Cats
Knowing what is healthy for cats is just as essential as being aware of ingredients that are harmful for cats.
Some cat food manufacturers compromise their pet products in order to keep costs down for the consumer. They may incorporate into their cat food formulas such things as inferior meats, artificial flavoring and grain fillers. All of these can be harmful to your cat’s health.
We strongly suggest that pet owner’s carefully read the cat food labelling of commercial cat foods to establish whether or not the food is right for your pet.
Assuming your cat is healthy and has no special dietary needs, here are some tips to help you choose the right food and feeding schedule.
1. Type of Food
You first need to consider what type of food to feed your cat. The two main options are dry food and wet food.
Dry food is typically cheaper and easier to store but has less moisture than wet food. If your cat doesn’t drink enough water, dry food can lead to dehydration.
On the other hand, wet food is more expensive but contains more moisture. It’s also generally closer to a cat’s natural diet.
The best option is to feed your cat a combination of both dry and wet food. This way, they can get the benefits of both types of food.
2. How Much to Feed Them
Most cats need around 20 calories per pound of body weight per day. So, if your cat weighs ten pounds, they need about 120-180 calories daily.
Of course, this number will vary based on age, activity level, and other factors. Talk to your veterinarian if you’re unsure how much to feed your cat. They can help you figure out the right amount based on your cat’s individual needs.
3. When to Feed Them
The best feeding schedule for cats is two or three small meals per day. If you only feed them once a day, they’re more likely to gorge themselves and then not eat again until the next meal.
However, some cats do better with one big meal per day. It depends on your cat’s individual preferences. Experiment to see what works best for them.
Generally, it’s best to feed them in the morning and at night. This way, they have food in their stomachs overnight.
If you work long hours and can’t be home to feed them twice a day, consider investing in an automatic feeder. This way, their meals will be dispensed on a schedule, even when you’re not home.
In addition to food, cats need plenty of fresh water. So make sure they always have a clean bowl of water that’s easily accessible.
Some cats don’t like to drink from a bowl and prefer running water. In this case, you can need a cat water fountain, and Tomxcute Cat Water Fountain is one of the best for your cat. These fountains filter the water and keep it circulating, so it’s always fresh.
Cats typically need around five ounces of water per day. This number will increase if they eat primarily dry food or live in a hot climate.
5. Feed them a Balanced Diet
Cats are obligate carnivores, so they need to eat meat to survive. Meat contains an essential amino acid (Taurine), that cats require in their diet and are unable to synthesise themselves. Therefore, their diet should be high in meat protein and low in carbohydrates.
That said, not all cat foods are created equal. For example, some contain more fillers and by-products than others. So, it’s essential to read the labels carefully before buying anything. Refer to our Cat Food Appraisal Tool which provides a simple checklist on what to look for in a healthy cat food.
The best cat foods will list real meat as the first ingredient. Avoid anything that contains grains, corn, or soy. These are challenging for cats to digest. Here is a sample of grain free cat foods.
In addition to their regular food, you can also give your cats treats. However, treats should only make up around five percent of their diet. The rest should be high-quality cat food.
When choosing treats, look for something high in protein and low in carbohydrates. You can give them small pieces of cooked chicken or turkey as a healthy treat.
It’s essential to keep your cat’s food area clean. Wash their bowl with soap and water every day.
Every week or so, you should disinfect their bowl with a mixture of one part vinegar and three parts water. This will help kill any bacteria that could make them sick.
After washing and disinfecting their bowl, rinse it well and dry it before adding fresh food.
Interesting Facts About The Cat
Cats are fascinating creatures that have been domesticated for thousands of years. They are known for their independent nature, as well as their Hunter’s instincts.
Despite this, cats are excellent companions and affectionate towards their owners. Here are some fun factsabout our feline friends:
Cats have been domesticated for over 4,000 years. The first recorded instance of cat domestication comes from Ancient Egypt, where they were revered as gods and kept as pets.
There are over 500 million domestic cats in the world.
Cats sleep for around 12-16 hours a day.
While most cats are right-pawed, around 50% are left-pawed.
The average lifespan of a domestic cat is around 12-18 years, although some can live into their 20s.
Cats have excellent night vision and can see six times better than humans in low light conditions.
A cat’s hearing is much sharper than ours, and they can detect high-frequency sounds we cannot hear.
Cats have whiskers on their face which are extremely sensitive and help them judge distance and navigate in the dark.
Cats have a powerful sense of smell and can remember smells for long periods.
Common What to Feed Cats Questions
You may be interested in articles we have provided that answer the following what to feed cats questions:
Can cats eat chocolate?
Sharing a bar of chocolate with your pet cat is a bad idea as it is harmful to them. Chocolates present a severe health risk to cats and may be life-threatening if consumed excessively. Read on here…
Can cats eat dog food?
It is one of those reoccurring questions veterinarians hear from cat owners. Although the straightforward answer to this common question is yes, there is more cat owners need to know. Read on here…
Is human food OK for cats?
Your cat’s affection may motivate you to share that snack with your little friend. However, there is more to understand before submitting to the urge of feeding your cat human food. Read on here…
Can cats eat fruit?
Fruit form a healthy and needed part of the human diet, but is it the same for our feline friends? While you can include a little fruit in your cat’s diet, you must stick to safe fruits. Unfortunately, not all fruit is safe for cats. Read on here…
Is cows’ milk healthy for cats and kittens?
Images of cats lapping a bowl of milk have imprinted the impression that cow’s milk must be good for every cat. While most cats crave a little milk, the supposed love between cats and cow milk is exaggerated. Read on here…
Can cats eat canned tuna?
The short answer is Yes, canned tuna is considered safe to feed cats.Read on here…
What meat can cats eat?
By nature, cats are carnivorous meat-eaters with meat forming an essential part of their diet. However, it would help to consider what meat cats are best to eat before offering your pet that morsel of meat. Read on here…
Can cats eat raw meat?
Absolutely. Cats are obligate carnivores. So it is understandable when pet owners want to give a raw diet to their cats. However, some experts say that placing your cat on a diet of raw meat causes a significant health risk for you and your pet. Read on here…
Final thoughts on what to feed cats
Now that you know what to feed cats, it’s time to start. Choose the right food, create a feeding schedule, and clean their bowl. With this cat feeding advice your cat will be healthy and happy for years.
There are approximately 95.6 million cats living in American households (National Pet Owners’ Survey 2017). Every one of these cuddly felines need to be fed. The question is… How to choose the best cat food for your cat? In this article Cat Food Advisor delves into this question.
We have reviewed what we consider to be the 10 best cat foods available on Amazon to help you choose the best cat food that is best suited to your cat.
What Do Wild Cats Eat?
First up, domesticated cats are equal to wild cats in their digestive make-up and their nutritional requirements.
The diet of a wild cat is mainly made up of small rodents, such as rats and mice. Other common prey are rabbits, moles, shrews and birds.
However, these cats will prey on almost any small animal, such as large insects, lizards, frogs and snakes. Those wild cats that are game to get wet will even go to the effort to catch and eat fish.
Think what would a wild cat eatwhen considering how to choose the best cat food.
What Nutrition is Important for a Healthy Cat?
Cats are true carnivores. They are meat eaters- plain and simple! They require protein from meat for good vision, a strong heart and muscle development, and a healthy reproductive system.
Meat also contains moderate amounts of fat, and a minimal amount of carbohydrates. Domesticated cats require these general proportions today, just as their wild cousins do.
Cats also require many other nutrients, including vitamins, fatty acids, minerals and amino acids.
Is It Safe to Feed Your Cat Raw Meat?
Whilst it is quite OK to feed your cat a commercial wet or dry food, Cat Food Advisor suggests that you can offer variety in your cat’s diet by feeding it cooked or raw meat.
It is important to ensure that the meat you feed your cat is fresh, as spoilt raw meat, raw fish and raw eggs, can contain bacteria that trigger food poisoning. In addition, an enzyme in raw fish destroys thiamine, which is an essential B vitamin for cats.
A lack of thiamine can cause neurological problems. Therefore, it is advisable to not to overfeed your cat raw fish.
So, If Not Raw Meat, What Should You Feed Your Cat?
Cooked beef, turkey, chicken, and small amounts of lean deli meats are a great way to give cats their nutritional requirements.
Commercially, there are two types of cat foods available- wet cat foodand dry cat food. These commercial products vary widely, and therefore require looking carefully at their ingredients and where their ingredients have been sourced from.
Many cheaper cat foods will be bulked up with fillers. Cat Food Advisor has looked into grain fillers– often these fillers are not a natural part of a cat’s diet. You want to avoid them. Be aware of grain or corn fillers. Also steer clear of GMO ingredients and products that are excessively fatty, salty or they have added sugar.
Dry Cat Food or Wet Cat Food?
It seems that most cats prefer wet cat food over dry cat food, although there are always exceptions. Wet cat food is closer to what wild cats eat- in texture and water content.
Dry food is fine if it is complete and balanced. Dry food generally is less expensive than canned food, and once dished up to your cat, may stay fresher for longer.
Wet food gives additional moisture for cats. If only fed dry food, cats would need to be provided with lots of fresh water. This is especially so if they are prone to developing urinary tract blockages, constipation or weight problems.
Many wet foods come in three-ounce cans. Cat Food Advisor recommends to feed approximately one can a day for every three to three and a half pounds of body weight. However, ingredients within different products/brands vary and therefore feeding rates will vary. A happy, healthy cat will maintain a good weight and stay active.
For an average sized adult cat, it is recommended to feed ¼ cup of dry food morning and again in the evening. This is only a rough guide, as products vary, and so do cats!
You will know how much to feed your cat through trial and error. If your cat leaves food, then perhaps you are feeding it too much. If your cat is putting on too much weight, then ease off on its food.
We recommend mixing it up a bit for your cat, so he/she does not get bored with a mono-diet. A mixture of wet cat food, dry cat food and raw or cooked meat will keep your cat very happy.
To help you choose the best cat food for your cat we have provided a summary of a selection of products available.
The nutrition that a cat needs is definitely provided in Purina dry cat food and reviews on the product claim that it taste makes their cat happy. There is a healthy balance of protein, carbohydrates, fatty acids, essential vitamins, and essential minerals providing for a 100% complete nutrition.
Purina dry food with chicken and salmon flavor is available in two different size packs. The small pack size is 1 lb and the larger bag is 13 lb. It also contains high fiber content that helps to control hairballs and avoids digestion problems.
Meow Mix contains four flavors- chicken, turkey, salmon and ocean fish. All flavors that will have your cat salivating! Protein, carbohydrates, fatty acids, essential vitamins and essential minerals are provided for 100% complete and balanced nutrition.
Meow Mix dry food with chicken, turkey, salmon, fish flavor is available in two different size packs. The small pack size being 3 lb and the larger 3.15 lb. This food contains ground corn and soybeans as a source of carbohydrate.
Blue Wilderness High Protein Grain Free cat food is only for adult cats. Its protein comes from real meat, making it tasty for cats and a healthy option. The product promotes healthy skin and a shiny coat with an inclusion of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. Essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants have been added to this dry cat food to support the immune system.
Blue Wilderness dry food with chicken flavor is available in three different size packs. The smallest pack size being 2.5 lb, a larger bag- 6 lb and the largest- 12 lb. If you are offering your cat only dry food, Cat Food Advisor recommends ensuring your cat has plenty of drinking water on hand for hydration.
Purina One is a veterinarian recommended food, and safe for your cat, as only natural ingredients are used. It provides 100% nutrition with no added fillers, making this food a great choice for your cat. It includes fatty acids, minerals, vitamins and fiber. Fiber helps with cat hairballs and keeps the digestive system flowing. Real turkey forms the main protein source and customer reviews vouch for the great taste.
Purina One dry food with turkey flavor is available in four different size packs (3.5 lb, 7 lb, 16 lb 22 lb). Natural vitamins and minerals have been added for whole-body health.
The taste of the wild’s rocky mountain feline formula, with roasted venison and smoked salmon is, according to customer reviews, to be revered by cats! There are no grain fillers, rather the addition of some easy to digest vegetables such as peas and sweet potato provide carbohydrates for energetic cats. Good levels of protein to support lean strong muscles. Safe for your cat as this food is made in the USA with advanced food safety protocols. Additions of vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids, offering a well rounded diet for cats.
Cat Food Advisor likes that this product is made with all natural ingredients, you can be rest assured that there are no added artificial flavors or colors. The protein level is higher than carbohydrates which is a better balance and something other brands don’t always have right.
Taste of the wild dry food with venison and salmon flavor is available in a 15 lb size pack.
Purina Fancy Grilled collection canned wet cat food would have to be a favorite choice for kittens! Customer reviews account for the great taste. Purina provides 100% complete and balanced nutrition for kittens. Purina wet food consists of high quality protein with meaty cuts of poultry or seafood, with a light gravy. The product is made in USA, abiding by the food regulators.
To ensure your cat is hydrated, Purina’s wet food is moist and easy to eat and digest. Essential vitamins and minerals have been included added to support the overall health of your cat
Purina Fancy Feast wet food offers different flavors and is available in two size packs. One containing 24 cans and the other, 30 cans- each can being 3 oz.
Purina Friskies offers a mix of recipes all in one pack. Meal times will be interesting for your cat as he/she will get a variety of meats and flavors. Served as a pate, makes the wet cat food smooth and easy to eat. Suitable for cats of all ages giving a 100% balanced diet. The product does have added artificial flavors, making it tasty for cats.
Available in five different size packs (all detailed on Amazon). Recommended feeding for an adult cat- ¾ to 1 oz per pound of body weight daily. Growing kittens will require more per pound of body weight.
A gourmet adult cat food with 100% complete and balanced nutrition. Three chicken recipes are offered in this pack, each with a different texture (pate/chunks/roasted)- enabling variety for your cat. Added essential vitamins and minerals supporting the overall health of cats. The product is grain free.
Purina classic pate wet food with different flavors/textures is available in a 24 cans. Each can being 3 oz. There are several different meat flavors in the Purina Wet Cat Food range, including recipes specifically for kittens.
A gourmet cat food recipe with 100% complete and balanced nutrition providing essential vitamins and minerals to support the overall health of adult cats. Quality ingredients, including the best protein from tuna and white meats. Contains long grain rice and garden greens for a source of carbohydrates.
Purina medleys wet cat food offers different flavors available- seafood, chicken, turkey and Primavera flavor, all in savory sauces. The product comes in five size pack sizes, as well as single 3oz cans. You can better understand these choices on Amazon. Purina’s wet cat food is not grain-free.
Purina Po Plan Focus offers a low PH, low dietary magnesium wet cat food that improve urinary tract health in cats. It is easy on the digestive system and a good choice for sensitive cats, or cats with health challenges. The cat food contains real chicken providing high-quality protein.
Purina Pro Plan wet cat food with different flavors is available in eleven different size packs. You can better understand these packages on Amazon. Formulated for adult cats with essential vitamins and minerals to support overall health.
Foods with cat essential vitamins and minerals is great!
Fatty acids are needed for healthy skin and coats.
Avoid artificial flavors, colors and preservatives.
Look for foods with the correct balance of protein vs carbohydrates. Too many starchy ingredients suggests that the carbohydrates are high.
Look for foods that replicate a wild cat’s diet.
Offer variety and a mix of foods.
Raw meats are good, so long as they are fresh!
Cat’s with sensitive digestion or urinary tracts require low PH, low magnesium foods.
The addition of cat probiotics helps with digestion.
You will get what you pay for- cheaper often means a product less nutritious.
Avoid GMO products.
Choose the Best Cat Food Conclusion
We recommend that if unsure, or your cat reacts to certain foods, to seek veterinary advice.
Hopefully, your precious feline won’t be dragging rats into your home any time soon! If kept well fed with one of the Cat Food Advisor top 10 best cat foods, then that should not happen. You should now be an expert on How to Choose the Best Cat Food!
A Final Word
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