What to Feed Cats (Cat Feeding Advice Guidance)

cat feeding advice

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.

To help our viewers we have developed a simple to use Cat Food Appraisal Tool that presents a 16 point checklist. Use this tools when shopping for cat food. Our appraisal tool is available in PDF form HERE. To see a detailed breakdown of cat food ingredients view our article ‘What to Look for in Cat Food- the Good and The Bad’.

 

7 Cat Feeding Advice Tips

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

What to feed catsYou 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.

4.     Water

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.

6.     Treats

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.

You can also find commercial cat treats specifically designed to be healthy and nutritious.

7.     Keep Better Hygiene

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

Cat Feeding Advice GuideCats 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 facts about 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?

can cats eat raw meatBy 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.

 

 

What Meat Can Cats Eat? (and meat bad for cats)

best meat for cats

Most cat owners are often tempted to share what is on their plates with their cats. The problem with doing this is that not all foods are safe and healthy for your cats. So, what meat can cats eat?

By nature, cats are meat-eaters as meat forms an essential part of their diet. However, it would help to consider what meat cats can eat before offering your feline friend that morsel of meat.

What meat can I feed my cat?

Cats are carnivorous animals that thrive mainly on meats. The following meats are healthy and ideal for your cat.

1.      Chicken

Chicken is one of the world’s most consumed meat. If you are wondering what meats can cat eat? Chickens are one of them.

Though cats can eat chicken, it still has to be well prepared. Cats require a high protein diet to maintain their metabolic function and sustain an active and healthy lifestyle.

Chicken is very rich in animal protein and natural minerals, and vitamins.what meat can cats eat

Benefits of chicken to cats

The protein in chicken will help your cat to:

  • Develop muscle mass
  • Maintain healthy fur and skin

High-quality chicken cuts and organs, especially chicken livers, contain natural minerals and vitamins, including:

  • Selenium: It helps to reduce shedding and hairballs in cats. It also helps to enhance their immune system.
  • Phosphorus: Helps to maintain bone development and heart and liver function.
  • Vitamin B6: Helps prevent feline diabetes by enabling glucose release and improves kidney function.

How to feed your cat chicken

Some of the most common parts of the chicken that is ideal for your cat are:

  • Main parts: These pats are tender and nutritious. They include the breasts, wings, and drumsticks. The best way to feed your cat chicken is to gently boil the meat cuts and remove all the skin containing unhealthy fat.
  • Giblets: The giblets include chicken liver rich in protein and vitamin A.

 How much chicken should I give my cat?

As a rule of thumb, it is best to keep chicken to less than 10% of your cat’s total daily calorie intake.

Also, ensure that all the bones have been removed as they can cause severe internal damage to your cat’s stomach. Chicken should not be regularly used as a primary nutrition source for your cat.

2.      Beef

can cats eat any meatBeef is a top contender for the most consumed meat worldwide.

If you are a pet owner and still thinking about what meat a cat can eat, consider adding beef to your cat’s diet.  Cats can digest beef meat without any problem.

Beef is typically the flesh of cow, bull, or ox, consumed as food by man and animal. Beef meat can be cut into steaks, short ribs, or roasts.

Health benefits of beef for your cats

  • Beef contains minerals such as iron, manganese, zinc, and selenium, which help nourish and keep your cat healthy.\
  • Beef is also rich in Vitamin A, C, and B complex.
  • Cats require a lot of taurines, and beef is a decent taurine source.

How safe is beef for cats?

Beef is safe for cats, especially if it is cooked to at least 145 F. If you consider feeding your cats beef, look out for ground beef as it is less expensive and easy to prepare.

How much beef should I give my cat?

Beef is a healthy meat source for cats. However, it should not be included in your cat’s regular diet. This is because your cat may be unable to digest a high portion of beef, resulting in side effects and gastrointestinal issues.

You must note that some cats could be allergic or too sensitive to beef. Such cats may experience vomiting and diarrhea issues after consuming beef. You should avoid feeding your cat beef if you notice such problems.

3.      Pork

Many cat owners wonder what meat cats can eat, with pork being a subject of debate. The truth is that cats can eat pork but only in moderation.

Health benefits of pork for your cat

Some of the benefits of feeding pork to your cat include:

  • Source of high-quality protein: Cats require a high protein intake and pork meat is rich in protein, a vital nutrient for cats.
  • Sources of vitamins and minerals: Pork contains essential vitamins, including B1, B2, B6, and B12. Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) is vital to cats for the proper function of their nervous system, immune system, and digestive tract.
  • It also contains vital minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, niacin, selenium, and zinc.

Are there any dangers of pork for my cat?

Pork is high-fat and sodium-containing meat.

These nutrients can threaten your cat’s health when consumed in large quantities. Problems such as fats and weight gain, which may cause obesity and block arteries, may arise if consumed frequently.

Similarly, excess sodium can cause thirst and additional stress on your cat’s kidney, heart, and liver. Avoid ham and bacon as they have high sodium content, which can contain sulfites that are bad for cats.

How To Safely Feed Pork To Your Cat

Although pork is safe for your cats, you must take measures to feed pork to your cat safely. They include:

  • Remove all bones: Carefully separate bones from pork and cut them into small-sized pieces.
  • Cook adequately: Ensure you cook thoroughly to an internal temperature of 140 F. Thorough cooking helps prevent any live parasites from causing disease in the meat.
  • Feed your cats in moderate portions: Feed your cat not more than 10% of your cat’s daily calorie intake.

What other meat can cats eat?

If you are still speculating on what meat can cats eat, consider:

  • Lamb and veal
  • Turkey
  • Duck
  • Rabbit

5 Raw Meat Cat Food Options

 ProductSTAR RatingFeaturesPrice on AMAZONPrice on CHEWY
Instinct Raw meals for cats freeze dried chicken recipe smInstinct Raw Meals Cat Food- Cage Free Chicken4.6 STARSHigh protein
Freeze-dried
100% balance meal
Less processed
Grain free
Made in USA

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Instinct Limited Ingredient Cat food Rabbit Meat smInstinct Limited Ingredient Diet Rabbit Meat Canned cat food4.2 STARSGrain Free
Rabbit meat
No fillers
Balanced nutrition
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Instinct raw Rabbit cat food Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Cat Food Rabbit4.5 STARSGrain free
Rabbit meal
Raw coated kibble
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Stella and Chewy's Freeze dried cat food chickenStella and Chewy’s Freeze Dried Raw cat food chicken4.3 STARSCage free chicken meat
Made in USA
High protein
Minimally processed
100% complete meal
Offer meat recipes offered
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Meow Free Dried Cat food Wild Venison Meow Freeze-dried Wild Venison and lamb4.3 STARSNew Zealand product
Enzymes & nutrients
High protein
Cage free duck meat
Complete meal
Grain free
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What about fish meat?

Despite popular belief, fish is not an acceptable food for feeding daily to cats. It is common for some cats to develop allergies when fed fish.

There are many cat foods that include fish in their menus, and we do review many fish products on our website. Fish is tasty and this entices cat owners to offer it as food. But fish can create health problems in cats.

Oily fish such as tuna contain high levels of fatty acids. This can lead to a vitamin E deficiency in cats, resulting in painful conditions.

Heavy metals have been known to accumulate in larger pelagic fish. Cat food products labelled with having ‘ocean whitefish’ can be high in PCBs and mercury.

Although not common, heavy metal toxicity in cats can lead to the development of neurological problems and kidney damage.

If feeding cat food containing fish, read the label to see if the company tests for heavy metals in their products, and if evident, that it guarantees these levels to be safe for cats.

Some cats may also have allergen reaction to the protein in fish.

We recommend that fish is fed in moderation. Always read the product information to see where the fish is sourced. Be vigilant with your cat and take note of any changes or reactions when fish is fed.

We have discussed whether cats can eat canned tuna in this article, and have expanded our discussion on fish allergies in cats in this article.

Can cats eat raw meat?

Generally, it is best to conduct extensive research and consult your veterinarian before your cat is fed raw meat.

Some risks of feeding your cat raw meat include parasitic infestation, nutritional deficiency, and the dangers of bone materials in raw meat.

To learn more, read our article answering ‘Can Cats Eat Raw Meat’ question in depth.

A tip when selecting a cat food.

Abbatoir byproducts for processingWe recommend reading the ingredients list on any commercial cat food. ‘Real Meat’ should always be the first ingredient listed. Cheaper pet foods will list meat as ‘meat by-product’ or ‘meat-meal’. Although, meat-meal can be eaten by cats, it is a rendered ingredient and doesn’t depict the ‘meat’ the company may be claiming to have in the recipe. Pet food manufacturers are not required to report exactly what is in their ‘meat’ meal.

Meat by-product can be anything from fat, bones, floor waste and offal. It is heated to a very high temperature destroying enzymes and nutrition, and dried into a powder to be added to pet foods.

It is used because it is cheap and because it preserves better than real meat, requiring no refrigeration.

What meat can cats eat? Final Thoughts

What meat can cats eat can be a worrying thought for many feline lovers. However, this article has given you an insight into selecting healthy and nutritious meats for your cat.

 

5 Best Purina Urinary Tract Cat Foods (Reviewed)

Purina One Urinary Tract Health Wet Cat food

Nestle Purina Pet care is a world-renowned pet food company that produces some of the best foods for cats with urinary tract issues. This article independently reviews the best Purina urinary tract cat foods.

With over 18,000 employees and 500 scientists, including nutritionists. The company has been in business for over 80 years and has a long history of producing high-quality products trusted by pet owners and veterinarians.

The company wrote this on their website “We shape the future of Health and Well-being for pets & people through three simple pursuits. Pets Are Our Passion, Safety is our Promise, Innovation is our Pledge”.

Those drives led to their success in providing the best care for pets.

Best Purina Urinary Tract Cat FoodsPurina Urinary Tract Cat Foods are specifically designed to meet the needs of cats with urinary tract issues and help prevent or reduce urinary tract infections.

The foods contain high-quality ingredients and no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. In addition, the food is highly digestible and has a high level of natural proteins, making them an excellent choice for cats with urinary tract issues.

This article will briefly review four of the best Purina Urinary Tract Cat Foods, along with a top pick urinary tract cat food from Iams (for a comparison).

5 Best Purina Urinary Tract Cat Foods

 ProductFeaturesRatingPrice on AmazonPrice on CHEWY
Purina One High Protein Dry Cat Food Urinary Tract Health FormulaPurina ONE High Protein Dry Cat Food Urinary Tract Health FormulaDry food
Chicken
All breeds sizes
High protein
Antioxidant Veterinarian recommended
4.6Amazon Buy Cat FoodChewy Buy Cat Food
Purina Pro Plan Urinary Tract Wet Cat Food Chicken EntreePurina Pro Plan Urinary Tract Wet Cat Food - ChickenWet food
Real chicken meat
All breeds sizes
Low dietary magnesium
4.6Amazon Buy Cat FoodChewy Buy Cat Food
Purina Pro Plan Urinary Tract Health Wet Cat Food Ocean Whitefish EntreePurina Pro Plan Focus Classic Urinary Tract Health Formula Adult Wet Cat Food Wet food
Ocean Whitefish
Low dietary magnesium
4.5Amazon Buy Cat FoodChewy Buy Cat Food
Iams Proactive Urinary Tract Health Dry Cat food ChickenIAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Adult Urinary Tract Health Dry Cat Food with Chicken Cat KibbleChicken
Dry kibble
Omega 6 & 3 fatty acids
All cat breeds Calcium & potassium
4.8Amazon Buy Cat FoodChewy Buy Cat Food
Purina One Urinary Tract Health Wet Cat food Beef and Liver RecipePurina One Urinary Tract Health Beef & Liver Pate Wet Cat FoodAdult
Wet food
2.25 pounds
Urinary tract health
Beef & Liver
4.3Amazon Buy Cat FoodChewy Buy Cat Food

 

Review of Our Top Picks

Here is the break down of our top picks

1.     Purina ONE High Protein Dry Cat Food, +Plus Urinary Tract Health Formula

Purina One High Protein Dry Cat Food Urinary Health Formula

Purina ONE High Protein Dry Cat Food, +Plus Urinary Tract Health Formula is a unique blend of nutrients that help support your cat’s urinary tract health while providing high-quality protein to help maintain lean muscles.

The formula contains targeted magnesium levels to help reduce the risk of struvite crystal formation and promote a healthy urinary pH. It also has added vitamins and minerals, including antioxidants, to support a healthy immune system.

DHA, an omega-6 fatty acid, helps support cognitive development and vision. This high-protein kibble is made with real meat and no poultry by-product meal for a taste cats love.

Feed your cat Purina ONE High Protein Dry Cat Food, +Plus Urinary Tract Health Formula as part of a complete and balanced diet to help keep her looking and feeling her best every day.

Pros

  • High-quality protein
  • Reduces risk of struvite crystal formation
  • Supports a healthy urinary pH
  • Helps to maintain urinary tract health
  • Supports the immune system
  • Helps build strong muscles and a healthy heart

Cons

  • Causes excess gas in some cats
Buy on Amazon Buy on Chewy

 

 

2.     Purina Pro Plan Urinary Tract Cat Food, Wet Cat Food Gravy, Urinary Tract Health- Chicken

Purina Pro Urinary Tract Wet Cat Food Chicken Entree

Purina Pro Plan UR urinary tract cat food wet is specially formulated to help reduce the risk of crystal formation in the bladder, leading to feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD).

It contains high levels of magnesium to help maintain proper pH balance in the urine, and chicken is the primary source of protein to reduce potential struvite crystal formation.

Additionally, this urinary tract health cat food wet provides complete and balanced nutrition for adult cats and has a delicious gravy recipe your cat will love.

Pros

  • It is specially formulated to reduce the risk of FLUTD.
  • High levels of magnesium help maintain proper pH balance in the urine
  • Chicken is the primary source of protein
  • Complete and balanced nutrition for adult cats
  • It helps build the immune system

Cons

  • Some cats don’t like the taste or texture of this food
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3.     Purina Pro Plan Focus Classic Urinary Tract Health Formula Adult Wet Cat Food 

Purina Urinary Tract Health Wet Cat Food Ocean Whitefish

Purina Pro Plan Focus Classic Urinary Tract Health Formula Adult Wet Cat Food is a great option for cats needing extra urinary health support.

This formula contains high levels of protein and low magnesium levels to help reduce the risk of urinary tract infections. In addition, the food is enriched with vitamins and minerals to support overall health.

The delicious ocean whitefish flavor will have your cat returning for more. So if you’re looking for wet food that will support your cat’s urinary health, Purina Pro Plan Focus Classic Urinary Tract Health Formula Adult Wet Cat Food is a great option.

Pros

  • High levels of protein
  • Low levels of magnesium
  • Enriched with vitamins and minerals
  • Delicious fish flavor
  • 100% balance diet
  • It promotes an ideal body condition

Cons

  • Some cats don’t like the smell
Buy on Amazon Buy on Chewy

 

 

4.     IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Adult Urinary Tract Health Dry Cat Food with Chicken Cat Kibble

Iams Proactive Urinary Tract Health Dry Cat food

IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Adult Urinary Tract Health Dry Cat Food with Chicken Cat Kibble is a nutritious, balanced meal that helps support your cat’s urinary tract health.

The chicken kibble is enriched with taurine and prebiotics for overall health and vitality. With its high-quality ingredients, this food provides your cat with the nutrients they need to stay healthy and active.

IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Adult Urinary Tract Health Dry Cat Food with Chicken Cat Kibble is also a veterinarian recommended for cats over the age of one.

So if you’re looking for nutritious and delicious food that will help support your cat’s urinary tract health, look no further than IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Adult Urinary Tract Health Dry Cat Food with Chicken Cat Kibble.

Pros

  • Enriched with taurine and prebiotics
  • High-quality ingredients
  • Veterinarian recommended
  • Complete and balanced nutrition
  • Supports health
  • It helps reduce the risk of struvite crystals formation
  • Well priced

Cons

  • Can cause stinky gas in cats
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5.     Purina One Urinary Tract Health Beef & Liver Pate Cat Food

Wet cat food for uti health

Purina ONE Urinary Tract Health Beef & Liver Pate Cat Food is formulated to help reduce the risk of UTIs and keep your cat’s urinary tract healthy.

This delicious pate is made with natural beef and liver and contains essential nutrients like vitamins A and E. Plus, magnesium is low to help maintain a healthy urinary pH balance.

So if you’re looking for a nutritious option to help support your cat’s urinary health, consider Purina ONE Urinary Tract Health Beef & Liver Pate Cat Food.

Pros

  • Formulated to help reduce the risk of UTIs
  • Made with natural beef and liver
  • Packed with essential nutrients
  • Low in magnesium

Cons

  • Pricier
Buy on Amazon Buy on Chewy

 

 

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for cat food to support your cat’s urinary health, any options on this list would be a great choice. There are plenty of nutritious and delicious options, from wet to dry food.

So find the perfect fit for your feline friend and help keep their urinary tract health with one of these marvelous foods.

What Causes Hairballs In Cats? (Food Suggestions)

Maine Coon Cat can sometimes have hairball blockages

Cats are remarkably skilled at keeping themselves clean and barely require bathing. While this innate behavior in cats helps their overall hygiene, it may pose a health problem for our feline friends. This leads to the what causes hairballs in cats?

Cats love self-grooming from time to time. However, when grooming, they can swallow loose hair resulting in a cat hairball. Hairballs are usually harmless to cats.

But if you are wondering what causes hairballs in cats, the symptoms, and how to help cats with hairballs, you would find this piece pretty enlightening.

What exactly is a cat hairball?

What Causes Hairballs In Cats

A cat’s hairball is a build-up of dead hair and digestive juices in the cat’s stomach. It is pretty standard for cats to swallow hair during grooming.

Every cat grooms itself by licking its fur. Their tongues contain tiny barbs that snag the strands as they shred. Due to the design of their barbs on the tongue that faces backward, cats have little choice but to swallow the hair they groom.

Typically, the hair swallowed usually passes through their body and gets eliminated. However, there are times when the hair is unable to make it past the intestinal tract.

Hairballs are pretty harmless but could become fatal if the hair becomes hardened and cause a blockage in their intestinal tract.

Hairball Control Recommended Cat Food Quick Review

 ProductFeaturesConsPrice on AMAZONPrice on CHEWY
Hill's Science Diet Hairball COntrol Dry Cat FoodHill’s Science Diet Hairball Control Dry Cat Food4.5 STARS
Vet recommended
Clinically proven
1st Ingredient chicken meat
No by-product meal
Vitamins
Omega 3 & 6
Contains grains
Kibble size large
Picky eaters may not like
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Hill's Science Hairball Control Wet Cat FoodHill’s Science Diet Hairball Control Wet Cat Food4.3 STARS
Premium food
Vet recommended
1st Ingredients real chicken & turkey
Omega 3 & 6
Vitamins
High fiber
Picky eaters may not like
Unusual texture
Pricier
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Iams Proactive Health Hairball Care Dry Cat FoodIams ProActive Health Adult Hairball Care Dry Cat Food4.6 STARS
Complete & balanced nutrition
Vet recommended
No fillers
First Ingredient chicken meat
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Merrick Purrfect Bisto Hairball Grainfree Dry Cat FoodMerrick Purrfect Bistro Grain Free Hairball Control Dry Cat Food3.7 STARS
Omega 3 & 6
Complete Diet
Antioxidants
Probiotics
Natural fiber
No artificials
1st Ingredient real chicken meat
Picky eaters may not like
Small kibble
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Nulo Hairball management dry cat foodNulo Hairball Management Turkey & Cod Recipe Dry Cat Food3.5 STARS
Grain free
Omega 3 & 6
Probiotics
Antioxidants
First ingredient turkey meat
Fiber- natural miscanthus grass.
Kibble very small
Picky eaters may not like
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Symptoms of hairballs in cats

You may notice the following symptoms when your cat is trying to bring up a hairball;

  • Retching
  • Gagging
  • Vomiting with food or fluid
  • Dry cough
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Diarrhea and constipation
  • Weakness or lethargy

What Causes Hairballs In Cats?

A hairball is caused by loose hair that has been ingested but not passed through the intestinal tract.

Cats spend a lot of time licking and grooming their fur. The loose or dead fur that sticks to your cat’s tongue is swallowed, and the hair is digested and eliminated through the feces.

However, hair can build up in the stomach, forming hairballs. Your cat may vomit its hairballs with food or fluid.

Several factors such as extreme grooming, long coats, and shedding contribute to cats swallowing loose fur. The loose fur then turns into a hairball which may cause intestinal blockage in cats.

Excessive grooming and anxiety or allergens in cats

Cats develop hairballs when they groom. However, excessive grooming can signify anxiety in response to a sudden change in the cat’s environment.

Similarly, excessive grooming can also be a result of allergens or food sensitivities. So, if your cat is grooming too much, take your cat to a vet for a complete examination.

Hairball diagnosis in cats

You can detect if your cat has hairballs if you find vomit with hair, food, and fluid in it.

Similarly, loss of appetite, and lethargy associated with frequent vomiting with hair loss, could be an indication of intestinal blockage. To rule out any other condition, your veterinarian would conduct a physical exam to confirm the hairball.

Your vet would likely ask about your cat’s medical history and how frequently they cough up blood.

Several other blood tests and radiographs also are ordered by your veterinarian to check for an intestinal blockage in your cat. Although hairballs in cats are pretty harmless, an intestinal blockage could be fatal if left untreated.

Hairball treatment for cats

There are several available hairballs in cats. However, your veterinarian would recommend a treatment plan according to the severity of the condition.

Hairball preventative measures

laxatone hairball remedy for cats
Laxatone Hairball Remedy available on AMAZON.

To keep hairballs at bay, your veterinarian may use a hairball preventative that serves as a lubricant. The product is designed to help your cat pass the hairball through the intestinal tract. An example of a hairball preventative is Laxotone.

·         Brush your cat’s fur frequently

Because of the excessive grooming, your cat licks and swallows the loose hair. Therefore, brushing your cat’s hair several times per week will reduce the amount of hair she consumes. In addition, brushing the fur removes loose or dead hair before your cat can swallow it.

·         Dietary Alteration

Changing your cat’s diet may help in passing and eliminating swallowed hair. Your veterinarian may recommend a fiber-rich diet. Fiber helps keep the digestive tract functioning, which felines need to pass swallowed hair through their body effectively.

·         Surgical Extraction

Hairball Soft Chews Treats for Cats
Hairball Soft Chews Treats for Cats available on CHEWY

Based on the severity of the hairball, your vet may recommend surgery to remove the hairball from the intestinal tract. Surgery is only considered if the situation is complex and life-threatening.

·         Discourage over grooming

Excessive grooming causes cats to swallow more hair, leading to more hairballs. If your cat spends too much grooming, try to break it up with a game or a cuddle. You may also want to give your cat a new toy to engage her in other grooming.

 

At what point do cat hairballs become dangerous?

Hairballs are generally harmless in cats. However, you should take your cat to the vet immediately if she displays the following signs;

  • Extended gagging, retching without producing a hairball.
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Excessive nibbling on grass
  • Lethargy
  • Constipation and diarrhea
  • Swollen or sensitive stomach

Ensure you provide urgent medical attention to your cat once you notice any of these disturbing signs.

Do some cats produce more hairballs than others?

Persian cats are prone to hairballs

Cat hairballs are a natural part of their grooming routine and are usually not a cause for concern. Younger cats and kittens have fewer hairballs because they are less picky about grooming.

On the other hand, older cats may have become more selective and produce more hairballs. Although fluffy cats are excellent companions, they are more prone to frequent hairballs.

Some cat breeds, such as Persians and Maine coons, naturally produce more hairballs. The reason is that their hair accumulates into clumps rapidly.

How frequently do cats get Hairballs?

Hairballs should occur in cats occasionally, usually less than once a month. Most swallowed hair usually passes through the digestive system and comes with feces.

What Causes Hairballs In Cats? Final Thoughts

Cats love to stay clean by grooming. However, while grooming, they swallow loose hair, which becomes hairballs. While hairballs are harmless, they may pose a danger for your cat if it causes intestinal blockage.

Regular vet visits and constant brushing of your cat’s fur would help prevent any fatal consequences of grooming.

Fish Allergy In Cats (causes and symptoms)

cats allergic to fish

Like humans, the immune system of cats defends itself against anything it perceives as a threat. Food ingredients such as fish, beef, eggs, and milk are well-known allergens to felines. However, fish allergy in cats is quite prevalent compared to some food ingredients.

According to a study of 56 cats with identifiable fish allergies, fish was accountable for 13 (23%) of the cases. The study further revealed that fish comes third in potential allergic reactions trailing only beef and dairy products.

What Is Fish Allergy in cats?

fish allergy in cats

A fish allergy occurs when a cat’s immune system overreacts to the protein in the fish. Pet owners commonly use fish as a healthy protein source for their cats.

However, in some cases, fish can cause contaminants like mercury to accumulate in your cat’s system. In addition, fish allergy could cause uncomfortable skin conditions for some cats.

You would require an elimination diet to determine the specific allergen affecting your cat. Although the elimination diet method is time-consuming, knowing which particular protein your cat could be reacting to is needed.

How do you distinguish between food allergy and food intolerance?

A food allergy is a cat’s immune system response to defend itself against something it views as a threat.

An allergic reaction does not occur the first time an individual cat gets exposed to the food substance but begins to show after continuous consumption.

On the other hand, food intolerance does not involve the immune system, and it mainly causes gastrointestinal responses, including;

  • Changes in the color of the cat’s stool.
  • Unusual sound from the cat’s digestive system.

Symptoms of fish allergy in cats

Fish Causing Allergy in Cats

The following are symptoms of fish allergy in cats;

  • Hair loss
  • Itchy skin
  • Scratching, biting, or licking her skin.
  • Inflammation around the paws
  • Blisters/skin ulcerations
  • Swelling in the face/ limbs
  • Crusty papules

Symptoms of food allergies are typically on the head and neck of cats. Some cats can experience respiratory symptoms such as coughing and breathing problems.

Food intolerance frequently comes with and sometimes precedes a full-blown allergy to the food. It also comes with gastrointestinal discomfort and bubbling sound from the digestive system.

Causes of fish allergy in cats

Fish allergy in cats is caused by a severe defensive response to a protein that your cat perceives as an invasive material.

Most of the cat’s immune system cells are found in their digestive system. During digestion, protein food substances are broken down into amino acids.

These amino acids are then absorbed by specialized white blood cells and immune cells known as enterocytes before being transported into the bloodstream.

If proteins are not adequately broken down, the enterocytes would perceive the food fragments as intruders rather than nutrients and attack. Unfortunately, the reaction of these cells becomes more aggressive over time, and the symptoms worsen.

Diagnosis of fish allergy in cats

Allergy symptoms in cats may appear similar to that of other disorders such as bacteria or mite infection.

Your veterinarian may likely collect skin scrapings to be examined under a microscope in a process known as cutaneous cytology.

If the skin cells fail to indicate any other microorganisms, your cat could be experiencing an allergy. Although serum and intradermal testing are available for cats with allergies, they are not very efficient in detecting food-related allergies.

The standard for cat food allergies is the elimination diet or food trial. Beginning an elimination diet entails changing your cat’s daily diet to a limited ingredient or, in some cases, a diet of unseasoned human food.

By so doing, well-known allergens are gradually eliminated from the diet. Novel ingredients are usually required when selecting the proper diet for your cat.

Any protein or carbohydrate that has just been introduced to the cat’s diet is considered a novel ingredient. Therefore, if you suspect a fish allergy, look for additional commercial diet ingredients.

Once the allergy symptoms have been eliminated, slowly reintroduce new ingredients into the diet to determine which one is causing the reaction.

It is commonly advised that cat owners stick to a mono protein or duo protein diet containing safe proteins.

Treatment of fish allergy in cats

The elimination diet may take several weeks to reveal the particular allergen affecting your cat.

During this period, your cat may continue to experience allergy symptoms. Your vet may prescribe corticosteroids to reduce swelling and antihistamines to relieve itching.

Both medications may mask the allergy symptoms, making it more challenging to determine which ingredient in your cat’s diet is causing the reaction.

As a result, many veterinarians prefer to use the elimination diet before introducing these medications into the treatment plan.

Minor skin infections are also common in cats suffering allergy symptoms. In this case, antibiotics are prescribed to treat and also prevent complications.

You would have to eliminate the allergen from your cat’s diet immediately after it is identified.

Other supplements such as probiotics and non-fish-based Omega 3 oils are recommended for all types of allergies as they help support the immune system.

The aim is to help your cat’s body handle any accidental allergen exposure and prevent the development of new allergies.

Can cats eat canned tuna?

If you are thinking of sharing your favorite canned tuna with your feline friend, you need to consider it. Although cats love the smell and flavor of tuna fish, it can harm their health. So, while a single tuna bite may not hurt your cat, excluding it from their diet is best.

Tunas are nutritionally unbalanced as they contain a high amount of unsaturated fat and are not supplemented with Vitamin E or other antioxidants.

Similarly, canned tuna also causes fish allergy in cats leading to allergic reactions such as itching, hair loss, swollen skin, etc.

Tuna also contains high amounts of mercury, a toxic metal. So regular tuna consumption can lead to mercury poisoning, which could be pretty lethal to your cat’s health.

Fish-free Cat Foods

Does your cat have a fish allergy? This shouldn’t stop your feline friend from having a healthy and tasty meal. Here are some fish-free cat foods.

1.      Instinct limited cat food

Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet for cats

This is a grain-free cat food carefully made for sensitive cats. This meal includes protein and vegetables and is free from grain, dairy, eggs, wheat, soy, artificial colors, or preservatives.

It is crafted for cats with food allergies and contains simple and easy-to-digest ingredients such as cage-free turkey and digestible protein.

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2.      ZIWI Peak canned cat food

Ziwi Peak cat food lamb

This high-protein recipe provides for allergy relief, improved digestion, and weight maintenance. It doesn’t contain added carbohydrates and is perfect for food-sensitive cats. It is also free from grain, potato, and rice.

This nutrient-rich meal features 92% free-range lamb, organs, and bone. In addition, it is moisture-rich and contains omega fatty acids for reduced shedding.

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Final Thoughts

Fish allergy in cats is not curable. However, symptoms are likely to disappear when the allergen is eliminated.

Note that exposure to the allergen could prompt a relapse, so you must be careful of the treats and flavoring you offer your cat.

 

 

Kitten Vomiting and Diarrhea (Causes and Treatment)

why is my kitten sick

We all love healthy and active cats. However, coming home to see your furry friend looking quiet and lethargic may signify a vomiting and diarrhea problem. So how do you solve your kitten vomiting and diarrhea problem?

While your kitten may throw up even when not sick, constant vomiting accompanied by diarrhea should give a cause for concern.

Possible Causes of Your Kitten Vomiting and Diarrhea

kitten vomiting and diarrhea

Your kitten’s vomiting and diarrhea may be caused by the following:

·         Hairballs

Kittens can have hairballs stuck in their stomachs during grooming. Your kitten might get to throw up hairballs every week or two to prevent blockages in their intestines. (Hairball lubricant)

·         Foreign objects

Foreign objects in their digestive tract may also cause vomiting or diarrhea in cats. For example, materials such as rubber bands or pieces of string may pose a problem in your kitten’s gut.

·         Food poisoning

Several household items such as cleaning products, decorating chemicals, and pest control agents are poisonous to cats.

·         Food allergies

This is an adverse reaction caused by the immune system. Common food associated with allergies in cats includes beef, fish, chicken, and dairy.

·         Intestinal parasites

Examples of intestinal parasites that cause cat problems are roundworms, tapeworms, and hookworms.

·         Feline parvovirus

This virus is often common in kittens and is often fatal.

·         Inflammatory bowel disease

This condition makes the cat’s gastrointestinal (GI) tract severely irritated and inflamed.

 

Signs of Kitten Vomiting and Diarrhea

The following are signs that indicate your kitten may be suffering from vomiting and diarrhea:

  • Lethargic and weight loss
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Excessive swallowing
  • Lip licking
  • Vomit; look out for the volume, frequency, and color.
  • Diarrhea; Watch out for the color, frequency, and signs of blood.
  • Pale or cold gums
  • Lack of appetite

 

How To Treat Your Kitten’s Vomiting and Diarrhea

There are several methods you can adopt in treating kitten vomiting and diarrhea. You must know the right measures to ensure your kitten’s speedy recovery.

1.      Choosing to feed or not to feed your cat

There seems to be a divide on whether to feed a cat battling vomiting and diarrhea. But unfortunately, starving your cat may cause a life-threatening liver condition.

However, it is advised that you avoid feeding your cat for 24 hours if your cat experiences vomiting, diarrhea, or both.

Provide your cat with only clean drinking water for the period to allow the gut to rest. Feeding your kitten with vomiting and diarrhea issues could stimulate muscular contractions in the stomach, causing your kitten to vomit.

Note that if your kitten continues to vomit after 24 hours, you should see a vet as soon as possible.

2.      Feed your kitten unseasoned food

Once your kitten’s vomiting and diarrhea minimize, you can begin to feed her small portions of bland food such as bland chicken, turkey, etc.

3.      Space out your kitten’s meal

Spacing your kitten’s meal would allow her to digest it and assist her stomach in readjusting to food after her illness.

4.      Reintroduce regular food to your kitten’s diet

Once your kitten has passed normal stool for 24 hours, begin a two to a three-day gradual transition to regular food.

During the transition period, bacteria in your cat’s gut adjust to normal food. Here is what a typical transition might look like:

  • Day 1. Give ¾ bland diet and ¼ regular food to your kitten
  • Day 2. Feed ½ bland diet and ½ regular food
  • Day 3. Feed ¼ bland diet and ¾ regular food
  • Day 4. Transit fully back onto regular food

5.      Ensure your kitten is hydrated

In ensuring your kitten is well hydrated when experiencing a vomiting and diarrhea problem, the following measures would come in handy:

 

  • Look out for signs of dehydration by checking out your kitten’s skin

You can check if your cat’s skin is dehydrated by lifting the scruff off her shoulder with your finger or thumb. If the skin falls back into position immediately, your cat is dehydrated.

 

  • Provide your kitten with fresh and clean drinking water

Cats can be quite demanding in their choice of drinking water when ill. Some prefer the taste of mineral water to tap water because it contains less chlorine. Ensure you provide different kinds of water for your cat to encourage it to get adequate fluids and stay hydrated. Virbac Rebound Recuperation Formula for Cats is a liquid formulated to help cats recuperate from illness.

 

  • Give your cat an electrolyte replacement solution

Electrolyte replacement solutions are designed for humans. However, they can also be taken by cats. Examples are Pedialyte and Dioralyte. Electrolyte solutions are mixed with water and are designed to replace lost electrolytes.

Note that some cats might not like the salty taste of these solutions. If your cat falls in this category, switch to just water.

 

  • Hydrating your kitten with a syringe

Hydrating your Sick Kitten with a Syringe

One way to treat your kitten’s vomiting and diarrhea is by ensuring your cat is well hydrated. Consider using a sterilized syringe if your kitten has difficulty drinking. You can do this by placing the nozzle of the syringe behind your cat’s teeth and pressing the plunger down slowly to give her time to drink.

Try giving your kitten 5 to 10ml of water every half an hour.

 

  • Seek medical attention if your kitten vomits every time she drinks water

You must restore the balance at which your kitten losses and gains fluids. If your kitten vomits every time she drinks fluid or cannot keep fluids down, seek immediate veterinary care. A vet will decide whether your cat needs intravenous fluids based on her health.

6.      Give your cat medications

You can consider several medications in treating your kitten’s vomiting and diarrhea issues. They include:

  • Probiotic supplement: Helps your cat to recover from diarrhea.
  • Famotidine: It helps to soothe gastric ulcers and manage stomach inflammation.
  • Kaolin and Pectin: They are designed to serve as protective barriers in the gut walls of cats.
  • Digestive supplement: Formulated to aid digestion.

 

How to prevent vomiting and diarrhea?

  • Avoid giving your cat salty, spicy, or fatty foods.
  • Gradually introduce new food to your kitten and check for intestinal disturbances.
  • Keep probiotics and electrolyte supplements in your home in the case of an emergency.
  • Ensure you deworm your cat frequently.
  • Vaccinate your kittens against feline parvovirus.

Final Thoughts

Vomiting and diarrhea can be quite distressing for your kittens.

Book an appointment with your vet if you seek the best way to handle your kitten’s vomiting and diarrhea.

You may also be interested in reading our articles “What do 4 Week Old Kittens Eat?” and Can Cats Drink Cow’s Milk?”

What Snacks Do Cats like? 

cat treats and cat snacks

Cats are lovable pets, and it is only natural for us to want to share our snacks with our kitten friends. However, feline lovers must remember that our dietary and nutritional needs are pretty different from cats. So, what snacks do cats like? 

While humans have an exhaustive list of treats to snack on, cats are pretty picky, and not all treats are suitable for their health.

What makes a snack healthy for cats?

What Snacks Do Cats like

You might consider lavishing your cats with delicious snacks to show love and affection.

However, you must note that not all snacks are healthy for cats. For example, experts say cat treats should contain more than 10% of the cat’s total calories consumed. The reason is that most snacks add just calories to a cat’s diet.

What snacks do cat like?

While your cat should eat a 100% complete and balanced food diet, there are healthy treats you can give your cats occasionally.

Here are a few snacks that your cat would love.

1.      Canned fish

Canned fish is a delight for felines and is safe to offer a small amount periodically.

In addition, fish can serve as an enjoyable snack for cats.

Most cats find the smell of fish quite appealing, fueling their craving for it. Fish has a high nutritional content as it is a high source of protein, omega-3 acids, and vital nutrients for a healthy cat diet.

The cat’s digestive system is slow processing fish. So you must avoid feeding them raw fish. Some cats may have allergies to fish.

Look out for canned fish in water with no extra salt or other added additives that could harm cats.

2.      Bananas

Snacks that cats like to eat

Bananas are safe for cats, and giving them once in a while is not a bad idea. You can offer bananas to your cat periodically unless your veterinarian says otherwise.

Cats do not easily digest banana peels, so ensure it is kept out of their reach. Begin with a small tasting and be on the lookout for any unusual reactions.

3.      Cheese

Cheese makes up for a delicious snack for your cats. Many felines love cheese, and it is pretty understandable.

Cheese has an exquisite taste that makes them a thrill for cats. Although cheese is high in protein, it can upset your cat’s digestive system if ingested in large quantities.

Most cats are lactose intolerant, making it difficult to digest dairy products. However, be on the lookout for any reaction, and you can substitute it with a non-dairy cheese if your cat is lactose intolerant.

4.      Eggs

Eggs are great snacks for cats. It is packed with protein and fats and is one occasional treat you can give your cat. However, a single egg is about 90 calories, so you must be mindful of how much egg you give your cat.

An average cat requires around 150- 200 calories daily, so you might want to avoid giving your cats more than a single egg portion.

Eggs account for one of the most widespread food allergens for cats. Therefore, you should immediately watch out for any reactions or symptoms and alert your veterinarian.

Raw eggs are not appropriate to feed your cats as they may contain harmful bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli.

5.      Green Beans

Green beans are another example of healthy snacks cats like. Although snacks are carnivores, they still crave healthy veggies like green beans.

You can use green beans as a healthy snack or include them in your cat’s traditional diet. Ensure you stick to fresh or frozen green beans.

The reason is that canned beans often have extra sodium laced in them. If you intend to use green beans for weight loss for your feline, consult your veterinary to draw out a medically approved plan.

6.      Lean meat

Lean meat is an excellent choice if you want a great snack to share with your cat. Cats are meat lovers and a perfect addition to your cat’s diet. Meat also contains taurine, an essential amino acid cats need for optimal health.

Cooked beef, chicken, turkey, and lean deli meats with no seasoning are great snacks for cats. However, avoid giving your raw cat meat as it could make them sick.

7.      Blueberries

Although cats lack sweet taste receptors, many enjoy blueberry because it offers something new. In addition, due to their wet texture and juiciness, your cat may find blueberries an exciting treat to snack on.

Blueberries are not considered a super food for cats. However, they contain antioxidants that are safe and healthy for cats. Therefore, blueberries do not form an essential part of your cat’s diet.

So you must be mindful of the quantity you give to your cats. Like other snacks, blueberries should make up no more than 10% of your cat’s daily calorie intake.

Tips for healthy snack feeding in cats

The following are healthy snack feeding tips for cats you can use;

  • Moderation is vital: Cats may develop a habit of avoiding their food for snacks. As a result, ensure you feed them in moderate amounts.
  • Discourage begging: Do not reward begging and avoid giving your cat a snack at the dinner table.
  • Avoid toxic food: While you might want to share your food with your cat, you must avoid particular food that could be toxic to your cat. Onion, chocolate, alcohol, tea, and salt are some typical unhealthy foods you mustn’t feed your cat.
  • Make your homemade snack: You can make your homemade snack by cooking small pieces of liver, fish, eggs, etc; or make cat patties.

Types of healthy snacks for cats

Fruitables cat food snack1.      Fruitables cat treats

These treats for cats are packed with protein and free from animal by-products, wheat, soy, and corn. In addition, they contain less than 2 calories per treat, making them healthy for your feline friend.

Best of all, they are made with simple ingredients, real salmon, and savory protein flavors. Are you curious as to what snacks cats like? Then Fruitables cat treat is a great option!

2.      Blue buffalo wilderness crunchy cat treats

Blue Wilderness Cat TreatsBlue buffalo treats are made with real chicken and are grain-free. These healthy snacks contain only 1.5 calories and aren’t made with contain corn, wheat, soy, or artificial flavors. It has a soft and crunchy texture which makes it easy to chew.

Final Thoughts

Although cats are pretty picky in their choice of food, they love to snack on good treats. So, what snacks do cats like includes a variety of things such as vegetables, eggs, and even cheese

However, you must consider your cat’s health before giving them a treat.

 

 

Why Do Cats Need Taurine? (Deficiency Explained)

Taurine is an amino acid essential for the health of cats

Most cat lovers are likely familiar with taurine as an ingredient in cat food. So, you might wonder why do cats need taurine? Taurine is an amino acid that aids your cat to stay healthy by preventing many major health problems.

Taurine occurs freely in many body cells, tissues, and bile. To understand why cats need taurine, let’s briefly examine amino acids and their function in the cat’s body.

What functions do amino acids serve?

why do cats need taurine

Amino acids assist the body cell in the production of protein required for the proper functioning of all parts of the human and cat’s body. The acid helps with the metabolic process and play a crucial role in the transportation of nutrient and storage.

When proteins are broken down, amino acids are left. The cat’s body utilizes amino to grow and repair body tissues. Therefore, the cat’s body produces a significant number of amino acids.

However, it needs to obtain others from food.

Types of amino acids

Amino acids are classified into three groups.

  • Essential amino acids:Essential amino acids cannot be produced by the cat’s body. As a result, they must come from food.
  • Nonessential amino acids: They can be produced by the cat’s body even though their bodies can make them
  • Conditional amino acids: These acids are only essential in times of illness and stress.

Can cats synthesize taurine from other amino acids?

Taurine is an essential amino acid in cats. That means they are required in large amounts in the cat’s diet. However, while omnivores like humans and dogs can synthesize enough taurine from other amino acids, cats can barely do the same.

Although cats can have some taurine, the enzyme required to synthesize it from cysteine to taurine is lacking. Therefore, cats need reasonable amounts of essential amino acids in their food; otherwise, their health may begin to deteriorate.

Causes of taurine deficiency in cats

Taurine Powder Cat Supplement
Taurine Powder Cat Supplement

Taurine deficiency occurs when you feed your cat food on a commercial or raw diet that does not contain taurine. Similarly, your cat may risk developing taurine deficiency if she enjoys sampling dog food.

Since dogs can create their taurine, their food does not contain taurine. So, a steady dog diet for your cat could lead to taurine deficiency.

Effects of taurine deficiency in cats

Taurine deficiency in cats can cause some severe health issues for cats. Here is a look at some of them:

1.      Blindness

One of the earliest known diseases of taurine deficiency is central retina degeneration (CRD).

Taurine plays a vital role in the structure of rods and cones within the retina. A lack of taurine can make these structures degrade, leading to vision loss.

Unfortunately, these cells can not be regained once they are lost. However, early treatment with taurine supplementation can slow the progression of the disease.

2.      Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Dilated Cardiomyopathy affects the heart and causes it to enlarge, affecting its ability to pump blood effectively.

Taurine within the heart muscles helps maintain suitable calcium levels and other charged particles on either side of the cell membrane.

Taurine deficiency prevents the heart from contracting normally, leading to congestive heart failure. Cats suffering from this condition may also experience congestive heart failure due to pumping problems.

3.      Reproductive failure

A taurine deficiency can lead to reproductive failure in cats. As a result, affected cats would not be able to produce kittens.

4.      Tooth decay

One crucial reason cats need taurine is that it keeps their teeth strong and healthy. A lack of taurine would cause cavities in the teeth, thereby leading to decay.

5.      Gastrointestinal issues

Taurine aids the cat’s body in producing bile salts required for fat digestion. A lack of taurine would see your cat to develop gastrointestinal issues, including diarrhea and indigestion.

6.      Immune system disorders

The immune system helps your cat ward off disease-causing organisms. However, a taurine deficiency could give rise to a range of immune system disorders in your cat, making them experience frequent illnesses.

7.      Diabetes

Taurine helps the cat’s body to regulate blood sugar concentration. Your cat may develop diabetes due to a lack of taurine in her diet.

Diagnosis of taurine deficiency in cats

Cats get taurine from raw meat

Diagnosing taurine deficiency is quite a difficult task. To begin, your veterinarian would need a comprehensive medical history and a recounting of the progression of any symptoms.

You must provide your veterinarian with a documented record of your cat’s diet ingredients. Subsequently, your veterinarian will perform a complete blood panel and urinalysis by taking a blood sample from your cat.

Because taurine level does not always result in elevated levels, these tests may help rule out diseases that may manifest related symptoms. In addition, your veterinarian may conduct other tests based on your cat’s symptoms.

These tests may include an eye examination to check for retinal degeneration.

Chest X-rays or ultrasounds can also help rule out any severe heart defect. Your veterinarian may also want to conduct an electrocardiogram which helps monitor the electrical functioning of your cat’s heart for normal rhythm.

Treatment of taurine deficiency in cats

The primary treatment for taurine deficiency in cats is the supplementation of taurine.

Given the severity of the symptoms and the length of time the cat has suffered, ongoing supplementation may be required to correct a taurine deficiency.

Your veterinarian may also suggest the inclusion of synthetic taurine in your cat’s diet.

This is necessary because dietary taurine alone cannot resolve the situation, especially when a taurine deficiency has progressed significantly.

Including meat in your cat’s regular diet can also help increase their taurine intake.

Note that taurine is naturally found in uncooked meat, and cooking food could degrade or destroy taurine.

Cats that depend solely on homemade food or a vegan diet are at more risk of developing severe health challenges associated with taurine deficiency.

Why Do Cats Need Taurine? Final Comments

Taurine is a type of amino acid considered the building block of all proteins. Taurine is essential for heart muscle function, good vision, and digestion.

Feline lovers must endeavor to provide their cats with a diet that supports taurine supplementation to keep them healthy.

Your Cat Won’t Use Litter Box

Cat Suddenly Refuses to Use Litter Box

Is your cat suddenly peeing outside its litter box? This problem causes much angst for cat owners and their pets! Understanding cat behaviour as to why your cat won’t use litter box can be complex. In this guide we look at the root cause of the problem and make suggestions on how to resolve the behavior.

Litter box evasion can occur in the following two ways:

  • Your new cat or kitten simply refuses to use the litter box you provide.
  • Your cat suddenly stops using the litter box.

Cat Spraying No More

Cats are very choosy in their habits, and even very young kittens will make an attempt to use a designated litter box rather than pee on the floor or furniture.

When you discover that your cat has had an ‘accident’, it’s important that you refrain from punishing him/her – harsh words or reprimands will not persuade your companion to return to the box!

Rather, you need to determine why your cat is eliminating inappropriately. Identify the root cause of the problem.

Understanding the Reasons Why Your Cat Won’t Use Litter Box

Why is My Cat Peeing All Over the HouseThe first thing to do if your cat starts evading the litter box is to organise a visit to your veterinarian. There could be factors such as a bladder infection, bladder stones, urinary infection, Interstitial Cystitis, diabetes or constipation that may well be causing the problem.

However, if your cat is healthy, there are other reasons why your cat is suddenly avoiding the litter box.

A Key Reason

Cats are super clean animals. One factor that can drive a cat from their litter box is a box that is filthy. Put yourself in your pet’s situation and imagine how you would feel having to use an overflowing toilet! You wouldn’t, so why would a cat. Today’s busy world frequently leaves us trying to do too much in too little time; however, the litter box cannot be neglected.

In many cases cats will avoid using a dirty box. Cleaning the box regularly will often solve the problem. Too many cats using the same box contribute to this problem.

6 More Reasons Your Cat Won’t Use Litter Box

  • Relocating the litter box to a new spot in the house can cause confusion. Cats are creatures of habit, and moving the box to a place that might be convenient to you can result in soiling inappropriately.
  • Using a new kind of litter may upset your cat. Your cat may decide that he/she does not like the new smell or texture of the new product. Cats have delicate noses and scented litters may be too strong for your cat.
  • While mechanized, self-cleaning litter boxes do save owners effort and will keep the box cleaner; however, many cats are spooked by the noise these boxes produce, and may take some time to get comfortable with them.
  • The litter box needs to be the correct size. Boxes that are too small can make the cat uncomfortable.
  • Hooded litter boxes do keep the home looking better and the floor tidier, but some cats are fearful of entering a dark place. Litter box liners may also cause a problem.
  • Intact adult cats mark their territory by spraying with urine. This is especially evident with toms. Neutering the cat will help solve to problem of litter box avoidance.

Getting your cat back on track and utilizing their litter box may take some problem solving and require time, but generally a solution can be found that will work for both you and your pet.

Tips to Introducing a Litter Box to Your Cat or Kitten for the First Time

The following suggestions are for people introducing a new cat or kitten to the home and then training them to use a litter box for the first time.

  • In a natural state, cats seek dry, loose soil in which to urinate and defecate. If you provide a litter that imitates this, you will likely have your cat using the box without any issues. Not all cats take too well to scented litter. It is best to stick with an unscented brand at least until your cat gets familiar with its box.
  • Keep the litter box clean. Remove sullied litter daily- the sooner the better. All the litter in the box should be changed entirely once a week and the litter pan washed.
  • It is best that pet owners with more than one cat, provide a litter box for each of them. In most cases cats are not fond of sharing the box with other cats.
  • Select a location that the cat likes to use for toileting. Preferably locate the litter box away from where the cat eats and drinks. Most cats like privacy, so placing the box in a more out-of-the-way spot will encourage use.
  • Should your cat be resisting using the litter box, try confining him/her in a small room with the box available. Most often, the cat will get the idea and start making use of the box.
  • Kittens can be easily trained to start using a litter box by using an attractant in the box. Do this until they become comfortable with using it.

Cleaning Up After Accidents

my cat won't use litter boxThere is no mistaking the heavy, ammonia odor of cat urine. Whether your cat is just urinating wherever he/she wishes, or is marking its territory by spraying, the result will be the same- a strong odor that will affect a surprisingly large area of the house.

Urine smell on hard surfaces can be difficult to get rid of. Getting the smell out of fabric can be much worse.

Cats have been known, not only to defecate behind furniture to hide the deed, but they will seek out places such as the bed!

You may have read that soap and water or baking soda will eliminate cat urine odor, they won’t!

Several of the organic compounds in cat urine are not water soluble, thus requiring an enzyme cleaner to remove the smell entirely. One such compound is uric acid. Not only is it non-soluble, but it is also capable of binding to adjacent surfaces.

The process of using an enzyme cleaner may need to be repeated several times until all the odor is gone.

Your nose will let you know when the job is done!

Cat Urine Odor, Removal Tips

Once you locate the problem area, it is important to remove the urine as completely as possible; not only for the sake of your nose, but to discourage your cat thinking that this particular spot is now the new bathroom.

When you find fresh urine, you should:

  • Wipe urine from hard surfaces with a paper towel (if you use a cloth, you’ll need to throw it away after cleaning up). Use the same to blot urine soaked in furniture or rugs.
  • An enzyme cleaner is your best choice. These cleaners are specifically made to break down the uric acid contained in cat’s urine, into ammonia and carbon dioxide. These compounds will simply off gas naturally afterwards.
  • Don’t rush the drying process after using an enzyme cleaner. Hasting the process will interrupt the normal dissipation of the ammonia and carbon dioxide.
  • Use the best enzyme cleaner available – inexpensive cleaners, often, require multiple uses before they rid the odor of cat urine.
  • Be plentiful when applying the cleaner. Soak the target area to allow the enzymes to go to work.
  • Leave the cleaner on for about 15 minutes, blot it up, then let the spot dry naturally.

Although rugs are the usual areas where cats may urinate; beds, sofas, and clothing can also be soiled. The same procedure can be used in all cases. After treatment with the enzyme cleaner, slipcovers and clothing should be washed separately.

With cats that spray in the home you’ll find their markings on vertical surfaces such as door fames or chair legs.

Best Cat Litter to BuyCat Spraying No More

Clumping litter is the best choice for the litter box. Not only does this kind of material make it easier to remove excrement, but it also makes it easy to remove urine. Use a scoop to take out the clumps twice a day. Better still, if you are home, scoop the box as soon as your cat is finished. Remember to add fresh litter to compensate for what was removed.

Avoid scented cat litter, at least to start with. The smell may be overpowering for your cat causing it to avoid the box.

Final Thoughts

Cat behavior is complex, and the challenges with litter box use and the solutions we’ve presented above only scratch the surface of the justifications and modifications for why your cat won’t use litter box.

The most important aspect is to first eliminate medical problems. After this is done a common-sense approach, looking at the root cause of the problem will have your cat and you feeling content once again.

We have only provided a simple guide. For a comprehensive understanding, we refer you to the ‘Cat Spraying No More’ program. Not only does this excellent guide specifically diagnose the root cause of your cat’s inappropriate toileting, put it gives you a specific procedure to follow.

CLICK HERE to view the ‘Cat Spraying No More’ program.