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.

 

 

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.

Buy on Amazon Buy on Chewy

 

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.

Buy on Amazon Buy on Chewy

 

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.

 

 

What to Look for in Cat Food- What’s Good and What’s Bad Checklist!

what to look for in cat food

 16 Point Check List of What to Look for in Cat Food

Commercial cat foods come in all kinds of recipes formulated by companies keen to dominate the pet food market. The virtues of these cat foods will be plastered across their marketing. It is left to the consumer to plod through this information and the ingredients lists to determine what is best for their cat. In this article we point out, in layman’s terms, what to look for in cat food. We also provide a useful infographic tool for our viewers.

 

Dry vs Wet

Whether cat owners should be buying dry cat food as opposed to wet, or visa versa is not the aim of this discussion. In our view, both have merit, and both can have flaws.

It isn’t whether the food is dry or wet that is important, but rather the quality of the ingredients and formula. There are some excellent dry cat foods and there are some excellent wet cat foods.

 

What is Considered a Quality Cat Food?

what to look for in cat foodA quality cat food will be a well-balanced meat-based formula providing all the nutritional requirements that cats require, without the inclusion of harmful additives.

The Cat Food Advisor Team have researched and analyzed countless cat foods. By reading the ingredient’s lists of the different products it is a relatively simple task to determine which offers the best cat nutrition.

 

Checklist of What to Look for in Cat Food

Here is a useful check list designed to guide our viewers with assessing and selecting a premium cat food.

Simply, copy and print the infographic or save it to your device, then utilize it when reading ingredient cat food lists.

We have elaborated upon the details of this Checklist below.

Cat Food Assessment Checklist Tool

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What to Look for in Cat Food- 6 Must Haves!

  • Meat Protein/Amino acids

Cats are obligate carnivores deriving their protein from meat. Adult cats require above 25% protein dry weight from meat in their food.

Protein is broken down into amino acids. There are many amino acids essential for cats. An important one, which cats are unable to synthesize, is Taurine.

 

  • Omega Fatty Acids

Fatty acids contain anti-inflammatory properties and are essential nutrients for skin and coat health.

They need to be present in the correct ratio/balance in cat food. This ratio is 5 to 1 for Omega-6 to -3. Health problems can occur if the ratio is out.

-Omega 3 Commonly found in oily fish meat.

-Omega 6 Commonly found in chicken fat.

 

  • Real Meat

The #1 ingredient on the ingredient’s list should always be named real meat. The better meats are poultry, beef, lamb, rabbit, or fish (in moderation).

 

  • Minimal Processing and Cooking

In the wild, cats derive all their nutrients from raw meat.

The process of cooking destroys many nutrients such as vitamins, probiotics, and essential amino acids such as Taurine.

Very high temperatures during cooking will alter the molecular structure of proteins, making them harmful for cats. Slow cooking and baking are better cooking methods.

 

  • Balanced nutrition

Ensure a range of vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and prebiotics are present in cat food. Probiotics can help with digestive tract health, and vitamins and minerals maintain overall health.

 

  • Conforms with AAFCO Profiles

The Association of American Feed Control Officials regulate the production and sale of cat food. Look for the nutritional adequacy statement located on the pet food label to see if a product conforms to AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles.

 

10 Things to Avoid in Cat Food!

 

  • Grains

Avoid food with soybean, corn, wheat, barley, or rice. Carnivorous cats’ digestive systems are not geared for them.

Mycotoxin, a by-product of fungi and mold that forms on contaminated grains is damaging to organs, especially the liver.

Pet food companies use grains as a binder, especially in dry kibble. They will validate grains as a requirement for high fiber and essential carbohydrate, however, cats get these from meat.

 

  • PH Out of Balance

The ideal PH range for cats is 6.3 – 6.7. A PH above or below this range can cause crystal formation in the urinary tract resulting in painful infections.

 

  • Unnamed Meat By-products/Meat Meal

Meat by-product is the offal discarded in meat processing. Meat Meal is similar. Unnamed by-product could include anything from road kills, deceased pets to deceased zoo animals.

By-product meat is usually fine for cats, so long as you know what is in it.

  • Food Coloring

Food colorings are problematic to cat health. The main colors added to some cat foods are:

-Red 40: contributes to cancers

-Blue2: linked to brain tumors

-Yellow 5: causes allergies and genotoxicity

 

  • Preservatives

Chemical preservatives like butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) and butylated hydroxy anisole (BHA) are very effective at preserving dry cat food but are suspected to be potentially cancer-causing agents. These chemicals are often added to oils and fats.

Look for natural preservatives such as Vitamin E and C.

 

  • Flavor Enhancers

Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate– synthetic palatant can cause dehydration, organ damage, cardiovascular disease and bone and tooth damage)

MSG Mono Sodium Glutamate– tricks the brain into thinking the food tastes good and can lead to obesity and brain cell damage

These will be disguised as “Natural Flavors’ or “hydrolyzed protein”

 

  • GMO

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) have been linked with diseases of the liver, pancreas, renal and reproductive system.

Look for non-GMO, or better still, organic ingredients.

 

  • Legumes

Enzyme inhibitors found in legumes like peas and beans can interfere with digestion. These may be responsible for taurine and other amino acid deficiencies in cats.

 

  • Excessive Oily Fish and Fish Oil

Not an acceptable food for daily feeding. Fish contains high levels of fatty acids, which can lead to a vitamin E deficiency in cats, and painful conditions. Some cats develop allergies as a result of eating too much fish based cat foods.

 

  • Starchy Tuberous Vegetables

Potatoes and sweet potatoes are included in many cat foods as a binder. Although not toxic, it is unnecessary to feed cats excessive carbohydrates as this leads to weight gain.

 

Final Thoughts

Being confident in knowing what to look for in cat food will relax cat owners when buying cat food. Please use our ‘What to Look for in Cat Food’ infographic to assist you.

Viewers are welcome to share the infographic with their friends who have cats. They may well appreciate this simple guide.