Like humans, cats develop a taste for less-than-healthy foods, such as treats and snacks. They might ignore their regular food in favor of such delicacies. The long-term consequences can be catastrophic for a cat’s health, longevity, and lifespan. They are not getting the right nutrients to keep them healthy. Unhealthy eating habits can lead to many health problems, including obesity, heart disease, feline hyperthyroidism, and kidney disease. Such ailments require veterinary intervention, with some needing chronic medication.
Cat owners can avoid this feline fate by breaking the cycle of consuming a poor diet and getting their kitty back on track, and eating healthily. Here are ways to achieve this:
Augment your cat’s nutrition
While you try and wean your cat off the unhealthy food it has developed a taste for, give it some nutritious organic cat supplements. The chews are flavored to suit your feline’s delicate palate. A daily multivitamin chew provides a feline with the nutrients it needs. They can contain up to 20 vitamins and minerals that kitties need to remain healthy.
Supplements help improve your cat’s overall well-being and support its immune system. You can choose the one you like from Hill’s, Scruffy Paws Nutrition, Iams, Blue Buffalo, or Purin. Cats are prone to UTIs (urinary tract infections) and unable to fight off the bacteria that cause these conditions due to an immune system that does not function optimally.
An unsuitable diet can lead to a deterioration of a cat’s fur, causing it to fall out or become dull. The cat will lose plenty of hair during grooming, swallowing much of it. This leads to furballs, which are distressing for both kitty and owner when the cat eats them. Supplements contain the vitamins and minerals a feline coat needs to be silky and healthy.
Choosing good food
Humans are what they eat, as the saying goes, and it also applies to cats. You cannot expect your feline to remain in good health when the food you feed it does not contain the necessary nutrients. The primary nutrient kitties need is protein, and various brands include differing levels.
Cat food should contain other food groups, including fats and oils, carbohydrates, and vitamins and minerals. Look for food endorsed by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). It only affiliates with brands that produce cat food that promotes a balanced diet, meeting a feline’s nutritional requirements.
Another vital consideration when choosing food is its liquid content. Cats often develop kidney conditions because they do not drink sufficient water. They rely on their food to provide them with fluids. Dry cat food offers minimal moisture, while wet food contains the most.
Cat owners should rely on a combination of dry, semi-moist, and wet food to give their cats enough liquids without spending a fortune. Choose cat foods appropriate to your feline’s age. Older cats have different nutritional needs compared with kittens.
Cats should not be permitted to graze throughout the day as they can become greedy, eating far more than their bodies need. Getting a cat to eat at set times requires patience and determination, although it is entirely possible. Create a routine where your cat is fed at the same time each day. Serve a suitable portion of food using the packaging directions as a guide. Give the cat a limited time to eat their food, such as an hour. When the time is up, put the food out of your cat’s reach.
Getting a feline into this feeding routine takes a few days to a week. Cats are intelligent enough to know that they should eat when their food is available or face a long wait until the following day. Smaller, more frequent meals could also prove successful, such as feeding your kitty twice a day.
Exercise your feline
To ensure that your cat has a good appetite, ensure that it gets plenty of exercises. Lethargic cats that nap all day are unlikely to be hungry when mealtime comes. A kitty’s activity levels decline as they grow older, especially if they develop arthritis. However, during the kitten, adolescent, and adult phases, cats should get exercise from climbing and playing.
Create a play routine with your feline about an hour before mealtime to let them work up an appetite for their food. Most owners do not have enough time to spend a lot of it playing with their cats. Provide toys that your cat can play with alone and a cat tree that allows your kitty to jump, climb, and scratch.
Forego ‘human’ food
Bad eating habits develop when people feed their pets from their plates. Food for humans is not necessarily healthy for felines and canines. It often contains preservatives like salt that are unhealthy for animals in high concentrations.
Some human foods, such as avocados and grapes, are not advisable. They can prove toxic to cats, making them violently ill. Stick to cat food and eliminate human food snacks to get your cat eating healthily.
- About the Author
Alex Grigoryan is a Professional Home Improvement and Lifestyle Writer. He has been in the industry for over 6 years and has been writing for Chique Home Living since 2019. His work has been featured in prestigious blogs such as Spruce Home, Better Homes & Garden, and more.