How Often Should I Feed My Cat
You are aware of the human foods that your cat can and cannot eat. Still, you must ensure to keep a check on the frequency of feeding your cat.
If you do not control your tiny cats diet, the kitty can fall prey to obesity and other severe health issues.
So, how often should you feed a cat?
- Kittens :high-protein dry cat food four times a day, in little quantities.
- Adult cats : once or twice a day, in moderate quantities.
- Senior cats :limited ingredient cat food once or twice a day.
Carbohydrates Vs Animal Proteins And Fats
A diet with too many carbohydrates is one of the leading causes of obesity and diabetes in felines. While cats do need a small amount of carbohydrate in their diets, they are carnivores by nature and their bodies thrive best on meaty proteins and fatty acids.
Dry cat foods typically contain more carbohydrates than wet food because many dry foods use grains, such as cornmeal and rice, to process the kibble. Some cat foods even contain proteins from vegetables rather than meat, which is also not ideal for your carnivorous cat.
Instead, cats need food low in carbohydrates and high in animal fats and proteins. While some dry foods do contain an acceptable amount of carbohydrate with little or no grain or vegetable products, these are often specialty brands. When shopping for cat food, read the ingredients list and try to minimize ingredients stemming from corn, rice, beans, peas or potatoes.
Regardless of whether you choose dry or wet food, your focus should be on the nutrients it contains. If you need a little guidance about what to look for, read my care guide Understanding Pet Food Labels.
Wet Cat Food Vs Dry Cat Food
Should you feed your cat wet cat food or dry cat food? There are certainly pros and cons to each, and it can be hard to decide. As a veterinarian, and in the absence of any medical conditions, I would advise that you feed your cats a mixture of both wet and dry: around 75% of the diet calories should be from wet cat food, whilst the other 25% can be from dry food.
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Flutd Terror And How To Treat It
It was 2 AM and Tiger Jack was straining in the litter box with no relief. Our middle-aged fluffy orange tabby had been agitated the entire day, pacing and crying piercingly. We found several spots where hed squeezed a little urine out the bathroom floor, the kitchen floor. Some of the urine was tinged red from blood. The entire situation was, in a word, terrifying and Im sure many cat-lovers are reading this now with a sympathetic wince. We all know how scary these situations can be!
We rushed Tiger Jack to the vet first thing the next morning, and were beyond relieved to find out his bladder was empty. He wasnt trying to pee so often because his urethra was blocked; he was trying to pee so often because his urethra was irritated. The vet settled on a diagnosis of FLUTD . Specifically, Tiger Jack suffers from FIC
How Can You Treat Flutd At Home
First off, you should consult your vet for their professional instructions on how to treat your cats FLUTD. You may need to administer medication or change your cats diet. In our case, Tiger Jack was prescribed a urinary tract health formula dry food, and we increased the amount of wet food he consumes each day. We also placed additional water bowls throughout our home. To relieve his stress, we found ways to make more of the house available to him. And as far as Rey goes? He fell in love with her, even if hes still occasionally get the hell off my lawn! at the new kid. So thats okay.
Tactics you can try to treat your cats FIC:
- Reduce stress remove environmental stressors, play daily with your cat, give them plenty of places to escape and relax.
- Be proactive with conflict resolution any of your pets not get along? Do positive reinforcement exercises to improve their relationships.
- Provide a relaxed cat box experience, by having enough cat boxes for your cats located in a safe space; make sure cat boxes are cleaned daily.
- Encourage hydration with multiple clean water sources scattered around your home.
- Change your cats diet to include more wet food, and try feeding them quality dry food formulated for urinary tract health.
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How Often Can I Mix Regular Wet Food With Urinary Health Dry Food
My cat was forming crystals in his bladder so for the rest of his life I’m to feed him urinary health cat food. My vet had me feed him Royal Canin® Urinary SO Cat Food but after a few bags of it I recently decided to go with Purina Focus Adult Urinary Tract Health Formula dry cat food. Hopefully it will do just as well.
Meanwhile, my two cats CRAAAAVE wet cat food, I was giving it to them as a daily treat, until I realized that mixing it in their diet completely eliminates the benefits of the urinary tract health formula food I’ve been giving them. So I decided to feed them the treat twice a week–Wednesday evenings and Sunday evenings. Because of this change I give them some of the best stuff I can find , and not a lot, just half a can for each cat, so one can on “treat night” for the two of them. So now every day they just sit around moaning at me begging me to give them the treat that is typically days out.
I’d like to know how I can “tune” for their happiness better, without compromising their health.
Cats have a naturally low thirst drive and it’s important for them to be fed wet food regularly to reduce the specific gravity of their urine. It’s better that you feed a cat with urinary issues wet food than to continue feeding them prescription dry food.
Lisa A. Pierson, DVM, says specifically of cats who have been diagnosed with crystals in their urine
Her web page is highly educational, and I recommend it.
Protein And Phosphorus Content And Urinary Disease
Although high levels of protein themselves arent a concern for urinary disease, very high levels of protein in a cat that also has renal disease is thought to be a big no-no, as this puts excess strain on the kidneys. The same goes for phosphate levels in cats with renal disease the kidneys become less capable of controlling phosphate levels, so high levels of phosphorus can cause damage.
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Hills Science Diet Adult Urinary Hairball Canned Cat Food
Hills Science Diet Urinary & Hairball Control falls just in between our other two wet cat food picks on price and nutritional value.
It ranks as one of the most affordable foods for promoting a healthy urinary tract and has the added bonus of reducing furballs by incorporating a natural fiber blend.
As with the other urinary health cat foods weve picked out for you, it contains the optimal level of magnesium to help restore a balance to the pH levels of your cats urine.
Hills science are well known for manufacturing some of the best healthy cat food that combats a range of different common illnesses in cats. Much like the Purina formulas, each of their veterinarian developed cat foods are nutritionally complete, so can be used daily for each meal.
Hills 100% satisfaction guarantee will have you covered even if your cat doesnt like it. Money back guarantees are a great sign that manufacturers have confidence in their product, and this makes it a great option for fussy felines.
As with most diet changes, Hills suggest that you gradually introduce your cat to this food. You can transition by feeding an ever increasing amount of the new food and decreasing amounts of their old food over a 7 day period. This should be plenty of time to avoid any disturbances in their appetite or gut.
Taste Of The Wild Rocky Mountain Grain
Most Popular Cat Food for Urinary Tract Health: There are many different cat foods out there, so it can be difficult to choose just one for your cat especially if there is not a specific formula your vet recommends. If you want to make a smart choice but youre not sure where to start, consider a popular brand like Taste of the Wild. This brand uses premium-quality roasted meats in grain-free recipes that are loaded with natural flavor. This Rocky Mountain Grain-Free Canned Food is a good option for cats with urinary health issues because it contains animal protein, it is rich in moisture, and it is supplemented with DL-methionine. It contains a fairly short list of main ingredients and has a low concentration of carbohydrates but is still complete and balanced with the use of beneficial supplements like vitamins and chelated minerals.
- Pros: Rich in animal protein, high in moisture, complete and balanced nutrition, very digestible, supplemented with DL-methionine, moderate calorie and fat content
- Cons: Not specifically formulated for urinary health, contains fish ingredients
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Hills Prescription Diet T/d Dental Care Cat Food Best Overall
It might surprise you that my number one dry food for cats is a dental care diet, but dental problems are very commonly encountered in cats and have now been proven to affect heart and kidney health. So what could be more important than looking after kittys teeth? Whilst most dry foods dont seem to have any impact on dental health, the Hills t/d diets are clinically proven to reduce plaque and tartar build-up. The kibble shape, size, and texture helps to clean your cats teeth, therefore reducing the occurrence of dental plaque. Its got the Veterinary Oral Health Council Accepted Product seal, too- so you know its clinically proven and a vet recommended cat food to help with dental problems. If youre going to feed dry food to your cat, Id strongly recommend you buy a food that works as hard as this one at keeping them healthy. The only catch is the price tag- as a clinically-proven diet, it costs a lot more than the average bag of pet food at the supermarket! Its also a prescription diet, which means it needs veterinary approval- but most vets will not hesitate to provide your supplier with the correct authorization.
To sum up, we believe this one is the best dry cat food available today.
Please note that if your cat is losing weight, its a good idea to get them checked out by your veterinarian. This food may not be safe if the reason for their weight loss is an undiagnosed disease.
Purina Pro Plan Savor Adult Cat Food Best Overall
For discerning cats, the best wet cat food has to be the Purina Pro Plan Savor range. There are lots of flavor combinations, all of which have been formulated to be complete and balanced without losing out on the texture that interests your cat. Its also high in protein and contains added omega three and six to give your cats coat gloss and shine.
Best of all, like all Purina Pro Plan products, its made in the USA and backed by research done by veterinarians, nutritionists, and scientists. In fact, Purina Pro Plan is one of the few ranges that regularly do feeding trials to prove the nutritional content of their food. The results? Cats love it, and so do their owners. And even better so do us vets! The only downside is that the tins are small, so you may need several per cat, per day!
All in all, as far as wet cat foods go, we think this is the best cat food on the market, and its the best Purina cat food out there too.
- Small tins- youll need 2-3 a day for most adult cats
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The Best Cat Food For Urinary Tract Health Has The Right Mineral Balance
The concentration of phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium contribute to the likelihood that your cat will develop urinary tract crystals. Cats who tend to form stones should consume a diet thats less than 1.0% 1.2% phosphorus on a dry matter basis. These diets are usually lower in calcium and magnesium, other minerals with an impact on crystal formation.
An easy way to identify foods low in these minerals is by avoiding those with meat, fish, and animal by-product meals. These meals are usually ground with bones and connective tissue intact, increasing the foods mineral content.
The Solution To Pollution Is Dilution
The main reason cats benefit from wet food is hydration. Yes they came from the desert and their kidneys are really good at concentrating their urine during times of low water availability, but they no longer live in deserts and there is no need to put that type of stress on their kidneys.
Unfortunately, in Dr. J’s experience, a lot of cats are walking around dehydrated and are at greater risk for developing, or worsening, bladder inflammation, urethral obstruction, urinary obstruction, you name it.
Cats tend to drink as much water as they need in the moment, but this is one of those situations where, within reason, more can be better.
There’s a saying in veterinary surgery, “The solution to pollution is dilution.”
So if a cat has an inflamed bladder, or potentially has higher concentration of minerals that could gather up into stones and cause inflammation or an obstruction, the more water you have passing through their kidneys, bladder, and urinary system, the more often they’ll be flushing that out and decreasing those inflammatory mediators, decreasing those concentrations of minerals, decreasing the grit, and decreasing all of the things that can cause problems.
Just like us humans, water helps flush toxins out of our cats’ systems. Water is vital to all of our bodies, and wet food is an easy way to get it into your cat.
The ideal macronutrient composition for cats is about 50-60% protein, 30-40% fat, and less than 10% carbohydrates.
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The Best Cat Food For My Urinary Tract Infection
After my diagnosis, my veterinarian told my mom I had to get as much water as possible into my system. The vet recommended either Royal Canin Urinary SO in Gel canned food or Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diet UR St/Ox Urinary Formula. Mom decided to go with Royal Canin for the really stupid reason that she liked the cat on the package. I have been eating that food for the past three years and have had no issues with it.
There are three main companies who have the majority of sales when it comes to prescription cat food for urinary problems: Royal Canin, Purina and Hills Science Diet There is no scientific evidence or any conclusive reports that one food is better than the other.The best cat food for urinary tract infections in cats is whatever your kitty likes best.
Royal Canin is a favorite in many cat food reviews, but is also the most expensive. Some say there is too much plant matter as an ingredient in the food. Others point out cats seem to love the taste of this brand best.
Hills Science Diets Multicare Urinary food also is recommended, but some say its too high in carbohydrates. Hills food is about 70 to 80 percent water, which is ideal for kitties like me.
Which Human Foods Are Ok For A Cat With Urinary Crystals
Human foods that would be OK for a cat with urinary crystals include lean meats like chicken breast, turkey breast, or fish. Many vegetables and dairy products have high mineral content and could cause increased urinary crystals.
If your cat is eating prescription urinary food, be careful about adding any additional foods regularly. Its OK to give a small treat a few times a week, but once you approach more than 10% of total food intake, treats can cancel out the good effects of urinary diet food.
Remember that changing food or introducing new treats can be a source of stress for many cats. Stress can set off an episode of FIC, so proceed very cautiously.
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The Best Cat Food For Urinary Tract Health Is Rich In Moisture
Moisture is the single most important dietary factor in FLUTD defense. High-moisture food keeps water flowing through your cats system, flushing out mineral deposits and helping to prevent infection. Several studies have demonstrated the importance of high-moisture food, showing that it can help to reduce FLUTD recurrence and may prevent it altogether.
Why high-moisture food, though? If hydration is key, why not just give your cat a bowl of clean water?
Cats evolved as desert animals, adapted to life without water bowls. Instead of getting thirsty and drinking like dogs and people do, cats get most of their hydration from their prey. A mouse is 65-80% water. The best cat food for urinary tract health is equally juicy, effortlessly providing all the moisture your cat needs.
How Does Wet Cat Food Help Urinary Tract Health
Moisture is so incredibly important in a cats diet, especially if they are experiencing discomfort due to inflammation, unnatural pH, and crystal formation.
Cats in the wild survive by eating only the prey they catch. They rarely need to drink. If you stop and consider than animal meat is made up of roughly 70% water, its no surprise that wet cat food is a favorite for tackling UTIs in cats.
Through its superior moisture content, wet cat food can help UTIs by flushing the system through, dissolving any crystals, returning the pH levels to their natural state and allowing urine to take control of any bacteria in the tract.
Although any premium wet cat food will provide adequate nutrition, choosing one thats best equipped to solve the other symptoms of urine disorders can help resolve things a little quicker and easy the discomfort your cat is experiencing.
So wet or dry?
Well, thats up to you and your cat. If you can get your cat to drink, the dry food is fine long-term, especially as its more affordable. But for difficult cases, or those that relapse, wet food might be more effective.
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