Which Vitamins And Minerals Do Cats Need
Vitamins and minerals participate in all metabolic processes and ensure the proper functioning of all organs. Take a look at the following table to learn more about the vitamins and minerals that are essential to cats:
Chicken liver is a great source of vitamins and minerals, but it comes with a caveatif not fed in moderation, it can cause vitamin A toxicity, so keep the portions moderate.
How Often Should I Feed My Cat
Many cats graze all day, which is normal. Others prefer to be fed morning and evening. In some cases, such as with kitties that eat only wet or canned food, specific feeding times are needed to make sure the food is fresh and safe to eat.
Regardless, how often you should feed your cat in a day is not as important as making sure he gets the right amount of total calories each day. Remember, the number calculated above is for a 24-hour period.
What To Feed A Cat To Help It Gain Weight
If your cat is underweight, youll need to feed it more food to help it gain weight. The best way to do this is to feed your cat multiple small meals throughout the day instead of one large meal. You should also make sure that your cat is getting enough of the right nutrients by feeding it a high-quality cat food that is rich in protein and fat.
Housecats typically weigh around ten pounds on average. Some breeds may weigh half as much as those that grow completely. When cats are elderly, they are more prone to dental decay. Older cats are especially vulnerable to hyperthyroidism, which is caused by an overactive thyroid gland. Internal parasites are also common in cats that have other health conditions. Because of arthritis or a poor eyesight, a senior cat may find it difficult to get to the food bowl. Even a new food with a different texture or tastier taste may encourage her to consume more.
Cats should eat low-carbohydrate, grain-free foods in order to gain weight. With 41% animal protein, the kitten food from IAMS* tastes and smells great. The elderly are more susceptible to urinary tract infections caused by wet foods. Keep your water intake high by eating wet foods. Adult cats in Tiki Cat Canned Cat Food are fed a high-protein and high-fat diet. Kitten foods, in general, are the most fattening for cats. Eggs are high in protein and calories, making them a good choice.
Read Also: Bayer Expert Care Tapeworm Dewormer For Cats And Kittens
How To Convert Calories Into Portion Sizes
Once youve determined how many calories your cat needs every day, you need to figure out how much of their food will provide those calories. Thankfully, manufacturers are required to list a foods caloric content on the label. On wet food labels, it will be written as kcal/kg and kcal/can. On dry food, it will be written as kcal/cup. Don’t be intimidated by the lingo in nutrition circles, a kcal is the same as a calorie.
Divide your cats caloric needs by the foods caloric content . The answer will let you know how much food your cat needs each day. To figure out how much food to feed at each meal, simply divide the daily amount of food by the number of meals you plan to offer each day.
For example, lets say your cat weighs 10 pounds and is very active. According to the chart above, your cat should consume 346 kcal/day. Now, imagine they are on a diet of Tiny Tiger Pate Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Wet Cat Food. Let’s take a look at the label:
Since the calorie content of the wet cat food is 95 kcal/can, you would determine your cat’s daily portion by dividing 346 kcal/day by 95 kcal/can.
346 kcal/day ÷ 95 kcal/can = 3.64 cans of Tiny Tiger Pate Chicken Recipe Wet Cat Food per day.
If you feed two meals per day, divide 3.64 by 2 to find out how much to feed at each meal: roughly 1.82 cans per meal.
Shouldnt Cats Eat Raw Food Like Their Relatives In The Wild
The trend of giving cats B.A.R.F. food is on the rise, confusing cat parents and potentially harming felines. This diet is supposed to imitate the natural diet of your furry friends ancestors and typically consists of:
- Uncooked organs
Raw food bears the risk of bacterial infections and internal injuries, so you should avoid offering it to your cat.Raw chicken treats are not the only uncooked food thats off the tableother meat and eggs pose a great health risk as well.
Read Also: Kidney Cat Food Non Prescription
How Much Is Too Much
- Kittens: Cats are considered “kittens” between the ages of 0 to 12 months. During this time, these little babes need calories to grow! It’s suggested that kittens eat 60-65 kcal/pound, and they will typically eat wet food with a high fat content to help them put on weight. Be cautious not to overfeed your kitten. Watch their weight and adjust their food intake based on their growth. Some cats may grow more quickly than others which means you’ll have to increase their caloric intake more often. If you feel you’re over/underfeeding your furry friend or just not sure the right amount, check in with your vet regarding the type of food, amount, and feeding frequency.
- Adult Cats: Cats are considered “adult” after the age of 1 year old. While they may still act like rambunctious kittens between 9 and 12 months, most cats will reach their adult size during this time. For adult cats, it is recommended to follow the feeding guidelines of the specific product you are choosing to feed.
- Senior Cats: Cats are considered “senior” when they reach the age of 10-11 years old. Just as with adult cats, it is recommended to follow the feeding guidelines for the specific product they eat. Keep in mind that this may differ depending on their health issues and/or activity levels. Senior cats typically begin to lose weight with age, so a great option is switching back to wet food to help them keep the weight on.
Feeding Recommendations From Your Local Veterinarian
Canned food only is my first choice. For an adult cat, start with ½ of a 5.5 oz. can twice daily and no additional food. This is the starting point and likely will need to be adjusted downward.
For little cats, a half of a 3 oz. can twice daily may work better. This amount is also cat-specific and often needs adjusting up or down. Feeding canned food seems to create the best balance between calories and feeling full, and the meal seems to tide the cat over better than a dry food meal.
Read Also: My Cat Keeps Throwing Up White Foam
Vegetarian Or Vegan Diets
As we mentioned, cats are obligate carnivores. They need a diet of mostly meat in order to get the right nutrients to keep them healthy and thriving, so a vegetarian or vegan diet isnt recommended.
Fetch by WebMD says that the amino acid taurine, for example, is found only in animal tissue. Lack of taurine can lead a cat to experience heart problems, blindness, and even death.
5. Unintentionally creating an unbalanced diet
Homemade and raw food diets for cats have become popular over the years, but if not prepared properly, they can lead to nutritional deficiencies.
Pierson says that pet owners need to balance meat with the right amount of calcium. A cat would be eating both the meat and bones of their prey, which provides a proper calcium-to-phosphorus ratio.
On the other hand, too much of certain nutrients can cause also problems. Diets heavy in tuna, liver or liver oil can result in vitamin A toxicosis and too much raw fish can affect vitamin B1 levels. The side effects can make your cat very uncomfortable, ranging from dry skin and joint pain to more severe conditions like seizure or brain damage.
Body Condition And Health
While some cat owners are used to their pets being overweight and think it makes them cute, that obviously has a negative effect on their health and how long they will be around. And since they may not be able to regulate how much and what kind of food they eat, its your responsibility to help them get into shape and avoid serious health issues.
Now, it may be easy to determine when a cat is obviously way too skinny or too fat. Determining borderline cases may be more challenging, yet it can be done by a simple visual check.
If your cats ribs, spine, and pelvis are easily palpated and even visible, its thinner than it should be. Its a good sign that cat food portions should be increased.
Ideally, the animals waist should be visible, but there should be a slight amount of fat covering its body.
If the felines abdomen is rounded, the waist is partially or completely obscured, and if fat prevents you from feeling its ribs, well, you clearly need to reduce the food it gets and establish a more balanced diet.
Don’t Miss: What To Do When Cat Is Sick
Why Do Cats Need Wet Food
Many veterinarians recommend that cats eat a diet of exclusively or mostly wet food. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, cats are obligate carnivores and are not designed to ingest many carbohydrates . Dry food will automatically contain many more carbohydrates than wet food. For many cats, dry food consumption leads to obesity.
Secondly, most cats are not big water drinkers and tend to keep themselves on the edge of dehydration. Wet food naturally provides more water in the diet, which supports the kidneys, urinary tract, and overall health.
Is 300 Calories Too Much For A Cat
The average indoor cat should have 20 calories per pound to maintain weight. The average outdoor only cat should have 35 calories per pound to maintain weight. Indoor/outdoor cats are somewhere in between. If they weigh 15 pounds, then they should be eating approximately 300 calories per day to maintain their weight.
Don’t Miss: Kittens For Adoption Phoenix Az
Is Dry Or Wet Food Better For Cats
Wet food is more expensive and less easy to use but can be beneficial in cats prone to lower urinary tract disease, constipation and that are overweight. Dry food can be a very efficient way to provide calories in thin cats with food volume limitations and allows for the use of food puzzles and food toy dispensers.
Calorie Counting With Cats
How many calories does a cat need? Around 20-34 calories per pound. 20 calories per pound is when they need to lose weight, while the upper end of the range is for the most active cat. Judge how much food to give your cat based on their age and activity level then make adjustments from there.
Learn more about your feline friend in our blog post: Interesting Facts about Cats.
Also Check: How Much Should A 7 Month Old Cat Weigh
Free Feeding Cats Vs Measured Meals
Many cats like snacking throughout the day! It is still important to make sure they do not eat more than their daily allowance if we want them to stay the same weight. Even an extra biscuit or two every day can make a huge difference over the lifespan of your precious pet.
Make sure kitty is not sneaking food from other pets . I do recommend microchip activated feeders for multi-cat households.
How Do I Transition My Cat To A New Diet
You should never abruptly change your cats diet as this can result in vomiting, diarrhea and/or lack of appetite. Transition your cat from his or her old diet to the new one slowly, over the course of a week or two. Start by adding small amounts of the new diet to the old one, and increase the amount of new food while decreasing the amount of old food daily. If your cat stops eating or develops any vomiting or diarrhea while transitioning to the new diet, call your veterinarian before continuing any further.
Read Also: White Kittens With Blue Eyes For Sale
How Many Calories Should A Cat Eat
There may be variations in the nutritional requirements of cats, as it depends on a variety of factors such as age, life stage activity level, etc. There are some general guidelines that a pet owner must follow to ensure the dietary needs of the cat are met. Factors affecting the Dietary needs and cat calories per day.
Cats at different life stages have different nutritional requirements. For example, the necessity of a kitten and a pregnant cat can not be the same for food. This is because the nutrients absorbing capacity varies at each stage of a cat. The same thing can be affected by the age-related fitness ailments of the cat such as Arthritis etc.
Young kittens are more energetic than adult cats and thus burn more calories. Their diet should contain protein-rich foods such as chicken or fish to aid in the growth of muscles. Generally, 60-65 kcal/pound is suggested for kittens.
As the cats above 12 months of age are regarded as adults, they remain active and seek a lot of maintenance at this stage and in upcoming years. This cat stage demands high-quality foods rich in carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, and less fat. Around 20 calories per pound for indoor cats and 35 calories per pound for outdoor cats are recommended.
Underweight Overweight Or Just Right
According to the American Animal Hospital Association, if Fluffy’s weight is where it ought to be she should be well proportioned, with her waist visible behind her ribs. You should be able to feel her ribs, but with a slight layer of fat, and she should have minimal abdominal fat. An underweight cat’s ribs will be felt easily with little to no fat, her waist will be very visible behind her ribs and she’ll have little to no abdominal fat. The more overweight a cat is, the more difficult it is to feel her ribs or discern her waist. Her abdomen also will be visibly rounded and have a moderately large to large abdominal fat pad. Obese cats also will have fat deposits on their face, back and/or limbs, and weigh at least 15 to 20 percent more than their ideal weight.
Recommended Reading: Toxic House Plants To Cats
Breed & Health Resources
Copyright 2005â2022 Pet health insurance is administered by Embrace Pet Insurance Agency, LLC and underwritten by one of the licensed insurers of American Modern Insurance Group, Inc., including American Modern Home Insurance Company d/b/a in CA as American Modern Insurance Company , and American Southern Home Insurance Company. Coverage is subject to policy terms, conditions, limitations, exclusions, underwriting review, and approval, and may not be available for all risks or in all states. Rates and discounts vary, are determined by many factors, and are subject to change. Wellness Rewards is offered as a supplementary, non-insurance benefit administered by Embrace Pet Insurance Agency in the United States. Â© 2022 American Modern Insurance Group, Inc.
A Complete Cat Feeding Guide Wet And Dry Food Covered
Whether you have been a proud owner of a feline for many years, have been presented with a fur pet, or have adopted one, you may be wondering, How much food should I feed my cat? The question may come as a natural inquiry when you are facing a new task introduced into your life or as a concern for a four-pawed resident of your house.
The wrong ways you could go about solving the problem are either by letting your cat eat as much as it will or relying on the general instructions you can find at the back of the package containing nutrients for your kitty. Those may work, but thats like playing a lottery. Instead, we would like to equip you with the knowledge that will let you know for sure.
Its crucial to make a feeding plan individually for your cat so that the animal receives an ideal amount of calories. That way, you can avoid overfeeding your pet, as well as denying it the necessary nourishment. Both could equally be bad for the cats current health and life expectancy, so its crucial that you know all the factors to account for.
Also Check: How To Get A Sick Cat To Eat
How Many Calories Do Cats Need
While every feline is different, there are a few general guidelines for an indoor cats calorie consumption. Veterinarians use calculations that are based on your cats resting energy requirements and factor in additional needs such as life stage and activity levels.
There are useful caloriecalculators that can take the guesswork out of it for you and are a good starting point.
Common Feline Health Problems And Their Ties To Diet
There is a very strong and extremely logical connection between the way that we are currently feeding our obligate carnivores and many of the life-threatening diseases that afflict them.
Diabetes: Diabetes is a very serious and difficult to manage disease that is not uncommon in cats. We do not know all of the causes of this complex disease but what we do know is that many diabetic cats cease needing insulin or have their insulin needs significantly decrease once their dietary carbohydrate level is decreased to a more species-appropriate level than that found in many commercial foods.
Given this fact, and given what we know about how the cat processes carbohydrates, it is not a stretch to say that high carbohydrate diets could very well be a significant factor in causing diabetes in some cats.
Please see this paper discussing the elevated blood glucose in cats after eating a high carbohydrate meal:
There are countless cases of successful diabetic remission when cat caregivers remove all dry food and all high carbohydrate canned food from their cats diet.
In addition to the issue of carbohydrates and how they affect the blood sugar level of some cats, dry food is very calorie dense, is very palatable, and is usually free-fed. This often leads to obesity.
Fat cells produce a substance that makes the other cells in the body resistant to insulin. This promotes the diabetic state.
Brewers rice, corn gluten meal, pork fat , chicken by-product meal
You May Like: What To Do If Your Cat Keeps Throwing Up