Kittens and cats need a higher percentage of protein than dogs, i.e. about two times more and they require more fat as well. Best sources for protein supplementation are meat, eggs, fish ‘and milk. Milk is a good source of calcium while egg yolk and cooked egg is a good source of protein, fat, and vitamins. Excessive feeding of meat, chicken, fish can be harmful as it may cause poor eyesight, stunted growth, lack of calcium and Vitamin A. Cats should never be fed with chicken bones. Water should be available all the time.
Types of Food
Pet food industries have developed very well in the last few years. Researches have been done to develop the food with different raw products and flavors to meet the demand of an animal’s body. These are readily available food instead of preparing fresh food for animals. That is why these are preferred by the owners. Mainly three types of foods are available in the market.
- Dry food 2. Canned food 3. Semi-moist food
These are available in different flavors containing meat, fish, vitamins,
preservatives, fat, cereals, and coloring agents. The long-term use of this type of food may cause urinary problems as the water content is lacking in these products. So, nutritious food, which is juicy enough to fulfill the water requirement of a cat, should be given along with dry food. The combination is beneficial for the cat to meet all its requirements.
Adult cat and kitten need different protein and fat requirement i.e. diet should contain at least 25 percent protein for adult and 40 percent animal protein for kittens while 25 percent fat concentration is important. The remaining part contains cereals and vegetables. Cats should be fed 14 g for every 0.45 kg body weight. Cat’s appetite can be checked When after eating food, cat cleans its whiskers and goes to sleep, it depicts that the given food is enough.
This food is available in cheaper and costlier varieties. Cheaper canned food contains a maximum portion of either, meat or fish, which are not useful to meet the cat’s requirement, whereas costly food contains meat or fish in proper concentration. These products should be processed and stored, opened, and used safely. These are processed at very high temperatures and after processing care is taken to add Vitamin B as it gets destroyed due to heat. It is always important to note the ingredients to know the nutritive value of the product.
These types of foods are highly palatable and nutritious and contain meat, vitamins, preservatives, and chemicals to provide attractive color to foods. The label should be checked for packaging, as their storage life is limited.
Food for Pet Cats Pet cats, which are indoor animals, are dependent on owners for food. Unlike the free cats who have free access to the type of food. 80 owners have to take care to provide all the nutrients otherwise by giving only one type of food, the cats will develop the problems because of the deficiency of vitamins and minerals.
Raw meat should be minced and cooked, baked, or steamed to prevent the natural juices. The liver is good for the cat but excess feeding will cause diarrhea. A heart can also be given occasionally. Lungs and spleen may cause diarrhea.
This can be given in the cooked form. Precaution should be taken not to feed the bones as boiling makes them sharp and can cause internal damage.
Fish-Sea fish with dark flesh and oil is most useful for the cat. Fishbones should not be fed, as these are harmful like the poultry bones.
Eggs-Egg yolks may be given either raw or cooked Egg White should not be fed much as it may inhibit the absorption of Vitamin BZ.
Milk-Most of the cats enjoys milk. Some cannot digest the lactose present in milk and may have digestive problems. Cats who are fed only milk receive less Vitamin A and fat, so, cod liver oil should be supplemented along with the food.
Water-Water should be always available and changed at least three times a day.
Cereals and Vegetables-Cereals including bread, corn flakes can be mixed with milk or meat or fish. In Vegetables cooked potato, cabbage and carrots can be fed. salt-It can be added occasionally to change the taste of food.
Vitamins and Minerals
The pharmaceutical industries have developed various additives with the food industry, which can be supplemented. But their excessive use in the diet is harmful as they may cause other complications like bladder stones, rickets, etc.
Following Vitamins are important:
Vitamin A-It is important for growth and can be supplemented by using egg yolk, liver, or cod liver oil.
Vitamin B-It helps in growth, heart functioning, and nervous system and can be obtained from yeast, egg yolk, and liver.
Vitamin D—This acts as a catalyst for the absorption of calcium and
phosphorus. The main source for this is sunlight and cod liver oil.
Vitamin E-This is related to fertility and can be supplemented by wheat germ oil.
Calcium and Phosphorus-These two minerals are required for bones in growing animals and the absorption of other nutrients. Sources for these are red meat, milk, and other foods. If the cat is supplemented with various diets, it does not need these additives.
Loss of Appetite
Cats go off feed because of multiple reasons. One reason could be breeding season and the second reason can be unwashed bowls or stale food. A third possible reason can be unpalatable food. The fourth reason can be that neighbors have fed the cat and the owner is unaware of this fact. Sometimes cats may have a problem in teeth or other oral lesions or may be the indication that cat is having some problem. If it is so for more than twenty-four hours, then the cat should be taken to the veterinarian for a checkup. Dry food contains very less water, fat, and proteins. So cats on dry food should have plenty of water as they may have urinary bladder problems. To prevent these problems, one should feed canned food or semi-moist food as a cat will get used to other foods and will have a balanced diet. Dry foods help in preventing the build-up of tartar and will keep the teeth clean.
Canned foods contain a higher percentage of protein, fat, and water than other foods and are easily palatable. The nutrient supplements should be checked to give a balanced diet to cats and always make sure that food is at room temperature and is not fed directly from the refrigerator.
Semi-moist foods are almost nutritionally complete for cats but not for kittens. They are cheaper as compared to other foods because they contain vegetable proteins as well. Water contents are higher in comparison to other foods but water should be always available.
Frequency of Feeding
The quantity and frequency of food depending on age, weight, activity, and breed. Kittens should be fed more frequently than cats as they cannot withhold a large quantity of food if fed only once in 24 hrs. Thus, they should be fed more frequently with less food and let it have the food and then remove the bowl from there.
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