A balanced diet for the cat is key to avoiding health problems such as the formation of crystals in the urine
- Author: By CAROLINA PINEDO
- Publication date: March 28, 2014
A well fed cat will be healthy and will not suffer kidney problems and the formation of crystals in the urine. Knowing the guidelines for healthy eating for the cat will also avoid more than one visit to the veterinarian. Here are keys to get the cat to have a balanced diet: offer a specific feed for these animals, prevent them from eating leftovers from their owners' food, alternate dry and wet feed, give small portions of food and control the formation of hairballs in their intestines.
Cat food: animal feed and cans
Cats need specific feed and wet foods that cover the nutritional needs of their species. Therefore, among other characteristics, these foods must have a high content of protein. Felines are strict carnivores and their food must be composed, above all, of meat and contain an important amino acid for the functioning of your metabolism, the taurine.
The economic investment in a I think and wet food for the cat of good quality or high range "In the long run, it avoids health problems, such as those related to kidney function or the formation of crystals in the urine," explains Ana Cameno, a veterinarian. Therefore, feeding the cat with a low quality feed will lead to visits to the veterinarian, since the cat will get sick because it is not well fed.
Cats are smaller than dogs and eat less feed per year, so, according to Cameno, "it is worth investing some more money in good quality feed to avoid health problems."
Leftover food, harmful to the cat
A cat that eats leftovers from its owners' food may suffer intestinal obstruction, vomiting and diarrhea
The food scraps from the food of their owners endanger the health of the cat. A cat that feeds on leftovers, such as fish with bones or raw (if it is viscera), may suffer intestinal obstructions and even with excessive consumption of this type of food, muscular stiffness. Stomach problems that result in vomiting or diarrhea they can appear, if the animal ingests foods that are not specific to him.
Another of the health problems for the feline that can lead to the pecking of food from the table of their masters is the obesity, "one of the most common nutritional health problems among urban domestic cats," says Ignacio Arija, veterinarian expert in animal nutrition at the Complutense University of Madrid. 40% of cats are obese, according to studies of the pet food sector.
The cat needs to alternate I think with cans
Alternating dry food with wet food is key for the cat to have optimal hydration that avoids problems like the formation of crystals in the urine. "Felines usually drink little water and wet food helps them to be well hydrated," explains Raquel Sierro, president of the Spanish Feline Association (ASFE).
Cats consume more dry food than wet. According to the latest data from the National Association of Pet Food Manufacturers (ANFAAC), Spanish cats consume 18,620 tons of wet feed in one year compared to 110,747 dry feed.
Getting the cat to drink water is essential to get his kidneys to function properly. Therefore, the feline you should always have clean, fresh water. The cat loves that the water overflows on his plate and that it is common. To satisfy this peculiar taste when it comes to drinking, there are small sources on the market with a circuit that makes the water flow.
Offer the cat small portions of food, as in nature
The tendency to feed cats is to emulate their eating habits in nature
Felines are predators that hunt their prey (rodents, birds) several times a day and, therefore, eat small amounts. Cats, in general, know how to manage their appetite and do not eat all the amount of food they have at their disposal. For this reason, if you do not suffer from obesity, you may be leave your food in the bowl to eat when you need it.
Another way to emulate feline customs when feeding outside the domestic environment is hide small amounts of food around the house. For this there is a useful play tool: toys type kong, an accessory for felines with a small cavity where to introduce feed balls so that the cat entertains until it is able to extract the food.
Control the formation of hairballs in the intestine of the cat
The feline is often groomed to keep its body neat, which entails a cluster of hair in its intestine, which should help to eliminate to prevent obstructions that undermine its appetite.
exist specific feed to keep the feline intestine free of hairballs. But you can also offer a malt cream that can be applied on the cat's paw, so that licking ingested.
In addition to the hairballs in the intestine, another reason why the pet can stop eating because loses his nose, because it has mucus. The reason is that the cat appreciates food largely through smell and, if it loses this ability, its interest in food also disappears.
Cat food, know the different options
There is a wide range of products among which you will doubt which one you should choose. The good news is that, whatever the lifestyle, fitness or age of your cat, there is a product indicated for him.
Unless some medical problem prevents it, you can freely decide whether to offer wet or dry food, depending on your tastes.
Dry cat food
- Diets based on dry food are easy to use and measure, and have a longer shelf life once the container is opened than those of wet food.
- These products also help maintain your cat's oral health. Your cat will need more effort to chew dry food and take longer to eat.
- There are cats that prefer dry crunchy food and do not like it mixed with water.
Wet cat food
- Other cats simply prefer the taste and texture of wet foods. Wet foods are very useful, because, as they are served in small trays or sachets, they will always be kept fresh and easy to serve.
- Also, your cat will eat more than once and drink less.
Some owners offer their cats a mixture of wet and dry foods. Some cats prefer wet foods in the morning and dry foods for the rest of the day. Try both types to see which one is your cat's favorite.
Food products for adult cats
Purina manufactures dry and wet food for adult cats, in all stages and lifestyles.
- If your cat spends most of the time inside the house, the most indicated will be a special recipe for domestic cats to reduce hairballs or a low-calorie diet, since it will exercise less and be more likely to gain weight.
- If your cat is sterilized, there are also products suitable for him, to prevent problems in the urinary tract.
- Older cats should follow a tight diet, as do pregnant cats and cats who are overweight or obese.
If your cat has specific nutritional needs or you are concerned about any aspect of his diet, consult the veterinarian.
How to feed a cat
Cats are animals of customs, so introducing them into a fixed routine as soon as they begin to be adults is most convenient for both the owner and the animal.
A cat eats in small quantities and several times a day, if you can feed him small portions repeatedly, much better. However, if you feed it with wet foods or your pace of life does not allow you to do it several times a day, with two daily meals is enough for most cats.
It is best to feed a cat in the same place and at the same times every day, in a quiet area where you can relax and be away from the litter box.
Choose a surface that is easy to clean or use a mat to feed it, and, of course, a metal or ceramic container. Some cats prefer to eat from a bowl or flat dish, which can help cats that eat too fast eat more slowly.
If you have more than one cat, make sure that their respective containers are at a considerable distance to avoid possible fights. If your cats do not get along, you will probably have to use different areas to feed them and keep the peace.
Serve and store food
To feed your cat, serve wet foods (presented in sachets, cans or tubs) at room temperature, since the smell is more palatable and easier to digest. To do this, remove them from the refrigerator at least one hour before serving. You can use the microwave to temper them a little, but always without letting them heat up.
Wet foods spoil quickly, so you should not leave them uncovered. Once opened, do not store wet food for more than 24 hours, even if it is in the fridge.
Dry food, on the other hand, can be left out all day without spoiling it. Store it in a dry and clean environment, ideally in an airtight container or in a closed box, to maintain its aromas and flavor.
The amount of food you offer your cat will depend on the breed, lifestyle and physical condition. Each cat is unique. The most important thing to keep in mind is that they eat enough to stay healthy and in good shape.
If you are not sure of the amount of food you should offer your cat, check the packaging for more information or contact the Purina Pet Service team.
An easy way to check your cat's physical condition is to feel with his hands his sides and his belly. If you have the ideal weight, you have to be able to notice your ribs easily, but without seeing them, without a lot of fat around them. If you look at it from above, its waist, located next to the ribs, should be clearly visible, without folds forming when walking.
If you notice that your cat is overweight or obese, check with your veterinarian to adjust a diet and a daily plan to help him return to his ideal weight.
If you consider that your cat needs to lose weight and your veterinarian agrees, you will need to follow a series of steps to help him while you offer him all the necessary nutrients. If you have more than one cat, feed them in separate areas to avoid stealing food between them. Dividing your cat's daily diet into several meals can be useful for weight control, but paying attention to what and how much you offer each time.
But not everything is the diet: a healthy lifestyle is just as important to control your cat's weight. If your cat prefers indoor areas or is a rather lazy cat, try to encourage him to run using toys to be active and burn calories.
If you are worried about your cat's weight, think about changing your diet for a light cat diet that contains fewer calories, so you don't have to reduce the amount of food you offer. The only thing that is reduced in these products is the amount of calories, so they will continue to provide your cat with all the vitamins and minerals it needs. Purina light recipes can help.
Weight reduction should be slow and regular, a sudden weight loss can be dangerous for your cat. This change can last for months, so be patient.
Remember, your veterinarian will probably suggest that you reduce the amount of food you offer to your cat or change to a special low-calorie food, but never deprive it of food or withdraw the food without the express consent of the veterinarian.
Use our fitness tool for cats PHYSICAL CONDITIONING TOOL regularly and continue the diet until you reach the desired weight and fitness.
If your cat passes the food Olympic, you are not alone! Many cats prefer textures and flavors to others, and tend to reject food if something changes. If your cat rejects the food normally, make an appointment with the veterinarian because it may be a sign of an underlying health problem. You can encourage your delicate cat to eat by following these steps:
- Change the meal schedule until all your family members have eaten, and feed them in a quiet area away from noise and stress. You can also try changing the wet food for dry food, or use a different flavor.
- Make sure the container is clean. Remains of food can cause rejection. Use a bowl or a flat saucer.
- Dry foods absorb moisture and become rancid, especially in warm places. Try changing the type of product if you normally use this type of food.
- Serve the moist foods at room temperature, so that the smell is more appetizing. Heat the food in the microwave a little until it is warm to room temperature (never hot).
- Cats that go for a walk can have a snack or two, just so they are not hungry. This occurs especially when there are high temperatures.
Candies and snacks
- A complete diet with main meals does not need supplements to provide your cat with essential nutrients, however, some foods such as treats, snacks or those consisting only of meat or fish are not nutritionally balanced on their own. Treats or snacks are good if they are offered in moderation, but reduce the amount of food you give a little if you don't want it to be supercharged. As a general rule, a maximum of 15% of the daily calories ingested by your cat can come from treats.
- Food cooked at home, such as fresh meat or fish, should be well cooked, without added salt and without skin or bones. In the case of special foods, read the package instructions to know how to serve them and how often.
- If your cat follows a special diet recommended by your veterinarian, for example to lose weight or for some disease, treats are prohibited. Ask your veterinarian what you can offer and what not to make sure.
What should a cat drink
The hydration of your cat is as important as feeding so that it is in the best conditions, especially if you feed it with dry food.
- Make sure your cat has access to fresh, clean water always. Place a large bowl of water in the places where your cat usually relaxes. Try not to put food and water in the same place.
- If your cat rejects water, use a larger container. Some cats do not like their whiskers to brush the edges of the container.
- Cats do not need to drink milk after weaning, so do not use milk as a water substitute. In fact, adult cats may have an intolerance to the sugars contained in milk, which can cause diarrhea. Even special cat milk should be considered a food (or a reward), not a drink.
Products prohibited for cats
We know it is tempting to feed your cat with treats. For many people, this is a symbol of affection that shows how much they love their cats. However, human foods are high in calories and do not have the essential nutrients that cat food contains, so you can unbalance your cat's diet balance if you give him a piece of your food. Feeding a cat with something that contains onion can be harmful, so better safe than sorry.
How to change your cat's diet
Any change in the conditions surrounding your cat can mean you have to adjust your diet. For example, moving from one house with a garden to another without it means that the cat will burn fewer calories because it will not run so often. You must be very aware of your cat's eating habits and physical condition. If you notice any changes or think you might need a better diet, check with your veterinarian.
If the veterinarian agrees that the cat needs an adjustment in its diet, you will have to do it gradually so that your stomach is not harmed by a sudden change, either by changing from wet to dry foods or by changing brands.
- Put some of the new food with your cat's current food and mix them.
- For a week, gradually increase the amount of the new food in the mixture and reduce the amount of the usual food. Some cats will need up to two weeks to switch from one to another completely, so be patient.
- If you have to change your cat's diet but he is not well, ask your veterinarian for advice on the best way and time to do it.
- If you are switching from a wet food to a dry one, your cat will need more liquid throughout the day and start eating several times a day, instead of just one sitting.
- If you are switching from a dry to a wet food, it is normal for your cat to drink a little less than normal and eat more food in a shorter period of time.
- Dry foods are more energy dense than wet foods, and therefore you will have to give them more of the latter to provide the same amount of calories.
Purina products for adult cats
Purina manufactures a large part of wet food for leading adult cats, each of them as a result of the latest scientific advances in quality, taste and nutrition, are designed to offer you and your pet a wide range of recipes and formats, for all the stages and lifestyles.