Care should be taken on what type of food is given to your cats, and it should contain all the necessary nutrients for its development. You can visit a number of websites which may have created an infographic for what portions should be given to cats. There are three important things to consider when choosing cat food:
Cats usually go through three stages in life; kitten, adult and senior. In every stage, a cat requires a specific sort of diet with the correct nutrients to aid in its development. A kitten requires a high fat and protein diet as it is growing up and it needs those two mainly for muscle, bone and teeth development. Since kittens are very active they are able to quickly convert calories into energy. An adult cat does not require a high calorie diet like that of a kitten. This is because adult cats face a threat of being overweight, which just like in humans can cause arthritis, heart disease or diabetes as the cat ages. Only pregnant or nursing cats should take a high calorie diet. Senior cats should take a low-fat diet with easy to digest proteins so as to prevent unnecessary strain on the kidneys. This is because they tend to be sedentary.
High-quality cat food should have all of the ingredients and nutrition facts written on the package. The main ingredients of cat food should include:
- Protein. The protein in cat food should be well identified from what source it is from. The source, whether meat, fish or poultry should be well written, either “tuna”,”chicken”,”beef” etc, not just blandly ‘meat’ or ‘meat products’.
- Taurine. The food should contain taurine, which is an essential amino acid.
- Vitamins, minerals, enzymes, fatty acids.
Cat food may also contain preservatives as well as fillers. The preservatives are necessary to keep the food fresh, while the filler is for adding bulk to the food. The filler material is mostly made of corn, wheat, rice, colourings, binders and flavours. High quality feeds, however, do not contain artificial preservatives and cheap fillers. Also important to check is the expiry date and whether the product matches or exceeds AAFCO standards. You should, however, avoid products with added sugars, cornmeal, by-products, harmful chemicals and excessive carbohydrate fillers
You should rotate the type of food you give to your cat(s) to keep them from being bored with the same daily meal routine. As an added bonus, the cats will be able to get a balanced diet since different formulations of cat food recipes contain different nutrients and ingredients. They should be given a variety of dry foods and canned food. Canned food is especially good since it contains variety and has water. This is important because not many cats take water regularly, and this provides them with a source of hydration. Canned food should be consumed immediately since it goes bad fast and it may be a source of bacterial poisoning.