How would you describe your feline friends?
For me, I would describe my cat as a cocky individual who can be very loving sometimes. Nevertheless, no matter how our cat is, as paw parents, it is important for us to know how to take care of them.
There are many things we can do to keep them healthy, and one of the most basic but most important things is to take care of what they eat – in short, cat food.
Food is needed for it to survive because it is its energy source that also aids in recovery when your cat is sick.
But, if you don’t pay enough attention, food poisoning or food-related diseases may occur.
What is a cat’s natural diet? What is safe for cats to eat?
Which is better – dry food or wet food? What can you do to keep them healthy?
If you’ve just adopted a cat, or if you already own a cat, and you’ve been wondering if what you’re doing is right or not, hopefully, this article can give you the answers you want.
What Is a Cat’s Natural Diet?
While dogs and humans are omnivores, cats are obligate carnivores. What does this mean?
Dogs and humans can eat both meats and plants but cats need meat to survive. There are two types of protein, animal-based proteins like meat or organs, and plant-based proteins like vegetables and grain.
Humans and dogs can rely on them both, but cats can’t.
What Do Cats Need That Animal-based Proteins Have That Plant-based Proteins Do Not?
The answer is taurine.
Taurine is one of the most important amino acids that only exist in meat. Catinfo.org also stated that taurine deficiency will cause blindness and heart issues.
What Cat Food Is Good for Cats?
According to the “Cat Lovers Book” by Yudhi Prayogo, DVM (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine), cats require relatively fewer carbohydrates as compared to humans.
Cats need protein levels of 25-40%, while humans only need 8-12% protein in their diet. What about fats? Cats need 15-45% of fats, while human needs 25-30% of fats in their diet.
What does this mean? This means a cat’s diet mainly consists of protein and fats. You can feed your cat animal-based proteins such as chicken, lamb, turkey, beef, fish, and egg because they have complete amino acid profiles.
You can also look for the liver because it is a very good source of Vitamin A and D, copper, and zinc. There are many canned fish in the market that are good for your cats, such as tuna, salmon, mackerel, and even seafood platters.
What Is the Cat Food to Avoid Giving to My Cat?
While we have recommended a few types of food to give to your cat, there is also cat food to avoid.
Here are some of the most dangerous and toxic foods to steer away from:
- Raw eggs, meat, and bones
- Caffeinated drinks
- Raw dough
- Dairy products
- Dog food
- Raw tuna
Cat Dry Food vs Wet Food
There are two types of pet food; dry food and wet food. Which one is better for your pet?
Let’s talk about their pros and cons below to help you make a concise choice.
Cat Dry Food
Cat Dry Food Pros:
- Dry cat food is fast and easy to serve
- Dry cat food does not spoil easily
Cat Dry Food Cons:
- Low water intake (7-10%): This is bad because cats don’t drink as much as dogs do because they have a low thirst drive, making them more prone to dehydration. Cats get their water intake mostly from their food. In the wild, their prey (rats, birds) contain water in their body, and is where cats get 50% of their daily water needs. Dehydration can lead to severe diseases, like urinary tract disease, kidney failure, and urolithiasis (stones in their urinary tract)
- You get what you pay for: If you want the best quality food for your cat, you need to spend more. Of course, it is worth it to see your cat healthy.
Wet Cat Food
Advantages of Wet Cat Food:
- Wet cat food is fast and easy to serve
- As it has a better aroma, cats usually prefer this over dry food
- Contains 75% of water
Disadvantages of Wet Cat Food:
- Wet cat food comes in cans and once opened, you can’t keep them too long – usually 1-3 days
- Canned wet cat food is easier to spoil than dry alternatives
- Higher prices as compared to dry cat food
Why You Should Give Both Wet and Dry Cat Food
Still can’t decide whether to give wet or dry cat food to your tabby?
A good solution is to give both, especially if your cat is still a young kitten. This is because giving dry food exclusively to a young kitten may cause it to refuse canned or semi-moist cat food.
You can feed it an equal mix of wet and dry food, or 50/50. Afterward, when your kitten has matured into an adult, you can feed it half a can (70g) of wet food and 31g of dry cat food.
How Much Should a Cat Eat in a Day?
The exact amount of food your cat should eat daily differs according to the cat and the type of food.
On average, most domestic kitties eat small meals throughout the day and night. You can expect some cats to have anything between 12 and 20 meals a day.
How to Determine How Much to Feed a Cat
As we’ve just mentioned, there are several factors that help to determine the amount of food your cat needs.
These are some main factors to consider when you’re deciding on how much to feed your kitty:
- Weight: you need to adjust the amount of food depending on your cat’s weight. If your cat is overweight, consider giving less food
- Age and life stage: kittens, senior and pregnant cats all have different nutritional requirements
- Activity level: Indoor cats are usually much less active than outdoor cats. Therefore, they may face more weight issues and are not likely to require as much food as outdoor cats who move about all the time
- Main protein source: different sources of protein provides different levels of nutrition. Getting enough good protein is important to prevent cystitis, a regular problem where affected cats tend to urinate outside of the litter box
Note that you should always read the label and don’t assume that expensive cat food has good quality ingredients. The price does not always reflect the quality accurately, so the best thing to do is to check it yourself.
How Much Dry Food Should a Cat Eat in a Day?
If you’ve bought high-quality cat food that contains a good amount of protein, an average-sized cat needs about half a cup to 1/3 a cup of dry food every day.
Is There a Chart to Show Me How Much Wet Food to Feed a Cat?
How much wet food should you be giving to your cat?
It can be difficult to determine, but The Spruce has come up with this reference for you to get a better idea:
|Type of Cat||2.3kg||4.5kg||6.8kg||9.1kg|
|Pregnant or Nursing Cat||336kcal||603kcal||851kcal||1091kcal|
What Can I Do to Keep My Cats Healthy?
Now that you know the difference between dry food and cat food, what can you do to keep your cat healthy?
If you choose to pick the dry food, you should give your cat water source available all the time. You can also mix the water with some food that your cat likes to increase their water intake.
An easy tip from me is to give them wet food occasionally, maybe even as a treat, as this is a fast way to increase their water intake.
Then again, if you are unsure, you can consult your vet. Every stage of a cat’s lifespan has different nutritional needs: a kitten, adult, and senior cat’s food requirements are different.
If your cat has some special case, like obesity or kidney disease, it needs a prescription diet from its vet. To sum it up, below is a list of what you should and shouldn’t do to your cat.
What to Do:
- Cook the meat or fish before giving them to your cat
- De-worm your cat every 3 months
- Always make water available for your cat
What Not to Do:
- Give it paracetamol (fever medicine)
- Feed your cat dog food and chocolate
- Give them onions
Where Can I Buy Cat Food in Singapore?
When it comes to cat food, buy yours from a reputable source.
PetFoodCare is a local Singaporean business that is committed to sourcing and providing high-quality cat food for all felines. Buy yours at this trusted provider today!