If you ask any cat owner what they feed their kitty, you will probably get a lot of different answers. Not every cat will do well with every type of food, so this is a decision you should make after consulting with your veterinarian. Read on to learn about the benefits of various types of cat food so you can decide what is best to feed your best feline friend.
Dry Cat Food
Dry cat food has gotten a bit of a bad rap because it tends to be dehydrating. The way to solve this problem, of course, is to offer your cat water to drink. A drinking fountain made for cats is good because it will pique your cat’s interest and keep her well-hydrated.
There are many different brands and types of dry cat food. You might choose an organic food or a high-quality food at your local supermarket. One benefit to using dry food is that if you choose to free-feed your cat, you can do so safely, because dry food will stay fresh for a full day.
Wet Cat Food
Wet cat food is good for cats because it provides moisture. It is also more closely matched to the consistency that cats would eat in the wild; outdoor cats and wild cats kill and eat meat rather than eating dry little nuggets of food. Wet food comes in several different forms. Canned food is very popular and is served up as a pate consistency or in shreds, chunks, or flakes, and with or without gravy. It also comes in many different flavors to suit a picky cat.
Fresh food is another great option. You will likely see recognizable chunks of food in freshly prepared foods. You can often find it in a small refrigerator in your pet supply store and in some grocery stores. You can also order freshly prepared cat food to be delivered to your door. One company that offers this services is NomNomNow.
Homemade Cat Food
Some cat-owners like to make their own food for their felines. Cooked food is safest, but some people like to feed their cats a raw diet. Although your cat might technically be able to digest raw meat, you and the other humans in your home are at risk for contracting parasites and other illnesses, so it is important to avoid contaminating surfaces with your cat’s raw food. Also, your cat can pick up nasty bacteria from some raw meats and poultry. It is generally safer to feed your cat a cooked diet if you choose to go the homemade route.
Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that all of their nutrients come from protein sources (meat). You can not feed a cat a vegan or vegetarian diet. Most of what you feed your cat should be meat, and some vegetables can be added for certain vitamins. You will also need to add amino acids such as taurine. Consider purchasing a book on feeding your cat a homemade diet if this is something you’re interested in.
Cat Food for Special Health Needs
Some cats have special health needs and need a special foods. Male cats who have kidney or urinary issues might benefit from a low ash diet. Your veterinarian can prescribe one for you; you can probably even purchase it directly from your vet or another veterinarian in the area.
If your kitty is overweight, there are diet cat foods available. Check out our article on the best diet cat foods and discuss your top choices with your veterinarian. You also might need to limit the amount of food that your overweight kitty is eating, but you won’t want to drastically cut calories in most cases, so be sure to involve your vet.
Finally, you can offer your furry friend cat treats from time to time. Commercial cat treats are a good choice; they come in many different flavors and cats find them appealing. Small pieces of cooked beef, poultry, and fish are also great treats for cats. Some cats like small pieces of sweet fruits like cantaloupe, and many will eat small pieces of cheese (but go easy on it because cats generally don’t digest dairy products well).
Talk to your vet about your cat’s diet and if you have any concerns about her health.