They say cats have nine lives, but as a pet owner, it is your responsibility to make sure your cat lives happy and healthy for many years. One way you can do that is by making sure you avoid common feeding mistakes many cat owners commit. These may seem insignificant to you, but that is if you don’t understand their implications. By understanding these cat feeding must-dos and putting them into practice, you can definitely make sure your cat lives up to its reputation – that is, having a long life.
Checking the Food Label
When you are buying food for yourself and for your family, you make sure you check the label on the package don’t you? It’s sad to say many cat owners fail to check what’s on their pet’s food and simply purchase this and that brand of cat food because it’s popular. You need to understand, though, that reading and understand food label is very crucial when you’re buying food for your cat. Here are some quick tips:
- The label is usually found at the side of the bag or at the back of the can where the ingredients are listed in order of amounts. The ingredients that make up most of the food will be first on the list.
- Protein sources such as chicken or beef bi-products are usually listed first.
- The label also indicates how much protein, fat, carbohydrates, and other vitamins and nutrients are included within the diet.
- A feeding guide chart is usually found at the opposite side of the bag or beside the list of ingredients.
The chart indicates how many grams or cups you should feed your pet according to its weight. This is just a general guide, though, and how much you should actually feed your cat depends on the instructions of your vet. Checking the food label is crucial, because it gives you a good idea whether the brand of cat food you purchase meets the requirements or matches what has been recommended by your veterinarian.
Feeding the Proper Amount
“How much should I feed my cat?” is a question many cat owners often ask. The short answer is “it depends.”, but here are a few recommendations.
- If your cat is an indoor cat or has been spayed or neutered, it may need less food. Outdoor cats, on the other hand, may need more as they need the extra calories to burn off for regulating temperature and for the extra activities they are doing.
- If you’re feeding dry food to an indoor cat, feed it with moderate portions twice a day, as opposed to one a day.
- If you’re feeding with canned food, a small can should be enough for breakfast. Just feed your cat with a portion of dry food and half a can again in the evening. On the other hand, larger cans should last the entire day.
Giving Diet Supplements
Just like humans, cats may benefit from dietary supplements as well. If your cat is eating a premium diet that is complete with all the nutrition it needs, then it doesn’t really need to be given supplements, unless it has some kind of medical problem.
The thing about cat supplements is they actually come as treats and can be used for training purposes. There are a number of brands of supplements you can choose from, but a good supplement for cats would be one that could prevent hairballs from accumulating in their stomach. It’s also important to select supplements that are large and chewable to help prevent tartar buildup on your cat’s teeth.
Finally, pick a supplement to help with cat arthritis. Obese cats, in particular, are prone to getting joint problems as they age and such supplements can be of great help in keeping their cartilage stay healthy.
About the Author: Tony Green is a big pet lover. He loves to write anything that has to do with caring for animals, especially domesticated ones. He recommends royal canin cat food as an excellent source of nutrition for your cats.