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Cat Nutrition Basics

Cat nutrition basics are important to consider once you bring home your pet cat. Another factor is providing proper care for your new friend. Part of this care is providing your pet with the best nutrition. As a new cat owner, you want to be sure that you provide your cat with the best food for their health. This article will provide some valuable information concerning cat nutrition.

Comparing Types of Cat Foods

Basically there are three types of cat foods and they are:

Dry
Soft-moist
Canned

Any of the above with today’s advanced technology can be formulated to provide a complete and balanced nutrition for your cat. You will have to decide which is best for your pet. In some cases, your pet may decide what they like best as you try various food types.

Dry

Dry products consist of crunchy kibbles which help build-up of plaque and tarter on cat’s teeth. Dry foods have an advantage of staying fresh longer than soft-moist and canned products once the package is opened.

Soft-Moist

Soft-moist food offer higher palatability as compared with dry diets. They are convenient to serve and easy to store.

Canned

Using canned food offer the highest palatability when compared with dry and soft-moist products. Once a can is opened, any unused portion should be stored in the refrigerator and be used within three days.

Comparing Labels

As a pet owner, you will need to get yourself familiar with the food labels on all cat food products. When comparing the nutrition labels, be sure to compare with like products. Do not assume that a nutrient like protein percentage is the same for canned and dry products. This is not true. One factor that reduces the nutrients in all food products is the water content. As the moisture content rises the more your pet has to eat to receive the same nutrition. Another factor to consider is the life stage is your pet is in. As your pet ages, their nutrition needs will change. Be sure to know you pets nutrition needs and they get older. The nutrients of a product are listed in order by weight on all labels.

Facts About Feeding Cats

Here are some important facts concerning the feeding of your cat. Using good quality cat food will provide the proper balance of the nutrients and a high level of palatability. Adding human food may upset the nutrient balance of your pet’s diet. Her are some foods that cat owners should be concerned about:

 Milk is a food and not a substitute for water. Milk should only be used as a treat and not as a regular item in your cat’s diet. Too much milk in the cat’s diet will cause diarrhea.
 Do not give your cat raw eggs. This food will cause a deficiency of the vitamin biotin, which can lead to a loss of hair and poor growth.
 Some raw fish can cause a deficiency of the vitamin thiamine. Signs of this vitamin loss will include anorexia (loss of appetite), abnormal posture, weakness, seizures and even death. Be sure to know which kinds are not good for your cat.
 If you use meat or meat by-products, be sure it’s combined with other ingredients to provide your cat complete nutrition. Raw meat may contain parasites, and cooked meats may be high in fat and do not contain a proper balance of nutrients.
 Raw liver, fed daily in large quantities, can cause vitamin A toxicity in cats. Small soft bones (such as pork chop or chicken bones) should never be given to cats, as they may splinter and lodge in a pet’s mouth or throat.
Supplements are not necessary when a normal healthy cat is being fed a complete and balanced food. However, factors like feeding table scraps, inconsistent exercise or stressful changes in routine, can leave cats with special nutritional deficiencies.
Some pet owners believe that additional calcium, and possibly other minerals, should be added to the diets of pregnant and nursing females and growing puppies and kittens. It is true that more minerals are needed at these times, but they are normally obtained through increased consumption of a high quality, nutritionally balanced diet. Adding them out of proportion to other nutrients can contribute to skeletal deformities and other problems.
Table scraps should not be feed to your cat because they will not provide the balanced diet which cats require. Feeding table scraps is not a good idea because once started it will be very difficult for you to stop.

By knowing cat nutrition basics, you will be informed to provide your pet with the best food for their health and long life.

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