Health & Care > Pet care, safety and insurance > Is Your Cat Getting All the Right Nutrients?

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04/11/2017 11:45:54 AM by emmah   Send Message to emmah  131  views, category: Pet care, safety and insurance view all blogs
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Cats are well-known for not being too needy, but when it comes to food, making sure that your cat is getting all the right nutrients is of utmost importance. Nutrition-wise, people share more traits with cats than they do with their canine friends; every stage of development requires a specific mix of vitamins and nutrients in order to make sure that your cat is healthy and well.


Changing the diet

Cats tend to be a bit finicky when it comes to their food – once they’ve gotten used to a particular diet, changing it can turn out to be quite difficult. It is important that you be patient and persistent, ignoring the fact that your cat isn’t fond of its new diet. Additionally, the transition from one diet to another should be as smooth as possible – sudden switch-ups can lead to your cat refusing to eat altogether. This is why you should introduce new food gradually, blending old and new foods together over the course of a five-day period. As a rule of thumb, you should start with a ballpark of 90% of your favorite pet’s old food mixed with about 10 percent of the new food and gradually move towards an inverted balance.

Water

Cat owners often tend to disregard their cat’s water intake, much like they do for themselves. However, dehydration can cause serious complications, and without proper daily fluid intake to replace fluids lost through urine, feces and perspiration, maintaining appropriate health can be very difficult. It is crucial your cat’s fluid levels don’t drop to less than normal, which commonly occurs either due to reduced water intake or as a result of increased fluid loss, which happens due to overheating in hot weather and increased activity in normal conditions or due to vomiting or diarrhea. Many owners think that cats aren’t sensitive to water loss, but, much like the case is with human beings, water makes up 80% of a cat’s body. Keeping an eye on your furry pet’s water intake is of absolute essence.


Balanced food

Most cat owners know that reading a cat food label is important, but they tend to focus on ingredients, rather than nutrients. This is a common mistake, as the latter is significantly more important, particularly fat and protein. Additionally, grains and carbohydrates tend to get bad rep in pet food, even though your cat can actually benefit from these nutrients, as long as the amount of carbs is within reasonable limits for a cat.
On the other hand, knowing if your cat’s food is in balance is easily to achieve – just look for a statement from AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) on any given package.
Additionally, make sure that you are aware of the fact that a cat’s nutritional needs tend to vary in terms of its age; pet food and accessories shops like Net to Pet offer a variety of food types to suit cats of all ages.

Vitamins and supplements

Although vitamins and supplements should be seen as an extension of a cat’s diet, it’s worth noting that a healthy cat needs nothing more than quality food. In fact, giving a cat unnecessary vitamins and/or minerals can actually cause it more harm than good. As a rule of thumb, supplements are recommended if your cat is sick, but tread carefully – many of these are untested and completely unproven by veterinary medicine!

It is very important that your cat gets all the right nutrients, but these transcend food (although quality, AAFCO approved food goes without question). Making sure that your cat is properly hydrated and fed in accordance with its age is more important than buying unnecessary vitamins and supplements. The last statement, however, doesn’t include instances where a cat is sick.

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