Contrary to popular belief, Cats especially need a protein forward diet, even more than dogs. That’s because cats use protein for energy when possible and need more of certain amino acids to create building blocks and fuel bodily processes. Cats usually rely on their diet for moisture and don’t drink as much water as they might need. They obtain a lot of their “water” intake from their food. Canned foods have significantly more moisture than dry or “semi-moist” foods. Canned foods also are lower in carbohydrates and can be especially beneficial for cats with urinary issues, diabetes, and other illnesses, as well as in the prevention and treatment of feline obesity.
Many cats enjoy dry food, and certainly it is an easy and convenient option for pet owners; however, feeding exclusively dry food is not always the best choice for your cat. Because dry foods are high in carbohydrates, they can cause cats to develop diabetes, obesity, urinary or kidney problems, diarrhea, or vomiting. If your cat is on a dry food only diet and suffers from any of these ailments, you may want to consider reducing the amount of dry food you feed and replacing it with quality wet food. If you’re committed to a dry food only diet, there are healthier options: try quality “fixed formula” dry foods, grain-free dry food, or prescription foods for cats with health problems or special dietary needs. Although dry cat food does help in the process of cleaning your cats’ teeth, wet food allows for cats to build stronger muscles and bones. A helpful tip, you can also add water to your kitty’s food and mix it to provide a soupy and delicious consistency. Feeding your cat raw food is also a good option for some. In some cases, overtime, a raw diet has shown to provide casts time with healthier coats, more positive demeanors, and more energy. Specific treats can also provide calories or needed moisture in a cat’s diet. For example, Churus (basically go-gurt meat tubes) are a good source of moisture, fun bonding time with your cat, and they just look adorable while eating them!
It is recommended to meal feed rather than free feed, although we know our busy lives can sometimes interfere with this option. Meal feeding means that you feed a specified amount of food, as opposed to leaving out a large quantity of dry food for your cat to graze on throughout the day. You can start by feeding twice daily, using the food label as a guideline. Then review that amount with your veterinarian during your cat’s regular checkups. The amount to feed may vary depending on your cat’s ideal weight and activity level. Meal feeding also gives you an opportunity to monitor your cat’s appetite and helps you notice any change in your cat’s overall food intake, which is often one of the first signs of stress or illness. Of course, in any instance, it is best to consult with your veterinarian before implementing any diet regimen. Only you and your vet know what’s best for your kitty!