Good Food Guide

oscar-ice-creamNow this is serious stuff in my opinion. It’s important that you look after your cat’s diet. One of your most important responsibilities as a caring cat owner is to provide your cat with the necessary nutrients required for its growth and maintenance. Cats need a diet that contains protein, fat, minerals, vitamins, and water.

TYPES OF CAT FOOD
Commercial cat foods are formulated as dry, semi-moist, and canned. A quality cat food provides the necessary nutrients in a properly balanced proportion.

DRY FOODS
Dry foods contain 6-10% percent moisture. They contain high quality protein, have the right balance of nutrients and most cats like them (I do!). It takes less dry food on an as-is basis than other types of food to satisfy a cat, because dry food has more dry matter and a higher energy content per gram fed. Always make sure that it is described as ‘complete’ on the label. By the way the crunchy texture also does wonders for our teeth!

Of course the main selling point of dry food is that you can leave it down all day long (even in hot weather) so that your cat always has something to nibble on. Of course you should always make sure that the daily recommended amount is not exceeded (that is good advice but I’m not convinced!). By the way years ago the dried foods were not very good for us (too much magnesium) but these days they are fine, however, make sure we have lots of water to drink if you are serving us dried food.

MOIST FOODS
Moist cat food may be more appealing to some cats than dry cat food. Moisture content is approximately 35% but it dries out pretty quickly once opened. Moist food has meat and meat by-products as the primary ingredients. They are combined with soyabean meal, cereals, grain by-products, and preservatives. All sounds a bit complicated but I like it!

CANNED FOODS
Canned cat food comes in a wide variety of textures and flavours but varies in quality. The cheaper stuff is a false economy as it contains low-grade proteins and a higher proportion of cereal (if you want to give us cereals you would do better to give us a dish of cornflakes!). Best to choose a good quality brand with a protein level of about 8% (I’ve just checked a can of Felix and that is 8.5% so that’s fine). The moisture content should be about 80%, so it is a good dietary source of water. By the way I don’t like my canned food served straight from the fridge, much better if it is brought up to room temperature first. Feeding us two or three different cat foods provides flavour variety. It also prevents us from developing a preference for a food that may not be 100 percent nutritionally balanced.

FRESH FOODS
Try your cat on raw, minced meat (always cook pork) or lightly cooked fish such as cod or coley. Go a bit careful on liver though, no more than 50g once a week. Always ensure you have removed all the bones from fish or poultry. I really like having a nice big cooked bone to gnaw at – apparently the humans think it is good for my teeth and gums – I just have fun pretending it’s a dinosaur bone! Of course, canned TUNA, pilchards and sardines are excellent meals and highly nutritious. I have also been known to have a bit of cheese, yoghurt, rice, pasta, potatoes and green vegetables (particularly fond of peas!). I had a liquor chocolate once …. that was a bit of an error!

FAT CATS
No – not overpaid company directors but large felines! Excessive body weight can increase the risk of liver disease, heart disease, respiratory problems, and constipation. Furthermore, fat cats are at a greater risk of developing diabetes and arthritis. There are now specially formulated diets that have fewer calories per gram that may be helpful in treating obese cats …. I am, of course, just well-covered!

DOG FOOD
Dog foods are developed for the nutritional needs of dogs, not cats. Don’t do it!

SUPPLEMENTS AND TREATS
Cats on a well-balanced diets do not need any mineral or vitamin supplements, an excess can actually be harmful. Cat treats are not really necessary (apparently) humph.

VEGETARIANS, VEGANS AND FRUITARIANS
Do not try to make your cat a vegetarian (or anything else along these lines). We are carnivores and must eat meat to survive! No arguments on this one please …