If you have a pet cat then it’s your responsibility to keep it as happy and healthy as you possibly can. One of the most important ways you can affect your cat’s health and wellbeing is through their diet.
If your cat is stressed, if it’s looking tired and drab, if you’re frequently complaining and worrying “my cat keeps being sick” for comfort, then it may be time to take another look at your cat’s diet.
Basic Food Sense
It’s important to get the basics right. Make sure you’re feeding your cat the right food for their age group, and be aware if it’s covering all their dietary needs.
Cats require different things from their food at different times of their life. Differently formulated cat foods are available for kittens, fully grown cats (this transition normally happens at the one year mark) and for senior cats, each formulated to serve their needs whether that’s the incredibly quick growth kittens experience as they mature, the hunting and playing of an adult cat, or maintaining the health of a cat in its later years.
Check you know what stage of life your cat is in, and make sure you’re buying the right food for them.
As well as age group, check and see if your cat food is labelled as ‘nutritionally complete’. This means it contains all the nutrients your cat needs from its diet – if you’re feeding your cat food that isn’t complete and balanced then you’ll need to look into supplementing their diet through snacks or additives to avoid malnourishment!
How Much Should Your Cat Eat
Cats are often keen eaters – the instincts remaining from their life in the wild tell them to gorge when food is plentiful in anticipation of times when it’s not. For your cat, living in an environment when food is always plentiful, this might become a problem!
If your cat eats too much, too quickly, then you might find they vomit after meals. You’ll find undigested food thrown up near your cat’s feeding station. To combat this you need to slow them down! Try separating them from other cats so they don’t feel the need to wolf their food down to beat the competition, spreading their food out in a larger bowl and compacting it down, so they have to work harder for each mouthful, or investing in a puzzle feeder to slow them down and add some extra mental stimulation to mealtimes.
Even if your cat doesn’t throw up after feeding times, eating too much can still be a problem. It can lead to your cat gaining weight and overweight cats are less agile, less happy, and more prone to health complications, especially later in life.
Do some research or consult with your vet to make sure you know a healthy weight and portion size for your pet, then you work on a plan to help them get all that food with all the nutrients they need in a satisfying and stimulating way through the course of the day.