Vet nurses in Teddington share advice on the best cat diet
February 21, 2023
Even though cats can be quite inactive at times, they still need to be fed a healthy and safe diet that will sustain them. Knowing what to feed cats can be tricky as there are many different options to choose from. This is why the vet nurses at Alpha Veterinary Surgery are here to help you formulate the right diet for your cat’s needs.
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What is cat nutrition?
Nutrition is the process of providing or obtaining the food necessary for health and growth. This can be broken down into many different categories including water, energy intake and outtake, types of food, vitamins and minerals, the age of your cat, and how to feed this sustenance to your animal. Our vet nurses have touched on each of these aspects below to give pet owners an understanding of what makes up a balanced diet.
Food and energy balance
According to Alpha Vets’ head nurse, one of the most common questions is ‘How much should I feed my cat?’ The answer will depend on your cat’s bodyweight, age, and activity level. There are different formulas depending on whether your cat is lean or overweight. Manufacturer food labels are a good guideline; however, our vets and nurses can calculate the ideal amount of food for your cat’s individual needs when you bring them in for a check-up – book now.
In terms of which is the best food for your cat, look for ‘complete’ high quality foods (a mixture of wet and dry) to prevent dehydration but also to look after your cat’s teeth. Most of the time it is better to buy commercially produced cat food, as it is difficult to create a balanced diet from scratch at home – this applies to cooked and raw feed. A ‘complete’ food will have been specially formulated to contain all the vital ingredients in the right amounts that a cat needs for good health.
Some owners might prefer to feed a raw or vegetarian diet – in both cases your cat is at a higher risk of disease due to certain vitamin and mineral deficiencies. If you are set on feeding a raw diet, make sure you give supplements. Cats are carnivores and should not depend on a vegetarian diet.
In addition to this, feeding healthy treats in moderation is completely ok! Alpha Vets’ nurses recommend the following as healthy treats for cats:
- Cooked chicken (plain)
- Seedless slices of cucumber
- Apples (not the pips)
- Actual treats made for cats!
However, you must remember to include treats in their daily calorie intake.
FACT: Cats do not need to drink cow’s milk at all, especially as it contains lactose which they find hard to digest and can cause an upset stomach.
Water and feeding
Luckily, water intake is quite a bit easier than food intake, as a cat should drink 60ml/kg per day of water. Our Stanley Road nursing team suggest using a measuring jug to ensure the right daily amount and potentially use a feeding syringe if your cat isn’t drinking enough. You could also try putting some water in their food bowl.
In terms of feeding, cats are solitary animals and like to be fed in their own space. If you have several animals, we recommend that they all have their own feeding space.
Hopefully the above advice from the fully qualified RVNs at our vet practice in Teddington helps you decide which cat food to buy and how to give it to your feline friend. If you need any more help, book a cat check-up and our team will check your cat’s weight and help you put together a tailored diet to keep your cat happy and healthy.
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