How to feed a cat
It is necessary to consider what pets are able to digest and absorb, what they aren’t, and what nutrients they need.
Humans and cats are fundamentally different biological species, so never feed your cat table scraps. It may love them, but such a treat will do your pet harm and no good.
Adhering to the principles listed below, even a beginner cat owner will be able to choose the right food for their cats of any age.
- The exact initial choice between homemade and prepared food. Never mix together these two types of food, and if you periodically feed one or the other, the cat’s body will be difficult to rebuild.
- Food in relation to your cat’s age. Depending on the age, the need for nutrients varies. Kittens, young and older cats do not need the same nutrition due to changes in the dental apparatus.
- Compliance with the feeding norms. It is impossible for a cat to be hungry after eating, but it is also important that it does not overeat, that can lead to obesity. The cat should receive food strictly in the amount that it needs according to the norms.
- Balance cat nutrition. It should contain all the necessary nutrients, vitamins and minerals, depending on the age of the pet. There are special medicated foods that are prescribed to cats with a number of health problems by a veterinarian for a certain period or permanently.
- Clean cat food and water bowls. Cats are demanding to clean bowls and may refuse to eat from dirty ones. The cat’s bowl should be well washed with hot water at least once a day. When bowls are very greasy, they are washed with soda.
- Wet food should not be left in the bowl for a long time. Giving homemade or wet food, do not leave it in the bowl for more than 1 hour, as it quickly spoils. Such a bad food is harmful to digestion and can even cause poisoning.
- Only high-quality and fresh food
- Proper amount of food. Overeating is harmful to cats and therefore the food should be given in small portions, several times a day. It is impossible to feed a pet, giving it the entire daily amount of food at once.
Clean water. With a lack of water, the cat develops urolithiasis. If the water is dirty or stale, the pet can refuse it. Fresh water should be poured into the water bowl every day, and if it gets dirty, it should be changed, sometimes several times a day.
If the cat has chronic diseases, you should consult your veterinarian when choosing a diet. It may require the preparation of a special diet that will help improve the condition.
How many times a day and at what time to feed?
The feeding schedule is important for the health of the digestive system and preventing obesity or starvation of the cat. Domestic pets, unlike wild animals, cannot eat much without negative consequences. Therefore, it is unacceptable to assume that you can give a cat a lot of food at once and forget about feeding for a day or two.
How many times a day to feed a pet depends on its age: the younger it is, the more often it needs to eat.
- It is not recommended to take a kitten from the mother at the age of 1 month, and first of all because of the difficulties with feeding such a baby.
- From the age of 2 to 6 months. A kitten actively grows during this period. It needs a lot of energy, and its stomach can only absorb small portions at once. You should feed it 6 times a day, at regular intervals.
- From 6 to 8 months. Feeding is reduced to 3 times a day, and portions are increased. However, it is too early to give your pet adult food. It needs its own nutrition, specifically for its age.
- From 8 months. Frequency of feeding is 2-3 times a day, as in one-year-old or completely adult cats. Your pet can be switched to adult food gradually. The food is added gradually, full transition will take 2-3 weeks. It is impossible to switch cat food too fast.
So that the cat does not look into the plate of its owner, the pet should be given food first. It will be more comfortable for both of you.
If for some reason it is necessary to leave the cat alone for more than 12 hours, put some dry food to the bowl, so that its body does not suffer from a long break without food. However, this method is not suitable for pets that receive homemade food. You should increase slightly the portion of food given before the break.
If your cat constantly leaves uneaten food in the bowl, it means that the portions for it are large and therefore they should be reduced.
Clean the cat bowls in 20 minutes after giving the food. During this time, the cat will have time to eat its portion and get enough, so you should not leave the bowl with the remnants.
In hot weather, a decrease in your cat’s appetite is normal. Cats sleep most of the time. During this period it is necessary to give food early in the morning and late in the evening, when it becomes cooler for your cat to eat properly.
The diet for pregnant and nursing cats should be selected together with a veterinarian, since they need an increased number of calories during these periods, but not excessive. The more kittens a cat bears and feeds, the more food it needs.