Feeding Your Cat

A balanced diet is one of the most important things you can provide your cat! Knowing what your cat needs to thrive is necessary in making the right food choices for your pet.

Clean, fresh water is the most essential part of your cat’s diet – make sure it’s always available! Your cat may drink more or less based on the weather or his level of activity, and he may enjoy drinking out of a cat fountain or other running water source. If your cat eats wet food, remember that these can be another source of water.

Cats require animal based protein in their diets. Unlike dogs, who can do well on vegetarian diets, cats bodies are not optimized for them. They require up to two or three times as much protein as people, dogs and other omnivores! Your cat’s food should be high in animal protein, and also contain moderate fat, minimal carbohydrates and a mix of essential vitamins and minerals. Kittens will require extra nutrients as they need them for growth and development, so make sure to feed them a diet that isn’t geared toward adult cats.

Whether or not wet or dry food is better for your cat is a matter of debate. Most cats will do fine with a dry food diet, but it’s often recommended to use wet food (either instead of dry or in addition to it) simply because it is generally higher in animal protein content, while dry food tends to be higher in plant carbohydrates and may be a factor in feline obesity. You should look for a food with the appropriate nutrients for your cat. If you aren’t sure, food marked with an AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) symbol has gone through testing to ensure that it’s made up of the proper ratio of nutrients for your cat.

Store food so it doesn’t spoil (dry food should be kept in a cool, dry area and wet food should be refrigerated for no more than 48 hours). Be aware of what your cat is eating and drinking normally so you’re aware of changes in these habits. Cats can be picky about their food, so don’t be opposed to experimenting to accommodate your animal. Your cat will appreciate a tasty, balanced diet and will thank you by being healthy and happy!