Even the most loving cat owners could unknowingly be harming their beloved pets. A recent study conducted in the United Kingdom has revealed that some of the foods that we’re feeding our pets may be contributing to poor health. There are thousands of well-meaning cat parents who feed their pets diets that are made of poor quality ingredients, and in addition, they offer their pets scraps from the table that could have disastrous consequences. They believe that they’re offering a special treat when in reality, just the opposite is true.
Lack of knowledge about feline nutritional needs among owners
Research has revealed that there are thousands of cat owners that simply do not realize that their pets have nutritional needs that are different from that of people or even dogs. When it comes to buying a commercial cat food, they have no idea what to look for on the label. It’s all Greek to them, and they have no idea which ingredients are healthy for cats and which are not, let alone what percentages to look for to get the ideal balanced nutritional formula. Instead, some hunt for bargain foods that are packed with unhealthy fillers that don’t give the animals the daily nutrients that are necessary for good health. As a result, many cats become malnourished and develop serious, even life-threatening health conditions.
Cats have unique nutritional needs
Cats are carnivores by nature and they have specific nutritional needs. While a vegan diet may work well for people, it doesn’t for your kitty. The nutritional formula should include a high percentage of protein, with meat being the best option. Some commercial cat foods contain just 4% of this necessary ingredient, making them a poor choice. These mass-produced products are stacked on the shelves of retailers and offered at a bargain price that is difficult to resist unless you’re aware of the consequences. The cereals that are commonly used as filler ingredients are hard for a cat to digest. This can lead to a host of digestive problems and malnutrition when it becomes a steady part of their diets. Some of the cheaper brands also include ingredients such as the heads of poultry, hides, skins, feathers, pig’s bristles and other items you’d find on the carcass of an animal. These are things that nobody would knowingly feed their pets, but some manufacturers process them for inclusion in the less expensive brands of cat food.
The danger of feeding your cat table scraps
There are certain foods that may be good for humans, that should never be fed to cats. This includes any food that contains chocolate and even cheese. Research has shown that these foods that people enjoy are not meant for their furry companions, and over time can contribute to poor health and an early death. Cats who eat table scraps or excessive amounts of fats and carbohydrates have a tendency to become overweight, which is another big problem when it comes to feline health.
Obesity in cats from an improper diet
Another huge issue in cat nutrition is an overconsumption of calories. When it comes to gaining weight and becoming obese, cats are every bit as susceptible as humans are. A well-fed cat will be neither fat nor skinny. Those who are bulging at the seams are either getting fed too much or they’re eating the wrong diet. Obesity in cats can lead to serious health issues including diabetes and skin problems. Obesity lowers the life expectancy in felines. One way to offset this problem is to put your cat on a healthy and balanced diet with a food that contains a high percentage of protein from real meat, and not animal byproducts, less filler, and feed in the recommended serving sizes. Another strategy for reducing your feline’s weight is to encourage more activity. Play with your cat, provide toys so they can play by themselves and help them to exercise off some of the excess weight.
Cat owners are harming their cats without realizing it because they simply don’t know enough about the nutritional needs of their pet. Predatory cat food manufacturers sell cheap cat diets with ingredients that fall short of being healthy. The solution to this problem is for cat owners to educate themselves about what their cat needs in terms of nutrition and exercise, and to follow the recommendations to the letter.