Is There Such a Thing as an Ideal Diet for Cats?

cats need a healthy diet

We make such a big deal of what we eat, how we eat it and how important it is to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet for ourselves, but what about our cats? Is there such thing as an ideal diet for our favorite feline friends? Is there such thing as a healthy diet that makes them look good, feel good, sleep better, have a glossier coat and live longer? Does it even matter in the least what our cats eat?

Of course it matters what our cats eat. Our cats are important members of our family, and we would like to have them around for a long time so we need to feed them like we mean that. What our cats consume is what keeps them healthy. For instance, some human food is dangerously toxic to cats. Some cats want to eat more than they should and are highly prone to obesity, meaning their food intake should be closely monitored and regulated. Some cats have diabetes or other health issues that make it impossible for them to consume certain things.

That makes it a bit difficult to say, “Yes, there is an ideal diet for cats,” but it makes it very honest to say, “Cats do need to consume a healthy diet that’s right for them,” and go from there. There is no one size fits all dietary need for cats. Your vet is the best person to provide you with the most accurate portrayal of a healthy diet as far as your cat is concerned. What we recommend is knowing the basics of good cat healthy and their dietary needs so that you are educated. From there, we recommend you speak to your vet about your cat’s health and get an idea of what a healthy and ideal diet for your own cat is.

Mistakes People Make when Feeding Their Cats

Listen, no one is perfect (Please do not tell my husband this; for some reason he thinks I am and I’d really hate to dash his dreams). We all make mistakes and we all grow from them. The good news is that most mistakes are minor and work well to educate us and inform us so that we emerge from our self-pity and frustration that much smarter and more knowledgeable. When it comes to our cats, the biggest mistake that most of us make is feeding them too much.

I’ve been there. I feed my cat in the morning and by lunch time his bowl is empty and he’s giving me the, “Please, please, please, I’m starving,” eyes and I pour him more. Wrong; I shouldn’t do that. How much your cat needs is dependent on his age, his health, his size, and several other factors, so ask your vet how much your particular cat needs to eat during the day so that you do not risk overfeeding him and causing him to become obese – which comes with a slew of negative health issues.

cats need a healthy diet

What Should My Cat Drink?

You know when you see a baby kitten and you think that a bowl of milk would be ideal? Wrong; it’s not. Most cats are, in fact, actually lactose intolerant and feeding them milk is a bad idea. Water is what your cat needs. He does not need to sip your beer or drink your wine, he doesn’t need juice and milk is a no-no. Water; and there’s usually no such thing as too much water. However, the amount of water your cat needs might vary depending on a few things.

For one, cats tend to need more water when the temperature is warm. If your cat likes to go outside and then comes in only to empty that brand new dish of water you just poured, that’s all right. If your cat has been sick and has vomited or experienced any sort of diarrhea, more water is necessary. This is because these occurrences often cause dehydration, and that’s not something you want to deal with when it comes to your cat’s health.

Cat Treats and Food

There is certainly nothing wrong with occasionally giving your cat a treat. It’s welcome and it’s great and it’s always something your cat will appreciate. However, you should keep treat giving moderate so that your cat isn’t over-eating due to eating a normal diet on top of all those treats.

Another consideration is the type of food you are giving your cat. You’ll want to speak to your cat’s vet so that you know what a good type of food is to give to your feline friend. Some are too high in sodium and other unhealthy additives, and that can have a negative effect on your cat. If you cat has allergies, that eliminates another round of food that you might have otherwise considered. Talk to your vet about what your cat should eat, and remember to keep treats to a minimum.

Exercise

Yes, your cat needs exercise. Yes, cats are lazy. According to veterinarians, cats sleep as many as 16-20 hours per day on a normal basis. This is what we can expect from cats, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, your cat cannot become a lazy bones that does not exercise. This is where you come in; get your cat some toys. Something that causes your cat to run around and become active is a great idea.

Some cats are great with playing fetch, and are very much like dogs. If getting your cat active means you need to get up and play fetch, try to do it daily. Your cat needs to keep his or her muscles worked, his heart rate pumping and his good health at a premium. Like humans, diet can only take a cat so far before exercise is an absolute must, so get on board with feline exercise – and no, this does mean putting the cat in a kitty stroller and taking yourself for a walk while he sits comfortably in the stroller.

Photo by Getty Images

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