Choosing the right food for your cat is essential to ensure that your cat has all the necessary vitamins, minerals and amino acids that it needs to keep it healthy. Cats must have an amino acid known as taurine added to their food as they cannot make this themselves. Taurine is required for reproduction, growth and development, as well as maintaining healthy heart muscle. Cats are true carnivores and must not be fed on either dog food or a vegetarian diet as these will not be nutrionally complete for them. There is a wide variety of foods on the market that range from tins or pouches to premium complete dry cat food, such as James Wellbeloved cat food and Royal Canin cat food.
Tinned foods are fairly cheap, however are not generally the most economical way to feed your cats as they contain large quantities of water. Pouches are designed as a single serve option to tins and mean that the food is always served fresh. Although these foods are nutritionally complete, many people serve them topped with dried biscuits to add variety to their cats diet. Cats are not like us and do not require variey in their diets, however will begin to demand this if their owners change the foods too often! There are natural or organic foods on the market that are good if your cat has a sensitive stomach or is prone to skin problems.
Dried foods are great for your cat as they will keep fresh and allow the cat to ‘graze’ throughout the day, they are nutrionally complete and will help to keep the teeth clean. As they are highly concentrated, they create less waste and odour and are useful if you have an indoor cat with a litter tray.
Because dried foods contain little moisture it is essential that you provide your cat with plenty of fresh drinking water, this is particualry important in neutered male cats as they can suffer from feline urological syndrome (FUS) and it is possible that a lack of water in the diet could bring on this painful condition. Many cats hate the taste of tap water and a water fountain that contains a filter will help to remove impurites.
When feeding your cat do not place their cat feeder and water bowls too closely together.