You May Be Harming your Cat
I ran across a great article today about what we could be doing that is harming our cats. I admit I am guilty of over feeding my cat. He loves to eat and always seems to be starving. Plus, something I learned that I never knew and now I have to make a trip to the store today.
#1.) Giving Them Too Much Food. Just like with people, obesity in cats can lead to a bunch of problems, including diabetes, arthritis, and heart problems.
--And it's easy to overfeed them, because in 2011, most cats are basically couch potatoes.
--On average, they only need somewhere between 25 to 35 calories a day, per pound. So that means a ten-pound cat needs about 300 calories a day to stay at a healthy weight.
--In layman's terms, that's about a half can of wet food, and a half cup of dry food, depending on what brand you buy.
#2.) Forcing Them to Be Vegetarians.
--And if you know a lot about feline nutrition, it's possible to keep a cat somewhat healthy by adding in synthetic versions of the nutrients in meat. But it's definitely not GOOD for them. And they need some of those nutrients to survive.
--For example, a lack of taurine, which is found in animal tissue, can give your cat heart and lung problems, and even lead to blindness and death.
#3.) Giving Them Homemade Cat Food. There's a lot more in a can of wet cat food than you'd expect. For example, a lot of people who make their own cat food don't balance the meat with the right amount of calcium.
--They don't realize that in the wild, the cat would be eating the meat AND some of the bones of whatever it caught.
--Also, a diet that's too heavy in tuna can lead to joint pain, brittle bones, and dry skin. And a diet too rich in raw fish can cause muscle weakness, seizures, and even brain damage. In other words, it's better if you just buy canned wet food at the grocery store.
#4.) Only Feeding Them Dry Food. Unlike dogs, cats are designed to get most of their water through their food. So if you only feed your cats dry food, they're constantly dehydrated, which can lead to urinary tract problems.
--Here's a comparison: A mouse is about 70% water, which is probably what your cat would be eating if it was on its own. Wet food is 78% water, but dry food is only 5 to 10% water.