As a first-time cat owner, the idea of taking care of a cat might sound a lot more intimidating than it actually is. Of course, before adopting or receiving any cat, it is important you get all the necessary tools to prepare for the experience, especially since it’ll be up to you to make sure that your new cat is healthy and happy.
Although taking care of a cat is generally easy since they tend to handle many aspects of their maintenance by themselves, they still do require a certain level of attention, socialising, exercising, and of course, diet management.
Cats are very prompt to getting overweight, especially if they are indoor cats that don’t get to exercise on a regular basis. It is up to you, as its owner, to make sure that they are eating properly and engaging in enough exercise to remain at a proper weight.
This is easier said than done, though, since new owners tend to have no experience when it comes to choosing the proper diet for a cat. There’s also the fact that not a lot of new cat owners know how to get their cats to exercise on a regular basis, thus, we will try to teach you all the basics we can possibly cover in this article, from the diet and amount of food you should go for, to how to handle treats for cats, and of course, how not to handle them.
Cats are Carnivores!
The first thing you have to keep in mind is the fact that cats are carnivores. Under any circumstances you should try to feed your cat vegetarian or vegan food. It’s not like they can’t handle some of them but having it occasionally on every blue moon in comparison to having a diet solely composed of vegetarian or vegan food are two completely different things.
As carnivorous animals, they need a balance of things like fats, fatty acids, protein, minerals, carbs, vitamins, and of course, amino acids. And of course, the best source of these components is meat!
There are Good Alternatives, Though
Of course, there are good alternatives out there, with dry and wet food being the most common choices among owners. Still, it is important to understand that cats should have a combination of the two to lead healthy lifestyles.
Dry food should be the main source of nutrition, since it helps them keep their jaws and fangs healthy and provides a considerable level of nutrition. That being said, it is always good to add wet food from time to time to help them reduce the stress their stomachs receive from processing dry food!
Hydration is very important when animals eat dry food since it can reduce their level of hydration, thus, make sure to always have water around to help them keep themselves hydrated! Diet Depends Entirely on Their Age
Something to remember is that a kitten’s diet will be considerably different than a senior cat’s diet, as showcased over at https://pets.webmd.com/cats/what-do-cats-eat. It’s also the same for adult cats as well, and other factors such as their weight and the amount of exercise they do on a daily basis can also influence how much food you should give to them too!
Kittens, as an example, should rely solely on their mother’s milk up until they reach the age of 1 month. Once they reach that age, they should eat wet or soft food that contains protein, so they can grow strong and healthy. You can add dry food after the 6- or 7-weeks’ time mark, but the main source of nutrition should still be wet food!
Adult cats should eat between one or two times per day. The best thing to give them is something that could bring around 50% fats and 50% protein. Dry food tends to be good enough, but you can add something else to the mixture from time to time. As mentioned earlier, the most important thing besides food is water!
During this time of their lives, the chances of becoming overweight greatly increase, so you want to pay attention to your cat’s physique and weight to either decide whether it needs more food, less food, or more exercises.
If you are interested in learning what type of exercise is usually a good addition for any cat’s routine, you should definitely check this article for a detailed guide on the matter. Trying new stuff and learning what practice is more appealing to your cat will be one of the many things you’ll have to do to become a great owner.
Now, senior cats are a little different. They tend to not eat a lot in comparison to kittens and adult cats, mainly because they don’t move as much and don’t consume the same level of energy and calories. For senior cats, we recommend you go deeper and research more about it since it is a little bit more delicate and depends vastly on your cat’s condition.
That being said, you can always experiment as long as you reduce the amount of dry food and increase the amount of wet food, since a senior cat’s digestive system is a lot weaker than an adult. Senior cats are also very likely to suffer from conditions related to pain and inflammation, so their mobility is commonly affected, and this reduces the number of exercises they can do. Ideally, you should take this into consideration when planning their diets to make sure that they don’t get overweight in the process!
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