Your Cat’s Dietary Needs and Your Laguna Beach Vet

by | Dec 16, 2011 | Animal Health

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You’re bringing home a fluffy, energetic kitten: what will your Laguna Beach vet advise you to feed it? Options for feeding your cat include not just what to feed it but how.

Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that they must eat meat in order to satisfy all their nutritional requirements. Your Laguna Beach Vet might recommend wet food, as it is more balanced nutritionally and is a better source of protein than dry food. Dry food, however, is good for cats’ teeth, so your vet might recommend supplementation with this.

There are formulations of food available for each of your cat’s life stages: kitten, adult, and senior. It is important to feed your cat whichever food is appropriate for its stage of life to ensure that it is getting the proper levels of nutrients it needs at each: enough to grow, enough to maintain its weight and good health, and not so much that it becomes overweight. However, in addition to food geared toward life stages, there are foods formulated to address specific conditions or health problems. Ask your Laguna Beach vet about foods that can help with hairball control, urinary tract infections, buildup of tartar in the mouth, or food allergies.

With some cats, you can leave the food out and the cat will graze; with other cats, you might need to establish a firm feeding routine. The latter is especially true with diabetic cats, as regular feedings help with regulating their blood sugar levels. Your cat might be very social and prefer eating near its humans, or it might prefer a quiet space.

The type of bowl you use to feed your cat can influence your cat’s disposition toward eating. Some types retain food smells even when washed, particularly plastic ones. A ceramic bowl or one made of heavy glass is probably best.

To replicate the hunting experience for your cat, consider a kibble ball which would release pieces of dry food as your cat plays with it. Cats in the wild hunt for their food and even play with it for a while before killing and eating it.  A kibble ball will allow the cat to stalk, chase, and play with its dry food, increasing interest and giving your cat some exercise as well.

Your Laguna Beach vet can give you advice about the optimal weight of your cat, which will depend on its breed and overall body type. If your cat’s flanks sway as it walks, it is overweight; if you can see its ribs, it is underweight. Keep in mind that a roly-poly cat, while perhaps very cute, can face health problems similar to those faced by humans who carry too much weight, including increased risk of diabetes and heart disease. Your Laguna Beach vet can work with you to manage your cat’s weight.

Contact your with all your questions about cat nutrition and preventive measures.

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