Determining the correct food for your cat requires critical understanding because cats are unlike other animals when it comes to their dietary habits and needs.
Cats are obligate carnivores; they require a high protein diet rich in animal proteins in order to receive the correct levels of essential nutrients. Their diet must also be high in moisture, with a moderate amount of fat and a very small amount of carbohydrates. In the wild this diet is achieved by consuming the meat and organs of small rodents and birds.
Cats generally eat multiple small meals throughout the day, this is due in large part to their natural food capture activities in the wild. Their body is designed to take small amounts of food because their normal prey is small, to get enough food and nutrients in the wild a cat must repeat the chase and capture multiple times every day. For a domestic cat the chase is not required, however eating many small meals a day can help prevent obesity, and adding in games or puzzle feeders can help keep the cat active.
Water is essential to your cats health, the amount of water they consume depends completely on their health and the hydration of the food they are eating. If a cat is eating an all dry food diet they will consume more water then if they are eating a wet food or combination diet. Be aware of how much water your cat normally consumes, changes in this amount can be a sign of serious illness or disease.
To keep your cat healthy you must be aware of every aspect of your cats diet. Certain foods can be dangerous or poisonous to your cat’s health.
1. Onions and garlic are toxic
Consuming onion and garlic can break down your cat’s red blood cells, which can further lead to anemia. Onions eaten in any form – powdered, raw, cooked, or dehydrated, along with garlic can be poisonous for a cat. The amount taken determines the level of poison, lethargy, pale gums and a reduced appetite are signs of a toxic reaction in your cat. Immediate medical attention is required.
2. A glass of milk is not a cat’s thing
Most cats are lactose-intolerant. They are exposed to lactose only through their mother’s milk when they are kittens. After weaning, the cat does not require milk in their diet. Milk and other dairy products are not good for your cat’s digestion. A bad digestion can lead to an upset stomach or diarrhea. All that a cat needs is fresh, clean water.
3. Canned tuna fish is not for cats
Canned tuna fish is not a nutritionally complete meal for cats, a diet which is rich in tuna can lead to mercury poisoning and a deficiency of vitamin E. It can also leave your cat malnourished because it doesn’t contain all the nutrients required for maintaining the proper health of the cat. Most canned tuna fish cat food contains other added ingredients, nutrients, minerals, vitamins, etc that are essential to a cats health.
4. Raw Eggs can be poisonous
Feeding your cats with raw eggs can be dangerous. Raw eggs can lead to salmonella or E. coli poisoning in your cat. The symptoms of this bacterial poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. There is a protein called avidin in raw egg whites which obstructs the absorption of the B vitamin biotin. This obstruction leads to various skin and coat problems in cats.
5. Chocolates are not a healthy food
Chocolate is dangerous to cats because it contains caffeine and Theobromine (a chemical that is harmful to them). Theobromine is present in every kind of chocolate from white to dark, the darker the chocolate the more dangerous it is. Chocolate can cause abnormal heartbeats, tremors, and even death if ingested by a cat.
6. Caffeine is not the drug for your cat
Caffeine works as a diuretic drug that causes dehydration in cats and can be fatal. The symptoms caused by caffeine in cats include restlessness, rapid breathing, heart palpitations, fits and muscle tremors. Symptoms of severe caffeine poisoning can also include collapse and seizures. Immediate medical attention is required.