The first time you held your little fluff ball in your hands, you knew you were in for the long haul. Anyone who has ever had a pet knows that they’re more like a member of the family. And just like your family, you want them to live long and healthy lives. With that in mind, it’s imperative to make sure they’re consuming a balanced diet that provides all the nutrients they need to age well. Continue reading to find out how to keep your furry friends pouncing and prancing around the house, living their best lives.
1. Consider Raw Food
Raw food is one of the best-kept secrets about cat food that isn’t actually a secret. It should go without saying that all-natural, non-processed foods are the most nutritious.
Cats are natural carnivores and need plenty of meat in their diets, Unfortunately, most cat foods are packed with carbohydrates. Raw food options will not only provide the necessary protein content, but they will also give your cat a little variety. No matter how much your cat loves the dry food in the beginning, eating the same thing over and over could cause them to grow tired of it and stop eating, or even worse, to become addicted and to only want that one type of food.
2. Wet vs. Dry
While the raw food diet is the most ideal, it’s not always the most convenient, and most cat owners will have to use either dry or wet food. A combination of the two is preferable for a couple of reasons:
- Wet food contains water and will help your cat stay hydrated if it doesn’t drink enough water.
- Dry food can be left out all day for when you’re not at home.
- The variety will help your cat avoid allergies, sickness, and conflicts with food as mentioned before (addictions or tiredness.)
- Dietary fiber for firm stools
- Omega fatty acids for shiny fur and healthy skin
- Cranberries for urinary tract health
- Glucosamine for joint health
- Prebiotics and probiotics for digestions and gut health
Your fluffy prince doesn’t need to be fed like royalty, but a bit of wet food mixed in occasionally with the dry food will keep him from getting finicky.
3. Protein, Carbs, Fat
In order to keep your cat’s fur, skin, muscles, and bones healthy, a balanced diet of protein, carbs, and fat is essential. Since your cat isn’t out taking down gazelles, it doesn’t need many carbs at all. It only needs just enough to keep the pep in his step to ensure he gets enough exercise.
4. Health Support
There are a handful of additional health benefits you can look for when shopping for nutritious foods and snacks for your furbaby. Look for these vitamins and high-quality ingredients:
Vitamin E and A for immunity
5. Age and Health
You wouldn’t feed a newborn baby the same things you would an adult, and it’s the same with cats. There’s a right and wrong way to feed your cat at every stage of life, so make sure you look into the different needs they’ll have as they age. Glucosamine becomes increasingly important as your cat reaches its golden years, so keep these things in mind.
6. Organic and Natural
It’s crucial to understand the labeling of cat food products if you want to give your cat an all organic or natural diet. An “organic” label means that 100% of the food contents are organic with organic filling aids as well.
“Natural” means that it has been processed, but not altered in a fundamental way. You’ll have to watch out for artificial flavorings, colors, and preservatives.
7. Avoid the Cheap Brands
While you might be pinching pennies with the cheap brands, you might be paying for it at the vet later. A healthier diet will usually result in a long, happy life, whereas the opposite is true for the cheap brands.
The cheaper brands with the bright labels that seem to jump off the shelves will almost always be packed with carbs and offer very little nutritional value. Also, studies show that cats will eat until they have gotten all the nutrients they require. Because of this, it makes the pennies you save go to waste because they’ll eat twice as much. In the worst case scenario, this could cause obesity.
When deciding on what diet to choose for your little one, always keep their health first, and you can’t go wrong. By taking steps to give them a nutritious diet, you will certainly enjoy their company for a very long time.