As a cat owner, you love your furry friend and want them to be happy. The truth is many cat owners focus simply on affection and play to give their kitty a longer and more fulfilling life.
In fact, one of the best ways to keep your cat healthy and happy is through improving her diet. And as a furparent, we always think of ways to improve your cat's diet.
Whether you want to add nutrition to your cat's current food or are looking to create the perfect dietary meal plan yourself, you can significantly improve her diet by incorporating the few tips below.
Bring in Some Color
Add some color, antioxidants, and nutrients to your furry friend's diet by adding vegetables. Your carnivorous feline can benefit from adding up 15% roughage in their diet. Some of the best vegetables for felines include:
- Carrots – chop up into small pieces to add Beta-Carotene
- Peas – add protein and carbs in a bite-sized piece
- Broccoli – not only adds antioxidants but is a great distraction from plants in your home
- Green Beans – this source of fiber can sub for higher calorie treats
- Zucchini – can add magnesium, and potassium which are vital for growing cats
- Squash – the bacteria in squash can relieve your cat's digestive tract issues and provide essential fatty acids which are important to your kitty's diet
Here's the kicker:
Cats do not need veggies to maintain a healthy diet. Yet they can act as a great filler for overweight kitties. Also, her digestive system can benefit from these extra nutrients.
Feed the Carnivore
Meat is the largest portion of the feline diet. Adding cooked meat will satisfy their craving while providing the protein they need. Your cat is a predator whose body is designed to eat raw prey. Raw or lightly cooked meat maintains most of its nutrients where overcooking can limit their nutritional benefits.
Here's the crazy part:
Most store-bought cat food is heavily cooked and processed, removing much of its traditional nutrients. The nutrients and protein in meat help your cat by:
- Maintaining weight
- Aiding digestion
- Jump starting their energy
- Improving dental health
- Promoting urinary health
- Improving stool and odor
While raw meat is natural in a kitty's diet, lightly steaming your protein will ensure that bacteria is removed before you pet consumes it.
Remember: 85% of your cat's diet should come from meat, bone, and offal to maintain health.
Give Eggs a New Rep
Eggs, an incredible source of protein and B12, is no longer considered the harmful food it once was. In the wild, cats and dogs could consume nest eggs with little problem except for the sharp shells.
While most eggs were eaten raw in nature with little problem, it is best to cook them before feeding them to your furry friend. Raw eggs can carry salmonella, and even if your kitty does not become sick, they can carry the bacteria for awhile. Incorporate eggs into your homemade cat food or keep them for a special treat.
Keep Their Coat Shiny With Oils and Fatty Acids
Oils and essential fatty acids are not only necessary to coat health, but can also improve body functions. Your kitty will produce some of the oils and fats naturally but will need to gain the rest through diet.
Want to hear the best part?
Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and are known to slow the growth of cancer. Feline leukemia and other cancers are devastating illnesses that can affect your furry friend and significantly shorten their life.
Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Adding the following foods to your feline's diet will help lower their risk for inflammatory conditions and cancer.
- Flax seed oil
- Cold water fish – salmon, mackerel, trout, sardines, tuna
Keep Their Digestion Moving With Probiotics
Probiotics are vital to maintaining your cat's digestive health. This good bacteria will help her digest food properly while absorbing the essential nutrients. Poor digestive health will not only lead to discomfort but can also put her at risk for other illness.
Probiotics work by:
- Reducing constipation
- Supporting the immune system
- Preventing allergies and food sensitivities
- Helping to maintain weight
- Reducing hairballs
- Supporting cell health
- Removing dangerous toxins
Becoming Your Cat's Chef
Homemade cat food can ensure that all nutritional needs will be met. When creating her menu, follow the steps below to make sure she gets all the essential ingredients she needs to be healthy.
- Step One: Research her dietary needs. As mentioned above, your cat needs 85% of meat, bone, and offal, while only 15% of roughage such as vegetables. Meals need to be balanced appropriately, or your kitty may show signs of illness days or even weeks after.
- Step Two: Determine the healthy needs of your cat's diet. Know how much of the essential nutrients, fats, and oils she needs. Next, choose food items that will appeal to your feline while best providing those nutrients.
- Step Three: Schedule a number of feedings and when feedings will occur. Kittens will need to be fed at least three to four months of age up until at least three months. Adult cats should normally have food consistently in their bowl throughout the day so they can eat small portions several times.
- Step Four: Determine your cat's dietary needs based on her current health. While protein and fatty oils are the primary part of her diet, if your furry friend is overweight you can add up to 15% of fruits and vegetables to help keep her weight maintained.
- Step Five: Create your recipes and verify them with a veterinarian. Come up with your cat food recipes and meal plans and show them to your veterinarian to make sure they are balanced and your kitty will be getting enough of everything.
- Step Six: Begin your meal plan and track its progress. Once you have started your plan, monitor any changes in your cat's behavior and what they had eaten before it occurred to track any possible problems. You may want to slowly introduce the new food in combination with their old so that they can become acclimated to the change.
Five Ways to Improve your Cat's Diet
When creating your own meal plan try the five tips below to make it as successful as possible. You need to:
- Provide a variety of food choices
- Avoid toxic ingredients
- Make sure everything is cooked enough to kill bacteria
- Grind so that it is easy to eat and digest
- Measure to ensure proper portions
What's the bottom line?
Improving your cat's food begins with understanding her needs. No matter whether you decide to add nutrition to your kitty's diet through treats or by creating their meals entirely, the most important part is knowing what her body needs to function.
Want to know the best part?
Feeding your cat a proper diet can make them live longer. Not only will proper nutrition improve your furry friend's health and protect them from sickness, it will also give them a longer and more active life. One of the best ways to love your cat is by giving them what they need for a happy life.
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