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Nutrition 101: What Should I Be Feeding My Cat?

Knowing what food is best for your cat can be very confusing due to the high number of brands and options on the market. You may be thinking, should I feed my cat dry food or wet food? What about a combination of both? Or should I cook them meat and fish?

The best food to provide for your furry friend really should only depend on one thing: the age of your cat. All cats require a proper diet that is filled with enough nutrients to fuel them so they can live a happy and healthy life.

Kitten Food

For the first month of a cat’s life, kitten food comes in the form of mother’s milk. However, if the kitten is no longer with its mother, they will require a bottle of commercial milk replacer formula every 2-4 hours.

During 3-5 weeks of age, you can provide your kitten their milk from a shallow dish to encourage weaning from the bottle. You can also add a moist, easily chewable diet consisting of a mixture of their warm milk-replacer and some high quality canned or dried kitten food 4-6 times a day.

Within 5-8 weeks of age, a kitten should be able to chew the food provided on their own and feedings should take place 3-4 times a day. Kitten food is usually very high in protein, calories and fats which will help support your kitten to grow into a healthy cat! Canned food is typically recommended, but a good diet may also include a combination of canned and dry food. After 6 months, your kitten should only be fed twice daily.

Cat Food

After a kitten has grown into a healthy cat, a common mistake is to provide them with only dry food. Dry food, while convenient and easy for a busy cat owner, is typically filled with a high amount of carbohydrates and plant protein. A cat should consume animal-based protein and not plant based. The high levels of carbohydrates and plant protein can lead to weight gain and digestive issues for your cat.

When choosing what diet to feed your adult cat, we recommend wet cat food or fresh cat food. Both can mimic the same kind of diet that they would be eating in the wild and can provide unprocessed protein, vitamins, minerals, and water that is beneficial for a cat.

Senior Cat Food

Like us humans, cats transitioning from adulthood to a mature/senior stage of life can affect their weight, joints, and internal organs. Depending on the health of your cat, they may still be doing well on their current diet. However, if you notice your senior cat is throwing up and having a hard time keeping their food down, it is most likely because they are having trouble with digestion. This issue is incredibly common with senior cats who are only being fed dry food. To help with this problem, there are special brands specifically for senior cats that can help food be easily digested or support the current needs of your cat’s health.

The food that you provide for your cat should be beneficial to them. If you still have questions on what diet may be best for your kitty, please give us a call at 239-642-8674. We can offer you years of expertise in feeding cats of all ages! We also like to recommend, which is a wonderful resource for information on cat food.


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