Heathfield Vets’ Top Tips For Feeding Cats
Feed the right food
The right food and diet is vital to keep your cat fit and healthy.
Here are our top tips to help with some common questions.
Which brand is best?
There are several good commercial brand pet foods available – and of course we do stock those we particularly recommend ourselves.
The key point is to choose a high quality one which is tailored to meet the nutritional needs of your pet’s particular stage in life.
As with much else in life, including our own food, there is an element of “you get what you pay for” – some of the cheaper brands you will find in the supermarket are not necessarily the very best choice nutritionally.
Pet food for kittens is designed to provide the extra nutrients needed by growing youngsters, while making sure they don’t get too much – we don’t want them to become overweight. Just like with children, while bones and muscles are still growing, it’s essential not to overload them with too much weight.
These foods will provide all the nutritional requirements for your adult cat, while reducing the risk of obesity, dental and kidney disease later on in life.
You will also find ‘Adult light’ or ‘lite’ versions for pets which are liable to be overweight. There are also variations available for cats with sensitive skin or stomachs and for those prone to hairballs.
For cats with dental problems, there are now special dental diet foods too. These use unique fibre technology to clean the teeth while eating and contain a plaque reducing agent, equivalent to once weekly brushing.
There are even breed specific diets available nowadays – these are specially formulated to suit certain breeds of cat.
These foods are designed for cats over 8 years. Like us, older cats usually slow down a little. These foods are designed to allow for this, helping your cat to remain in good shape while keeping his or her skin, coat and internal organs in good health.
This is just a general guide and every cat is different – and his or her needs will change as they grow older.
Wet or Dry?
Most of the complete feeds are dry and they are designed to be just that – you don’t need to feed wet food as well. They are easy to measure and use and they are also good for your cat’s teeth.
Some cats simply prefer wet food and if so, you may want to try a mix, perhaps feeding wet feed once or twice a day and then allowing your cat to graze on dry food in between. If you are doing this it is very important to adjust the portion sizes, so your cat is not eating too much overall.
With wet food, your cat will naturally drink less, as there is more liquid in the food. Most cats don’t much like their dry food to be made wet or soaked and you’ll lose some of the benefit for their teeth too if you do this. Always make sure your cat has access to plenty of clean water.
What About “Raw Food”?
We don’t really recommend that you try getting your own raw food from the butcher, or fishmonger, as it’s very difficult to make sure your cat gets a sufficiently balanced diet, with all the essential minerals and vitamins they need.
The good news is that there are now some excellent natural “raw foods” available commercially.
These are closer to the cat’s natural diet in the wild, but are still well balanced with all the minerals and vitamins your cat needs naturally due to the quality of the ingredients used – and are also convenient to use.
We stock and recommend Almo’s Nature. To find out more about this, please do have a look at this article from last year: –
Or, as ever, just Call Us on 01435 864422 and we’ll be able to talk you through it all.
How much should I feed?
If you are feeding a commercial brand feed, then you won’t go far wrong if you follow the manufacturers’ recommendations based on your cat’s weight. Of course if your cat is overweight, you’ll need to adjust this down. You also need to take into account your cat’s activity levels – older inactive or indoor cats will need less, although this is taken account of if you are feeding a senior feed.
We’ll always discuss your cat’s feeding and weight at our regular check up, but if you have any concerns or haven’t brought your cat in for a while, Please Do Call on 01435 864422 and book an appointment to discuss your cat’s special requirements with us.
And don’t forget our great value Platinum Pet Club, which includes your regular check-ups as well as the other routine health products your cat needs – plus lots of extra discounts and benefits. It costs from just £10.90 per month for each cat, regardless of size.