Cats are carnivores (meat eater).
That is the most important thing to keep in mind when considering what to feed your cat. But in the natural situation cats eat the entire body of their prey, so it is not surprising that meat alone (muscle) doesn’t provide everything that your cat needs.
Also some owners treat their cat the same way you would treat your dog but a dog can eat a variety of food and still remain healthy.
Dog or human food might be high in carbohydrates, which cats can’t process well.
Unfortunately cats will rather go on a hunger strike than eat something they don’t like. Not eating can effect their liver and they can get fatally ill.
In order to introduce a new food, try to add it gradually over a week. This might prevent your cat from rejecting the new food and lessen the risk of upsetting its stomach.
In general cats prefer to eat small meals throughout the day. Sometimes warming the food to body temperature will enhance the aroma of the food an therefor increase the chances of your cat accepting the food.
Cats should have several sources of fresh water available through the house. Some cats prefer running water; others can detect the taste of chlorine in tap water or will only drink out of certain bowls.
Try to encourage your cat to drink more. One option is to make it a bit of a game.
- Cut some leaves of fresh catnip
- Fill a bowl with water and crush the leaves under the water
- Sit back and watch your cat play with them
Dangerous food for cats
- Onion (powdered, raw, cooked, or dehydrated)- Onions can break down a cat’s red blood cells, leading to anemia.
- Milk and other dairy products – Most cats are lactose-intolerant and their digestive system cannot process dairy foods. It can upset their stomach and cause diarrhea.
- Alcohol – It has an effect on its liver and brain. Even small amounts can cause a coma or could kill your cat.
- Grapes and raisins – They can cause kidney failure in cats. Repeated vomiting and hyperactivity are early signs of poisoning
- Caffeine – Symptoms of caffeine poisoning include restlessness, rapid breathing, heart palpitations, muscle tremors, and fits. In large enough quantities it can be fatal for your cat and there is no antidote.
- Chocolate – Chocolate can be lethal for cats he most dangerous kinds, though, are dark chocolate and unsweetened baking chocolate.
- Sweetener – Candy, gum, toothpaste, baked goods, and some diet foods are sweetened with xylitol. Xylitol can cause an increase in the insulin circulating through your cat’s body, which will cause the cat’s blood sugar to drop. Xylitol can also lead to liver failure.
- Cooked bones – Do not feed cooked bones as they can splitter and can cause harm.
- Human medicine – Ingesting a drug prescribed for humans is one of the most common causes of poisoning in cats. Never give your cat any over-the-counter medicine unless advised to do so by your vet. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen are common in pain relievers and cold medicine can be deadly for your cat.
Common medical problems associated with low quality food
- Kidney disease
- Cystitis/Urethral blockage/Urinary tract infection/Crystals
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Hepatic Lipidosis (fatty liver disease)
- Dental health
…one more tip
Cats can be addicted to tuna or other raw fish. Like raw eggs raw fish can contain bacteria that cause food poisoning. In addition, an enzyme in raw fish destroys thiamine, which is an essential B vitamin for your cat. A lack of thiamine can cause serious neurological problems and lead to convulsions and coma. Use raw fish as treat only not as standard meal.
Although many foods including raw fish provide excellent sources of protein in a balanced diet, they are very unbalanced nutritionally when fed as the greater part of the diet and may cause a number of nutritional diseases. Exclusive diets always pose a problem if you ever need to change your cat’s diet, for example in the management of a disease.