A Guide to Pet Nutrition: Cats A Guide to Pet Nutrition: Cats

Posted by Emma Oldroyd, on

A Guide to Pet Nutrition: Cats

When it comes to feeding your cat, choosing the right recipe for their taste and nutritional needs will help them develop into a healthy and happy pet at every life stage.

Cats need to eat a nutritionally balanced diet just like humans, which will differ as they grow, and be impacted by their natural behaviours. Our nutritional experts have put together a guide to finding the best diet for your cat to help them lead a long, healthy life.

Firstly, it’s important to remember that there are some crucial nutrients to look out for in your choice of cat food. Cats can’t produce their own essential amino acids such as taurine or arginine- so their food must contain suitable levels of these for them to stay healthy. Taurine deficiency can lead to life-threatening illness in cats.

Good quality cat food will state the % of taurine in their recipes, so you know it meets your cat’s needs.

What should I feed my cat?

There is a huge choice of cat food on the market, and we understand it can be a little overwhelming to begin with. If your cat has certain intolerances or preferences, we would suggest taking our personalised pet nutrition plan quiz to establish which brands and recipes would suit your cat the most.

Cats are sensational eaters, so we recommend exposing your cat to as many different flavours and textures at as young as possible to help you discover their preferences, as well as trying to prevent them from becoming fussy eaters by just eating the same texture and flavour.

What are the benefits of dry cat food?

Dry cat food has many benefits; the crunchy kibble will help add texture to your cat’s meal and will keep their teeth in great condition. Dry cat food is also ideal for outdoor cats or cats who prefer to graze on their meal throughout the day, as you can leave it out in their dish for longer.

Many dry cat food recipes are complete meals; however we would always recommend feeding your cat a mixed diet of wet and dry food to not only ensure they have all the nutrients, but they have a variety of textures, smells and tastes from their meals.

What are the benefits of wet cat food?

Wet cat food has a great range of benefits as part of your cat’s daily diet. In addition to having generally higher protein levels,tinned cat food recipes have a richer aroma which will help stimulate your cat’s appetite.

Feeding your cat wet food can keep them hydrated. Some cats dislike still or standing water, so it can be hard for you to convince them to drink regularly throughout the day. Feeding wet cat food, which has a higher water content, will help keep them hydrated.

Another benefit of wet cat food is the high protein content. Wet cat food recipes will generally contain more protein than dry cat food, so it supports strong muscles and can help your cat maintain their muscle mass as they age. As well as more protein, wet cat food recipes can provide your cat with the same necessary levels of iron, zinc, and biotin as dry cat food, but with a more palatable taste to some cats. Promoting good overall health.

Wet cat food also offers a wider variety of recipes than dry food on a meal-by-meal basis. Variety packs are more common and will keep your cat from getting bored and potentially bringing home more tasty prey!

What is raw cat food?

Some owners choose to feed their cats a raw diet with uncooked ingredients. Raw diets can provide your cat with all the nutrients they need as part of their meals, but it’s important to remember that safety is paramount when handling raw food.

We recommend feeding commercially prepared raw cat meals such as nutriment raw cat food, which has been created using the recommended nutritional balance adult cats need.

Always practise good hand and surface hygiene (with a pet-friendly cleaner) when handling raw pet food as diseases can spread easily for both cats and humans.

How much should I feed my cat?

We would always recommend following the feeding guidelines from your cat’s food at every life stage. Weighing your cat regularly will help you stay up to date on their measurements and food requirements and help you with portion control (including treats!)

Are there specialist cat diets?

As well as life stage specific recipes, some cats may require a little tweaking in their diet depending on their lifestyle. For example, neutered cats will benefit from a specific sterilised cat food to maintain a healthy weight, as will indoor cats who may spend more of the day resting than outdoor cats.

Some brands also offer recipes to help combat hairballs and urinary tract infections (these can be common for cats who don’t stay hydrated).

Outdoor cat recipes can also contain higher protein levels to help prevent them from bringing home ‘prey’!

You can read about how to adapt your cat’s diet for their environment and how to help stop your cat from bringing home prey over in the cat hub. You can also speak to our pet experts in-store or online via our Pets Chat system if you have any questions about your cat’s nutritional needs and how to keep them healthy, happy, and well-fed.