Cat Health Advice on Diet and Nutrition

Feline Diabetes

A lot of pet owners ask for cat health advice on diet and nutrition. Diet and nutrition are essential in keeping your cat healthy and improve his quality of life.

Basic Nutritional Needs

The basics of a normal feline diet include proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. An imbalanced diet will result in poor health, dull coat and dry skin.

Cats are carnivores and they need protein. Proteins are the main energy source for cats and also help in the growth and development of kittens. Proteins are involved in the body's production of tissues, hormones, enzymes and antibodies.

Meat, fish or eggs contain proteins. Animal protein is essential in the feline diet.

An adult cat should have at least 18% of proteins in his diet, while growing kittens need more.

  • A healthy feline diet includes fats. Fats are potential deposits of energy and provide fatty acids. Oils and meats contain a lot of fats. Check the cat's food labels for two essential fatty acids: the linoleic acid and the arachidonic acid. If these are not included in your cat's diet, ask your vet for some fatty acid supplements.
  • Vitamins are needed for growth, metabolism, healthy coat and skin. Food may contain vitamins of two types: water and fat soluble vitamins. The water soluble vitamins needed by a cat include vitamins from the B group (niacin, thiamin) and vitamin C.
  • Fat soluble vitamins that are essential for cats include vitamin A, D, E and K.

If these vitamins are absent from the cat's daily diet, add some dietary supplements to your cat's diet.

  • Minerals are needed for the cat's muscles and bones. A cat with mineral deficiencies will have slow reflexes and reactions. The essential minerals for felines include calcium, magnesium, iron, iodine, selenium and zinc. Meats, fish and eggs are natural sources of minerals.
  • Fibers are important for a healthy digestion and may be found in vegetables, grass or fiber supplements.
  • Carbohydrates are not necessary in a cat's diet. If carbs are present in the diet, they should be maximum 5% of the daily food portion.

Wet, Dry or Homemade

Cats may get wet, dry food or homemade food.

Wet, canned food is recommended for senior cats, kittens and cats with kidney problems. Wet food is poor in calories and carbs, so it is also recommended in weight loss.

Dry food is beneficial for the cat's oral hygiene. The kibble food scrapes off the teeth plaque deposits. Dry food is also very convenient for many cat owners; it is less pricey and contains the necessary nutrients. However, dry food contains a lot of sugars and flour, which are not the best option for diabetic or obese cats.

Homemade food is recommended for cats with different medical conditions and allergies or if you choose a natural diet for your pet.

Either way, you need to make sure that cats get the needed nutrients in their daily diet. Check the food labels and talk to your vet about possible necessary supplements.