Last Updated on January 27, 2023 by Pets Feed
When choosing a diet for a cat or a cat, one must first of all proceed from the fact that we are dealing with an obligate predator. This means that the cat’s body only needs animal proteins and fats to maintain health. In nature, a cat’s only diet is prey caught on a hunt, but how to feed a domestic cat that is not familiar with the natural way of life? Let’s talk about this in more detail.
Ready (industrial) food
Feeding ready-made food is more convenient, because saves time on cooking, it is balanced and the cat receives all the necessary nutrients.
There is also a difference between dry food. Experienced “cat growers” categorically do not recommend buying cheap advertised dry food, because they are made from products of dubious quality and often lead to severe kidney and liver diseases. Choose from the so-called premium food Hills, Nutro Choice, Iams, Royal Canin, Eagle Pack, Nutra Gold, Purina Pro Plan (Purina Pro Plan) in specialty stores. They are, of course, more expensive, but the health of your pet is worth it, do not skimp on feed! Good feeds are usually labeled “Premium” or “Superpremium”.
Each of these food lines contains food specifically for kittens. All over the world such rations as Eukanuba Puppy & Junior Small Breed, Hill’s Science Plan Puppy & Kitten, Royal Canin Size Nutrition Mini Junior and many others for every taste and budget are deservedly popular.
Cheap forages such as Kiti Cat, Katinka, CANNOT be given! The same goes for widely advertised feeds such as Whiskas, Friskas, etc. They are of poor quality, contain too many mineral salts, and not meat and high-quality offal are used as protein, but bones, skins, feathers. Their use leads to various diseases and does not satisfy the needs of the cat. There is also a great risk of developing urolithiasis.
From canned food, good food from dry food manufacturers recommended above, as well as Gourmet (Gourmet).
A kitten up to 8-10 months, sometimes up to a year, is fed with special food for kittens, both dry and canned. This is very important for proper development. Then they are transferred to adult food. Also, kitten food is given to pregnant and lactating cats. When feeding a cat (male) with dry food, especially a castrated one, the packaging should be marked “prevention of urolithiasis” (these foods have a special formula with a low ash, phosphorus and magnesium content). For a cat, this is not so important, just high-quality food is enough. Dry food can be poured in for the whole day, it does not deteriorate. Canned food is given as much as the animal can eat at one time. The following diet is recommended (based on the daily dose): 75% dry food 25% canned. You can increase the consumption of canned food up to 50% of the daily ration (especially important for show cats).
Vitamins Sanal, Jim Pat, Kitzim, etc. are given with such feeding in smaller doses and not constantly, but in courses (if necessary) than with natural feeding (consult a veterinarian or a sales consultant).
Natural food for kittens and cats
If you want to accustom your kitten to natural food, certain conditions must be observed. The food should be varied. If in childhood you do not accustom a kitten to any product, it is unlikely that it will be possible to do this in adulthood. Therefore, offer different products so as not to turn the kitten into a fussy and provide good nutrition. Never feed an animal from the table – human food is not good for cats, it can cause severe indigestion, and you run the risk of raising a beggar if you constantly feed the animal from your plate. Do not give anything smoked, salty or spicy, have mercy on the animal! No bones, especially chicken bones. Such bones, when passing through the digestive tract, can seriously injure internal organs. Remember, cats need weed to effectively regurgitate hair that has accumulated in their stomachs. Sow weed directly in flower pots, or buy weed already grown at the pet store. The kitten should have its own dishes, its own permanent place to eat and its own diet. And don’t forget vitamins and minerals. If you are feeding your animal with natural products, then you cannot do without additives.
First, place the meat in the cat’s grocery basket. It can be beef (it’s better to start with it), poultry, rabbit, lamb, horse meat. Avoid pork – this meat is too fat, especially for small ones, and besides, it can infect the kitten with helminths. Oddly enough, it is also better not to get carried away with fish – give sea fish once a week in small portions. The meat can be given both boiled and raw, at first it is better in finely chopped or pureed form.
Dairy products are the most natural food for a kitten. However, some tender stomachs cannot handle cow’s milk. Whole milk can be replaced with sour milk, kefir and other fermented milk products. An excellent product for a growing body is cottage cheese. A small kitten can be given a mixture of cottage cheese with milk and yolk – a very healthy and nutritious “eggnog”, eaten with great pleasure. Also, do not forget to spoil your purr occasionally with low-fat sour cream and cheese.
Almost all cats eat eggs with pleasure. This is a real delicacy for them. Include eggs on the menu a couple of times a week, they are great for the condition of the coat. Can be fed raw or cooked. Offer the small kittens a mixture of milk and yolk.
For full development, plant products are also needed – cereals and vegetables. It is best to cook porridge. For young animals – in milk, for grown kittens – in water or broth. Grains can be used in a variety of ways, legumes and rolled oats should be avoided. Legumes are poorly digested and cause bloating, while rolled oats are too high in carbohydrates and can lead to obesity. Mashed boiled vegetables and meat are usually added to porridge in broth.
|Raw frozen beef – (for a kitten at least 30 grams, for an adult cat – 100-120 grams).
|Boiled chicken without bones
|3-4 times a week
|Chicken or beef offal (heart, lungs, liver, kidneys) in raw (frozen) or boiled form.
|2-3 times a week. Liver – 1 time per week.
|Boiled low-fat fish, boneless, preferably sea fish (not often, because fish destroys vitamin B in the cat’s body). You cannot give raw fish – it causes a disease with worms
|Cats – 1-2 times a week, kittens -1 times a week. or less often.
|Egg yolk (protein cannot be given) raw or boiled in pure form, or you can grind it with milk, kefir, add to porridge.
|1-2 times a week
|Fresh raw or boiled milk (only for kittens up to 3 months of age, because milk in an adult cat is not digested and causes indigestion, and the kitten needs it). You can add a little honey (no sugar). Also given to pregnant and lactating cats.
|You can switch to fermented milk products every day if you have an upset stomach
|Liquid milk porridges (for kittens under the age of 3 months): semolina, rice, oatmeal. Without sugar, you can have a little honey.
|You can every day
|Fermented milk products: kefir, sour cream, fermented baked milk, yogurt, cream – all medium fat, as well as cheese.
|You can every day. Cheese 1 time per week
|Fresh non-acidic curd – can be mixed with sour cream or raw egg yolk (you can add quite a bit of honey).
|Kittens – 3-4 times a week. Adult cats – 1-2 times a week.
|Cereals: oatmeal (steamed), rice, buckwheat, wheat groats (boiled) – mixed in a 1: 2 ratio (cereals: meat) with boiled meat or boiled fish.
|Few times a week
|Raw or boiled vegetables (in the form of mashed potatoes): carrots, cauliflower, green (asparagus) beans, etc. – mixed in a 1: 2 ratio (vegetables: meat) with boiled meat or boiled fish.
|Several times a week (alternate with cereals)
|Greens – lettuce, spinach – are crushed and added to food. Better – sprouted wheat grains or grow grass on a windowsill (from wheat or oats). NO grass from the street!
|Add to food several times a week, if there is grown weed, the cat will eat it herself.
|Dry brewer’s yeast (sold in pharmacies, the dosage must be calculated based on the weight of the kitten / cat)
|3-4 times a week
|Vegetable oil in the amount of half a teaspoon (a few drops for a kitten) is added to food to improve bowel function.
|Once a week
|Mineral and vitamin supplements
|Every day, the dosage depends on the age of the kitten.
Meat and meat by-products, which are given raw, must be frozen beforehand.
You cannot feed the kitten only meat and fish, or only porridge. In general, you should not get carried away with fish, its excessive consumption leads to inflammatory diseases of the kidneys and urolithiasis. Fish should not be given to castrated animals.
Food should be slightly warm or at room temperature. Food that is too hot or cold (from the refrigerator) should not be given.
All food for a kitten is very finely chopped, large and small bones are carefully removed. For an adult cat, food is cut into small pieces. Don’t give big pieces!
Raw meat is given in its pure form, boiled meat or fish (boiled) can be mixed with vegetables, cereals, etc.
Kitten 1.5-2 months fed 5 times a day (or free access to food). By six months, gradually reduce the number of feedings to 3 times a day. From 8 months feed like an adult cat 2 times a day.
DO NOT! (cats and kittens)
|Chicken bones, fish
|A kitten or cat can choke, besides, bones damage the esophagus and stomach, and clog the intestines.
|Pork, lamb. Poultry meat (except chicken): goose, duck, turkey.
|In its raw form, it leads to infection with worms, in some cases to dangerous infectious diseases, which leads to the death of the animal. Such meat is very fatty and poorly absorbed by the cat’s body.
|Fatty, spicy, salty, smoked products, incl. sausages and canned food for people. Fried foods.
|They cause upset of the gastrointestinal tract, disrupt the metabolism. As a result, the animal looks bad, chronic diseases appear.
|Sugar, chocolate, candy, cakes and everything sweet.
|Disrupts metabolism, weak immunity, dull hair, dental diseases. CHOCOLATE contains theobromine, which is poison for cats, causes severe poisoning, death of the animal.
|The starch is not digested by the intestines of the cat, potatoes are absolutely useless for her, can cause upset.
|Legumes (soybeans, peas, beans)
|Not absorbed by the body, causes bloating and fermentation in the intestines.
|Food for cats is not salted and spices are not used. it does not benefit her body, only harm.
|Medicines, incl. vitamins intended for humans.
|A cat has its own special balance of substances in the body, vitamins for humans are not suitable for them. In addition, many medications for humans cause severe poisoning, kidney failure in cats, which leads to death.
Kitten feeding – recipe
Here’s a way of feeding kittens for busy people.
For 1 kg of raw rolled beef: 2 medium grated carrots (no nitrates), 200 g of kindergarten cheese (cheap, mild, unsalted), 1 raw chicken yolk (or 3 sawn yolks) for a bunch, a tablespoon of brewer’s yeast (this is the whole group of vitamins B from B1 to B12), calcium gluconate (ordinary chalk) – 6 tablets (put in a tablespoon, a teaspoon to a powder state), vitamin D – 20 drops.
The amount of meat can be increased 2-5 times, correspondingly increasing the amount of other products.
Turn the whole mixture into a homogeneous mass with handles. Roll out with a rolling pin in layers of 0.5 mm and put in the freezer. A layer of parchment or foil is a layer of mix.
Came home from work. Tore off a piece, defrost it quickly, make small meatballs that grow with the age of the cat.
Mixed food – when dry food (high-quality!) Is taken as the basis of the diet, to which the animal has constant access. As a bait 1-2 times a day (for example, in the morning and in the evening), the animal is offered meat, fish, fermented milk products (see the table on feeding with natural food).
With such feeding, it is imperative to give vitamins to cats.
Such food is less preferable.
Artificial feeding of kittens
It so happens that a kitten comes to you very small, still breastfeeding, unable to feed on its own. What to do with such a baby and how to feed him in the absence of a mother?
Most often, these kittens are bottle-fed with whole cow or goat milk mixed with a raw egg. Strain the mixture through cheesecloth and feed heated to 30-35 degrees 6 times a day. You can also use infant formula, and pet stores now sell specially designed milk replacers. When the kitten is 1 month old, you can start introducing grated or scraped meat (beef, chicken), fermented milk products, liquid cottage cheese into the diet. At 1.5-2 months. kittens are already able to feed on their own and easily get used to the chosen diet. Introduce new products gradually, one after another, without mixing.
A complete, balanced diet is the guarantee of your pet’s health. Observe the kitten’s appearance and behavior. He must be active and full of energy, grow and develop well. Organize the right feeding for your pet, and you can easily raise a healthy, beautiful cat!
Advice of dieticians
Don’t feed your cat natural foods. With a systematic combination, ready-made cat food and natural products will cause a bias in nutrition – oversaturation of the body with any elements with a shortage of others and, as a result, disease.
Provide your cat with clean and fresh drinking water at all times. It is absolutely unacceptable to have a full bowl of dry food and an empty bowl for water: the cat is in danger of dehydration.
Canned cat food is more flavorful than dry food and has a wide variety of flavors.
Heating canned food for cats to a temperature of 39 – 40 ° C can enhance its smell and indirectly improve taste, this can be used when feeding a fastidious cat.
Experts recommend not to mix dry and canned food – in terms of effect, such a mixture is closer to dry food. It is best to feed your cat only canned food from time to time.
Cats are very good at distinguishing the shape and prefer foods with small pellets.
It is not at all necessary to change food throughout the cat’s life. You can choose quality cat food from one brand and stick to it according to the age and weight of the cat.
In many diseases, there are changes in the taste of cats. In this case, you should use a special dietetic food for cats with the best taste (“Hill’s”, “Iams”, “Mars”, “Royal Canin”).
Finally, you can use the following external metrics to determine how suitable your chosen food is for your cat:
- Optimal body condition of the pet (ribs are not visible, but easily palpable);
- Good physical condition;
- Shiny coat;
- Small stool volume (approximately 25% of the amount of food eaten);
- Maintaining a constant weight of the cat.