Cats are notoriously finicky creatures. Your cat can also be quite a snob when it comes to her food and water and will easily turn up her nose when something is not to her liking. These guidelines will help you to keep her healthy and content.
1. Clean bowl
You wouldn’t want to eat from a dirty plate with leftover food, so why should your cat eat from a dirty bowl? By cleaning it after every meal less bacteria will form and your fussy feline might just enjoy her food more.
2. Big enough bowl
Don’t only consider the size of your cat’s mouth when you buy a new food dish, think of her whiskers too. Your cat’s whiskers are extremely sensitive and if there is not enough space for her whiskers to fit into the bowl as well, she might avoid using the bowl. One sign that the bowl is too small is when your cat uses her paw to get the food out of the bowl.
3. One bowl each
If you have more than one cat, feed each cat separately. This will allow them to eat at their own pace and will make it easier for you to notice if one of the cats are suffering from a possible appetite problem.
4. Enough food
Don’t feed your cat more than she can eat in one sitting. The label on the packaging will indicate how much your cat is supposed to eat. If she wants more food, or is not eating the required amount, speak to your vet. Watch her weight to see if she’s losing or picking up weight, and discuss this with your vet.
Fresh water served in a clean bowl is more appetising for cats who are naturally not inclined to drink water. Considering that in the wild cats get most of their moisture from their prey, it is important to ensure that your cat drinks enough water – especially if she is fed a kibble diet. A good idea is to invest in a water fountain for cats, as they prefer running water.
6. No milk
Cats are lactose intolerant and their bodies can’t digest milk. Although people used to give their cats milk to drink, it has become clear that milk is bad for cats. You are not doing her any favours by giving her milk to drink.
7. Fresh food
Be aware what you feed your cat and make sure that it is fresh. Ensure that the food hasn’t expired and don’t feed her any leftover food from a previous meal.
8. No dog food
Dog food isn’t as rich in proteins as cat food, which can be a problem if you feed your cat dog food. It might not pose a big problem if she does eat some of Fluffy’s food on occasion, but she shouldn’t indulge on a regular basis.
Cats need protein-rich food. As obligate carnivore, cats will be at their healthiest when they are living off mainly meat and animal organs. One nutrient that they need, for example, is taurine, which is an essential amino-acid only found in animal tissue. A lack of taurine can lead to heart problems, blindness and can even be fatal.
10. Best quality
Always buy the best quality food that you can afford to keep her as healthy as possible. Ensure that the food is rich in protein and discuss any alternatives with your vet first.
11. Feeding times
Stick to certain feeding times and don’t keep your cat’s food bowl filled. Serve the right amount of food to prevent her from overeating. This will also make it easier to see if she has gone off her food.
12. Tuna treats
Cats love tuna and it is in order to feed her a little bit of tinned tuna as a treat now and then. But don’t fall into the trap of feeding her tinned tuna exclusively, as it doesn’t contain all the required ingredients to keep her healthy.