Cats need cat food

Q: Why should cats not eat dog food?

A: Cats need a balanced diet to ensure that their nutritional needs are met. If they are fed a single protein, human table scraps or even dog food, they won’t receive the nutrients they require to stay healthy. For example, a cat with a vitamin A deficiency may develop complications that can lead to blindness. Feeding a diet that comprises mainly carbohydrates, like rice and pasta, could cause calcium deficiencies.

Cats do need protein, and they specifically need the amino acids, which are the required building blocks of protein in an animal’s body. A cat uses protein in just about every metabolic process in her body, and in all the tissues, including skin, bone, muscles and blood.

Cats have a unique metabolism, which means they need a slightly higher protein intake in general, and also a higher level of certain essential amino acids – like taurine. This is an essential amino acid profile for cats, best delivered by animal protein.


Q: I accidently stepped on my cat’s tail, and he screamed in pain. How do I know if his tail is injured, and whether I should take him to the vet?

A: Like any other bones in the body, the vertebrae that make up your cat’s tail can bruise or break. A cat with an injured tail will show signs of pain or aggression when the injured part is touched. In more severe cases, you might notice a bump or kink in the injured area, or see that your cat is not moving his tail at all. If you suspect that your cat is in pain, rather be safe and take him to the vet. The vet will likely take x-rays of the tail to see any fractures. The vet will then control your cat’s pain while the tail heals by itself or, in severe cases, may recommend more invasive procedures.


Q: During a recent visit to the vet, they couldn’t find my cat’s microchip. How does that happen?

A: A microchip is a small, electronic chip about the size of a grain of rice. The microchip is injected under the skin and, when a scanner is passed over the area, it transmits an identification number to the scanner.

Although very rare, microchips can fail and become undetectable by a scanner. In some instances, problems with the scanner might be to blame. It could also happen that a microchip migrates from the injected area to another region of the body, which was not scanned.

Always ensure that your pet’s microchip is implanted by a registered veterinarian or veterinary nurse, to minimise the chance of any errors. Remember to get your pet’s microchip checked at each vet visit.

Did you find these questions and answers interesting and helpful? The March 2023 edition of Animaltalk magazine features more interesting questions and answers about pets that you would want to know about. Get your copy from retailers now or order a printed or digital copy from



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