Monday, June 11, 2012

Mealtime Montras to live by

What meat does your cat seem interested in? -if you are cooking fish for dinner, are they right there watching?  If you make a chicken breast sandwich, do you have sudden helpers?  One of my cats LOVES liver.  I just have to open the container of fresh beef liver, and the cat appears out of nowhere.  A little close observation will usually yield YOUR  cat's answer.

"What should I feed my cat."  (I am asked this question several times every day.)  This is not a simple question to answer, as many cats will not eat what is good for them (but with persistence, you may be able to change their minds.)  Good cat nutrition is essential to keeping your cat healthy, and their weight under control.

It makes sense to feed the protein source that your cat actually wants.  It also makes sense to ROTATE different protein sources if you can.  Most beef/lamb/poultry products in cat food manufactured in the USA are sourced from the USA.  This may not be true for fish.  Fish sources could be international (China...) so be aware of this.  Some higher quality canned cat foods are made from human-grade meat sources, ALWAYS a good thing.   If your cat has skin allergies, you may want to stay away from beef.

"How much protein should be in my cat's food'"  The pet food companies will tell you that 35% is enough protein for your cat. And they will tell you that plant protein is fine.   Mother nature says 90%+ and MEAT is more appropriate for a carnivore.  Cats do best with high protein and low carbohydrate foods, what nature intended them to eat. 

Read the label:  If the food is called "Chicken Medely"  or Beef Stew", it could contain any and all meat sources.  Read the label closely.  Try to chose foods with only MEAT based proteins.  Rice gluten or Soy protein are PLANT based proteins, a cheap protein source, but NOT OK for a meat-eating animal.  By-products, altho a meat based protein source, should never be a first choice.

"How much should I feed." - Please do not follow the recommendations made by the pet food company.  Their primary goal is to sell more cat food, not feed YOUR cat appropriately.  The average 10# cat should be fed between 200-250kcal per day total.  You need to add in treats to this number.  AND you need to find out how many calories are in the food you are feeding.  The internet is the best reliable source for this information.  Or next time you are at the Fox Valley Cat Clinic we will help calculate this for you.

"Can I supplement with table food?"  YES, if you stay within the calorie limit, and feed this as a supplement, not a well balanced meal.   It must be human grade non-processed lean lightly cooked MEAT.  Chicken, turkey, beef liver, beef, pork, chicken gizzards/liver/heart.  Small chewable pieces, not seasoned.  NOT sandwich meat (processed), NOT sausage (processed), NOT ham (cured in salt).  I don't recommend dairy products like ice cream or cheese, as these are not sources of protein.

Do you want BRAND recommendations?  Feel free to stop into the clinic.  I have a large number of the most popular brands catagorized into EXCELLENT, GOOD, FAIR and DO NOT FEED, and we will happily share this with you.

Thanks for reading my blog- if you found it helpful, please share it with a friend :)
Dr. Maureen Flatley
Fox Valley Cat Clinic