There are so many diets available it can be confusing to pick one, and have confidence you’re doing your best by your cat.
Be careful changing their food
When you first get a new cat you should always try to keep them on the diet they’re used to. If you decide to change your cat’s diet for any reason then this should always be modified gradually, by adding a little more new food each day and decreasing the one that is being replaced. If your cat suffers from a sensitive stomach or regular episodes of vomiting then consult a vet for advice on feeding.
Think about their stage of life
You should always try to keep your cat on a good quality, life stage diet. There are a range of dry and wet diets available, made by hundreds of different manufacturers.
Kittens should be fed three to four small meals throughout the day. Kitten food is available to buy in dry and wet versions, it will give all the extra nutrients for growth that are required. The biggest range of cat food is aimed at the fully grown adult cat. They come in all different varieties and should provide a balanced diet to maintain good health. Older cats should ideally be fed on a senior diet which contains extra nutrients for an ageing cat.
Specially tailored diets
Some larger cat food manufacturers produce a wide range of diets, so you can be more specific than just the age. You can get food for particular breeds of cats, indoor cats, neutered cats and dental or hairball diets. It’s your choice whether you want to feed your cat a specially tailored diet and whether to pick a wet food, dry food or mixture of both. As long as the diet provides complete nourishment for your cat, then let them decide what they like best.
Wet food should always be stored appropriately and replaced regularly, especially in hot weather. Some wet foods are advised by a vet for particular medical conditions, such as kidney disease or urinary problems. Only use these or change to a different diet at the request of your vet.
Dry food and biscuits
Biscuits provide a good opportunity to keep your cat’s teeth clean as they help chip the tartar and plaque off their teeth. Even still, it’s quite normal for your cat to require dental work by a vet at various points in its life, usually the latter years. If your cat has a sore mouth or is lacking in teeth then be careful when giving them a dry diet.
Foods to avoid
Many cats are lactose intolerant, so avoid giving them cow’s milk and provide fresh water at all times. Human food – including cheese, chocolate or eggs – should be avoided as treats, unless it is steamed white fish or chicken. Cat treats should be given in moderation or as a reward for positive behaviour.
Please also be aware that cats will eat grass and it does often make them sick, but this isn’t damaging to them and is a natural thing for them to do. You can purchase cat grass, but this will do exactly the same thing as them going outside and eating grass.