Cat foods

CAT FOOD

(rev. 12/1/13)

Susan Senser   susenscats@hotmail.com   209-274-4157

Kittens need access to plenty of food while they are growing. They rarely overeat. But starting about 6-8 months they can be cut back to two raw or canned feeds a day. If you also feed dry chow then only put out what they need for a day – when it’s gone no more until the next day. That way they won’t over eat when bored. Remember a fat cat is not a healthy cat.

It is very important to feed your cat a high quality diet.

Raw is best but is difficult for some people to mange. Several quality frozen complete diets are now availble  If you want to give making your own a try there are good websites and web-groups that will help get you started. I feed RadCat  in all three flavors along with dry chow. Go www.radcat.com to find a store.

The second best diet is canned meats – 9% or higher protein levels. Again limited grains (no soy, corn or wheat); some veggies or fruit OK but the more meat the better. Feed twice daily. Feed lots of varieties and flavors but limit fish to once or twice a week..

Third best is to feed some canned and/ or raw with high protein dry diets.

There are many premium dry foods available in today’s market and more show up all the time. The simplest thing to remember is high protein (preferably over 35 %), little or no carbohydrates and absolutely no corn, soybeans or wheat. The same guidelines apply to treats.  Don’t  worry about fat content – cats need fat. Read the labels!! A meat, not meat meal, meat by-products or any non- meat item, should be the first ingredient.

The higher the protein the less the cat will eat and the easier they will be able to maintain correct weight. Quality foods pay for themselves in better health and less shedding.  Listed below are some of the dry chows I use. I never feed just one type, but a mixture of two or more. Usually one is the base diet – 80% of the mix- and 20% is made up of one or more other choices. I try to mix foods that have different flavors and textures. This adds variety to the diet and assures the cats will not be finicky eaters, and is a safe guard in case a food becomes unavailable.  Always switch to new foods gradually over a weeks time unless they are use to being on a varied diet. Only change one component of the food mix at a time. That way you will know if a problem arises when a new food is introduced. Buy smal quantities at first until you discover a combination that works for your cat(s).  Cats with food allergies will start scratching and licking excessively, and loose coat  in patches, or even over most of their body.

Dry diets are hard on the kidneys. Cats on total, or mostly dry diets, need to be encouraged to drink lots of water. Very important for kidney function.  Many cats enjoy drinking fountains. Water bowls should be cleaned and refilled daily, and placed far enough away that cats can’t drop food into them. Always feed as far away from the litter pan as possible. Use stainless steel or glass food and water containers. Plastics can give off fumes that irritate some cats chins.

Brand  (protein/fat content)

  • Young Again Cat/Kitten (50/22)
  • Blue Buffalo Wilderness – chicken, duck or salmon (45/18).  Chicken and Duck are my base diet.
  • Blue Healthy Living (34/18)
  • Taste of the Wild – 2 flavors  (42/18)
  • Felidae Pure Elements – (39/20)
  • Natural Balance Duck and Green Pea (30/12) – a bit low in protein but good for cats with food allergies or as a “third” choice in a mix.
  • Orijen two formulas – (44-45/20)
  • Wellness CORE – (50/18)
  • EVO – (50/22)
  • California Natural Chicken and Brown Rice   – (36/16)
  • Innova Cat/Kitten (turkey/chicken) (36/20)
  • Solid Gold Katz-N-Flocken – (34/12) – first ingredient is lamb which some cats like. Or Solid Gold Indigo Blue (45/20)

Again this is just a partial list – I always try any new quality food that comes along. Some work for my cats and some don’t. Try some fish with your cat but don’t over do it; much of the fish caught today is full of mercury – use as a treat, or as the extra in a mix. The first signs of flea bite or food  allergies are usually excessive licking, scratching, and shedding.

Again I stress, READ THE INGREDIENT LABELS. If your cat has an allergy to fish you will have to read far down the ingredient lists to locate foods without any fish or fish oil. Some cats are allergic to the grains in food and litter. The occasional treat with wheat or corn is not going to kill most cats, but don’t over do treats anyway. It’s hard to get most adult cats to exercise enough to burn off those extra calories. Use play as a treat.