Healthy Dietary for Cats
Tips for Feeding Adult Cats
When it comes to taking care of an adult cat, it is important to know just how much and how often it should be fed. In addition, the amount of water your cat has access to is important to its overall health.
How Much to Feed the Cat
As a cat reaches adult age, it is best to feed it twice daily. One meal per day is not recommended as it can cause the stomach to distend. As a result, it can easily twist or become bloated. Feeding your cat twice daily helps to prevent this from happening. A twice a day feeding schedule also makes it easier to monitor your cat’s weight because you can offer smaller amounts of food at a time. Also, it is best to leave the food bowl available for your cat for only 15 to 20 minutes. This keeps the food fresh and filled with important nutrients.
If your cat is a picky eater, there are some steps you can take to encourage it to eat more. Firstly, cats should be fed a variety of different foods while they are kittens. These foods should be of different colors, shapes, temperatures, odors and textures. The cat should not be given medication with food or it will associate this unpleasant experience with eating. Sudden dietary changes can also be difficult with a picky eater.
Providing the Cat with Water
Unlike food, it is best to keep a constant supply of fresh water available for the cat. If your cat prefers cold water, you can freeze some water in a sealed container and place the container inside the water dish to help keep it cool. Some pets also prefer running water. For these pets, you can purchase a fountain with a pump. Many cats actually enjoy drinking from a dripping fountain.
The amount of water your cat needs varies on the outside temperature and how much your cat exercises. Cats with diarrhea, diabetes or those that are nursing require more water. In addition, cats that are primarily fed dry cat food will require more water than those that eat canned or raw food.
Toilet water should never be used in place of a bowl of fresh water. Therefore, the lid of the toilet should be kept closed to prevent your cat from drinking from it. Human feces can cause your cat to become very ill as it contains salmonella, E. coli and other pathogens. Chemicals used to keep toilets clean can also be fatal to pets.
Encouraging Your Cat to Drink
In general, cats need about one ounce of water for every pound they weigh. Therefore, an eight pound cat will need about eight ounces of water. Some cats drink a great deal, while others do not. Cats orginated from the desert where they received their water from their prey or from standing ponds and puddles. This has given some cats the genetic inclination to drink very little.
Because cats consume varying amounts of water, it is important to monitor the cat's water consumption to notice any change. At the same time, some cats may need to be encouraged to drink more. Cats that drink too little water can develop urinary stones, crystals and have problems with constipation and hairballs. Feeding canned or fresh foods rather than dry food and also encouraging the cat to drink often can help prevent this from occurring.
If your cat is resistant to drinking more water, one suggestion is to flavor the water with chicken or fish broth. In addition, some cats will drink more if there are several bowls placed throughout the house. A fish bowl in which a cat can dip its paws in is another method for getting it to drink more.