Like humans, cats have specific dietary requirements to remain in tiptop shape and live long lives. Therefore, if you want your cat healthy, you should be selective in what you feed it. Not all cat foods are created equal, and you should check the ingredients list to ensure that the one you choose offers your feline the nutrition it needs.
Here are three reasons you should ensure that your cat eats a healthy diet:
The nutritiousness of a cat’s diet has a direct impact on how long it lives. Cats fed a poor diet containing the nutrients they need in the correct quantities will not live as long. They are inclined to develop health complications far earlier in life than felines that receive a nutrient-rich diet. A common problem that cats develop as they age is kidney disease. However, a supplement that contains kidney support for cats can minimize its impact and lengthen a feline’s lifespan.
Cats require a diet rich in protein, with moderate amounts of fats and minimal carbohydrates. They also need vitamins and minerals. Most cat food brands offer all these dietary components, but not necessarily in the right proportions.
For example, a brand might contain too many carbohydrates and not enough proteins. As a cat owner, scrutinize the ingredients list on the packaging before buying feline food.
The predominant ingredient should be protein, which will come from meat or meat by-products. This could come from red meat, poultry, or fish and is typically aligned to the cat food flavor. It is preferable to choose a cat food that includes meat rather than meat byproducts. This will cost a little extra but is healthier for a feline. Canned cat food ingredients often include meaty chunks that are protein-rich.
Cats are active creatures that experience brief spurts of energy followed by long naps. Therefore, they will want to play or climb for a short while. After that, they lose interest and will retreat somewhere quiet for a snooze.
Jumping and climbing are among most feline’s favorite activities. Another is ‘hunting,’ during which the cat searches for its prey and pounces on it. Fortunately, this does not need to be real prey, as cats are just as intrigued by a laser pointer as they are by a mouse.
A cat that does not receive a healthy diet will struggle to do most kitty activities. Consequently, weight gain will follow. This places unnecessary stress on the feline’s joints, leading to damage, arthritis, and severe discomfort.
Feline obesity could cause diabetes, a condition that becomes life-threatening if not treated. Many cats become obese because they are not eating a balanced diet suited to their stage in the feline life cycle. For example, an elderly cat should not eat food designed for kittens as felines’ nutrition requirements alter with age.
To maintain a healthy weight, cats need exercise. They cannot maintain sufficient fitness levels if they are overweight or eating a diet that does not supply them with the requisite energy levels. When this happens, a cat will continue to gain weight. This leads to a reduced quality of life and could potentially end the cat’s life early.
Many illnesses among felines are preventable if the cat eats a healthy diet from kittenhood into its senior years. As mentioned before, kidney problems are quite prevalent in cats, including chronic kidney disease (CKD). This is often due to a lack of hydration. Unlike dogs, cats do not drink much water on their own. Instead, they rely on their food to supply them with the moisture they need.
The cat food type you select can ensure that your kitty gets enough water through their food intake. Dry food contains minimal moisture, while semi-moist food includes a moderate amount. Canned food has a high moisture level, making it the ideal food for your precious feline.
A lack of water ingestion can lead to other conditions, such as a feline lower urinary tract disease or infection (FLUTD). This is common in cats who only eat dry food, are obese, or do not get enough exercise. Symptoms include:
- Bloody urine.
- Struggling to urinate.
- Obvious pain during urination.
- A sudden increase in thirst.
Too many carbohydrates can cause insulin resistance, leading to diabetes. At its onset, your cat might display lethargic behavior, excessive thirst, signs of dehydration, and a urinary tract infection.
A diet lacking in the correct nutrients can also compromise a feline’s immune system, making it more susceptible to opportunistic infections or diseases like cancer. A cat’s immune system is typically robust. However, a balanced diet that includes food fortified with vitamins and minerals can make it even better able to resist germs, viruses, and harmful compounds in the air.
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