June is Adopt a Cat month. Harold ,my adopted cat is a big part of our family. Harold the chief tester of all cat products carried at Natural Pawz, if Harold won’t use it, eat it or play with it, we don’t carry the products. My goal is simple, products must be safe, healthy and be Harold Approved.
KEY building blocks needed for a healthy and happy Cat
- What a cat eats is very important
- Cats inherently have a low thirst drive.
- Prevention is the best policy – when you notice warning signs they are already very sick and may require more than just a better diet
- Bonding with their human parent – interactive play
Most people may not even notice that their feline is unhealthy until it is too late. It is much more difficult to notice the signs of issues in felines, many which could possibly have been addressed by simply changing their diet. People always ask me what should my cat eat. Simply ,the answer is that an optimal feline diet consists of high moisture and minimally processed ingredients. Do you think a diets consisting of fillers, processed grains, by-products are full of nutrition? Cat’s nutritional needs have not changed but the pet food industry has.
Cats Need Animal-Based Protein
Cats need meat to be healthy. Cats are obligate carnivores. Humans and dogs can get some of what their basic nutrition needs are from plant protein, cats cannot do this.
MY CAT ONLY WANT TO EAT FOODS THAT ARE NOT GOOD FOR THEM.
Your cat doesn’t need to sacrifice taste for nutrition. It might take a little effort on your part but well worth the long term health benefits.
Cats are not like dogs, they will not eat when they get hungry enough. Coupled with their low thirst drive, it is dangerous as your cat can become dehydrated which is very serious and could require that you have to go to the vet to get them fluids intravenously.
Here are some tips on changing their food
1) Be patient and go slow
2) Start small. If you cat only eats dry food, why not dab a small amount of wet on top of the dry food. If your cats doesn’t like pate, try something that looks like what they would eat in the wild. One that has worked wonders for our customers is Tiki Cat. The Tuna or chicken are the best to start . Using a little freeze dried food broken up on top of their food might do the trick to.
3) Gradually decrease the dry, and slowly add canned, dehydrated , freeze dried or raw diet. Moisture based foods should be at least 50% of their total diet. We have seen a big increase in dehydrated and freeze dried products. This is good news for cat owners because it does not need to be refrigerated (how many of us have to throw away the rest of the can because our cats won’t eat it). It is also full of nutrition and full of moisture when hydrated.
4) Stop free feeding your cat and leaving food out all the time. It not only leads to obesity, it affects behavior – cats want to hunt and play. Make it fun. It is best to have 2-3 meals (no longer than 12 hours between meals). It is actually good for them to get hungry than always having food available for them. Most cats only need 150-250 calories/day. The dry food bag or can should tell you how many calories are in a cup /can of food. Leave the food down for 20 minutes, and then remove any uneaten portion. Repeat in 8-12 hours depending on if you are feeding 2 or 3 times per day.
Bonding with your cat is very important for their health, it also fun and can reduce stress your cat may be experiencing (that you didn’t even know). Many of our customers use food cubes and interactive games to engage them in interactive play. Sometimes just a plain cardboard box can be a great way to play. I love spending an afternoon watching cat behavior guru Jackson Galaxy. He stars in a tv show called My Cat from Hell.
Other things to watch out for with your cat
Cleaners – may cleaners, especially anything aerosol can be toxic to your cat. I love our Callies Naturals Cleaner that I use as my everyday cleaner – Not only is is natural, it really works (even on cat pee smells). If you are not sure about your cleaner, you can always go on the internet and research toxic cleaners for cats.
Cat Litter – there are so many options out there – remember that cat litter gets on your cat’s paws. The dust or small particles on their paws can get ingested. We carry non clay solutions that environmentally friendly and good for your cat.
Water – always make sure you have several sources of fresh water available for your cat. A good idea is to have a filter that will encourage them to drink more
Cat Toys – it is a cat’s instinct to play and hunt. Select toys that encourage their inner cat. Often cat behavioural issues stem from not enough stimulational.
We hope to see you at Natural Pawz soon. We have spent a lot of time hunting down natural products that your feline family member would enjoy. If you have any ideas for new products let us know, Harold is always willing to test new products.