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Cat Advice - Nutrition
Just like us, cats require a number of different essential nutrients in the right amounts to remain fit and healthy. These include protein, fat, vitamins and minerals. However, the dietary requirements of cats are different from those of humans or dogs. The cat is a strict carnivore requiring a meat based diet to remain healthy. This is because they require a number of essential nutrients that are only available from meat based ingredients, such as the amino acids taurine and arginine. Without these nutrients cats can become very unwell.
It is very hard to make a complete and balanced food for cats at home and some human foods, such as onions may even be harmful to cats. Most home prepared diets are incomplete and may impact the health and vitality of pets. Feeding a complete and balanced manufactured diet is the easiest way to provide all the right nutrients for a cat. Both wet (can or pouch) and dry (kibble) diets are carefully designed to provide all the nutrients a cat needs as long as the feeding guide is followed.
It is very important you follow the manufacturer’s feeding guide and then adjust slightly according to your individual pet to avoid your cat becoming over or under weight. If you have any concerns about your cat’s weight then you should always speak to your vet.
Water is also an essential nutrient and it is important you always ensure fresh drinking water is available for your cat whether she is fed a wet or dry diet.
Cats at different lifestages have very different nutrient requirements. Kittens require higher levels of calcium and phosphorus in their diets compared to adult cats, in order to support their rapidly growing bones. However, if the level of these minerals is too high it can also cause problems so it is essential that the correct amount and ratio of these minerals is provided by feeding a specifically designed kitten food.
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