Choosing a Diet

Cats need a cat-tivore diet.

Today’s felines are descendants of carnivores, or cat-tivores, as they’d much prefer to call themselves. This means your furry friend needs much more protein and digestible ingredients in his kibbles than his favourite launch pad – er, pal – the dog. So, feeding him a meat-based diet of high-quality, animal proteins (versus the not-so-fabulous cereal proteins) is the way to a pouncy, purry, tail-blazing life.

What’s so great about animal proteins, anyway (yeahhiss…)?

Better digestion. After all, it’s what your cat’s genetic make-up calls for.

Leaner body and toned muscles. Go ahead and flex ’em, Felix.

Healthy skin and coat. Not a cat hair out of place, Coco.

Packed with amino acids. Amino what? Not that kind of acid, silly kitty. These guys are what actually enable proteins to do all the good things they do. Absolutely essential for cats.

Now that we’ve covered that cat-n-caboodle, water is pawsitively crucial to your Pixie-bob’s diet, too. He’ll need it to stay hydrated and avoid a catastrophe like bladder disease. An average kitty should drink about 250ml of water a day. So, if water isn’t your British Shorthair’s cup of tea, you may want to consider adding some wet food into his diet.

Breaking the creature-of-habit from his same ol’ diet.

No matter how mysterious your cat leads you to believe he is, he actually loves routine. Basically, if you’ve fed him only dry food or wet food as a kitten, he will be used to that one texture, and may turn a paw at any new-fangled foods you introduce when he’s older. So, it’s best to get your smitten kitten used to a variety of foods, from the start. That way, he’ll be more adaptable as he grows old (never!), sick, or needs a special diet for his health.

The scoop on dry cat food.

Premium-quality, meat-based, dry cat foods are the cat’s meow for a number of reasons:

Easy to feed and clean up. Soooo easy to leave out over the day, especially for slim cats who like to graze (oh, no – you’ve caught me on kitty-cam!). Plus, less mess than wet food.

Good for healthy teeth. These crunchy kibble shapes actually scrape away plaque, reducing tartar formation. Your Devon Rex’s dental health is, of course, important, to lessen the chances of pain and infection to the liver, heart or kidneys. Regular checkups at your vet help a whole lot, too.

Great value. With all the healthy things premium dry foods do, you’ll save a chunk of money on vet bills. Me-WOW!

Be sure to read the label on the premium dry food packaging, to ensure it meets the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) standards as a complete diet for your cat or kitten. Leap onto any product where a meat source is the main ingredient on the label. If you need any help, just ask your vet for a recommendation.

After all, labels can be confusing when you want to get the right nutritional amounts for Sylvester. Especially since information about ingredients has to be adjusted for the type of food. Scratching behind your ears? Here’s an example: A dry food (10 percent moisture) with 35 percent protein has the same protein content as a canned food (90 percent moisture) with 3.8 percent protein. To get a pointy earful on the protein content and quality of a food, just ring the number listed on the food packaging. A reputable company will be happy to give you the scoop.

The dish on wet food.

Wet foods are great for keeping Kitty hydrated because they contain more water than dry. They also fill up your feline more quickly, which cuts down on overeating. The only scratch is that they’re a bit higher maintenance – which may in fact be purrfect for Ms. Kitty – and more expensive than dry food.

Again, it’s a smart move to read the label of the wet food sachet or can, to see that it meets the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) standards as a complete diet for your cat or kitten. Pounce at the chance to buy products where a meat source is the first ingredient on the label (this can also be animal derived). Also make sure the meat chunks are real meat – if you think cats are a mystery, we can’t count how many times soy chunks show up disguised as ‘chicken’.

Remember, getting your paws on premium-quality cat foods with a litter of meat will make sure your favourite feline gets all the nutrition he needs. Me-ow!