Unlike most pets, cats remain true to their “meat-eater” heritage, and have special food requirements.
Cats cannot process vitamins from vegetables the way humans do, so a cat must eat the meat of animals that can convert vegetable vitamins to a digestible form. That’s why, in the wild, a cat must eat ALL of its prey’s carcass to derive essential proteins, minerals, and vitamins. Taurine, for example is an amino acid that is vital to heart health and eyesight. Non-meat eaters can make taurine in their body, but cats cannot. Therefore, they must eat foods that contain taurine.
Commercial diets for cats must be balanced, nutritional and concentrated in small portions. The protein needs of cats are also higher than a dog’s. Therefore feline foods are slightly more expensive than dog foods.
Kittens should be fed at least three times a day for a minimum of four months. Dry food can be fed free-choice for kittens if necessary, but only put out what the kitten will probably eat in one day. We recommend establishing meal feeding and portion control early in life to avoid excess weight. Obesity is one of the most prevalent and critical issues that affects the health of cats. Preventing obesity is one of the most caring things you can do for you cat to help him stay active and healthy for his entire life.
If your kitten does not eat well within the first 36 hours in the new home, it may be that it misses familiar surroundings or has a health problem that requires medical attention. We recommend feeding some strong smelling canned foods during the early growing months. The major appetite stimulant for the cat is SMELL!! Since dry foods do not have as strong a smell as canned foods, some cats are more reluctant to eat dry food. There are advantages to both dry and canned foods for cats. Providing your kitten with some of each on a regular basis can create a comfort with both options that is beneficial throughout their life. Sometimes moistening the dry food can make it easier for kittens less than 3 months to transition to dry food. Milk is NOT necessary in the diet.
Make diet changes slowly. Any abrupt change can cause digestive upsets resulting in vomiting and / or diarrhea.
Water is extremely important to the cat. Insufficient fluid intake can cause the urine to become too concentrated, leading to urinary problems and excess strain on the kidneys. Many cats do not drink sufficient amounts of water. Adult cats should drink one to two cups of water daily depending on their size. Providing fresh, cool water can encourage cats to drink. The circulating water of fountains is often more appealing for cats and can promote increased water intake.