We make so many mistakes while we’re feeding ourselves. We eat too much sugar, too much salt, sometimes we binge-eat and sometimes we starve ourselves. It is, therefore, only natural for us to make a few mistakes while feeding our cats too. Very often, we don’t even know we’re making mistakes until our cat falls sick, and this is definitely something we want to avoid.
10 Common Mistakes People Make While Feeding Their Pet Cats
Here are some of the most common, albeit, honest feeding mistakes many cat owners make.
This is one of the most common feeding mistakes made by most cat owners. As much as it may be wonderful to cuddle a fat kitty, obesity will eventually have a huge negative impact on your cat’s health and quality of life. You can prevent yourself from overfeeding your cat by putting out the food in separate meals and by making sure you never exceed the manufacturer’s recommended guidelines for feeding.
2. Giving Your Cat A Vegetarian Diet
Choosing to be vegan or vegetarian may work for us humans, but if you’re trying to get your cat to eat a vegetarian diet, it could be considered as animal cruelty. Cats are born carnivores, and it is essential for their bodies to have only animal-based products to function well. Besides, cats make bad vegetarians because their bodies are not even designed to digest plant materials well.
3. Being Miserly When Buying Cat Food
It is definitely wise to try and save money on bulk discounts. Also, top-shelf “premium”, “organic” or “all-natural” labeled cat food brands don’t necessarily come with a guarantee that they are indeed authentic, but will ensure they burn a huge hole in your pockets all the same. However, you can be sure of that fact that cheap cat food is the worst kind you can feed your cat. This is because they substitute good quality ingredients like meat and bones which are obviously quite expensive with cheap worthless grains and meal-like substances. Learn what to look for when buying good quality cat food so that you make an educated choice instead of falling into a marketing trap.
4. Evaluating Cat Food By Taste
When owners see their cats enjoying a certain food, they assume the cat automatically knows its good for them. However, it is possible to add some flavor enhancers to a pile of food with worthless ingredients and make it tasty. These enhancers are nothing but chemical substances that are bad for your cat’s health so you want to avoid foods that include these, be it store-bought or home cooked.
5. Switching Foods Too Rapidly
It’s okay to give your cats a diet with variety, but if you introduce new foods too quickly, you could cause your cat gastrointestinal upset. This is because your cat’s digestive system needs some time to adjust to the new ingredients, and when you rush things, your cat will suffer from days of vomiting and diarrhea.
6. Sticking Only To Dry Cat Food
Cats have an inbuilt low thirst drive, and usually, they take in most of their water with their food. Dry cat food comes with a moisture content of only 10%, and most cats should drink at least a cup of water every day if fed dry food. This rarely happens. Also, dry cat food is loaded with grain or potato so as to maintain the overall structure, which means your cat is losing out on a healthy diet if you stick only to dry food. What you can do is mix it up with raw food that includes meat and fish.
7. Feeding Your Cat Dog Food
It is true that the main ingredients of dog and cat foods are similar, and your cat won’t fall sick if you happen to run out cat food and decide to feed your feline friend a bowl of dog food instead. However, cats have different nutritional requirements for certain ingredients like amino acids, vitamins, and minerals as compared to dogs. If you keep your cat on a dog food diet, it will eventually lead to a serious nutritional deficiency in your kitty within a very short span of time.
8. Feeding Your Cat Milk
It is true that cats love milk, but unfortunately, they are lactose intolerant. Lactose is a milk sugar contained in milk that a cat’s body is unable to digest properly. This could lead to diarrhea and stomach upset in your cat.
9. Feeding Your Cat Only Meat
Meat is very healthy for cats, and it should definitely make up most of your cat’s diet. However, many cat owners go a little too far with their good intentions by bringing up their cats solely on meat. A diet that contains only meat is just as harmful to your cat’s health as one without. Make sure to feed your cat bones, internal organs, and other meat by-products to give them a well-balanced meal.
10. Feeding Your Cat Raw Fish
You may give your cat some fish from time to time, but do not make it a major part of your pet’s diet. Raw fish and other seafood contain a certain ingredient that destroys vitamin B1. A deficiency of this vitamin can lead to depression, anorexia, and neurological symptoms like seizures in your cat. In extreme cases, if your cat takes very badly to raw fish, it could even lead to death. Some fish even contain large bones that might increase the risk of your cat choking. If you give your cat a diet that’s too heavy in liver oil or tuna, it can cause vitamin A toxicosis, resulting in brittle bones, bone and joint pain, and dry skin. Besides, fish don’t give your cat the necessary amount of essential minerals like calcium and sodium that your cat needs, so you would only end up wasting money on feeding your cat copious amounts of fish.
Just like us humans, our pets need a healthy balanced diet too. Steer clear away from food fads, and learn more about the right ingredients that will match your cat’s health requirements.
If you’re unsure of how to give your cat the kind of food that’s best for its health, you can make a good start by speaking to your veterinarian for guidance on a balanced, healthy eating plan for your cat.