When it comes to deciding on the right nutrition for your cat, there's more to consider than whether your cat is an indoor or outdoor personality. Ensuring that a cat is able to maintain a healthy lifestyle well into his golden years is the responsibility of all pet owners and one of the best ways to do this is by providing a diet that targets the cat's lifestyle, age, breed, and other personalised needs. While some cats can be fed from the Royal Canin Feline Breed range others may have specialised needs or specific sensitivities. In this case, only a specially balanced diet will be able to guarantee all the necessary nutrients for your cat's well-being.
Important cat treat facts
Our fondness towards our pets, can sometime lead to poor nutritional choices on their behalf. In fact, most of the foods that we consider ?treats? could actually be harmful for our feline friends. You can help your cat to have healthy growth and development if you remember these important cat facts:
- We may enjoy sun-dried tomato pasta one day, steak the next, and pancakes the day after, but cats have a much weaker sense of taste and don't require much variety in their daily diets.
- A cat's jaws are made for cutting, not chewing.
- While kittens are rarely lactose intolerance, most adult cats are. Hence, milk would not be a good treat for an adult cat.
- While cats draw their energy from fat, they can also suffer from obesity depending on their age and lifestyle. The prevalence of overweight cats has increased more than 90% since 2007.
- Because it is less active, an indoor cat does not need energy and protein rich diet as much as an outdoor cat.
- It is estimate that about 80% cats suffer from some form of dental disease.
Indoor or outdoor?
One of the biggest deciding factors in the diet of any cat is whether it is an indoor or outdoor cat. Indoor cats use little energy and spend about 30% of their waking hours licking their coats. Even though the ingested hair is eliminated after passing through the intestine, hairballs do present a major risk if they form in the digestive tract. Fibre-rich diets for indoor cats assist in the natural elimination of hairballs and moderate calorie content diet assists in addressing excess weight gain.
Cats that spend a lot of time outside have higher energy requirements depending on the time spent outdoors, the size of the territory available, and the temperature changes throughout the year. Just like with indoor cats, an outdoor cat's food must account for all the energy expended. However, the needs of an outdoor cat may change throughout the year. It is common that as seasons change ?outdoor? cats may become ?indoor? cats.
Feeding for age
Physical signs of a cat ageing usually begin to show between 7 and 12 years of age. For a cat, ageing often means decreased energy, difficulty walking, and loss of appetite. As the years pass, older cats will also have a greater chance of developing various illnesses like cardiac problems, respiratory difficulties, susceptibility to infection due to a weakened immune system, tumours, and diabetes. Obesity is yet another risk factor that can lead to disease like diabetes and skin problems. But it is common that older cats may also become underweight and lose muscle.
By the time your cat reaches 10 years of age, adjust it's diet. Even if you do not see any obvious signs of ageing in your cat, there may be metabolic changes that can be addressed early with proper mature-based nutrition. Cats that are elderly should be taken for regular checkups to the vet so that any illness can be treated as soon as possible. We advise one veterinary examination per year throughout a cat's life and one veterinary examination per six months for cats that are over 12 years old.