Despite the fact that cats are by nature independent animals, like any living creature, they need constant affection, care, love, and attention. In order for a pet to live a long, happy life, it is very important to create all the necessary conditions for care and maintenance. It is especially important to think over, choose the right diet for your furry pet.
Features of the diet of domestic cats
Unlike cats that walk freely on the streets, animals that have never crossed the threshold of their own home almost do not expend energy. Of course, among domestic animals, there are all mobile, hyperactive specimens. But even in this case, the domestic cat sleeps most of the day, lies on the bed, rests in its cozy house.
Reducing physical activity leads to the fact that the energy that enters the body with food has nowhere to go. As a result, the animal begins to recover. For this reason, the diet of domestic cats should differ significantly from the diet of active, freedom-loving relatives.
The diet of domestic cats should be varied, balanced in the content of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and nutritious. The diet should contain essential acids, vitamins, macro-and microelements necessary for normal growth, development, and physiological state in the required concentration. An imbalance in the diet, feeding pets with low-quality ready-made feed and food leads to disruption of metabolic processes, hormonal changes, obesity, and malfunctioning of organs and body systems.
To prevent possible health problems, it is necessary to use a quality, varied feed.
Food for a domestic cat is selected on an individual basis. The energy value of the diet, the need for certain useful components depends on:
- from the general physiological state of the animal (pregnancy, lactation);
- the level of fatness, body weight, condition;
- health status, presence / absence of chronic diseases;
age, breed characteristics;
- conditions of detention;
- season, ambient air temperature;
- activity level.
Morphophysiological features of the digestive system of cats
By their physiology, instincts inherent in nature, cats are predatory animals. Therefore, a pet should receive a sufficient amount of complete protein, fatty acids (taurine) with food.
In the process of eating, cats are unhurried and moody. The taste and smell of food are of great importance. The attractiveness of cat food is influenced by its consistency, moisture content, particle size, and hardness. Cats do not like cold food, they will not eat spoiled food. Even with uniform consistency, animals will pick out the smallest particles that they don’t like. Therefore, each owner must choose the optimal diet for his pet.
Domestic cats can be kept on natural food or fed with specially formulated, ready-made dry or canned industrial feeds that are fully balanced and have all the necessary components. A mixed diet is contraindicated for domestic cats. Combined feeding can lead to disturbances in the functioning of the digestive, endocrine, and urinary systems.
Regardless of the type of diet, the bowl should always be filled with fresh filtered water. Water for cats is changed daily, twice a day.
Since the domestic cat spends a lot of time licking its fur, clumps of hair can get into the digestive tract, some of which come out naturally, some of the animal coughs up. This problem is especially true for fluffy, long-haired breeds. When mixed with food, dead hairs form large clumps, which can lead to blockages in the digestive tract. Therefore, the feed should contain probiotics, prebiotics, fiber, ingredients that accelerate the process of removing wool lumps.
Nutrient Requirements of Domestic Cats
The diet of domestic cats should contain a large amount of complete protein, essential amino acids: tryptophan, threonine, methionine, histidine, lysine, isoleucine. Protein deficiency leads to the fact that the liver, with the help of enzymes, begins to break down the protein of its own cellular structures. Deficiency of methionine, taurine, cystine in tissue cells can lead to the development of degenerative processes in organs and systems, serious diseases (cardiomyopathy, central retinal degeneration, impaired reproductive function).
The nutritional value, nutritional value, calorie content of food for cats is influenced by animal and vegetable fats, which are the main source of energy. Fats – carriers of fat-soluble vitamins – A, E, D. For cats, vegetable oil tastes less attractive than animal fats. The fat content in the diet of adult animals is 15%, for small kittens – 20%
A pet with food should receive carbohydrates and fiber. In order to prevent obesity, not to disturb metabolism, an adult cat needs 2.7 g of easily digestible carbohydrates, 0.31 g of fiber per 1 kg of body weight. The need for carbohydrates increases by 25-50% during pregnancy and lactation.
The diet of cats should also contain beta-carotene, vitamins of group B, E, H, PP, C. From minerals: calcium, magnesium, manganese, fluorine, iron, cobalt, zinc, sodium, molybdenum.
When planning to keep a cat on a natural diet, it should be noted that the concept of “natural diet” does not imply feeding animals with products from our table.
Cats should not be given legumes, salted, smoked, spicy, fried foods. In any quantity, hot, spicy spices, onions, garlic, which are contained in our dishes, are dangerous. Keep in mind that salt is a slow, deadly poison for cats. Sweets and baked goods contain large amounts of starch, carbohydrates that cause fermentation in the intestines.
Eating forbidden “delicacies” from the master’s table can lead to obesity, metabolic disturbances, malfunctions of the endocrine, urinary, cardiovascular systems, and cause physiological changes in the body. If you want to pamper your pet with something tasty, treat him with cat treats purchased in a vet pharmacy or pet store.
The diet of domestic cats should include:
- chicken meat, turkey, chicken offal (heart, stomachs, ground beef);
- veal, beef, lamb, rabbit, meat offal (liver, tongue, heart, lungs);
- fermented milk products, eggs;
- boiled sea fish (hake, cod, flounder, halibut);
- vegetable, animal fats;
- greens, vegetables, cereals, cereals.
The basis of the diet of pets should be 60-70% meat products, which are the main source of protein, fatty acids, phosphorus, B vitamins. Meat to domestic cats is given daily fresh or boiled, cut into small portions. Offal, sea fish – only in boiled. It is best to alternate between meat and offal. Once a week, it is imperative to give the cat a boiled liver, which contains vitamins of group B, A. In order not to provoke indigestion, it is not recommended to give raw liver to cats.
Tubular bones, raw river fish should not be given to cats. River fish, untreated meat products can cause infection of animals with helminthic infestations.
Boiled sea fish is given to adult cats no more than twice a week, sea fish is a source of fat-soluble vitamins, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium.
The diet should contain fermented milk products, which are a source of fats, carbohydrates, complete protein. Cats are given: natural yogurt, kefir, fermented baked milk, cottage cheese, reverse, whey. Milk is given to adult animals only if it does not cause an eating disorder.
Small kittens, young animals are given one boiled egg no more than once a week. Eggs contain folic acid, vitamin E, A, B12. It is not recommended to give raw eggs to cats.
Sources of carbohydrates are cereals, cereals – buckwheat, oat, wheat, rice, semolina. It is better to cook porridge in water, meat, fish broth. Cats should also be given boiled, stewed vegetables, sprouted wheat grains, fresh herbs, and young grass.
In order not to harm the animal, it is necessary to adhere to the diet throughout life, occasionally making adjustments as needed. The natural diet should be supplemented with vitamin and mineral supplements.