Cats are the food snobs of the animal world, and are often notoriously picky eaters. Some will only eat a certain brand of wet food, others will starve themselves until they’re served precisely the right protein.
They’re also true carnivores, which means that they get the majority of their nutrients from animal meat and organs even though they’ve evolved to digest small bits of vegetable matter (namely whatever was in their prey’s stomach in the wild).
However, these picky carnivores are also our beloved pets, living and eating alongside us in our homes, and it can be tough to separate our own omnivorous dietary needs from those of our carnivorous companions. Mistakes happen.
One of the most common mistakes well-meaning owners make with their cats’ diets is overfeeding. Although fat cats are adorable, they’re also more likely to get sick. An overweight cat is at greater risk for diabetes, arthritis, and even urinary tract infections than a cat of normal weight. Most vets agree that cats need around 25-35 calories per day per pound to maintain a healthy weight, and most of those calories should come from meat rather than fatty treats.
Another mistake is forgetting a cat’s dietary needs. If a cat enjoys a certain type of food, like dog food or canned tuna, and turns up its nose at other things, it can be easy to simply give in and let the cat eat what it wants. However, cats need specific proteins and vitamins to stay healthy, so appeasing your cat with unsuitable food could make it very sick.
There are many surprising things around your kitchen that can make your cat ill, so we’ve compiled the following list of common mistakes people make when feeding cats to keep your feline friend happy and healthy for many years to come.
Cats evolved in the wild eating raw meat, so how bad can it be, right? Actually, it’s not that simple. Cats are subject to the same foodborne toxins (like E. coli) as humans, so letting them nibble on a bit of ground chuck from your local supermarket is just as dangerous as if you did it yourself. Raw meat from the grocery store is not the same as fresh meat.
Nothing is more commonly associated with fuzzy housecats than a dish of warm milk, but believe it or not, most adult cats are lactose intolerant. Cow’s milk contains more lactose than most other milk and is likely to cause an upset stomach in cats. Lactaid, lactose-free milk, however is ok for a treat your kitty will love.