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Cat Nutrition and Diet: The Impact of Food on Pet Health

cat nutrition important for Solomons veterinarian.jpgEvery animal requires a specific set of nutrients, delivered in the proper quantities and balances, for normal physical function. Cats are no exception-cat nutrition and diet are major factors in their felines’ ongoing health. 

Cat nutrition differs significantly from dog nutrition.  Although not recommended, dogs can survive eating cat food.  Cats CANNOT survive long term eating dog food.  Cats can survive being strictly carnivores.  Dogs cannot. A good quality, made for cats diet naturally provides them with right nutritional ingredients to sustain all their full range of bodily processes, from nerve function to immune response.  Cats need a precise balance of protein, vitamins and minerals which are typically available from commercial cat foods. Human food should not be fed to cats; the foods we eat are not likely to provide the delicate balance of nutrients cats need, and they also contribute unhealthy starches, preservatives and other undesirable additives.

A good diet for your cat features proteins and fats as its principal ingredients.  One of these fatty acids, taurine, is essential for normal growth and eye health. Any carbohydrates included in cat food are mainly there to provide fiber, an important digestive aid.  We urge you to resist letting cats eat whenever they want. Too much food causes obesity, which in turn can promote diabetes, joint deterioration and even organ failure.  A lot of the cats we see are too heavy! 

If your cat needs adjustments to his feeding schedule or menu, we can recommend a dietary plan that will meet his nutritional needs while helping him lose weight or cope with a particular health condition.   I personally have had to put one of my cats on a diet in my multiple cat household.  She was looking very much like Jabba the Hut when she started her new regimen!  It wasn't easy but she is now trimmed down and I know she will live a longer, happier life being thinner.  Please let us know if we can help and contact us at (410) 326-4300!

Dr. Ball