The Basics Of
Cats create a whole new dynamic when they’re brought
into a home. First-time cat owners may have a host of
questions about their new furry friends, but foremost on
that list likely concerns what to feed their felines.
The ASPCA recommends speaking with a veterinarian
prior to designing a diet for your cat. The vet will recommend
a diet based on a host of variables, including the
cat’s age, its activity level and its overall health. That last
component is especially important when adopting a fullgrown
cat, as some cats may not be coming from good
homes. That means some cats may be malnourished or
have developed diseases in their previous homes. Such
cats still make wonderful additions to a home, but special
consideration will likely need to given to their diets to
return them to full health and/or promote their long-term
In addition to speaking with a veterinarian, the ASPCA
recommends new cat owners keep the following tips in
mind when designing diets for their furry friends.
• Look for age-specifi c balanced foods. The ASPCA
notes that cats require the essential amino acid taurine,
which promotes eye and heart health. Cat foods are designed
based on the life stage of the feline, and choosing
the right balanced food for your cat’s age will ensure it
gets enough taurine in its diet to thrive.
• Provide fresh, clean water at all times. PetMD notes
that cats need less water than dogs to stay healthy, but it’s
still vital that cats have access to fresh, clean water at all
times. Bowls should be cleaned at least once per day and
water should be refi lled daily.
• Limit treats. The ASPCA says treats should be no more
than between 5 and 10 percent of the cat’s diet.
• Be careful with baby food. Some cat owners fi nd that
feeding fi nicky kittens baby foods gets them to eat when
they’re refusing their own food. But the ASPCA warns
cat owners to read baby food labels carefully before feeding
any to a pet. Onion or garlic powder, which can be
found in some baby foods, can be poisonous to cats.
• Don’t wait to go to the vet if the cat is exhibiting signs
of illness. The ASPCA advises cat owners to take their
cats to the vet if the animals exhibit signs of anorexia,
diarrhea, vomiting, or lethargy for more than two days.
New cat owners should speak with their veterinarians
about how to feed their cats and should never hesitate
to express any concerns about the feline’s eating habits
to their vets.
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