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Tips Veterinarians Recommend Your Kitten Needs To Stay Healthy

Feb 20, 2008
Common Kitty Nutrition Questions

It is important to be aware of the nutritious value of your pet's food. As people become increasingly aware of the importance of a healthy and balanced diet, they begin to ask questions relating to the nutrition value of their pets' daily food intake. Here are a few answers to commonly asked questions about kitty nutrition:

Does my cat need to have a nutritionally balanced diet like me? Cats require at least 41 nutrients (in the correct portions) to stay healthy. These nutrients include protein, fats, amino acids, vitamins and minerals. Remember, the most important nutrient your kitty will need is water; so, make sure that water bowl is always filled with clean water!

Should my cat have protein in their diet? Believe it or not, cats are actually classified as carnivores. They need lots of protein in their diet to thrive and stay healthy. Proteins such as fish, poultry and eggs are excellent sources of protein for your cat.

Should my cat have fiber in their diet? Fiber is found in carbohydrates. Fiber aids in weight loss and also helps keep the digestive tract clean and functioning properly. Fiber also acts as a "filler;" that is, it helps makes your cat feel full after a meal, though they have eaten less calories. Though fiber is good and helpful in a diet, too much fiber intake can be harmful for your cat.

What about a fat-free diet for my cat? Cats need fat in their diet. Fats provide energy, and they also maintain healthy skin and promote a shiny and healthy coat. Fat actually provides twice as much energy as carbohydrates and protein, so fat is necessary in your kitty's diet for their proper growth and development.

People sometimes need vitamin and mineral supplements. Does my cat need any? Mineral and vitamin supplements can be harmful to cats. Pet food manufacturers and distributors are required to meet the standards of the AAFCO (American Association of Feed Control Officials), which ensures that all the vitamins and minerals cats need to stay healthy are provided for in the cat food. Go ahead and check the label on your cat food to see if they meet the AAFCO requirements.

How often should I feed my cat? Kittens should be fed two or three times a day because they are growing, and they need their food to provide the energy and the protein necessary for their rapidly growing and developing bodies. Once cats become adults, they are either fed once or twice a day, depending on the owner's preference.

When considering food quantity, how much should I feed my cat? An excellent idea for food quantity is to simply check the label on the food packaging for the proper amount of food to feed. Know your cat's age, size, weight and activity level, and simply follow the instructed/advised quantity.

As increased awareness about nutritional health makes its way through social circles, people begin to wonder about the nutritional health needs of their pet. Remember, if you have any specific questions about your pet's nutritional intake, make an appointment and ask your vet. They will be able to help you determine the best diet for your kitty.
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