>> Dec 1, 2012
Cats are very much part of the family and it can be easy to treat them as such; feeding them titbits from the table and offering them treats, but cats require tailored nutrition to protect their health and should be fed accordingly.
Start as You Mean to Go On:
As with any lifestyle choice, it's beneficial to set good habits from the start to help them become routine and avoid bad habits creeping in. With this in mind, look at your cats breed, age and any health issues from the outset and plan a nutritional programme to suit, incorporating suitable pet foods.
Make sure your cat is always fed food like Hill's pet nutrition from their bowl to create a distinction between their food and yours so that they know what to expect. It can be beneficial to have set feeding times too, although your cat will no doubt let you know when they are hungry!
If you don't want your cat to beg for food or steal it from your plate, try to avoid encouraging such behaviour by not offering food in this way. Human titbits are fine occasionally but can be damaging if given too often. Added to that, your cat will learn unacceptable behaviour by expecting to be fed from your plate and this cycle will be hard to break. Hill's pet nutrition and other leading brands are, however, ideal for cats as their composition is carefully tailored to meet their specific needs and requirements.
The Dangers of Feeding the Wrong Foods:
Cats rely on a mainly meat-based diet and they need a good balance of fats and oils to remain in optimum condition. It can be very tempting to treat your cat to nice snacks like human meats, cream and fish, but cats can be prone to obesity just like humans and this condition can be debilitating for felines. By instead choosing specially designed foods, you are safeguarding your cat's health and ensuring they stay at their peak for longer.
By indulging your pet too often they are likely to be too full to eat the correct amount of pet food needed, meaning they are not only eating the wrong foods, but are also missing out on the key nutrients they should be getting instead.
Added to that some human foods which are harmless to us can be poisonous to cats and with the best of intentions we could damage our precious pet's health by feeding them certain things. For example chocolate contains the obromine which is toxic for cats and likewise raisins contain toxins which contribute to renal failure, while onions can cause anaemia. Cow's milk is also not easily digestible by cats, so treats like milk and cream should be given carefully, infrequently and in moderation.
Cats can most certainly be a big part of your family, but by meeting their needs nutritionally you are more likely to have them feeling and acting well for longer. Specially designed pet foods contain everything your cat needs to stay in good health, so by ensuring the right diet from the beginning you are doing your very best by the cat in your life.
Ilena Sanchez writes regularly on the subject of Hill's pet nutrition and other foodstuffs for a range of pet care websites and blogs. As a pet owner herself, she is aware of the hazards of pet ownership, especially when it comes to common feeding problems.