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Cats are obligate carnivores. This means that they have different intestinal and digestive requirements in comparison to dogs, who are omnivores. Cats require more proteins and have difficulty making and processing certain types of necessary nutrients. All this should be taken into careful consideration before you go cat food shopping. Here are some big mistakes that you could be making, and how to avoid them.
- OverfeedingFeline obesity is a very serious issue on the rise. Most cats only need about 300 calories per day. Instead of leaving the food bowl out, stick to feeding her just 2 meals a day. Keep to schedule because cats are more comfortable if there’s a specific routine and this would make the transition from getting food at any time, to just two times a day easier. Although she’s really cute, refrain from giving her treats all the time. Stick to the occasional treat.
- Offering tuna and milk Although our cats seem to gobble down tuna and drink milk like it’s the last food left on Earth, their bodies can’t really handle it. Cats are actually lactose intolerant! Canned tuna also contains high levels of mercury and isn’t even a nutritionally compatible option for your kitty. If she gets hooked on tuna, she may even refuse to eat anything else, leading to more problems.
- Forgetting to clean her water bowl Cats are really clean creatures. You can just see that from the way they groom themselves. They are less likely to drink water from their bowl if it has something in it or it has been sitting around for a while. Without enough water in their systems, they can easily develop a number of urinary infections such as stones, blockages, and crystals. Wash and clean her bowl on a daily basis to avoid all this.
- Letting food go bad Most cat parents prefer dry food over wet food. Mostly because of its convenience. However, if you leave dry food sitting outside for a long time, it could lose some of its nutrients and go bad. Store food away from light, in a tight container. Always dispose of it once it has gone beyond the best before date. Also, instead of buying a large bag that repeatedly gets reopened, consider products like Fancy Feast Classic Broths Cat Food Pouches.
- Ignoring food allergies Just like humans, cats are also prone to developing certain food allergies. They could be overly sensitive to certain types of carbohydrates, proteins, and fillers. If your cat is scratching herself obsessively, make an appointment with your vet immediately.
- Serving foods that are raw Raw food has a lot of bacteria and parasites in them. If you’ve got your mind made up on a raw diet, talk to your vet about viable options. Don’t just feed her anything raw – even if it comes out of a package.
Ensure That Your Cat’s Food Stays Fresh
It is no big secret that quality ingredients are essential when it comes to the food that your cat eats on a daily basis. But do you know that freshness is just as important? Yes, dry and wet cat foods can also go bad and you need to do everything you can to make sure that your furry feline friend’s meal is just as fresh as it can get:
- Do not throw away the packaging – Cat food bags are usually designed to maintain freshness and keep out the elements. Keeping the original packaging also has the added benefit of retaining the food’s batch code, barcode, and expiration date – all of which is useful information.
- Do not expose the food to air – Sealing the food bag prevents unnecessary exposure to humidity and air – both of which speed up the degradation process and increase the chances of bacterial contamination.
- Keep the food away from sunlight – Exposing the food bag to sunlight can elevate the food’s humidity and temperature. This will speed up the degradation process and increase the risk of Salmonella contamination.
- Do not keep the food once it has reached the expiration date – Expiration dates are set to ensure the safety of your cat’s food. Do not risk your cat’s health by feeding him expired pet food.
- Do not mix old food with new food – You might be tempted to transfer the last bit of food from the old bag to the new bag. Don’t do it. You might end up tainting the brand new bag by mistake.
- When in doubt, buy pet food online – Pet owners usually purchase food at stores that have a high turnover. If a store sells food at high volumes, it practically ensures that the food is rotated and remains as fresh as possible. Online stores are even better as they have a variety of high-quality brands to choose from and their stock is always fresh.
- Buy the smaller bag – Cat food might cost less in bulk, but you don’t want to buy a big bag and let the food go stale. Unless you have more than one cat in your household, go for regular-sized containers. You might be tempted to bring the big bag home, but there is a good chance that it will end up overstaying its welcome.
Last, but not least, most pet owners transfer the contents of their pet’s food from the original packaging to another container. Studies have shown that storing food in plastic containers may impart a taste and odor to dry food that can adversely affect their taste. Storing it in metal containers is fine, but it is better to keep the food in the original packaging.