Cat Guide Index

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A cat needs a balanced diet and none more so than the kitten, to provide for growth, maintenance and energy.

Cats are naturally carnivorous animals and need to eat meat to live, do not be tempted to try and bring your kitten up as a vegetarian (see: Meat versus Vegetable).

A kitten becomes mature at about 7 to 8 months of age and during this period of growth its protein requirements per unit of bodyweight are higher than those of the adult. Furthermore, that protein should be of animal origin. The cat cannot utilize vegetable protein in the same way as the dog - this explains why canned cat foods, which are all meat or fish, cost more than the same size can of dog food containing both Meat and Soya.

A cat also has certain specific nutritional needs and reputable brands cater for those needs. Do not let the cat eat dog's food - it may not do it too much harm but won't do any good either.

DO NOT feed your cat chicken bones these can do severe harm and can choke your cat. Chicken shin is also not good for your cat.

NEVER serve your cat food straight from the fridge. Always let it reach room temperature before serving to your cat so that it can be digested comfortably.

If you wish to prepare food for your cat yourself, add a reliable vitamin/mineral supplement to the meat or fish, as both may be deficient in calcium. Do not feed fish all the time and no matter how much your cat loves liver, do not feed liver alone more than once a week.

There is no special merit in feeding raw meat, indeed there is even a risk of infection from bacteria in the meat. These bacteria are killed in the cooking process.

There is much to be said for the convenience of reputable brands of cat food, which are formulated to meet the average cat's needs for essential nutrients. These diets are either canned or dry. Dry cat foods were thought to have been associated with a complex condition of the urinary system of cats but it is by no means certain that there is a direct involvement, since over 70 percent of cats in the USA are fed solely on dry cat foods. It would appear that they are safe as long as there is always water available. If you are in doubt, ask your Veterinary Surgeon.

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