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In cat nutrition as with all living things, a healthy cat requires excellent quality food. This not only means the right nutrients, but the right amount of nutrients to each other as well as the proper total amount of them. Here we will cover the essential nutrients for cats, talk about nutritional requirements for commercial cat foods, discuss the difference between dry and wet cat food, what to look for on cat food labels, and how often you should feed your cat.
The older I get, the more I realized that our heath is directly related to what we eat. Let’s look at humans first and think about what has happened in the last few decades, and then apply that to cats.
We are a nation of fast processed foods. We have extremely busy lives and have depended on easy to access fast foods. It’s just not the burgers and fries we can easily get from the McDonalds value menu, but the multitudes of boxed and canned foods, instant meals, bags of chips, little Debbie snack cakes that are so easy to grab from the food isles. And our health pays for it. All those processed carbs (including sugar and flour) is causing severe weight problems leading to heart diseases, diabetes and a many auto-immune diseases such as arthritis, skin problems, digestive problems like inflammatory bowl syndrome, and sensitivities to gluten. Ok, so what about cat nutrition?
Cats are suffering from the same type of health conditions that humans do because of improper cat nutrition. Just like in humans, we are feeding cats too many carbohydrates. This is even more detrimental for cats because cats are carnivores and are used to a raw diet of meat. Your cat may not show these illnesses until they become much older, but just like humans cats can also show sensitivity to foods at a much younger age. I have a cat that suffers from skin and ear problems when he doesn’t eat proper nutritional food.
Ok, so what do we do? Most people do not want to feed their cats a raw meat diet. Many people also heavily depend on the ease of feeding cats kibble from a bag. After all, cats really do love to eat kibble. Cat foods both dry and wet come in a vast variety of nutrition and prices. Some people live on a low budget and cannot afford the pricy cat foods that are known for their better nutritional value.
So, besides kibble, and I do buy kibble for my five cats, I also make them home made cat food. I use an electronic pressure cooker and cook an entire chicken with a cup of brown rice. I use the meat, chicken stock and fats and blend it all in a slurry, taking out about half of the bones before blending. After pressure cooking a whole chicken the bones will become incredibly soft. This whole chicken takes about 30 minutes to prepare (after cooking) in bags or containers that I freeze. And between my five cats, it lasts a couple of weeks. Yea, it looks sort of gross, sort of like baby food. We will explore homemade cat recipes in the following pages below. That is two weeks worth of food for about 5-6 dollars.
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