To be or not to be fed

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What to feed your kitty and what not to feed her? Here are a few tips to follow while feeding your kitty.

  • Never overfeed: The first and foremost strategy is not to overfeed your cat which can cause indigestion and hyperactivity.
  • Feed small portions: Never feed your pet a large amount of food at a time. Frequent, small amount of lukewarm meal should be provided
    Dr Indranil Samanta
    specially to the kittens who have little stomach for digestion.
  • Feed protein-rich diet: The diet should be rich in animal protein which is easy to digest. Adult cats require more proteins than dogs. Tryptophan and tyrosine are most important amino acids present in protein which control a variety of physiological functions including hormone release, cardiovascular function, pain, appetite, and in general, mood and behaviour. High tyrosine diet is also helpful in controlling the stress.
  • Taurine – a must in diet: The cats cannot synthesise taurine, an essential amino acid. Hence, cat diet should contain adequate amount of taurine.
  • Say yes to fat: The diet should be rich in five percent fat also. The fat provides energy and it is required to maintain the healthy skin tone.
  • Vitamins also essential: The food should also contain sufficient amount of vitamins and antioxidants. If you are buying the packaged food, be sure about it. Sufficient vitamin and antioxidants can improve age related behavioural changes (cognitive changes). Addition of L-Carnitine and Coenzyme Q10 can prevent heart diseases.
  • Omega-fatty acids: Home-cooked fish can be provided three times a week. It is a rich source of omega-fatty acids which control cardiac problems.
  • Cautious with milk: Do not feed your adult cats too much milk which can cause diarrhoea. The kittens can be fed with milk for 1-2 weeks to check any calcium deficiency.
  • Avoid these foods: Raw meat, fish or eggs should be strictly avoided as they can cause several problems such as dermatitis, loss of hair, abnormal posture or toxicity. The cooked meat or fish should be free from small bones which can choke your pets.
  • Carbs not required: Cats do not require carbohydrates. So, the food rich in carbohydrate (rice, potatoes, chapattis, etc) should be avoided.
  • No sweets please: Do not give sweets or chocolates to your pets.
  • Say no to table scraps: Do not give table scraps to your pets. It is unbalanced diet for them and it may hamper smooth bowel movement.
  • Age-specific food: If you are providing the dry or wet canned foods, it must be age and condition specific. Read the label of the food carefully before buying.
  • Drinking water: Adequate germ-free water is required for your pet cat.
    Give access to clean drinking water at all times.

(Dr Indranil Samanta (MVSc, PhD) works as assistant professor in veterinary microbiology at West Bengal University of Animal & Fishery Sciences, Kolkata. He is actively engaged in microbiological disease investigation and allied research. He is author of the book ‘Veterinary Bacteriology’ (NIPA, New Delhi) and he has several research articles in international and national journals to his credit for which he was felicitated with Associate Fellow by National Academy of Agricultural Sciences.)

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