Welcome to the Murray Hill Pet Hospital Blog. Blogging is new for us so bare with us as we are getting used to our new system.
Our first topic is talks about cat nutrition. We all know we are what we eat and that is the same for feline friends. It appears a lot of my clients that have cats believe that dry food is healthier than canned food for cats. A common statement is “ I thought it was good for their teeth”!
Dry food is not healthier for cats nor is it that much better for their teeth. Dry food is just cheaper and easier for owners to feed.
Dry food feeding can possibly lead to obesity, allergies, gastroenteritis (vomiting and diarrhea) and urinary tract disease (inflammation, crystals and stones). There are differences in quality of food for cats so there are some that are better than others, but overall I would still choose canned over dry food for cats.
Cats are meat eaters! When we think of cats eating in the wild we do not think of them eating a bowl of pasta! We think of them catching mice or other vermint. Most adult maintenance formulations have carbohydrates levels that are too high. This leads to obesity and possible diabetes. There are dry foods out there that have increased there protein content and lowered the carbohydrate level and if you plan to keep your cat on dry I would choose a high protein, low carbohydrate diet over a regular formulation.
Canned cat foods are moisture rich over dry foods. Cats do not consume enough water to compensate entirely for the dry food. Due to this deficiency in water along with their ability to produce very concentrated urine can lead some cats to have urinary issues. Issues such as kidney stones, bladder stones and urine crystals are definitely seen more commonly in cats on dry foods.
Topics such as Commercial vs. Homemade diets vs. Raw diets will be covered in future.
Below is a handout that I give clients;
Food Recommendations for Felines
Current research has shown that feeding canned food to cats is healthier than feeding dry food.
Brands of food: There are many good food brands to choose. I would recommend that you start with a food that contains a poultry protein such as chicken or turkey and that it is a “no grain” formulation. The “no-grain” label should be on the can. Although fish protein seems to be a favorite of a lot of cats, many cats can develop allergies to fish and grain. Below is a short list of foods I recommend. By no means is this a complete list of all foods that would be good for your cat.
If you are changing to a new food I recommend you perform a slow transition from the old food to new food. A sudden change can cause your cat to vomit or have diarrhea.
If your cat will not eat canned food there are a few recommendations I can make.
- Try different textures of canned food. Some cats like “pate”, some like chunks.
- Try feeding a tablespoon size amount at a time, heating up helps too. Do not make it too hot.
- You can also try placing some of the dry food on top of canned and slowly use less over a few days.