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Feeding Your Cat

Your cat's diet is of the utmost important if you'd like your feline friend to live a long, healthy, and a happy life. Let's take a closer look at the particulars of feline nutrition and diet.

Nurtitionally Balanced Diets

Since every cat is slightly differnt, not all cats' nutritional needs will be exactly the same. All cats, though, do have one thing in common: they need a nutritionally complete and balanced diet. This means that a cat is getting the proper amound of proteins, carbohdrates, vitamins, minerals, fiber and other key nutrients through their food. It's imperative that you avoid feeding your cat generic diets that have a lot of "filler" material and not enough nutritional value. There are plenty of high-quality cat diets on the market today, so ask your vet to recommend one. Some cats even benefit from special prescription diets if they suffer from particular health issues.

Life-Stage Diets

Cats require different nutrition at different stages of their lives. A kitten, for instance, needs a lot of nutrition to grow properly through the first year of life. Be sure to feed a kitten a specially-formulated kitten diet from the time they've been weaned until they've stopped growing (usually at about 12 months of age). An adult cat's nutritional requirements aren't the same as a kitten's. Make sure you adjust the food your adult cat is eating to correspond with their age. Adult-aged diets should contain balanced ingredients and include plenty of vitamins and antioxidants to fight off disease. Most cats are considered elderly by the time they're about seven years of age. By this point, your cat should be eating a specially-formulated senior diet. Most diets of this type comtain fewer calories while retaining the right balance of nutrients.

Avoiding Obesity

At any stage in a cat's life, obesity can shorten their lifespan and contribute to further health complication. Make sure your cat doesn't overeat--don't free-feed, which means leaving food out at all times for a cat to eat as they please. Schedule mealtimes with proper portion sizes instead. The packaging of your cat's food likely contains instructions for estimating correct portion size. Cats who live in multiple-cat homes may feel the need to eat more as part of competition amongst housemates. It may be necessary to separate food dishes or feed each cat at different times. Work closely with your vet to develop a diet plan for every stage of your cat's life. It's one of the best things you can ever do for your pet's health and well-being!