When is it Time to Change Your Cat’s Diet?
When you buy cat food from a particular brand, it should be with the best interest of your pet in mind, rather than for reasons ranging from familiarity with the brand, to budget or convenience. Indeed, your pet’s dietary requirements change throughout its life. You will want to buy cat food that will promote and sustain the good health of your pet.
Dietary Needs at Different Life Stages
Annie Stewart explains in the article titled “Feeding Kittens: What, When, How Much”, published on WebMD, that your pet has three important life stages. The first is the kitten part of their life. As a kitten, the animal requires more protein. The protein is important for growth, muscle building, and bone strength. You should buy cat food specifically suited for kittens. Protein deficiency as a kitten can cause stunted growth and even nutrition-related diseases.
The adult stage comes next and you should buy cat food specifically formulated to address the dietary requirements of the fully-grown pet. The protein requirements will be lower than during the growing stage.
Avoid food that can cause obesity because of a high fat content. Typically, pets living in the warm climate of South Africa require less fat in their diets than those living in cooler parts of the world. It is thus better to buy cat food from a manufacturer in South Africa that produces food specifically suited for animals living in a warmer climate. We believe that we fit the profile and we even go a step further by only using high-grade raw materials, ensuring that everything added to our pet food is also suitable for human consumption.
Lorie Huston in an article titled “Age Appropriate Cat Food” published at PetMD that the senior life stage is often associated with various medical conditions. During this period, you may have to transition your pet from just eating dry food to dry and wet food, or even completely change to wet food. Your pet, at this stage, may need more moisture in their diet. Buy cat food with the appropriate level of antioxidants to sustain the immune system. In addition, the older cat requires more fibre and fewer calories. Nevertheless, consult with your vet regarding the dietary needs at the late stages of your pet’s life.
Common Signs of the Need for a Dietary Change
If you notice one or more of the signs below, it may be time to change the diet and/or brand. However, always consult with your vet first to determine if there is a deeper underlying cause for the condition. Josie F. Turner explains the following signs of deficiency in cats in the article titled “Symptoms of Nutrition Deficiencies in Cats” as published at AnimalWised:
1. Large Waist Section
Obesity can lead to various diseases. If your pet is overweight, then it is time to change their feeding habits, improve their level of activity, and ensure emotional health. Make sure that you buy cat food with a balanced combination of essential nutrients, minerals, and vitamins. If obesity continues to be a problem, you should have a vet examine the animal.
2. Dull and Dry Coat
If your cat’s fur has a dull colour and the pet experiences flaky skin, it could be indicative of a deficiency in fatty acids. Buy cat food that contains the correct amount of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which help to keep the animal’s coat in good health.
Does your pet lack energy and vitality? If your pet recently suffered from an illness, experienced an environmental change, or underwent surgery, it is understandable, and the pet may require additional antioxidants to improve their immune system. To this end, speak to your vet about boosting the immune system. In addition, you can buy cat food that is rich in antioxidants to help sustain the immune system. If your pet suddenly becomes lethargic, you should take the animal to the vet for examination to identify the cause.
How to Transition to the New Diet
Transitioning from one diet to another should be gradual. A sudden change can cause digestive upset. Diarrhoea can follow, which will cause digestive stress, loss of nutrition, and dehydration. The secret to successful transitioning is to take it slow.
Mix the old and new food together. For the first two days, mix 75% of the old food with 25% of the new food. On the third and fourth day, you can mix it 50/50. By the fifth day, you can mix it to have 75% of the new food and 25% of the old food. By the seventh day, you can feed your pet 100% of the new food. Keep in mind that the above is only a guideline. If the old food causes digestive upset, you may need to make the transition faster. If the pet is sensitive to the new food, make the change more gradual.
Give your pet the nutritional support the animal needs to ensure good health and longevity. Buy cat food from a trusted brand such as ours.
Disclaimer – the article is for information purposes only and is not intended as veterinary advice. Please consult a veterinarian regarding pet health issues.
Stewart, A. WebMD. “Feeding Kittens: What,When, How Much?” Web accessed June 2018 https://pets.webmd.com/cats/guide/feeding-your-kitten-food-and-treats#1
Huston, L. PetMD. “Age Appropriate Cat Food”. Web accessed June 2018. https://www.petmd.com/cat/nutrition/evr_multi_life_stage_cat_food_benefits
Turner, JF. AnimalWised.” Symptoms of Nutrition Deficiencies in Cats”. Web accessed June 2018.
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