Diet for a cat: healthy feed in the cat bowl
Diet therapy is an integral part of the treatment and prevention of most diseases. In some cases, only a balanced diet for cats appointed by the veterinarian allows to reach a stable long-term remission. Adherence to the feeding regime can’t be ignored, just like the duration of the diet therapy course, even if the state of your pet has significantly improved.
Basic principles of diets described in this article, are advisory. The menu for sick or recovering cats should be appointed by your veterinarian after a thorough examination of the pet. The vet will explain why certain products should be excluded from the menu during the diet therapy and how long it is necessary for your cat to keep to the diet. No specialists can give recommendations before the examination – diet therapy implies individual approach.
Industrial medicated feed
Veterinarians recommend ready-made diet because of the difficulties associated with compliance with the rules of feeding with natural foods. For example, protein-free diet for cats implies excluding animal protein from the diet, which is vital for predators including cats. Such a diet is indicated for the treatment of kidney and liver diseases, often in combination with a drip of nutrient solutions. An alternative solution can be a canned feed that contains optimal amount of digested protein and non-protein calories. These canned feeds help the body cope with the disease – they have a slight diuretic effect, help the elimination of toxins, normalization of urea etc.
The owner has no need to find answers to such questions as: how to control the cat’s diet, how to make the pet eat porridge without meat, how to diversify the menu within the rigid rules of the allowed product list. Modern medicated feed are balanced, they are developed by registered dietitians and are ideal for feeding convalescent pets, but they can be used only when appointed by the veterinarian.
However, industry feed isn’t a universal solution – sometimes a diet composed of natural products is more preferable. For example, a vet is unlikely to recommend dry feed to an elderly cat, fed with natural products for the whole life. Below you may find a list of diets and general recommendations, but eventually it’s up to the veterinarian to decide.
Diet for kidney stones in cats is administered after a urine test. It is important to determine the type of urolithiasis – only after that it becomes clear how the diet should be changed.
Struvite kidney stones: such a type of urolithiasis requires oxidized urine, so it’s recommended to exclude foods high in calcium. Do not feed your cat with egg yolk, milk, yoghurt, cheese and other dairy products.
- Lean boiled lamb, veal, rabbit;
- Lean salt-water fish in strictly limited amounts;
- Boiled chicken liver and oats / rice in small portions;
- Carrots, cauliflower, vegetable oil, zucchini.
Oxalate kidney stones: exclude products containing salts of oxalic acid reduce the intake of calcium. You shouldn’t feed your cat with organ meat (kidneys and liver), dairy products, almost all vegetables, herbs and fruits.
- Boiled lean meat;
- Small amounts of boiled fish;
- Oat and rice porridge cooked with water;
- Cauliflower, beans in limited quantities, beets, carrots.
In some cases, diet for kidney stones in cats includes complete exclusion of fish dishes from the menu. This point is necessary to be discusses with your veterinarian individually.
A competent nutritionist only can develop a menu for the treatment and prevention of kidney failure in cats. Nutrient balance should be count in percentages and is calculated individually depending on the stage of the disease, the general status and the degree of activity of the pet. Diet for kidney failure in cats includes reduced intake of animal protein, phosphorus, sodium and increase in the content of non-protein calories in the diet, potassium and bicarbonate. It is extremely important to monitor the moisture content in cat feed: at some stages excessive drinking is prescribed, at some other – you should restrict the moisture content in feed to prevent the formation of edema.
In most cases, diet for kidney failure in cats – is a medicated feed. At home, it is not an easy task to calculate the ratio of useful and harmful substances in natural products.
Diet for pancreatitis in cats should meet the following requirements:
- Reduced levels of carbohydrates and fats;
- Increased high quality protein;
- Only easily digestible foods;
- Meals three to five times a day in small portions;
- Food should be warmed to the temperature slightly above room temperature;
- Grind the feed; the pieces should be crushed to a puree of soufflé substance.
You should exclude from the diet broth and all soups, fatty meats and fish, almost all vegetables, herbs and fruits, bakery products. During an exacerbation – complete fasting for one or two days.
- Cereals and clear chicken broth soups (boiled for the second time);
- Lean beef, poultry, lamb, rabbit;
- Lean fish, boiled or steamed;
- A mixture of mashed carrots, zucchini, beets, pumpkin in small amounts;
- Soft-boiled broken rice;
- Dairy products and eggs in small quantities, vegetable oils.
Diet for diabetes in cats is aimed at reducing carbohydrates in the diet and total exclusion from the menu all foods containing large amounts of sugar. Menu should be appointed only by the veterinarian, as it is important to determine the type of diabetes. In the first type the pet should gain weight to normal, in the second type – it should lose excess weight. General recommendations: eliminate fatty foods, fish and meat broths, all sweet fruits and vegetables, steamed grains. Except for that there are no restrictions, but it is important that the cat was fed two or three times a day in moderate portions. If the injection of insulin is appointed once a day, it is given to the cat in the morning six hours before the next meal.
Diet for cats with diabetes should be rich in a variety of protein sources and other nutrients: meat and fish of several varieties, mixture of cereals, vegetable salads, cottage cheese enriched with calcium, special dairy products for kids, cheese, yogurt and fermented milk are allowed.
Preventive diet for neutered/spayed animals
Spaying and neutering often lead to a slower metabolism and reduced physical activity. If the pet became calmer after the procedure, but still gets the same number of calories with food, there is a high risk of developing obesity. Diet for neutered cats, not yet overweight, is an ordinary healthy diet in moderate portions:
- mostly light food;
- feeding once a day;
- the food should be slightly above room temperature;
- varied menu containing little fats of animal origin.
The list of harmful products for neutered cats is the same as for any other cat: salted and smoked food, sausages, sour cream, fat cottage cheese, potatoes, pasta, etc. Diet for spayed female cats prone to obesity or overweight is similar, but the portions should be reduced by 15-25%.
Sedentary life is one of the causes of the urolithiasis. To reduce the risk of this terrible disease, the diet for neutered cats must be balanced on the content of phosphorus, protein, calcium and potassium. In addition to limiting the use of animal fats, avoid overfeeding the cat with fish (once a week is enough) and include in the menu vegetables, seasoned with linseed or olive oil.
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