Wednesday, March 5, 2014

How to feed your cat

Cats are classified as pet animals and their diet is dependent on their owner. The diet of cats is also specific and a cat is not a small dog as many people always tend to think. Cats prefer their food served at body temperature or in easier terms, they love their food a little bit warm. That is about 38 degrees Celsius. Unlike dogs which are omnivores, cats are strict carnivores. Many however tend to force cats into being omnivores and it is not good for them in other factors that will be discussed later hopefully. One major problem with cats is that they have low glucokinase activity and this makes them have limited ability to digest carbohydrates. This tells one that Ugali is not a good thing to give your cat for it is of no help to your cat. Cats have a high dietary protein requirement than dogs. It is estimated that their protein requirements are four times that of dogs. Why I said that cats are not small dogs. The other thing about cats is that they cannot generate vitamin A from food. This also makes them susceptible to vitamin A toxicity. This is because they cannot effectively convert carotenoids to vitamin A. Neutering of cats reduces their energy requirements compared to that of intact cats. For cats which are sedentary, inactive, caged or older have very low energy requirements too below the normal energy requirements. When cats eat dry food, they have low water intake thus when feeding them make sure hard foods are mixed with some liquid food material to avoid problems. Food texture has an influence on the oral health of cats as well as the palatability and acceptability of foods in cats. Make sure the texture of the food isn’t too coarse and make sure it has no odours or tastes that may be offending to the cat. For older cats, the frequently have a clinical or subclinical renal disease which can impair their ability to compensate for acid-base status from metabolic and dietary influences. This implies that their diets should have foods that have less acid emitting abilities. For the cat’s reproduction, one has to consider the health and body of the queen throughout the reproductive period and adjust the diet of the cat during the period. You should also consider their reproductive performance and the kittens’ health and development. Treats given to cats are of the treats given to cats is milk. It should be fed in small amounts that make up 10% of the cats daily diet. Milk is commonly given and deemed as the cats best food but it should be offered in a limited amount. This is because the cats have a fast declining lactase level after feeding them with milk. This is not good for the cats as indigestion of the excess milk results and other problems may arise When the kittens are born, they should have continuous weight gain which is an indicator of the queen’s lactation performance. Kittens should gain 10 to 15 grams daily and weight gains less than 7 grams daily are not a good indication. To wean your kittens at 8 to 9 weeks which is late weaning allows more time for the kitten growth and also maturation of their immune system. This will help them to reduce kitten mortality in the post weaning period when they are away from the queen. Allow your kittens to receive colostrum to the maximum. Colostrum provides water, other nutrients, growth factors, and digestive enzymes. These all help the growth and development of the kitten in a healthy way. Just like In dogs, the goal of feeding kittens is to have a healthy adult. This is by optimizing growth, minimizing the risk factors for disease and maintains optimal health.
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