If you have found a cat that you want to take care of, but are wondering. What can cats not eat? What do cats eat? Just 3 minutes are enough to examine your fridge, your freezer and your pantry, and you will probably find some food that you can give your feline.
Discover a variety of options, ideas so that you know how to replace your cat’s food, but we will also talk to you about their nutritional needs according to their age and what they should and should not eat. Let’s see it all together.
Do you want to know what do cats eat?
Cats have very specific nutritional requirements, depending on their age, for this reason, their diet must be primarily combined with protein and fat, as well as vitamins, fatty acids or minerals, among others.
The diet of the cats will depend on whether they are adult or baby cats, if they are obese or suffer from some type of disease. In these cases, it is the veterinarian who can best tell us the type of specific diet that is required in each case.
What do baby or small cats eat?
During the first month, kittens should exclusively drink breast milk. This is essential in the puppy’s first stage, as the immune system is strengthened.
If for some reason, the kitten’s mother has not been able to breastfeed, the puppy will have to be fed formula and using a bottle or syringe.
After the fourth week of life, the kitten is ready for weaning and can begin to eat easily swallowed solids.
In the market, we will find a variety of options, which small cats eat, and it is recommended to be well informed of what the nutritional requirements of each stage are and choose the best choice to cover them.
Therefore, we recommend that you keep these three guidelines in mind.
From weaning to 6 months: dry nutrition for your baby cat.
Already when the cat is weaned with mother’s milk, it received the necessary contribution to strengthen its defences. Now you need to develop healthy and strong bones and muscles, develop your urinary and digestive system, strengthen vision and brain. To develop healthy, it requires a lot of protein.
In this phase your small cat will experience the highest peak of all growth and will be very sensitive to infection. It is mandatory to continue providing nutrients in your diet that increase your immune system.
It is also important to take into account that the food to choose must be easily digested, so you will avoid diarrhea and of course, avoid prohibited foods for cats .
From 6 months: dry nutrition for junior cats.
After 6 months your kitten is still a puppy, but they grow very fast and would be ready to change their diet. Its development is slower at this stage and it requires fat and protein in its diet .
At two months of age, you can start incorporating kitten food into your diet, although it will not yet have very strong teeth, you can mix the food with special milk for them or water, while the kitten gets used to the new food.
As in everything, there are feed, and of course not all are the same based on their composition. Here we talk about the best food for cats, with a list of the most valued and recommended.
Another option for kittens: wet nutrition
Choosing a wet diet for your baby cat is completely valid and beneficial. This type of diet provides the same nutrients as the dry diet, with the advantage of providing more water, so necessary in the diet of a domestic cat, to avoid kidney problems that are very common in cats in the future.
But wet food has a disadvantage: it is more perishable and does not last as long as the food in your cat’s feeder.
As you can see, what small cats eat should change according to the requirements of the stages of their growth.
A consistent and quality diet in the first months of life guarantees a healthy body and strengthens its defenses.
What do adult cats eat?
Cats are carnivores by nature. That means they eat only prey animals. People generally do not feed their cats with prey animals. Currently most cats in the domestic environment are fed with food adapted to their needs.
Stray cats often survive on food they find in the garbage, if they are not lucky enough to be part of controlled colonies, also called CES. Its life expectancy in these conditions is very short, compared to a domestic cat.
In the domestic environment, on the other hand, cats have become accustomed to feed and wet food (sometimes because it is more comfortable for us) and it is very difficult to replace the kibble or canned food that they usually consume, although there are other alternatives.
In any case, the care of their health involves a quality diet and that is why domestic cats, in general, triple their longevity , if we compare them with feral or stray cats .
Homemade cat food
This type of diet usually has approval, although it will always depend on the chosen foods and the palate of our feline.
- Raw diet: this diet focuses on offering raw or semi-raw food to the feline ( BARF food ), either minced or processed by a grinder. It is important to note that the food must be previously frozen before giving it to them, to prevent possible parasites.
- Cooked or semi-cooked homemade diets: in order to prevent the cat from acquiring a virus or parasite, many choose to cook the meat or lightly seal it in the pan. In the same way, finely chopped or processed foods can be given by a mincer to facilitate intake.
- Dehydrated food: It is a type of diet that is becoming increasingly popular, due to its quality of nutrients and that is based on the dehydration of fresh homemade and cooked food for cats , and that you only have to rehydrate.
If you do not have the time or food necessary to prepare homemade meals, you may be interested in knowing what cats eat and which foods you have in your pantry or refrigerator, you can give them:
- Unsalted meat
- Unsalted fish
- Sliced turkey (no or low salt)
- Slices of York ham (unsalted or low in salt)
- Chicken slices (no or low salt)
- Unsweetened low-fat yogurt (occasionally)
- Lactose free cheese
- Natural mussels
- Cooked prawns
What foods do cats love to eat?
Beyond the snacks that you can buy in the pet store and that cats like so much, many foods that you have available in your fridge and pantry can also “drive you crazy”. Surely you have already checked.
Remember that they fascinate you does not mean that it feeds them and makes them feel good. Some foods that cats really like are:
- Fish: salmon, monkfish and tuna. Remember to remove the thorns.
- Beef: Give it finely chopped.
- Chicken or turkey: Avoid giving it the skins that contain a lot of fat.
- Pork or ham: In all cases, and to avoid possible parasites in cats , you should give them cooked or previously frozen meat.
- Lactose-free milk: and derivatives, provides a lot of calcium. Give very sparingly and on time. Cats do not digest it well .
- Cheese and ice cream: (they are very attracted to them, but you should not give it to them)
- Yogurt: Better offer the natural one , which is not flavoured.
- Rice: ideal to help it recover if it had a gastrointestinal problem, especially when a cat has diarrhea .
- Pastas: Avoid accompanying them with sauces. They are passionate about biting them when they are hard and playing with them.
- Cookies: They attract a lot of attention because of their smell.
- Fruits or vegetables: Some cats purge with them.
What can’t cats eat?
Be careful with the foods that cats cannot eat, all calories count. It should be clear that your cat should only get “extras” from time to time.
Your regular meals should be high-quality cat food. Overfeeding or poor diet can lead to an overweight cat and health problems.
If you are going to share your dinner with your cat, keep these foods off their menu, as they are very toxic to them:
- Sausages, pizza, salty (salt is very dangerous for them)
- Chocolate and sweets
- Normal milk (lactose intolerant)
- Grapes and raisins
- Onions and garlic
- Nuts and dried fruits
- Xylitol an artificial sweetener found in sugar-free gum and candy
- Tuna and other canned is not recommended as they contain preservatives and salt will not act for cats.
Remember to store food that is harmful to your cat in a place that it cannot reach.
Can they eat human food?
We have already given you a list of the foods that we can give to a cat, as well as foods that cats adore.
But not all are indicated, since they can cause digestive problems and even serious toxicity problems.
Below are foods that cats can safely eat and how it can benefit their health.
- Meat , definitely one of the foods that cats can eat, they must receive the proteins from this food to have a strong heart, good vision and a healthy reproductive system. Cooked, unsalted beef, chicken, and turkey are an excellent source of protein for cats.
- Fish is one of the foods that cats can eat, due to its high content of fatty acids, omega-3, which will allow the development of vision. It improves arthritis, and prevents kidney diseases and heart disorders.
- Eggs are another super source of protein for your cat. But make sure better, that they are cooked. Only occasionally.
- Vegetables Not all cats like vegetables, and even less fruits, but they are a rich source of vitamins, and loaded with fiber and plenty of water to help with digestion. Among the vegetables that cats can eat are: fresh cucumber or melon, steamed broccoli or fresh asparagus .
Although the balanced diet that domestic cats eat is homemade or commercial, it should depend on their weight and age .
Provide the required nutrients, although if your feline is fascinated by some extra food or treats, everything must be in the right measure, and with the prior authorization of the veterinarian, so as not to put your pet’s health at risk and know well what cats eat.