What to feed a stray cat: the right foods for an unknown cat

We want to take care of him but we know nothing about him: what to feed a stray cat and what to avoid in order to avoid taking risks.

We have seen it and we have not been able to remain indifferent to its sweet and, sometimes even frightened, gaze: it is precisely at that moment that we decided to take care of it. We are talking about stray cats, more and more numerous. Although these specimens easily adapt to completely free living conditions and without any ‘constraint’ from any owners, we can nevertheless take care of them without ‘invading’ their life as hermits. So here‘s what to feed a stray cat and how to help them live better.

Caring for a stray – right or wrong?

A dilemma that plagues us every time we meet one walking down the street: is it right or wrong to take care of a stray? Do they need us or can our help have too ‘intrusive’ effects on their free and autonomous lifestyle?

But if it is a puppy it is perhaps easier to answer: in fact we know that the little cats have a practically total dependence on the mother figure, and not only for protection and care, but obviously also for nutrition. But if we see a lonely kitten, therefore far from the mother cat, it is likely that it has been orphaned or that it has in any case strayed too far from its ‘maternal nest’.

Can we therefore replace the figure of a mother cat? Especially therefore if we are dealing with specimens at an early age, our help can be fundamental for their very survival. However, you need to know what to feed a stray cat, especially if it’s a puppy, and get advice from an expert on the doses and the right dosage of the various nutrients.

What to feed a stray cat: milk?

If we were to ask everyone the same question, which is the main food in a cat’s diet, most would certainly answer: milk. Yet if a puppy needs mother’s milk, because it contains colostrum, things change as the cat grows and becomes an adult. For this reason, perhaps it is good to search among types of vegetable milks for adult cats.

So if it is a kitten, it is okay to use milk or a food that contains the right amount of proteins, minerals, fats and vitamins. The powdered milk that is sold in pharmacies may be suitable: just heat it and put it in a bottle, and then breastfeed the kitten at least three times a day with a dose of about 5ml of milk.

All these elements will contribute to its growth and to strengthen the immune system, especially in stray cats, so exposed to the elements and the daily difficulties of the road.

If we raise a stray cat from a young age, we make sure that we gradually switch from liquid to solid food: practically we will have to think about weaning the cat.

What to feed the cat: what to avoid

If on the one hand, therefore, milk can be the fundamental food for the kitten’s diet, it is at the same time the most harmful for the adult specimen. In fact, veterinarians advise against giving this purely carnivorous animal such a fatty food as milk.

The risk is that it can cause gastro-intestinal problems, even very serious ones, precisely because the intestine of the adult cat is no longer able to digest this food. Yet, someone will say, in the collective imagination, there is the figure of a cat licking milk from its bowl: it is not so!

This does not mean that the cat does not like milk and its derivatives, but this food they are crazy about can cause severe discomfort in the stomach and intestines, so better to avoid!

Feeding the stray cat: what is best for him

So with the milk removed, what is left to give to the stray cat we meet on the street? The best solution seems to be dry food, or croquettes: we choose the protein and low-fat ones.

If we are undecided between dry and wet food for the cat, know that the feline much prefers the latter, also for a matter of consistency of the food and chewing. Also don’t forget to always fill a bowl with fresh and clean water: cats tend to drink little but this can cause dehydration problems.

The positive side of the croquettes, however, in addition to the practicality of the meal itself, is also the fact that it is an excellent remedy to eliminate any food residues between the teeth: in practice they act as a toothbrush for the cat! So the best thing is probably to alternate the two types of food and ‘indulge’, when possible, the tastes of our favorite street feline.

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