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Diet and Nutrition in Cats: Tips from a Trusted Pet Clinic in Singapore

Nutrition is the building block of a healthy life. It provides energy for activity, growth and repair. Without the right balance of macro and micronutrients, nutritional imbalances can lead to ill health. For example, a lack of the protein taurine can lead to cardiomyopathy (heart disease) in cats. This condition if not treated early enough can lead to heart failure and sadly death.

At our pet clinic in Singapore, we always put emphasis on the correct nutritional balance since it is key to good health in your cat. In this article, we’ll share key recommendations that have proven effective in our ongoing efforts to care for pets on a daily basis.

Diet and Nutrition in Cats: Tips from Our Pet Clinic in Singapore

Cats are often fussy by nature, and it can be that we find what we think is the perfect diet for them, and they will refuse to eat it. This can be upsetting, but there are a few tricks we can try to persuade them the diet is enjoyable.

Gradually transitioning from one diet to another is key. Start by adding just a few biscuits to your cat’s previous diet (cats really are that fussy!) and then gradually over the course of 1-2 weeks increase the amount of the new diet vs the old diet. Your cat will slowly get accustomed to the change in flavour and texture over this time and will have had time to adjust to eating the new diet.

Pet Clinic in Singapore
Some diets are very fatty in composition, and our feline friends often love these types of diets because they taste so yummy. Sadly, this extra fat will lead to excess weight gain, and this can be very hard to lose once gained, leading to health problems. Some health concerns associated with obesity or weight gain in cats include:
  • Increased risk of degenerative joint disease
  • Increased risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Increased risk of cancer
  • Increased risk of diabetes
  • Reduced mobility and exercise tolerance
We need to make sure the amount of food we are feeding is appropriate in terms of content as well as calories.  They need the right amount of a well-balanced diet to have good health and a healthy weight.  Check with your vet if you have questions regarding your cat’s weight or diet.

Key Things to Check

Look at the packet or tin of any food you purchase for your cat, as there are minimum standards called the AAFCO standards that every diet should comply with. These standards ensure that the food meets the minimum nutritional values needed to sustain a cat’s energy and maintenance needs. All AAFCO standard food products will have a list of the ingredients the diet contains (essential if your cat has sensitivities or intolerances to certain food types). The food should also have a breakdown of the percentage of fat, carbohydrate, fibre and protein levels. The brand of food needs to have a feeding guide so you know how much to give your cat to keep them healthy. If there are no guidelines, avoid guessing and instead purchase a different food item. Looking at the back of a food packet can be confusing. Still, veterinarians at a good pet clinic in Singapore have extensive experience in this area so always lean into this knowledge and ask if you are unsure about the quality of the food or diet, or if you are unsure about how much to feed.

Feed by Life Stage

Cats have different energy requirements as they move from being a kitten through to old age. If they have a medical disease their requirements may change again, and your veterinarian may prescribe a specialised diet, for example, if your cat has kidney disease, a low-protein diet is recommended. Generally speaking, the main life stages are kitten, adult and senior diets. A senior cat is considered over eight years old, and so whilst you may find the ideal brand of food that you like to feed fairly early on in their lives, the life stage will need to change as they age to accommodate their nutritional needs at that time. A pet clinic in Singapore may also recommend supplements such as glucosamine or chondroitin for elderly cats to help with mobility and feeding advice should be taken directly from the packet or veterinarian who prescribes these supplements.

Consider the Environment

There are lots of small things we can do as pet owners to improve the feeding conditions for our cats. Cats who feed from deep bowls can suffer from Whisker Fatigue, a condition where their whiskers become irritated from rubbing against the sides of the deep bowl. This can reduce the amount of food that they will eat at one time. Use flat or shallow dishes that are cleaned at least daily to help overcome this issue. Another thing to consider is the area that you are feeding your cat, is it a busy area of the home with lots of noise and people? Some cats prefer quiet, so actually having the food bowl in a different area of the home to the kitchen for example can increase the amount of food your cat will eat. It may sound counterintuitive, but having your water and food bowls next to each other can also make your cat grumpy. They like to have separate areas for eating, drinking and going to the toilet, so try to space these stations out around the home. You should always have one extra water and litter box in your home per cat. If you have multiple cats on different diets, using microchip feeders can help reduce the problem of having the cat’s food stolen or eaten before they can get a chance to. A veterinarian at a pet clinic in Singapore can help insert a microchip into each cat that is unique to them and can activate only one cat feeder at a time.

Summary

Feeding your cat has as much to do with how you feed it as it does with what you feed. Following the recommendations from a reputable pet clinic in Singapore on the brand of food will help you avoid health conditions relating to poor nutrition such as rickets, but there are lots of small things you can do at home to make sure that your cat is eating well.