These mistakes when feeding cats are easily made - but also easily avoided, once you know to look out for them!
While dogs can be seen to be obsessed with food, their body clock working day-in-day-out to remind them that 6.30am is time for breakfast and 5pm is dinner o’clock, cats can generally be trusted not to overeat.
However, they can also be rather picky about their diet, what they particularly like to have for tea, how they like it to look… and if it doesn’t hit their high standards they might well turn their nose up!
You might find Felix is a bit fussy, nervous or on edge, and so it would be worth ensuring you’re not upsetting him.
Here are eight common mistakes we can make when feeding cats, and how we can avoid them all.
A simple rule, but one that is often abused.
In fact, a study of more than 8,000 cats in American veterinary practices showed that 35% of them were obese.
The best way to prevent overfeeding a cat is stick to the recommended feeding guidelines - and we make this easy for you by including a feeding guide on the sides of packs.
2. Restricting access to food
Cats are simple creatures, and are at their best when they can free-feed. This means leaving food down, ready for Puss to graze on whenever they want, is a great idea.
This is also one of the most natural ways to feed a cat in a home environment, because - as opposed to dogs who should have set mealtimes - they like to eat little and often.
3. Feeding an inappropriate diet for the cat’s age
Cats of different ages need different nutrients, vitamins and dietary components. That’s why it’s paramount to ensure that you’re not feeding your cat foods that aren’t the best fit for their differing needs.
4. Not paying attention to the feeding environment
We know a few dogs who will wolf down their dinner without due care to what’s going on around them.
Cats aren’t so similar, and generally need to feel safe and secure when tucking into their dins. To make sure they’re safe, try not to put their food near to other pets, and ensure it’s in a calm, quiet place.
5. Food bowls too close to litter trays or other things
Similar to the above, when placing their food, make sure it’s not next to their litter trays, bins… anything that might smell strange to your cat!
This could put them off their meals.
6. Providing a vegetarian diet
Cats are, by DNA, obligate carnivores - this means that they are an animal that must eat the tissue of other animals in order to thrive, according to its genetic makeup.
Therefore, their body craves animal-based products to survive - which is why feeding solely veggies wouldn’t be the best idea.
In our foods, we mix the best of animal-based proteins, such as fish, chicken and turkey, with vegetables such as sweet potato, tomato and carrot adding even more goodness.
7. Not refreshing the water every day
A simple rule, but one that cat owners may not regularly adhere to - washing the water bowl and replacing with fresh water every day is very important.
Cats are very particular when it comes to their water, so make sure the bowl never becomes empty, stagnant or old.
8. Feeding milk to a cat
On the theme of drinking, here’s something you may not know - a cat’s body is not able to digest milk completely!
Milk can cause diarrhoea and gastrointestinal upset in both cats and dogs so, even if Mr Whiskers loves his saucer of milk, it’d be wise not to give it to him anymore!