Feeding Your Pet Dry Food With Special Attention To Cats!

We are aware of the health issues attached with giving cats and dogs low quality feeds and always try our best to point PetParents in the direction of better and higher quality brands that have a history of providing safe, holistic feeds. Iams, Purina, Sheba and of course Farmina and Royal Canin, among others are some of the names of good quality feeds that are available locally, Orijen, Nature’s Variety and Wellness are other brand names that are not available but are also very good if not better. We are trying our best to import these brands for PetParents here and In Sha Lah they will be available at PetPeople.pk. Here is some information that might be useful to you if you are a CatParent:

A truly top-quality cat food should:

  • Use named meat protein sources
  • Contain no by-products
  • Contain no fillers such as corn, wheat or soy
  • Contains no artificial ingredients or preservatives

As hard as all Pet Dry Food companies try to make their feed as healthy as possible, we have read many articles online, spoken to many PetParents with sick and ailing cats and discussed cat dietary concerns with numerous local and foreign  veterinary doctors, and most agree that Fresh or Wet Food is the best option for all cats.

The three main concerns regarding dry food is:

  • Type of Protein- Too high in plant based vs. animal based protein
  • Carbohydrate content is too high
  • Water content is too low

There is a lot of information we would love to share with the concerned cat and dog PetParents out there.

Here are the findings of WebMD:

They do not say wet food is better outright but if you look at the points listed below Wet food has 78% more moisture than dry food. High moisture content in cat food is extremely important in order to avoid kidney issues as well as constipation which is the top killer in cats.

Dry adult cat food:
  • Is more economical
  • Is convenient because you can leave it out and it doesn’t spoil as easily
  • Is energy dense, meaning a cat can consume lots of calories quickly
  • Has about 10% moisture content
  • Tends to have more carbohydrates and less protein than wet food
  • May be only slightly better than canned food at preventing dental disease
Canned adult cat food:
  • Is more expensive
  • Can spoil more easily and requires refrigeration after opening
  • Is less energy dense than dry food
  • Has up to 78% moisture content
  • Tends to have more fat and protein – especially animal protein – and fewer carbohydrates than dry food

Most PetParents feed their cats and dogs dry food because it is convenient, less smelly and lasts longer. These are not good reasons and ensuring your cats and dogs have healthy and long lives is far more importance than the “convenience” factor. Please click here for a complete guide to Feeding Your Cat: Know The Basics of Feline Nutrition by Lisa A. Pierson, DVM

If you wish to learn everything you need to know and Making Cat Food please click here. 

We do carry a selection of Wet Food At PetPeople.pk for your cat that you could consider as well if you like. Sheba and Royal Canin Pouches are highly recommended by most Vets. They have a high protein and moisture content and the ingredients are responsibly sourced and handled.

We realize some of you are extremely concerned about Hairball Control. You are of course most welcome to purchase the Iams Proactive Health Adult Cats Hairball – Suculent Roast Chicken (2.5kg) from PetPeople.pk. It is specially geared to your cat’s needs and many CatParents vouch for its nutritional value.

Here are some other suggestions, however, to control and ease the hairball problems. These are our personal recommendations only and we would greatly advise you to discuss the matter with your cat’s regular vet before taking any and all action. 

  • Grow grass from Bajra seeds in a small indoor flower pot and allow your cat free access to it. Many PetParents have told us that when they did this their cat started playing with and eating the grass. The grass they eat acts as an agent that allows them to breakdown and cough up hairballs with more ease. Indoor cats have greatly benefited from this trick
  • If you wish to start feeding your cat wet food you can still mix liquid additives in their food which are geared to control hairballs. You may not be able to find this product in your local stores but rest assured that we will soon have this product available online all CatParents at PetPeopl.pk.
  • Bathe your cat once a month only with cat specific shampoos and groom it regularly yourself, brushing it and checking it constantly for any bumps or lumps. We advise all PetParents to spend 15 minutes a day grooming their pets. Its a great way to strength the bond between you both and a sure-shot way of keep a constant check on your pet’s skin and general health concerns immediately as they develop.

If you do start making fresh food for your cat  here are some important tips:

Ingredients to Avoid: As tasty as a chocolate-covered mouse may sound, this is definitely a no-no for kitty. Chocolate, in general aggravates the tummies of many of our animal companions, not just cats. Some other ingredients to avoid in home-made cat food include:

  • Garlic (grey zone: some PetParents like myself believe a small quantity keeps fleas and other parasites away and is not harmful. Some Never use it)
  • Onions
  • Raisins
  • Raw Egg whites
  • Tomatoes
  • Grapes

While the above ingredients must be avoided, any regular cat food diet must also include a number of ingredients, but especially animal protein. You may be okay being vegan, but your cat certainly will not thrive on a diet of tempeh and tofu! Your cat is a carnivore and there is no way around this evolutionary fact. Cats need between 60% and 80% meat protein in order to acquire enough essential amino acids such as taurine, arginine, lysine and cysteine. Not getting enough taurine, for example, will make your kitty blind.

The Essentials:

Animal Protein: The protein in your cat’s diet should come from chicken (or other poultry), beef, pork, rabbit, fish or liver. Liver is especially important because it is chock-full of Vitamin A and cats cannot produce this vitamin on their own. Variety is important, so you should not just feed your cat liver or straight fish on a daily basis. The other essential ingredients include:

Animal Fats: Not only does animal fat make food tastier, this essential ingredients is also mandatory for healthy skin and fur, as well the circulatory and urinary systems. Kittens need about 35% fat while adult cats thrive on a diet of about 30% fat.

Calcium to Phosphorus Ratio (Ca:P): The ratio between calcium and phosphorus should be 1 part calcium to to 1.3 parts phosphorus.  The easiest way to accomplish this ratio is to add calcium supplements. Commercial cat food usually uses bone meal. If you choose to use bone meal only use a product meant for human consumption, not one intended for gardening. Veternarian Dr. Pierson is a supporter of grinding up bone herself and says it is much easier than it sounds.

Water: Home-made cat food will ideally be 10% to 30% water weight.

Carbs: All good recipes for felines should contain less than 10% carbs.

Some Recipes For Your Cat:

Here are a a few basic recipes for meals you can make for your cat at home: (Please discuss these recipe with your cat’s vet before proceeding to be on the safe side)

Chicken Recipe

This recipe provides 471 kilo-calories, 53.1 grams protein, 27.4 grams fat, and is intended for a healthy cat or growing kitten.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound boneless chicken breast (raw weight),
  • cooked 1/2 large egg, hard-boiled (split it lengthwise)
  • 1/2 ounce clams, chopped in juice
  • 4 tsp. canola oil
  • 1/8 tsp. salt substitute (potassium chloride)
  • 3 bonemeal tablets (10-grain or equivalent)
  • 1 multiple vitamin-mineral tablet.

Chop the chicken breast and egg. Crush the bonemeal and vitamin tablets finely, then combine all ingredients. Refrigerate, then warm slightly before serving.

Kitty Breakfast

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp. non-fat dry milk
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 3 Tbsp. cottage cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. grated veggies

Mix together the milk powder with a small amount of water; add the eggs and beat well. Pour into a small non-stick frying pan and cook on medium low until done. Flip over and spread the cottage cheese and veggies over half the top. Fold like an omelet. Cool and cut to bite-sized pieces to serve.

We hope this information has been helpful. If you have any tips or ideas of your own please share them with our PetParent community so that together we can spread more awareness for quality feeds for all our pets.
We wish both you and your pets the best of health always!

 

Sara Sultan

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