Being a cat lover, it is a must to know about basic feline nutritional needs and plan your cat’s diet properly for a healthy life. Paying the required attention in understanding and planning your cat’s diet will help in avoiding serious, painful and costly illnesses.
My cat ‘Jingle’ was such a cute feline that everyone who visited us would spend some time with her also. She had become a part of our family that when my parents call me to enquire about my hubby and kids they will also ask about Jingle. My cousin’s kids loved coming to my home especially because they could play with Jingle.
This was not the scene when Jingle had first come home. She being a partially disabled cat with a limb in her right hind leg was afraid of everyone. She will just check whether the surroundings are safe for her to get inside my home to have food. While having food she will be so alert that even a slight foot step will frighten her and she will run away. It took some months for me to become friendly with her. And when I had taken the decision to keep Jingle with me, I took her to a vet and did all basic checkups and vaccinations. Vaccination is one way of protecting our cat against life-threatening diseases. Our vet educated me regarding the duration of protection and timing of vaccination. He also gave me an idea of the basic nutritional needs of cats (feline). Till then I have been feeding Jingle as per my wish.
Why I am very specific about discussing the basic feline nutritional needs is that it had made Jingle a different cat in many ways. This will also help you to plan a proper diet for your cat. A proper diet plan will always help your cat to have a healthy life.
I would like to put this is in very simple ways.
- Water: The foremost important nutrient. Your cat should have fresh clean water and it should be made available to them at all times. Water deficiency can be so serious that it may cause death also.
- Proteins: Another essential part of cat diet. Proteins are the basic building blocks for the body’s cells, tissues and organs and are required for the growth, maintenance, reproduction and repair. Proteins can be included in the cat diet by providing meat, fish, milk, and poultry (animal-based proteins) as well as vegetables, soy, cereals, etc (Plant-based proteins). Essential amino acids present in meat, fish, poultry and eggs have to be included in the cat diet for their healthy long life. Taurine is an essential amino acid required for the prevention of eye and heart diseases in companion cats as well as for reproduction, fetal growth and survival.
- Fats: Essential for structure of cells, production of some hormones, for absorption and utilization of fat-soluble vitamins. Foods rich in Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids are good for cat health. Omega 3 fatty acids control your cat’s inflammation, promotes heart and kidney health, control cancer, ease arthritis pain and supports eye development. Omega 6 fatty acids help in promoting healthy skin and a shiny coat as well as fights infections. There are numerous Omega fatty acids products readily available in the market for cats.
- Carbohydrates and Vitamins: Minimum carbohydrates are necessary to supply energy to brain and small amounts of vitamins help in normal metabolic functioning in cats. These supplements can be provided as and when it is required and not necessary if a proper cat diet plan is followed.
Jingle’s diet included water, milk, cooked form of meat, fish, poultry or egg, and rice. As Jingle was fond of snacks she used to have cakes, fried chips, biscuits etc in very small quantities.