Mistakes People Make Feeding Cats

Discussion in 'Health & Nutrition' started by Trellum, Aug 17, 2015.

  1. Trellum

    Trellum Well-Known Member

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    Are you making one of these blunders when you feed your precious puss?
    By Wendy C. Fries
    WebMD Pet Health Feature
    Reviewed by Audrey Cook, BVM&S



    We make plenty of mistakes feeding ourselves. We eat too much sugar and salt, we eat too little, then too much. With all the problems we have with our own diets, is it any wonder we make mistakes when feeding our cats?

    So what errors are we making and why? Our cats can’t tell us, not with words. Sometimes we don’t know where we’ve gone wrong until our cat is sick.

    Not to worry. WebMD went to the experts in cat health -- veterinarians and animal nutritionists -- and asked them to outline the most common cat feeding mistakes so that you can avoid them and help your feline friend stay fit, feisty, and well-nourished.

    Cat Feeding Mistakes: Too Much Food
    Probably the most common mistake people make when feeding cats is over-feeding, says Joe Bartges, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, DACVN, professor of medicine and nutrition, the Acree Endowed Chair of Small Animal Research, in the College of Veterinary Medicine, at the University of Tennessee. “Obesity is the most common nutritional disease seen in cats.”

    Although a pudgy kitty may look kind of cute, obesity is associated with cat health issues including diabetes, arthritis , and urinary tract disease. In fact, Bartges tells WebMD that cats may suffer from something similar to that very human condition, metabolic syndrome.

    It’s not necessarily that we’re intentionally giving our cats more food than they need, says Linda P. Case, MS, author of The Cat: Its Behavior, Nutrition, and Health. It’s that our kitties “are more sedentary, as compared to the days when they were barn cats and more active. They're little couch potatoes now, their nutrition needs are much lower, so it's easy to overfeed them.”

    So how much food does your cat need? That’s a question best answered by a professional, though recommendations range between 24 to 35 calories a day per pound, to keep cats at a normal, healthy weight.

    Yet many of us don’t really know what normal looks like, so “I encourage people to ask their vet to help them determine their cat's body condition score,” says Susan G. Wynn, DVM, a veterinary nutritionist in Georgia and author of Manual of Natural Veterinary Medicine. “That way they will recognize abnormal and work toward normal.”

    Click HERE to read the whole article.
     
    Trellum, Aug 17, 2015
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  2. Trellum

    Anne Well-Known Member

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    I always wondered if I might be overfeeding Twinkle by leaving food out for him to eat whatever he wanted. Yet as I remember so well, he seemed to just eat what he wanted and leave the rest behind. Interesting read nonetheless. All the other detailed stuff I never did but it's good to know for the next time around.
     
    Anne, Aug 17, 2015
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  3. Trellum

    Susan Brown Well-Known Member

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    Another informative article. When I look at what they recommend and what I feed Harley he shouldn't really be overweight but I think a lot of his problems are that he is older and he doesn't get as much exercise and he use to. There is still the odd time when he will run around the house like a crazy cat but that doesn't happen as often as it use to.He spends a lot of his time sleeping.
     
    Susan Brown, Aug 18, 2015
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    Anne Well-Known Member

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    So is Harley an inside cat only? My Twinkle used to sleep a lot but boy was he fast and loved playing with the dogs, so he was not likely to be overweight. Let's just say he was young, wild and free. There was a picture somewhere I think of an obese cat (or dog). It was unbelievable. I am guessing when you start to age and you are not able to do as much you'll pile on some pounds. That might be what's happening to me and Harley.
     
    Anne, Aug 18, 2015
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  5. Trellum

    Susan Brown Well-Known Member

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    Yes Harley is strickly an inside cat. He runs around the house with Merle and he still likes to play a bit but when he's had enough
    he just crawls up on the bed and goes to sleep. He is always anxiously waiting for the next meal. Everytime I get up to go out to the
    kitchen he follows me out and sits by his food dish and looks up at me.

    lol it's not only you and Harley, it's me also!! lol
     
    Susan Brown, Aug 20, 2015
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  6. Trellum

    MER Well-Known Member

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    I read a few interesting articles about how to tell if your cat is overweight or not. Standing above the cat looking down, you should be able to see the curves of their body. Not a figure 8 per se, but you should be able to see a diffence from their neck, to their chest, and their hind quarters. When you pet them, you should be able to tell where their rib cage starts. I'm not talking skeleton but you got the idea.
     
    MER, Sep 1, 2015
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    Eaow Well-Known Member

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    In which case Cutie paws is definitely overweight. I can't make out where the neck begins from the chest. Should I be concerned about this? I am guilty of leaving her bowl with dry food all the time. :confused:
     
    Eaow, Sep 1, 2015
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    MER Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I would be concerned. There seems to be plenty of reading on how over-weight cats develop health issues. I usually leave cat food out all the time as well. Gemma got a few pounds over-weight and we started cutting back on her food. She seemed to have thought the same thing and slimmed down nicely. Now that we have Rosco and kitten food out, Gemma is pigging out on his food and getting a little chunky again. She's not getting the exercise like she use to when I chased her around the house.
     
    MER, Sep 2, 2015
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    MER Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone have a cat that has food allergies? Ever since Rosco got spayed, he's come home with the squirts. Numerous trips to the vet and medicine treatments the vet finally suggested trying a soy based cat food. Besides being soy, it cost $65 for a 7 lb bag of the stuff. His poop very slowly started returning to normal and we made the mistake of mixing his old food with the soy stuff. He's always trying to eat Gemma's normal stuff as well. Now he's back to having the squirts. I guess he does have a food allergy. I wonder if there's anything else on the market that he'll like that doesn't cost an arm and a leg? What's weird is that ever since we got Rosco, each cat likes the other's food. Gemma was over a year old and wanting Rosco's kitten food and Rosco liked the adult cat food. Now Gemma likes the soy cat food and Rosco would be just as happy eating hers instead of the soy. Arg!
     
    MER, Feb 3, 2016
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    stillsmallworld.com Member

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    I'm guilty of leaving food out for mine. I just don't like the idea of them going hungry. I'm trying to break this habit by putting their food up overnight and feeding them in the morning and when I get home from work. It is difficult to say no to their faces though. Ive also tried giving wet food to all three cats, but only two will go near it. I know it's so much better for them to eat wet food, so I wish all three would.
     
    stillsmallworld.com, Mar 5, 2016
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