Last night my husband and I were sitting around playing with our cat Aislinn (what else would we be doing?) and started talking about her age. Like many rescue cats, she was an adult when we got her in 2000. A couple calculations and a little discussion later and we come to the conclusion that our lively little cat is at least 15 years old! As good cat parents we then chatted about what we think made a difference in our cat’s health and came to a single conclusion:
A few years back we started noticing a decline in Aislinn’s health. Her eyes looked sunken, she appeared arthritic, her coat was not as glossy as it was previously and she generally started to look old. She also had been previously diagnosed with borderline kidney problems, which can quickly progress and lead to death in cats if not caught early. At the same time I was learning more about nutrition in animals and was reading up on some of the newer health studies in dogs and cats.
After much research I decided to switch her to a 100% wet food diet and have not looked back since! As you can see from her pictures, she looks just as good now as she did 10 years ago and seems to feel the same.
As a pet sitter I have cared for countless cats over the years. I have seen the effects of various types of food on the cats and watched improvements in homes where the kitty parents have upgraded the diet. Here is what you feline fans need to know to make sure your cat’s health is the best:
- Cats do best on a completely wet food (or RAW food, but that is another blog) diet. One concern is that dry food is supposed to help clean kitty teeth, but the benefits of wet food is much greater than the possibly teeth cleaning.
- Feed a high quality food. A general rule of thumb is if you can buy the food at a grocery store then it is bad food (looking at you Friskies, Whiskas and Fancy Feast). I guarantee the beautiful cats in the commercials are not eating that food otherwise their coats would look like garbage. Take a look at our store list for good places to buy cat food.
- Feed your cat 2-3 times a day. Wet food has fewer calories so they may feel hungry more often. Also, since the food needs to be kept fresh your cat cannot browse all day like with dry food.
- Make sure your cat drinks plenty of water. This is a bit of an off-shoot, but is part of good nutrition. One of the best ways to prevent kidney problems is to make sure the kitty takes in enough fluids. Wet food helps this a lot as well as readily accessible water bowls, maybe even cat fountains.
Go take a look at your kitty’s food today and see what you can do to help your cat live a longer, healthier life!