Eating Problems in Cats:
It is important for cats to consume the right amounts of nutrients to maintain a normal healthy life. Nutritional requirements vary throughout the lifecycle of cats’ lives; so, you must feed your cat the right food depending on its growth stage. As a responsible owner you must understand your cat’s needs and behavior. You must comprehend the various actions or vocal sounds made by your cat that could indicate it needs something; it could mean that your cat needs food or it wants to be let out. Cats have their own preferences of food types, which may vary from dry food to semi-moist or canned food. They can be pretty picky eaters, and although easy to provide for most cats differ in their preferences just as we do.
If your cat is not eating due to an illness, the common symptoms to look for are loss of appetite, bad temper, reluctance to participate in their favorite activities, or hiding away in unusual places that they would not usually visit. However, if your cat refuses to eat for 24 hours or more, you must consult your vet as it may be due to allergies or could be a sign of a more serious health problem. Here are a few guidelines on how and what to offer your pet and details on peculiar cat eating behavior:
- You must provide your cat a high protein, high fat diet with specific animal nutrients. For free choice feeding, - cats eat several small meals all through the day, dry food is the best option.
- You must feed your cat meat, fish, poultry, or eggs, which are animal protein sources. This will help retain strong muscular structure, antibodies, and vital organs, and promote fetal growth, healthy reproduction, and development. You must avoid supplementing your cat’s diet as it may lead to various health problems.
- You must ensure that your cat gets the essential minerals and vitamins such as vitamins A & E, which assist the immune system. Provide an accurate fatty acids balance to help maintain excellent coat and skin health.
- You must ensure that you clean your cat’s bowl as your cat may refrain from eating out of a bowl that has pieces of old food.
- If you are serving your cat canned food, you must heat the food first so that it releases an aroma and stimulates your cat’s appetite.
- Your cat may indulge in eating non-food items (clothing, rubber bands, socks, rocks, and string); this is called pica. Pica can be a serious problem as it can severely damage an animal’s intestines. It is potentially life-threatening and hence, advisable to consult both a vet and an animal behavior professional for help.
- You must ensure that your cat doesn’t overeat; it may lead to obesity and trigger various physical illnesses, including heart, kidney, and liver problems.
- When you hear your cat purring it generally could be construed as a sign of contentment and comfort, but at times it could mean that it is in great pain or distress. This would however be apparent from other behavior too. However, if a kitten purrs, it is a signal to the mother that it is content and getting enough food when suckling.
- When you see your cat eating grass, it indicates that your cat needs to clean out its stomach by vomiting. Cats also get folic acid from the grass; this is something they cannot get from meat.
- Your cat may take its food out of the bowl and eat it off the floor. This common behavior may be due to two reasons: the pieces of food are too large and the cat finds it easier to chew it by taking it out of the bowl to break it into smaller pieces; and if its whiskers are long, it finds it uncomfortable to eat from the bowl.
- You must understand that cat food is formulated to contain specific amounts of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, which are vital for your cat’s growth. So, people food must be a minimal pat of your pet’s diet.