What to feed, and what not to feed!
Improvements in pet nutrition over the years have contributed to increased pet longevity and quality of life. At Diamond Valley Veterinary Hospitals we recommend feeding your cat a balanced, high quality diet. Factors to consider include age, dental health, lifestyle, weight management and special needs as your pet ages. Kittens require a diet higher in protein and calcium, whilst older cats often require reduced calorie diets to manage their weight, or reduced protein content for kidney health.
At Diamond Valley Veterinary Hospitals we stock a wide range of premium cat foods, and can offer you expert advice on the best food for your cats individual requirements. When changing your cats food type please introduce the new food gradually, over about a week, mixing it with the old food. This reduces the chance of a tummy upset due to a sudden diet change. It is useful to feed your kitten or cat a mixture of wet and dry food – cats love variety and you might need to hide medicine in their food one day! Ensure your cat’s food and litter tray are well separated, in different rooms if possible. No-one wants to eat near their toilet! Cats also do not like their water to be close to their food so keep them separated by a few metres.
Cats have very particular nutritional requirements – there are certain proteins that they must source from their diet (rather than the body producing them, like other mammals). For this reason cats should always be fed at least part of their diet with a branded food that is accredited by AAFCO (a world-standard regulatory body) to be balanced. Dog food is not balanced for cats and should never be offered.
Whilst most cats are sensible and don’t eat silly things we do recommend you take care allowing your cat access to the following:
Lily plants/flowers – all parts of the lily are toxic to cats if eaten – leaves, flowers, even the pollen. A very small amount is all that is needed to cause irreversible and fatal kidney failure. Many indoor cats in particular will be very interested in new plants or flowers and will be tempted to have a chew. We recommend you keep all lily plants well away from cats when inside.
String/wool/tinsel – please take extra care when allowing your cat to play with strings and the like – some cats will eat them and this can result in disastrous gut obstruction.
Rat bait – cats are unlikely to eat the bait itself, but can experience potentially life threatening secondary poisoning if they eat a poisoned rat or mouse.
For a comprehensive list of foods, household products and plants that can be toxic to pets please contact our staff.