The cat is a very demanding carnivore! Nature has provided it with the right teeth to satisfy its tastes, which are rather difficult.
His diet requires a large amount of protein, especially of animal origin, and in fact the kitten is usually attracted by chicken meat, horse, beef, pork, fish, offal (he particularly loves the liver, but must be administered with caution to avoid the risk of hypervitaminosis A). Its food preferences are innate and are linked to its physiological and anatomical characteristics.
However, even foods of vegetable origin (cereals, fruit, vegetables), although they are not part of the taste of the kitten, are of fundamental importance for her health, so it is good to accustom him from an early age to a healthy and balanced diet. Offering a diet of only meat or fish means not providing the animal with all the nutrients it needs.
Dry or moist food?
For its natural tastes, the cat is oriented towards moist and lukewarm meat foods. She prefers raw meat to cooked meat (she likes to eat the latter too), but it is advisable not to feed her with raw meat, as it is the main vehicle with which her cats contract toxoplasmosis. And again, it prefers “wet” foods to those that are dry or too soft.
Cats, as true gourmets, are very sensitive to the presentation of dishes: meals served in small morsels are preferred over soft or shapeless dough, because they avoid getting dirty lips and moustaches. In addition, the bowl (to be preferred ceramic or steel, because the plastic retains the odors of previous meals) must always be clean and never placed near the toilet box: the kitten, careful to clean and also a bit ‘picky, may not eat!
Among the foods that cats love there is milk. With this food, however, you need to be careful: since it is very rich in calcium, phosphorus and protein can cause some digestive problems. Cheeses, on the other hand, are well tolerated.
Cats prefer pure water to sugary water: unlike their dog friends, they don’t particularly like sweets.
A balanced diet
If the animal’s diet is balanced, its health will also benefit. A wide range of products can be found on the market to meet the nutritional needs of cats of all ages. They also often contain those amino acids that small cats cannot synthesize: taurine and arginine. They are essential amino acids, and must be present in the diet of the cat.
A deficiency of these may be the cause of eye or heart disease (taurine deficiency), or acute ammoniacal intoxication (increased ammonia levels in the body).
If, on the other hand, the cat’s diet is unbalanced, it will tend to eat more to compensate for nutritional deficiencies. This eating behaviour can be harmful to your cat: obesity and bulimia are nothing new and many cats suffer from them. Therefore, it is important that the diet is always adapted to the needs of the animal.
By its nature, the cat is a predator that hunts, captures and eats its prey. It is therefore necessary to try to imitate this diet based on foods of animal origin: this means that the cat will need a large amount of protein and fat as essential nutrients.
The cat is a carnivorous animal, and the proteins useful to guarantee it a balanced diet are found not only in the meat, but also in the eggs, in the cheeses and in the fish. The right amount of animal protein is essential to keep him healthy and in shape!
There are also some amino acids that cats and kittens must consume through their diet: one of these is taurine. Cats are not able to synthesize taurine, so they must take it with their diet. In nature, taurine is very abundant in mouse meat or animal tissues. But for cats living in a flat, the lack of taurine must necessarily be supplemented with the foods we find on the market.
A correct diet must also contain the right amount of fat: they are more energetic than other nutrients, more digestible than carbohydrates and proteins. They are essential for the general health of the cat, for the shine of the coat, for good kidney function. They are very caloric and appetizing food, so you have to pay attention to the quantities.
The diet of the cat must also include carbohydrates (they give energy and promote the proper functioning of the intestine): they are contained in cereals, rice, pasta, but are not always digestible. Moreover, for a balanced diet, vitamins (A, B, D) and essential mineral salts are necessary in adequate quantities, since excess or deficiency can cause annoying diseases.
Your kitten will be fed milk, mother’s milk or artificial milk up to 3 weeks of age. With weaning, your kitten will move from a milky diet to a solid one. It is important to remember that any change in diet should be gradual: kittens should be offered a well chopped and softened food, to which the liquid component should be gradually reduced, in favour of a denser consistency. There are excellent products on the market to accompany the growth of puppies.
If the cat is young or adult, its diet should be attractive and well formulated, so as to prevent deficiencies of certain nutrients and to maintain its ideal weight. The diet can be homemade, meat (chopped and blanched, supplemented with cereals, vegetables, bread or breadsticks), or fish from which it is good to remove bones and bones. Better to avoid legumes, potatoes, leftovers from our kitchen, desserts.
As an alternative to the home diet that requires time and good knowledge of the nutritional needs of our cat, it is advisable to rely on packaged foods, wet or dry. They are very popular with cats: they are formulated for the different needs of our four-legged friends, they are attractive and perfectly balanced.
Finally, if the cat is old, its diet should be appropriate to the age. The kitten will not have to put on weight (muscles, bone and heart are more fragile), so the amount of food will be reduced and divided into three daily meals. Also in this case it will be able to follow a home diet, or, on the advice of the vet, to assume packaged foods, studied purposely for the problems of the third age of the cat.