What and how should you feed your cat? Dry food or wet? Canned or fresh? Pâté, bits, shreds or fillets? Is it best to feed on a schedule or to allow the cat to eat any time he’s hungry? In order to try to answer these questions, we looked at the eating habits of cats in the wild.
A typical feral cat, living without human interaction, will eat about nine “mouse-sized” meals a day. These meals are high in protein and fat, and contain very little carbohydrate. Thus a cat’s ideal diet should consist of moist food of similar composition that he could eat in small snacks throughout the day. If you’re at home all day and have unlimited time, you could feed small portions of “healthy” (low in carbohydrates) fresh or canned cat food every few hours to approximate their natural feeding pattern.
However, this really isn’t practical for most of us. We may be out during the day, there may be more than one pet to consider, or good luck in affording a pet sitter who will make numerous house calls a day. At the PFC shelter the cats get fed twice a day: once in the morning and once in the evening. This may be a schedule that would work best for most people and cats. However, if you prefer to mimic a schedule of smaller meals separated by a few hours, an automatic feeder could be the solution. This might be especially useful for cats that are prone to obesity. Also, unless your cat is on a special diet, be sure to add some variety into the food, so he/she doesn’t just fixate on one kind.
Most cats benefit from a diet of both wet and dry food. At the shelter we offer both, but some cats may prefer one over the other. The important factors are consistency and a good quality food that is high in protein. Serve the food as close to room temperature as possible. And remember to offer treats sparingly, since they are usually higher in calories than equivalent amounts of food. After all—they are treats!
In the end, a good-quality food specifically formulated for cats should provide all the nutrients a cat without medical issues needs. Accompanied by abundant fresh water, this diet should keep your cat healthy for years to come.
Our cat of the week is a handsome pair of brothers named Ellis and Emory. These 4-year-old domestic shorthaired boys have coats that are about equal amounts of black-and-white fur and big, golden-colored eyes. The best way to tell them apart is Ellis has a black spot on his nose and Emory has a bit more black fur around his left eye. Both boys are absolute sweethearts, love to get gentle attention and readily purr up a storm. Ellis and Emory were originally PFC kittens and came back to us after someone in their owner’s family developed an allergy to cats. These boys have always lived together and are a bonded pair, so they will need to be adopted together. If you are looking to expand your family to include a pair of sweet bonded cats, come on in to meet this friendly duo.
We have a few other cats available for adoption and will be getting some more this week. Smokey is a handsome, steely gray, domestic shorthaired male. He is 7½ years old and quite the lover boy, adoring any attention that comes his way. This fellow is muscular and active and may benefit from the company of another cat. Hunter is a big, domestic shorthaired orange male tabby with white who is also quite the love. He is 9 years young and readily purrs up a storm to encourage you to spend time with him. Hunter would prefer to have his human around a lot of the time, and we suspect he wants to be an only cat. We have an adorable, 5-month-old brown tabby male named Moses, but we suspect this friendly boy will be snapped up immediately.
The PFC shelter is at 44 Beagle Lane in Teaticket. Our mailing address is PO Box 422, West Falmouth, MA 02574.
The shelter is open for adoptions and visitors Wednesdays from 4 to 6 PM and Saturdays from 10 AM to 1 PM. If you need to get in touch with us when we are closed, call our hotline at 508-540-5654. Press #0 if you have cat-related issues, questions, are interested in volunteering or for additional information about People for Cats. Press #2 if you need financial assistance for veterinary care or spay/neuter assistance. Press #3 if you have a cat or kitten to surrender and be sure to leave your name, telephone number and a brief description of the cat. All calls are returned as quickly as possible.
Check us out at www.peopleforcats.org, look for our available cats on Petfinder and like us on our Facebook page.
All for the love of cats…