What is the Best Cat Food?

What is the Best Cat Food?

Everyone has an opinion or idea of what they think they should feed their cat or kitten. Whether it is milk or fish or chicken or supermarket cat food, the options are exhaustive. In fact there is such a vast amount of information it can be overwhelming and confusing for cat owners. This article aims to demystify things it for you so you can make an informed decision.

Check out our list of the Best Cat Food and Best Kitten Food at the end of this article.

Cats are Meat Eaters

Cats are meat eaters. As carnivores they must have meat protein to maintain their health. There are cheap cat food options but to ensure you cat has a long healthy life it is important you choose a good quality food. Cat food is produced for age groups and it is important you choose the food that is for your cat’s age as it has been designed for their optimal health. Sometimes cats require special diets such as urinary tract cat food or sensitive skin. If you are not sure you can always seek advice from your vet or via our Online Vet. They can determine the health of your cat and what the best diet is for them but if they haven’t had any health concerns you can start with a diet that is designed for their age.

How much should I feed my cat?

This is a very important question to ask so you avoid having an overweight cat. Your cat’s weight, age and size are key determinants in how much food they will need. Just like humans each cat’ body works a little differently so if you are getting advice from a friend, what they feed their cat may not be the right amount for yours. Being careful to avoid having an overweight cat is extremely important to your cat living a longer life. One of the other most critical things is to ensure your cat always has plenty of clean water to drink. Checking their water daily will ensure they have sufficient water and also it is clean and fresh.

Can I feed my cat a vegan diet?

Humans can survive quite well on a vegan diet as they can consume many alternate protein sources. However, our feline friends are not able to eat the same items as we can and will perish if fed a vegan diet. As carnivores they must have meat as it will provide the nutrients they need to survive and thrive.

Meat does not mean only red meat. How many times have you heard someone refer to their tuna lunch as “cat food”? A lot of cat’s love fish but it is not something they should eat daily. High levels of fatty acids, contained in fish, can cause a deficiency in vitamin E in your cat. Moderation is warranted. We recommend focusing on a mainly dry cat food diet with some wet food and a little raw meat such as raw chicken wings.

Is Cat Milk Good for Cats?

We have grown up seeing kittens drinking milk on TV all the time so it is no wonder we all think that is what cats and kittens should be given. Let us dispel that myth as milk is not at all good for cats. It can cause stomach upsets, cramps and diarrhoea. One of the most common misconceptions is that all milk is good for cats! Milk can be high in fat, in fact one saucer of milk is the equivalent of four burgers (based on a 4.5kg cat and an average size woman) – but giving your cat ordinary cows’ milk can also cause upset tummies, cramps and even severe diarrhoea.

A relatively unknown fact is that most cats are lactose intolerant. This means that when a cat drinks milk the undigested lactose passes through their digestive system drawing water from their intestines. Cats and kittens are unable to pass lactose easily through their intestines and then into the bloodstream, so it essentially gets stuck in the intestines causing pain and discomfort. In extreme cases of diarrhea it can also be fatal for kittens.

If you really want to give your cat or kitten milk we recommend one specifically developed for felines, like this Whiskas one, and only in moderation.

The Best Cat and Kitten Food by Age

Kittens

Just as with growing children it is important to give your kitten the right diet to allow them to grow strong and healthy. this includes making sure their bones and joints grow well so issues arising with age are minimized. Starting from this young age, and continuing throughout their life, kittens should be given a well balanced and good quality dry kitten food.

royal canin cat food

Our top 5 recommended best dry cat food for kittens are:

  1. Purina ONE Natural Dry Kitten Food
  2. Purina Kitten Chow Nurturing Formula Dry Cat Food
  3. Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Dry Food for Young Kittens
  4. Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free Natural Kitten Dry Cat Food
  5. Hill’s Science Diet Dry Cat Food, Kitten, Indoor, Chicken Recipe

It is a good idea to introduce raw chicken wings to your kitten so they learn to enjoy them. Raw meat is a good source of protein and chewing on raw bones is good for their teeth. It is important, however to wait until they are at least 20 weeks of age before introducing raw meat as their immune system is still developing. Never give your kitten cooked bones as they can break into splinters and, when swallowed, cause internal damage.

If you would prefer to use tinned foods occasionally here are our top 5 recommended best wet cat food for kittens:

  1. Purina Fancy Feast Grain Free Pate Wet Kitten Food Variety Pack
  2. Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Thin Slices in Gravy Wet Kitten Food
  3. Purina ONE Grain Free Natural Pate Wet Kitten Food
  4. Iams Perfect Portions Healthy Kitten Grain Free Wet Cat Food
  5. Wellness Natural Grain Free Wet Cat Food for Kittens

Adult cats

As with kittens your adult cat needs a good quality dry cat food as the base of its diet. If your cat seems to have health issues you should consult your vet, or our Online Vet, in case your cat needs a special diet. For most cats a good quality dry food will provide them with the nutrition they need for a healthy life.

royal canin cat food

Providing your cat with some raw chicken wings will not only give them more protein but help with their teeth. If decide to provide any fresh meat products to your cat please make sure it is fit for human consumption as tht will ensure it does not contain any preservatives which may be harmful to your furry friend.

Our top 5 recommended best dry food for adult cats are:

  1. Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free Natural Adult Dry Cat Food
  2. Iams Proactive Health Adult Dry Cat Food with Chicken
  3. Purina ONE Natural Dry Cat Food
  4. Hill’s Science Diet Dry Cat Food Adult Perfect Weight
  5. Royal Canin Indoor Adult Dry Cat Food

For those preferring to add a wet food to the diet, here are our top 5 recommended best wet food for adult cats:

  1. Hill’s Science Diet Wet Cat Food Adult Minced Savory
  2. Purina Fancy Feast Wet Cat Food Variety Pack
  3. Blue Buffalo Healthy Gourmet Natural Adult Flaked Wet Cat Food
  4. Hill’s Science Diet Wet Cat Food Adult Healthy Cuisine
  5. Iams Perfect Portions Healthy Adult Grain Free Wet Cat Food

Senior, or older, cats

As your cat ages you will need to adjust what they eat to make sure they maintain their health and limit issues which may arise. Age can change how your cat’s body processes their food and what type of diet they need. Unlike when your cat is younger, as a senior cat they may benefit from having more wet food than they have had previously. This will help them to maintain their fluid intake. It may be prudent to check with your vet, or our Online Vet, if you are not sure what type of diet to put your older cat on.

blue buffalo cat food

As with our recommendations for kittens and adult cats, whatever diet your cat is on should be good quality so it provides the nutrients they need to keep them healthy. Your older cat may become less active so being aware of the amount of food you are feeding them will be important so you don’t end up with an overweight cat. Whilst obesity is one thing to watch you need to ensure you do not underfeed your older cat as they can have equally harmful effects on their health. As they age your cat may prefer to eat more, smaller sized, meals each day so try to do that where possible. If your cat eats smaller meals more frequency it can aid in better urinary tract health. If you are ever in doubt you should consult a veterinarian.

Our top 5 recommended best dry cat food for senior cats are:

  1. Blue Buffalo Healthy Aging Natural Mature Dry Cat Food
  2. Iams Proactive Healthy Senior Dry Cat Food with Chicken
  3. Hill’s Science Diet Dry Cat Food Adult 11+
  4. Purina ONE Natural Senior Dry Cat Food
  5. NUTRO Wholesome Essentials Natural Dry Cat Food

As mentioned your older cat will need more wet food to assist with fluid intake so here is our top 5 recommended best wet at food for senior cats:

  1. Purina Pro Plan Senior Pate Wet Cat Food
  2. Royal Canin Aging 12+ Thin Slices in Gravy Wet Cat Food
  3. Hill’s Science Diet Wet Cat Food Adult 11+
  4. Purina Friskies Natural Grain Free Senior Broth
  5. Blue Buffalo Healthy Gourmet Natural Mature Pate

Your Cat is Not a Human

Lastly a little reminder that your cat is not human. It’s dietary needs are different to ours so it is important to make sure you feed your cat a well balanced good quality cat food plus some raw meat. If you are ever unsure whether your cat needs a different diet you should consult your vet. Most cats live healthy uncomplicated lives with the right diet for their age.

HOW to GET RID of FLEAS on KITTENS

HOW to GET RID of FLEAS on KITTENS

It is hard to know what the right flea meds for kittens are. Many cat owners experience the issue of fleas with new kittens and cats. One of the questions we are asked is “are cat fleas and dog fleas different?” In short the answer is yes, scientifically, but in reality the issues they cause are much the same. Symptoms of flea infestation in your kitten include excessive itching, red skin and there can be secondary infections. In some extreme cases cats may develop flea allergy dermatitis. This is not a common outcome and as long as you treat the flea infestation quickly your kitten or cat should recover well. Unlike dogs, our feline friends are good at hiding they have fleas. Fleas are more prevalent in outdoor cats but any of you with indoor cats may still have a flea problem. Fleas are fast moving and hard to spot. They are very small which makes them hard to see even if you have great eyesight! Fleas feast on your cats blood, similar to mosquitoes, and cause itching. Depending on the level of infestation, and your cats skin sensitivity, the severity of the itch and potential hair loss can vary. As recommended with children, if you have seen fleas on your kitten remain calm and treat with the right medication.

Cat Insects

Whilst there are many different types of fleas the most common for cats is the Ctenocephalides felis. If you see your kitten scratching, and you haven’t seen any fleas, first try using a flea comb. This will allow you to see whether any little black dots (fleas) appear. Flea dirt, as it is known, is the excrement of the fleas. I am sure you can imagine the excrement, flea dirt, is difficult to spot. Fleas are small so their excrement is even smaller and very hard to see yet irritating for your cat. If your kitten is still scratching and you haven’t spotted any black dots with the comb it does not mean no fleas are present. They are good at hiding in cat’s fur and harder if you have a multi-colored feline friend. An interesting experiment, if you do find some black dots, is to crush some with a paper towel dampened with some water. As the flea has been feasting on your cat’s blood the flea dirt will turn an orange, almost rust, color.

Flea Life Cycle

I’m sure when you decided to adopt a kitten you didn’t think you would want to know about the life cycle of a flea! Now your furry friend may have an infestation it is good knowledge to have. As with most insects there are multiple stages to a fleas’ life.

  • Animals are the host where fleas lay their eggs and often the entire cycle may take place on that animal. Some eggs naturally fall off around your home with your cat scratching and moving around. This means you may need to check your carpets, cat bed, couch and your own bed for fleas.
  • The next stage is a little gross. It is the flea larvae which hatches and feeds on the faeces left by the adult. For the next six months it continues to develop in your home and no doubt creates havoc.
  • Whilst nowhere near as attractive as a butterfly the flea larvae spins a cocoon in which it grows into an adult. Unlike butterflies the flea can hold off emerging from its cocoon for up to one year.
  • When the adult flea emerges from its cocoon it goes on a feeding frenzy on your cat before it mates and begins the cycle of life once more. I am sure none of us want this experience occurring on the skin of our kitten or cat!
One of the most common questions is how to get rid of fleas on cats
does bravecto kill flea eggs

Diseases Carried by Fleas

By now you are already looking for a solution to get rid of the fleas but in case you need a little more convincing I would like to share some common diseases carried by fleas which can cause more significant issues for your kitten or cat. As with many insects fleas can carry and pass on other conditions which can have a disastrous effect on your feline friend. These can include:

  • Being blood suckers, fleas can carry blood born parasites including haemobartonellosis (Mycoplasma Haemofelis). This parasite is nasty and can cause fever, severe illness and anemia. Haemofelis in cat’s. This disease is diagnosed by blood tests run by your veterinarian and will then be treated by antibiotics. Blood transfusions may be needed if your cat has a severe case.
  • If a flea infestation is not treated it can cause anemia due to the blood loss. In some cases this can cause the death of your cat with kittens at greater risk. To check for anemia you can look at the gums of your cat and if they are pale that is a sign of potential problems and you should seek immediate veterinary attention.
  • Tapeworms: A common parasite is the tapeworm which is another disease carried by fleas and found in cat’s who have a flea infestation.

Safest Flea Treatment for Cats

As a responsible cat owner you will firstly want to remove as many fleas as possible from your kitten or cat. You may have tried the flea comb mentioned in this article but you want to make sure they are all gone. The next thing to try is bathing your cat or kitten in specially designed shampoo such as a natural plant-based formula. If you have a kitten they may tolerate a bath as they are still young and you are able to handle their smaller size. It may be distressing for them so you should be as calm as possible. Cat’s do not like water especially around their ears so care must be taken when bathing older cats. It is critical you do not force a cat who is distressed from the flea infestation. The bath will not solve the problem on its own so if your kitten is too distressed you should skip this step and try either an oral or topical flea treatment. The combination of the comb and bath may be enough if you have caught the fleas early, but they are fast and good at hiding so well camouflaged rogues may remain. For the safest path to prevent further flea infestations we recommend using either an oral flea control or a topical flea control. Both work by focusing on the flea’s nerve receptors via your cat’s skin. In most cases these treatments are used once but if you have a well progressed infestation it may be wise to use the treatment two or three times as directed on the product packaging. Most veterinarians recommend an annual preventative treatment so you can stay on top of the situation before it becomes an issue. If you have more than one cat, or a dog, in your home it is recommended this treatment is done at the same time with all animals in your home. When using medications please make sure it is one designed for cats or kittens, like the one’s linked in this article, and that you take note of the size of your pet and purchase the one best suited to their weight. For alternate flea treatments to those mentioned above we recommend the following: Flea combs:

Flea shampoo:

Oral Flea control:

Topical Flea control

Do Not Forget to Remove Fleas From Your Own Home

Now you have dealt with the flea infestation on your cat, do not forget areas such as your carpet, bedding, mattress and areas where flea eggs may be hiding. It is important that you wash all bedding, vacuum your carpets daily and dispose of the vacuum bags so you are not leaving the fleas and their eggs in your home. While you have the vacuum out make sure you also do your mattress and any small crevices around your home. If you still have concerns you can apply a carpet flea treatment yourself or have your carpets cleaned professionally. The heat and steam from the cleaners will kill any remaining fleas and eggs that have been missed. You can also ask professional cleaners to add a flea treatment.  If you deal with your first infestation thoroughly and include an annual prevention regime you should avoid any further flea problems with your cat. Not only will your kitten or cat be grateful but no doubt everyone else in your household will be as well. Whilst our recommendations should resolve the issue in most cases, it is important that if you think your cat or kitten is unwell you seek advice from a veterinarian immediately. If you are unable to get to a vet you can try an online vet for on the spot advice.

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This video shows a pure moment between mother and kittens. Mother is so happy with her new baby and immediately takes it under her wing. The bond between mom and her kittens is just so beautiful, with her little twinkly eyes. Divine is such a good mommy and we are very proud of her.
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