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Siamese Rescue

What should you feed your cat?

In our foster homes, our cats eat several quality pet store foods: Nutro Natural, Felidae, Max Cat, Nutro, Triumph. Both canned food and dry.
Canned food is fed twice daily, about 3.5 ounces at each meal
Any uneaten canned food is discarded after about an hour at room temperature, because the bacteria level grows to unsafe levels.
The dry food is generally presented in a separate bowl, where more than a day's allowance is left out for the cat to "free feed".
Dry food keeps better than canned at room temperature, but it does go stale after many days exposed to air. So, don't put out too much at once!
Why feed canned food? Isn't it more fattening?
Many people think canned food is richer, but it's actually 78% water. Dry food is 98% calories! So,calorically, canned food is the "lettuce" while dry cat food is the "potato chips"!
Canned food is ALSO beneficial because it boosts your cat's water intake, protecting its urinary tract health. Studies have shown that cats who eat only dry food drink more water than cats who eat canned food but their total dietary moisture is still LESS.
Why? Cats evolved getting much of their dietary moisture from their prey, so they don't instinctively drink sufficient water.
Isn't dry food better for cat's teeth?
Ok, you've been talking to those DOG vets! As anyone knows who has seen cat barf, cats generally swallow kibble like pills! If they're not chewing the kibble the way a pup crunches a Milk Bone, then there's not much beneficial abrasion to wear away plaque and tartar. That's why cat barf often looks like you could just "put the untouched kibble back in the box". Well, we don't actually recommend that! If you're concerned about your cat's teeth, brush or wipe their teeth weekly or more often!
Isn't cat food I buy in the Supermarket basically the same as those brands sold in Pet Stores?
Pet Store cat foods are preferred to Supermarket brands because they have fewer by-products, preservatives, artificial colorings, and ingredients.
Supermarket brands use "reclaimed fats" which are rancid grease collected from restaurants because it's no longer safe for human consumption. To keep your cat from getting sick immediate, this fat is treated with preservatives. The long term effects of this reclaimed fat is unknown.
Supermarket brands use meats which are too putrid for human consumption. If it smells rotten, why would you want your cat to eat it?! "Pet store" brands are much less MALODOROUS !
Supermarket brands often list ingredients like "meat, beef, poulty, lamb, .." Well, what kind of meat isn't beef, poultry, or lamb?! The answer is sometimes horsemeat, which is better for your pet than the horse, but the answer can ALSO be dogs and cats killed at the pound and shipped to a rendering plant. YUCK! Cats do not normally choose to consume other cats. Nature MUST have a good reason for this, as eating one's own kind causes ailments like mad cow's disease and kuru.
Supermarket dry foods often include corn or corn gluten meal as a top ingredient. While this boosts the Crude Analysis protein percentages, it doesn't actually benefit your cat. Your cat doesn't digest vegetable protein unless it eats the mouse who has the corn in its stomach! The corn (or soy) protein in supermarket cat food actually is just LITTERBOX FILLER! Why feed more to scoop?
If you're not feeding a quality pet food already, then here is another reason:
You BREATHE what your cat EATS!
We've seen in rescue that cats fed Meow-Mix, Deli-Cat, and Tender Vittles cause allergic or asthmatic reactions in sensitive humans, but these same cats don't cause any response after a week on quality foods!

Raw Food Diets

There are new commercial raw food diets similar those suggested by various websites and books.
Their claim is that the enzymes present in uncooked meat provide health benefit.
What they discount are the parasites - like roundworms and tapeworms - that your cat can get from eating prey or raw meat. If you wish to try these, you should consult your veterinarian to determine how often your cat should be dewormed.
Other bacterial infections like salmonella, toxoplasmosis, giardia, and coccidia could also be present in the uncooked meat. If your cat shows symptoms of these ailments, different medications might be needed to eradicate these.
Most city and suburban dwellers do not have access to freshly killed meat. This doesn't concern human meat-eaters as cooking destroys any bacteria accumulated in meat handling, transport, storage, and preparation. If your cat eats raw meat, it's not protected from this bacteria!

Some Common Sense

Feed the best quality food you can reasonably afford and reliably obtain.
If you run out of "Exotic Kitty Brand" on Wednesday and can't easily obtain more, so you are forced to switch to "Kal Kan' until the weekend, you can cause your cat digestive upset or risk food rejection. Don't "Brand Hop"!
If you order your food online or elsewhere, always buy a case ahead so you're not caught by an out-of-stock situation or shipment lag.
If your brand of cat food offers multiple flavors in the same formulation, try to rotate amoung them in feeding your cat. Feeding only one flavor of one formula risks training your cat to tolerate naught else. What happens if the manufacturer changes the formulation or discontinues that flavor?!
If you need to change your cat to another food, do so gradually by offering a tablespoon of the new food alongside the old. As long as the kitty eats the new food without negative result, keep substituting an additional tablespoon of new food for old each meal, until the cat is eating only the new food.
Beware of abrupt food changes: These can cause digestive upset or food rejection. It's important for your cat to eat SOMETHING everyday, or it risks dehydration and liver failure. Your cat is NOT a lion who eats 40 pounds of meat once a week!
Feed both wet food and dry food, in separate bowls, each day.
Feed a food which lists animal protein - beef, chicken, turkey, or lamb - as it's top ingredients.
Avoid foods that list by-products first (or at all).
Avoid fish as it's more often associated with allergies.
Don't feed tuna meant for human consumption. Besides triggering allergies, any fatty fish like tuna and mackeral can cause steatitis, painful lumps in your cat's fatty tissues. Tuna has an addictive flavor, so if you get your cat hooked, you may be left without healthier options! Use this as an emergency food only, like when your cat is ill.
If you want to prepare you own cat food, be sure to follow a recipe provided by a vet or another authoritative source to ensure it is balanced.
Table food and treats should be kept to a minimum, and no more than 10% of the cat's diet (about a half-ounce daily), to ensure the diet balance is maintained.
Chicken by itself is insufficient in vitamin A, calcium, and iron.
Liver can be too high in vitamin A if fed more often than twice a week; Vitamin A can cause toxicity if the diet has an excess of liver or supplements!
Milk isn't necessary if you're feeding a balanced cat food, and it could cause digestive upset as many cats are lactose-intolerant.

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