The best food for your cat is good quality dry food. It’s less expensive in the long run, and it’s convenient. Plus, most veterinarians agree that feeding your pet on a schedule is healthier than leaving food out all the time. If you are making your homemade cat food, you have to be sure you are meeting all of your kitty’s nutritional needs.
Your Cat Needs Protein
Cats need protein to survive. They need it to build lean muscle mass, maintain organs, produce hormones, enzymes, and neurotransmitters, transport oxygen throughout the body via red blood cells, remove wastes through kidneys and liver function, and much more.
Feeding your cat dry food that contains at least 30 percent protein is recommended. You can calculate this percentage on the label of the food you are considering. The rest of your feline’s diet should consist of fat and carbohydrates, which provide energy for daily activities. Most commercial cat foods contain about 20 percent proteins since cats don’t need as much protein in their diets as larger animals as dogs do.
Your Cat (Mostly) Needs Moisture
Cats get most of the water they need from the food they eat, so it’s important to make sure there’s enough moisture in commercial cat food. Normally, moist canned or raw food contains around 75 percent water while dry kibble has less than 10 percent moisture. This means that if you feed your cat dry food, she will need more than one cup of water per day.
You can tell whether a canned or dry food contains enough moisture by checking the label – the percentage of water should be listed on it. If it’s too low, then your cat is probably not getting enough hydration and could become dehydrated.
Your Cat Needs Fiber Cats also need fiber in their diet to maintain regularity. When they don’t get enough fiber, constipation occurs which could lead to serious health problems like toxemia. That’s why at least 25 percent of commercial cat foods are made with fiber-rich vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, beans/peas, cellulose, or other plant fibers.
Raw potatoes, green beans, and carrots are excellent sources of fiber for your cat. Also, apples provide both flavor and fiber to your furry friend’s diet because they contain pectin which is a type of soluble fiber.
Can Cats Eat Brown Rice?
Brown rice contains more nutrients than white rice does, but even its health benefits don’t make it an optimal food choice for cats – because cats have trouble digesting grains in general. Barley, oats, ryes, and wheat may be better choices for a little variety in the diet since these four grains contain gluten proteins that help regulate blood sugar levels.
Since cats can’t use carbohydrates as fuel as humans do, it takes longer for them to process complex sugars from carb-laden foods. This can cause their blood sugar to fluctuate which forces them to seek out food often.
A cat needs to eat every few hours, so you have to be extra careful when deciding what to feed your feline friend. Feeding her healthy snacks between meals is okay as long as she doesn’t gain weight because it helps keep her metabolism up.
The best choice would be low-calorie foods that are high in protein and fat but contain limited carbs—kibble works well for this purpose. Some cats love cheerios, but one cup contains around six crackers that provide 176 calories – almost half of a cat’s daily caloric intake!