A Cat’s Tale: Meowing for the right kind of food

Many Filipino pet owners feed their cats scraps from their own plate. It’s time to break this bad habit. Experts warn that table scraps are not scientifically formulated for pets and can upset a cat’s digestive system, which could lead to diarrhea, vomiting and appetite loss.

The voice of US pet food brands, Pet Food Institute, along with the Veterinary Practitioners Association of the Philippines, through their Well Fed, Well Nurtured Campaign, encourages pet owners to administer their pet’s diet, as guided by expert advice, to ensure the overall health and well-being of their pets.

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Every cat owner needs to keep in mind that cats are carnivores. Cats require nutrients found in animal-based proteins like taurine and omega-3 fatty acids. If their feline companion is fed only vegetables or plant-based proteins like asparagus, peas and potatoes, it will not receive a well-balanced diet. Cats that do not consume the right nutrients found only in meat and other animal tissues can develop serious health problems including heart failure and blindness.

cat-eating

Nutrients consumed excessively can be dangerous as well. Too much vitamin A can cause a serious debilitating condition in cats in which the spine hardens, and excessive intake of vitamin D cause a dangerous health condition such as rickets and osteomalacia, or the softening of bones resulting to muscle and joint pains and bone fractures. To ensure that cats get the right amount of vitamins and other nutrients, and thereby avoid such health problems, pet owners should turn to a trusted, complete and balanced commercial cat food. This is vital to a cat’s health and well-being. It should be noted that giving pets a nutritional supplement when they are fed a complete and balanced diet is discouraged. Supplements are given to address any signs of medical issues. However, pet foods are already formulated to meet all the nutritional requirements cats need. For a healthy cat that is fed with commercially-made pet foods, providing any additional multi-vitamin supplements is unnecessary. It’s always best to discuss any medical concerns to a veterinarian and get any recommendations on what type of supplements cats can benefit from.

In choosing the right kind of food, pet owners must assess the age and weight of the pet to determine which pet food product suit the cat’s nutritional needs. Commercial pet food available in the market come in a wide array of flavors that cats can enjoy, based on their taste preferences. Contrary to popular belief, milk is not recommended for cats. Most adult cats are lactose intolerant and therefore will develop gas, diarrhea and other gastrointestinal problems if they consume milk and other dairy products. Make sure to provide plenty of water for your cat’s proper hydration.

Timely and regular communication with your veterinarian will help you maintain your cat’s health and well-being. Cats aged less than 10 years old are recommended to have vet check-ups annually. Senior cats that are over 10 years should have at least two vet visits every six months. It is also important that pet owners incorporate vaccination and medical examinations for blood and urine as part of the pet’s integral healthcare.

Cat Check-Up

To complement the proper feeding regimen in sustaining a healthy body and sound mind for your beloved feline, an adequate amount of physical activity should be provided. Try spending a few 10 to 15-minute play time with a ball of yarn or a toy mouse for them to catch. This will optimize the body and brain functions of the pet.

Giving your pet trusted commercial US pet food produced with the highest of standards, combined with proper exercise, is the formula for long, healthy lives for pets. Pet Food Institute has a longstanding commitment to deliver the most reliable expert assistance through its Well Fed, Well Nourished campaign. A wholesome and nutritional diet for pet is key in achieving a long and lasting companionship between the pet and pet owner.

Psychotherapist Judy Strull's pet cat and assistant Peach
Psychotherapist Judy Strull’s pet cat and assistant Peach

About the Pet Food Institute

PFI is the voice of the U.S. pet food industry and represents the companies that make 98% of U.S. pet food. PFI is the industry’s public education and media relations resource, representative before the U.S. Congress and state and federal agencies, organizer of seminars and educational programs, and liaison with other organizations. PFI represents the companies that make 98 percent of U.S. dog and cat food. PFI is dedicated to promoting the overall care and well-being of pets, and supporting initiatives to advance the quality nutrition for dogs and cats. For more information on PFI and proper pet nutrition, visit www.petfoodinstitute.org.

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