Good nutrition is essential to your cat’s overall health. The best diet for your cat is one that replicates what she would eat in the wild—a moisture-rich, meat-filled diet. Cats are obligate (true) carnivores, and therefore require more quality-source protein in their diets than most other animals. We suggest feeding your cat a diet consisting mostly of quality canned foods.

Why canned food?

Cats usually rely on their diet for moisture and don’t drink as much water as they might need. Canned foods have significantly more moisture than dry or “semi-moist” foods. Canned foods also are lower in carbohydrates and can be especially beneficial for cats with urinary issues, diabetes, and other illnesses, as well as in the prevention and treatment of feline obesity. Although there has been concern in the past that feeding only canned food could result in dental disease, we now know that most dry diets do not significantly improve dental health. In fact, only specific dry dental diets with the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) seal have been shown to reduce tartar and plaque formation and gingivitis.

How often and how much should I feed?

We recommend meal feeding rather than free feeding. Meal feeding means that you feed a specified amount of food, as opposed to leaving out a large quantity of dry food for your cat to graze on throughout the day. You can start by feeding twice daily, using the food label as a guideline. Then review that amount with your veterinarian during your cat’s annual or semiannual examination. The amount to feed may vary depending on your cat’s ideal weight and activity level. Meal feeding also gives you an opportunity to monitor your cat’s appetite and helps you notice any change in your cat’s overall food intake, which is often one of the first signs of stress or illness. Depending on your cat’s specific situation, it might be best to consult with your veterinarian before implementing any diet regimen.

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