If you are getting a cat for the first time, one of the first things you have to know is that there is more to feeding your new pet than opening a can of tuna and putting it in his bowl. There are some things that are important to know for all first-time cat owners.
Like other pets, cats need a variety of nutrients to stay fit and happy. They can get all of these from the food they eat every day.
Because of this, when shopping for dry cat food in Dubai, you have to choose a product that will give your pet the correct balance of all essential nutrients.
Choose a cat food product formulated to provide your new pet with the right balance of all the nutrients they need, and at the same time, appeal to your kitty’s taste buds.
However, getting the right cat food is not enough to ensure your furry pet stays in good shape. You have to avoid some feeding mistakes that could put your kitty’s health at risk.
Below are the top five cat-feeding mistakes all first-time cat owners should avoid at all cost:
1. Overfeeding your cat
The first and most obvious mistake you have to avoid when feeding your pet is giving him too much food to eat.
Like other animals, cats can also become obese when they eat too much. When your pet becomes overweight, he will be at higher risk for hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis, skin disorders, and cancer.
Overweight cats also have trouble cleaning and grooming themselves.
A good rule of thumb to follow for all first-time cat owners is to give your feline pet two meals every day, which should be between 250 to 300 calories, the recommended daily amount for cats.
If your cat is already packing on the pounds, consult a vet. They will create a feeding plan that will help your pet lose weight and maintain a healthy one.
2. Leaving your cat’s food bowl out all day
Most cats have the habit of not finishing their food during their meal times. If your cat does this every day, you may likely end up leaving his feeding bowl where it is and let him eat anytime he wants to.
Although this may seem like a good way to ensure your pet won’t get hungry, it is not the right practice to develop.
If your cat never finishes his food, keep in mind that there is a simple reason behind it: You might be putting too much in his bowl and he can’t eat all of it when he is already full.
If you leave the bowl with your pet’s leftovers out in the open, he will eat anytime he feels like doing so. And if you keep refilling his dish, you can be sure he will also be constantly gobbling up food.
When your cat overeats, he will eventually have a weight problem.
As a new cat owner, develop the habit of measuring your pet’s food during feeding times. Doing so ensures he won’t leave too many leftovers, and he could possibly even finish his meal in one go.
If your kitty left some food in his bowl, cover and place it somewhere he won’t be able to reach it. If you are feeding your pet wet food, discard it if it won’t be eaten within four hours.
Throw away leftover dry food after 24 hours.
3. Feeding your cat too many treats and table scraps
Giving your kitty treats is something that you may enjoy doing, but you should be careful with the amount you give your pet.
Even if these treats are small, overfeeding them with these products can also cause your pet to gain unnecessary weight.
As such, keep treats to a minimum and give them to your pet only on special occasions. And even then, avoid overindulging your kitty.
Also, avoid feeding your pet scraps from the table while you have your meal. This can give your cat an upset stomach and possibly diarrhea. Doing this often can also put your pet at risk for obesity.
4. Giving your cat too much milk
Although a cat lapping up milk from his saucer seems like an Instagram-worthy image of your new pet, don’t go overboard with giving him this beverage.
Many cats are lactose intolerant. Because of this, your kitty might have difficulties digesting milk, which can cause stomach pains and other problems in your pet.
Your cat’s inability to digest lactose also means your pet is taking in extra calories, which can lead to weight gain.
Because of this, minimize the amount of milk you give your pet and avoid doing it frequently.
5. Forgetting to give your pet water
Like all animals, your cat needs to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and healthy.
If your kitty does not drink enough water every day, he will end up getting dehydrated. Frequent dehydration can lead to feline bladder problems and kidney and urinary diseases.
One of the essential pet cat accessories you should also get, therefore, should be a water bowl. And make sure it is always filled with clean water.
However, clean and freshen your pet’s water bowl daily since cats are less likely to lap up water that has been sitting around for some time or has something in it.
As a first-time cat owner, you will do well to avoid these feeding mistakes so that you and your pet can enjoy each other’s company longer without too many issues along the way.
Farah Al-Khojai is the Managing Partner of Pet’s Delight. A passionate entrepreneur, Farah holds a Bsc in Government from the London School of Economics. She is always on the lookout for new opportunities to develop and grow the pet and equestrian retail and wholesale market in the UAE and beyond, and is proud to be at the helm of the first and the largest pet care provider in the market representing world-class brands including Orijen, Applaws, Hunter, Savic, Flamingo, Ruffwear, and Rogz.