The house cat and food related issues.

Welcome again to my blog my dear feline enthusiasts who love their spouses almost as much as their cat! I will now touch on the subject of food and related issues that might stem from improper usage or feeding of it to your pet. I will also give you some awareness about lifestyle and how it will affect how you should feed your senior feline friend differently than if they were younger or with more energy to give.

Firstly, I would want you to see if this is your cat type…

Obese cat

Or is THIS what your cat is like?

Active cat

A big difference between them, no?

Common issues related to nutrition:

As a cat ages, their basal metabolism slows down which means calories that are shed for regular body maintenance, repair, and temperature. This usually translates that they will either need to cut back on the caloric intake or we will need to get creative in keeping them active or even to supply them with foods that will rev-up their metabolism.

Direct effects of food on your cat:

Some are poisoning, choking, infection (gastrointestinal and parasitical), malnutrition, lack of energy, indigestion, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, intestinal occlusion, dental and gum problems, obesity, food intolerance, and allergies.

Indirect, more long-term effects on cats:

Morbid obesity, anemia, fur and skin issues, thyroid problems, renal insufficiency and failure, liver diseases, heart failure, cancer, arthrosis and definitely a shorter lifespan.

How to avoid all the above:

Be always ready to take your cat to the vet at a phone calls notice. Treat your feline friend as if a child and gather all the numbers, names, and addresses of emergency response for animals, the vet, the cat sitter, the store your buy your food at, the cats known allergies and medications, their specs (name, weight, age,etc.) put on the fridge or any place the sitter or family will easily see and access it.

Be wise enough to keep the instructions of the food packaging and read ingredients carefully before buying. Weigh your cat every so often to adjust the recommended food quantities and frequency of feeding.

Give much freshwater to your cat and try to habituate them to wet cat food and/or alternate between dry and wet but wet is best to prevent renal difficulties in your cat. If you can, to buy a distributor of water and food.

Let me elaborate! The water distributor for cats is like a mini-sized version of our blue 18-liter bottles that we have and it will distribute water ad-lib from source water. Some places that sell bowls for the water offer a low-cost alternative to the blue bottle. The bowl will come equipped with a place you can screw an ordinary source bottle (around 500 ml.), flip it and it will distribute water to your cat as they drink.

food and water distributor for cats

water dispenser for cats

The other option for hydrating kitty is the water fountain. It might be considered pricey with a filter to change but it might be worth it to keep your cat well hydrated!

water fountain with filter for cats

Another option is classical. To leave 2 or more bowls of water at their disposition. Why? They might not be able to get around as easily as before and can have pain that is present at times or chronically.

As for the food, it depends on the cats weight and condition. If they are “chubby”, I wouldn’t recommend the food distributor that is in a blue bottle like the water and you screw the top that is their plate and reverse it so the food goes down in the plate by gravity and as your cat is eating away at the food.

No, if your cat is obese, not only do you not want that (he’ll be looking at the bottle full of food and take it as a challenge, LOL!) but you’ll probably need to acquire a food plate that has a timer that you can program so the cat gets his food at appropriate times and doesn’t overdo it!

You can connect your phone to this feeder and adjust the portions and auto-feed times. See this link for more interesting details about this intelligent dispenser:

https://smartpetfeeder.ca/smart-pet-feeder-best/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMItpi20o_T5gIVUb7ACh2YmQeEEAQYBCABEgL1rPD_BwE

intelligent feeder

Still, another option is the toys, also called “puzzles”, to make them work for their food. It is thought to be the best way as cats are hunters by nature. If you find that too “cruel” for your fur-baby, just put the treats in there for them! But I can assure you that it can be very rewarding for your cat to “hunt” and “catch” their food and it should keep them fit.

I have found a website that just amazes me and takes feeding your feline to the next level! To re-think how you feed your pet, check this out:

https://www.rover.com/blog/best-cat-puzzle-toys/feeding puzzles and mazes catpuzzle feeder catelaborate puzzle feeder cat

For the cat owners who are more conscious of their cats intake and who contemplate making the food themselves, please make sure that there is enough protein as cats are carnivorous and check with the doc for anything that could warrant a limit to calories, proteins, or water intake and specifications on texture that is more appropriate for your cat to assimilate the nutrients in the food.

I am pondering whether I should write a totally separate post about feeding your pet with “real food”. It deserves that I lean in on the issue as it can be considered very polarizing in certain circles.

I found, however, another option for water: a cat activated water fountain that is attached to your sink called Aqua-Purr and is 129$ with free shipping… Don’t we love to treat them like royalty, eh?!

water fountain

Great practices to keep your elder cat healthy:

I don’t need to tell you what you already know about your elder cat, their ways and habits and what works versus what doesn’t, do I? The simple truth is that we don’t pay attention to changes in our aging cat enough. We must study our animal and search like a detective why they are as they are and why they act like they do.

I’ve seen some pins on Pinterest that make me cringe and frown! They posted pictures of their cats having done something “wrong” or “weirdly wrong or funny” and don’t analyze much out of it! I have given medical advice in my comments because some of them don’t know that certain behaviors are simply caused for alarm and to bring them to the vet.

Although there is this age-old wives’ tale that cats are independent-they are not! They are just more “choosy” and have more “class” when it comes to discern whom they want to socialize with and bond with because, after all, they ARE social beings! They need us and they must get our care and attention.

Another wives’ tale is that cats are low maintenance and that you can leave your cat alone all day or a few days with just water, food and a source of “presence”: TV., radio, another cat.NO! They are like kittens towards us and they need our interaction (talk, playing, “chilling” with us and on our lap, tending to medical needs).

Psychologically, they act like a kitten and stay that way with us because of the manner we have raised cats to become domesticated. So, they are needy little buggers! It’s been proven that it’s not good to leave a dog alone more than 4 hours at a time and cats are very intelligent and they got emotions and feelings and they too can get lonely and depressed and even…angry at our absences!

Responsible practices:

Playing with your cat at least 1/2 hour a day or by 5-minute increments if you can’t manage the former.

Giving interactive means for your cat to play and explore around the house and to look outside.

Sterilize your cat to avoid problems like cancer later on in its lifetime.

Register and chip your animal to make sure they don’t get lost if they wander.

Vaccines up to date, even if they are indoor as contamination can arise between an indoor and outdoorsy pet of the same household or if the cat wanders, they might get infected by wildlife that are living the “city life”.

Brushing your cat because it is like going to the spa for them and might relieve pain and comfort them and encourage circulation and nice shiny coat of fur. Good for the upping of endorphins and immune defense. It will prevent hairballs and constipation and cleaning up vomit-a bonus!!!

Not giving the same medication to them as for a human, unless you receive a special reference from your cat’s vet.

Brushing their teeth with a soft brush and “fish-flavored” toothpaste and get teeth tartar removed by your vet.

Helpful and nutritious to give meowsy:

In older cats, it can be a challenge for them to go do a bowel movement. Having some pumpkin mashed up can really help them get things moving. If they don’t like that, there are other options like this gel:

Gel for feline constipation

Oh, just so you can see what your cat is pooping and if you should take action:stool chart cat bowel movements

Things to consider as a source of constipation:

causes of constipation in cats.Note: It is not recommended having your cat poop/pee on a “human” litter box. They can fall in and the bacteria they leave us is not for a hygienic practice so don’t get too creative… Even if your cat can learn potty training before your toddler!

How food relates to psychological problems:

Are you aware that your bundle of fur can be a big pile of nerves? Cats love their routines and habits and how things don’t change. Creatures of habit! But when someone moves with their pet, gets a divorce, the owner dies or any other change like a new pet in the house (that wasn’t properly introduced), etc. They can eat emotionally, frantically in “survival mode” and overeat.

They, in my experience, have been seen vomiting and leaving poop as a sign of disapproval for something we did or didn’t do!

A bored or neglected cat is also a candidate for an unbalanced relationship with food that tends towards a cycle of eating and sleeping but in overdoing so, thus getting more fat and sluggish and…depressed.

Cognitive and physical limitations to eating and hydration:

Older felines that are “senile” can forget how to “cat” and Alzheimer’s is something cats get too. Known as “Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome in cats (CDS)”, they can lose their sense of what to do and forget to eat or where their food for example.

You can read about this and get tips for your aging cat here:

https://www.thesprucepets.com/senior-dementia-in-cats-3384896

 

And there are ways to stimulate your cat and transform your home into a feline-friendly place:

Steps on how to Catify your home with Jackson Galaxy.

Tips to catify your home

 

One final purr…:

I hope that I covered what is relevant to you in this post and I will probably elaborate on some above-discussed themes in the future if you need to clarify on a point or are interested or inspired to ask me about another one based on what you have seen and read today.

May you be living superrrrb holidays and looking forward to a promising and cozy new year with our little fur-babies!!!

cat in snow

Purrfectly at your disposal,

Elizabeth

 

Author: LIZ

I am a 40 something healthcare worker who has always had and taken care of cats and is willing to share some of my experience with the feline creatures with you!

22 thoughts on “The house cat and food related issues.”

  1. Hi! Thank you for such useful information for me. Your post absolutely comes in the right timing because my wife buys a cat recently without noticing me. Oh my god. Then she asks to find everything related to the cat. Importantly, I don’t have a cat before so I don’t know where I can find it. It wastes me a ton of time to search about that.

    Fortunately, I landed your post. You introduce me to many things and in good organization. I can understand it faster. I don’t need to spend more time to search it in different marketplaces. I believe my wife will love your post too because she loves cats so much. I hope it can save her time and also save me time. I will share this post with my friends who like cats too.

    I will bookmark your site and read it regularly in case I forgot anything related to the cat. I hope you can keep sharing with us because what you write saves me.

    1. Lol!Your wife says:”But he was sooo cute!!!”

      Bring to the Vet for initial check-up that others might have missed!And his papers/documentation for the insurance.
      Wiser and will save time,trouble and money in the long run!

      Pet the cat…Useful to diminish your blood pressure…Science confirmed having a pet lowers it!

      Added bonus?The purring is actually a frequency that heals tissue,i’ve read!

      Congratulation on your new family member!Have a great week-end!

  2. For someone like me, with very little knowledge of cats, this post had quite a bit of helpful information. I know a cat’s nutrition of different than a dog’s so this helped me understand more about it. Thanks for the information.

    1. Thank you that you found the info useful!Let me know if you need to find something in particular and i’ll get that for you!Have a great week-end!

  3. As my cat, Oliver, ages he was starting to get a bit chunky, lethargic and wasn’t playing much.

    I googled info about this and came across this article, it is very insightful about the nutrition for older cats as well as all the new gadgets they’ve invented to help older cats get exercise and proper diet.

    I love the idea of the puzzles toy that helps them earn their food through play.  I’m going to have to pick this up for Oliver and get him to start earning his supper!

    Great article!

  4. I have had cats that seem to love to eat! I had one that was over 20 pounds, but still was very fast, it was unbelievable! I like the idea of having the water pour out automatically for them, but wouldn’t that still get stale after a while if they aren’t drinking enough? I currently have two but they are young, not even a year old yet so they do not eat or drink a lot, except when my wife feeds them wet food! Thank you for the help, this post is very helpful!

    1. Wet food is a great way of getting them hydrated!In the wild,cats will get a lot of their hydration from the prey they eat.Cats love fresh and I mean fresh running water.They are picky that way!You can choose the fountain one with a filter and it should keep it clean and fresh.

  5. This is a really useful list of issues relating to house cats. I think your point about vaccines is very important: even if you don’t intend for your cat to go outside, firstly it might get out accidentally and encounter something that could make it I’ll and secondly, it’s quite possible for creatures like mice, rats or even birds to get into the house and be caught by your cat, which again could be carrying an illness. Great post, thanks for sharing.

  6. HI, Liz,

    Wow! I had never thought of having to adjust a cat’s diet or physical activity routine as it grows older, but it definitely makes sense. I thought it only applied to humans, but now I see it also applies to our four-legged friends.

    I used to have a cat a long time ago, but I’ve never stopped loving cats. Thanks for sharing this valuable piece of information. I will be sharing it with my aunt.

  7. I have two lovely cats (and two dogs) and they all are of concern when it comes to food-related issues that come up from time to time. That is why I was so interested in reading your article today. I want to do whatever is necessary to keep them all healthy and happy.

    Water is something I provide lots of to all of them. Some drink more than others and I have noticed that the two that drink more have fewer problems. Also, the aging thing is coming into play with them too. They do not need to eat like they did when they were young, even though they would like to.

    The devices you have highlighted and reviewed seem like an ideal solution that will help me and the pets out. They can get the food and water they need and it will take that worry off of me. I will give them both a try. I also like all the other advice you added to the post. This article was a goldmine for us pet lovers. Thanks and I have bookmarked the website!

    1. Hi M. Sweeney!I am glad it was helpful!I am on Pinterest too if it makes it easier to find the articles you’ll need!

      Cat’s are more than meets the eye and if we care enough,we will find out how much they need our attentive care!

      Let me know how your cats handle the devices.And do you know there are some feeders/water distributors and bols for dogs as well?Some are higher so the pet doesn’t have to bend when eating/drinking.

  8. Like many pet owners, I pay far more attention to the quality and nutrition of my pet’s food than to my own food. I read cat food labels thoroughly and give careful, well-researched attention to their meals.

    But then, you’ve really elaborated much in the overall sense on how I could take care of my cat. I learnt so many things especially the fact that their basal metabolism slows down when they age. I have a young kitty though, and this will help me know the right food and nutrition for him so there won’t be any health related issues.

    1. Yes!The post can help and guide you in the process but do keep in mind that a kittens needs in nutrition are far off from a senior but both love to “hunt” so play with them and after give food and they’ll leave you alone at night if they “meow”  usually for company or bored or for food.

      Thanks for stopping by!Have a great day!

  9. It’s amazing how many cat related products you can find for all aspects of your cat diet and activities. Having a cat is a huge responsibility but many people don’t pay so much attention to them as they should which can result in many health problems that are many times too late to fix. Your article will certainly educate and help many that own a cat and need more information on the matter.

    1. LoL!The more you find out about cats and the more you know that you need to know more!That’s probably why the Egyptians worshiped them and had them embalmed with such delicateness!Let me know if you have questions that arise eh?

  10. Hello Liz. I’m really excited to see you share this post on the house cat and food related issues. I see this article as a guide, if we follow it strictly and do exactly as you have said and get the recommended stuffs required, we can be sure that our cats will be safe, healthy and will live longer. I never knew that cats can have those terrible sicknesses and diseases if not properly fed and with the right food too.

    Regards!

  11. Hi Liz firstly I don’t have a pet and I was actually considering on getting a pet. I thought a cat would be easy to look after as they tend to be independent, however the advice you have given has really provided me with a lot of information. I was not even aware that it’s better to feed them with dry foods. Thanks for providing more details. If cat’s get affected by long absence of their owner, does that mean that it’s better to have more than one?

    1. Hi!I am glad you are considering a pet and that you came across my website for answers.For the food,it’s actually wet food that is best for them as to prevent renal problems and also, dental problems because, with age, they might have more fragile teeth and gums and this makes it harder to chew.It assures us that the cat will be more hydrated if they don’t tend to drink as often as is needed.It is more natural to take wet because they get hydrated through their prey,not just water.

      Hope this clarifies it and I would encourage you to perhaps volunteer at a shelter:you would get a better “hand-on” idea if this is for you and if you should get a young one or an elderly cat or…some other pet entirely!

      Have a wonderful day!

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