Monday, November 22, 2010

Cats And The Healthy Cat Food

ü  Characteristics of an Healthy Cat :

Bright eyes, a shiny coat and an alert disposition are all characteristics of an Healthy Cat. Health cats have very good appetites, they groom themselves very well and interact quite well with their owners. If you go to find an Healthy cat, in your search consider local shelters, breeders, neighbours, friends, coworkers and veterinary clinics.
                One of the most important Factors in choosing a healthy cat is a good personality. You can test a cat’s personality by holding her in your arms and see if she is relaxed or tensed.
                2 to 7 weeks of age is the period considered to be critical to a kitten’s socialization. Kittens Kittens who are handled by many people and interact with other cats and animals during this time tend to adjust better socially as adults. Ask about a cat’s early experiences when you are considering her for adoption.
Cats

These days, cats are among the most general pet you can own. There are several breeds available, with the most popular being Persian and Siamese. Cats are a domesticated animal, with origins dating back some 8,000 years and beyond. Like any other pet that you may own, including dogs, cats cost money to take care of properly.
You’ll obviously need food, and you’ll also need to plan ahead for vet costs. Your cat will need a litter box, food dish, and water dish. You should also invest in some toys as well, such as a scratching post, cat toys, a pet carrier, and a bed. Feeding your pet will depend a great deal on his age. Older cats require two small meals or one large meal for the day. Canned food can be fed to cats, although any food that has been left out longer than 30 minutes need to be disposed of. Cats loved canned food, although it doesn’t have any benefits to their dental health like dry food does.
As an alternative plan, you can always leave a supply of dry food out for your pet. When you give your cat dry food, you should always make sure that he has enough water. Dry food costs less than canned food, and it can also help to prevent the build p of tartar on your cat’s teeth. When you buy dry food, you should always look in terms of health and benefits, and stay away from generic food. Even though generic food may be cheaper, it may not offer the nutrients your pet needs. Or you can make a home-made healthy cat food.
If you own a kitten, you should only give you kitten food designed for him. You’ll also need to clean and refill his water dish every day. Even though kittens and adult cats like cow’s milk, you should avoid giving it to them as it can cause diarrhea. Feeding your kitten human food is good on occasion, although you may have to mix it in with his cat food.
By themselves, cats stay fairly clean. Brushing will reduce the risk of hairballs and keep your cat’s coat nice and clean. If you are keeping your cat indoors, you’ll need to have a litter box in an area that is easy for your cat to access. Cats don’t like to use dirty litter boxes, they prefer for it to be nice and clean.
Although cats do require some work, they are great pets that will provide you with years and years of companionship. As long as you take care of your cat and take him to the vet for his checkups, he should remain healthy. Even though cats can get sick from time to time – knowing how to care for him will make a world of difference.

Cat food


Cat food is one of the most important expenses of feline guardianship, next to veterinary care. It is important also to note that proper diet can eliminate or delay veterinary expense for a number of serious medical conditions. Learn how to read cat food labels, why some foods are better than others, and what those mysterious ingredients are.

Tips for choosing Cat food

You are what you eat, and this is equally true for the cats that depend on us for "room and board." Indeed, cat food is one of the most important expenses of feline guardianship, next to veterinary care. It is important also to note that proper diet can eliminate or delay veterinary expense for a number of serious medical conditions.
The ultimate purpose of this series is to help you learn how to read cat food labels to make your decision process easier in choosing the best foods for your cat, but first we need to cover some of the basics.
Cats' Basic Nutritional Needs
·         Protein from a meat, fish, or poultry source
·         Taurine, an essential amino acid
·         Certain other vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and fatty acids
·         Water

That's it, basically. Cats do not need carbohydrates, although corn, wheat, and/or rice are used as fillers for both canned and dry cat foods. Other ingredients, such as binders, flavoring, and coloring, are added by cat food manufacturers to satisfy the aesthetic wants of the consumer. Although preservatives are necessary, to keep foods fresh for our cats, canned food should not be allowed to remain out for any length of time, in any case.
Canned food or Kibble?
Many nutritionists agree that cats should get a variety of food, both dry and canned, for several reasons:
·         While dry food is convenient, and can be left out for "free feeding,"
·         Canned food contains water, and many cats do not drink water regularly
·         To ensure that your cat gets the right amount of nutrients. That "near-perfect" food you've selected might be adding too little (or too much) of certain minerals and/or vitamins.
·         Cats may actually become bored with the same food day in and day out, and simply quit eating. Face it, would you enjoy pizza morning, noon, and night, for years?
·         To head off possible allergies to certain ingredients. Cats (like humans) develop allergies over a period of time. Although the incidence of food allergies in cats is rare, cat owners might want to err on the side of caution, particularly if their cats have shown evidence of allergies in the past.
·         To prevent "food addictions." The Whole Cat Journal, in its October, 2001 issue, cites the case of a cat that was addicted to a particular flavor of a particular brand of cat food, right down to a specific factory and lot number! This kind of addiction can be difficult to deal with when that last can is gone, but can be easily avoided by feeding a variety of foods from the start.

This doesn't mean that Fred should get a different food every day, but a variety of high-quality canned foods, supplemented with dry food for cats left alone all day, will add spice to his diet and keep him from becoming "Finicky Fred."
Cheaper Brands are False Economy
Many first-time cat owners, in an attempt to hold down expenses, buy the cheapest foods they can find for their cats. This is false economy for a couple of reasons. First, studies have shown that cats eat as much as they need to get the nutrients they require. Therefore, they might eat twice as much of that generously-carbohydrate-filled store brand to get the nutrients they need in a normal feeding of premium food. Second, the continued feeding of substandard foods over a period of years will heavily contribute to, or even cause, serious medical conditions that will require expensive veterinary care.
For these reasons, the old maxim, "You get what you pay for," is particularly true where it comes to cat food.
What to look for on the label
·         Compliance with AAFCO's requirements for "Complete and Balanced," as evidenced by that wording on the label.
·         Named protein source - look for "chicken, lamb, or beef," rather than "meat."
·         On canned food particularly, the protein source should be the first listed ingredient
·         Check the expiration date for freshness
What to avoid

·         Words such as "By-products," "meat and/or bone meal," "animal digest," most other descriptions including "digest" or "meal," and added sugars.
·         Chemical preservatives, including BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin, and propyl gallate
·         Corn meal as a filler
·         Excess of carbohydrate "fillers" (Dry food can contain as much as 50 percent grain)
Cats are Obligate Carnivores, and cannot thrive on vegetarian diets, although most vegetables can be added to cats' diets, either by the manufacturer or the consumer.
Pet food manufacturers cannot print "complete and balanced" on their labels unless one of the following criteria is met:
·         The food must pass feeding tests for the life stage recommended on the label
·         The composition of the food must meet or exceed nutrient levels established by AAFCO
·         Preservatives, at the level included in commercial pet foods, have never been scientifically demonstrated to cause any problems in pets (or people) at less than 100 times the levels found in such foods. On the other hand, the current trend for many cat food manufacturers is toward using natural preservatives, such as vitamins C and E.

What AAFCO does ?

The AAFCO (American Association of Feed Control Officials) is an advisory body that proposes regulations for the production and labeling of animal feeds, including pet food. Its membership consists of regulatory officials from many states' feed control bodies, Federal agencies (FDA), and like agencies in Canada and Costa Rica, as well as members of other interested groups, such as the Animal Protection Institute, and various veterinarian colleges.
The AAFCO includes a Pet Food Committee, chaired by David Syverson. This Q&A on Pet Food Regulations will give you a better understanding of how the FDA and other governing agencies regulate the manufacture of pet food. (PDF File)
Functions of  AAFCO 
·         Defines terms for labeling, e.g., "meat by-products"
·         Defines quantity determination for label titles, e.g., "Chicken Cat Food," "Chicken Dinner for Cats," "Chicken-flavored Cat Food"
·         Sets criteria for the usage of "complete and balanced" on pet food labels
·         Recommends percentage or minimum/maximum amounts of various ingredients in pet foods, depending on age and activity level of cats

What it Doesn't Do

·         AAFCO has no regulatory powers (but its membership consists of regulatory officials from various states and municipalities)
·         AAFCO does no testing, but recommends protocal for testing, and works with independent laboratories which perform tests
·         Makes no determination of "human grade" protein quality, as sometimes described on pet food labels
·         Does not directly suggest standards for labeling foods specified as "Hairball Forumula," "Lite," or "Dental Care," although ingredient suggestions include certain quantities of protein, fat, etc., for food intended for adult cats vs kitten/lactating queens
This article gives you the basic information you'll need to know in order to examine cat food labels. The next article in this series offers more detail, along with a forumula for leveling the playing field between canned and dry foods.

4 comments:

  1. Hi,


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  2. I loved your thought as you updated on your blog about cat health - how to bring happiness among Cat. As per research and

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