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Cat Food & Nutrition

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People often ask what they should feed their cat, what should be in cat food, and how to read cat food labels. In short:

  • Look at the first five ingredients listed. The more you see the quality meat listed among them, the better. Know that ‘meal’ is not the same as ‘meat’. If you want to know what you feed your cat, avoid unspecified meat. E.g. “Chicken”, “Chicken meat” – you know the meat type; compare it with “Meat meal”.
  • If your cat has special needs, e.g. diabetic, educate yourself on what exactly the condition means and what “qualities” the food should have for your specific case (e.g. low in carbohydrates, high in protein, low in phosphorus, you get the idea). This will help you to understand whether a certain cat food really helps your cat.
  • A rule of thumb for cat’s everyday feeding:
    • Have wet food in the cat’s diet. 60% of wet and 40% of dry is a good recommended ratio.
    • Avoid fish if you have male cats.
    • Choose the most quality cat food that you can afford. (You must read the cat food label to determine the quality and nutrients sources. “Top quality” is NOT what companies write on the food bag for marketing purposes. In certain cases, you will need to calculate ratios of specific nutrients, e.g. calcium:phosphorus:magnesium. If you start with learning how to read the ingredients list, it’s a good start.)
    • Increase water intake in cats. Place water bowls far from food and toilet. Offer multiple bowls, of various shapes, so your cat can choose. Give plain (no salt, no additives) broth that you get from boiling chicken, kangaroo, lean meat, etc.
  • Educate yourself on reading labels and what should go into cat food. Start with catinfo.org.
  • What about raw feeding? I recommend you properly investigate what goes into raw feeding and preparing cat food yourself, before you opt in, as you must clearly understand what should be present in cat food to make it nutritionally complete. The absence, or presence, or excess of certain nutrients can make your cat severely sick. Explore the raw feeding topic from various angles, so you can make the best and informed decision for your cat’s health.
  • Feline Nutrition: Daily Nutritional and Vitamin Requirements
  • About pet food industry and pet food:
  • Frederick Cat Vet on dry, wet, and raw diet for cats: What Should I Feed my Cat? Choosing a Cat Food
  • Dr. Becker / Mercola on ingredients in cat food: Your Pet’s Food: Exposing Manufacturers’ Dirty Tricks
  • Drs Foster & Smith on cat food allergy – “Several studies have shown that some ingredients are more likely to cause food allergies than others. In cats, the most common offenders are beef, lamb, seafood, corn, soy, dairy products and wheat gluten.”: Food Allergies & Intolerance in Cats
  • Fish in cat food – Why fish is dangerous for cats: Article by Jean Hofve DVM
  • What ingredients to avoid in wet cat food: Carrageenan, animal fat, BHA, BHT, meat and bone meal, etc: Link 1, Link 2
  • Do you feed complete cat food? The difference in the ingredient percentage in cat food marked as “food”, “dinner”, “platter”, “entree”, “nuggets”, “formula”, “flavour”, etc: Little Big Cat
  • How digestive enzymes work and digestive enzyme supplements for cats: ivcjournal.com/digestive-enzymes
  • A list of “natural” supplements for cats – better digestion for senior, elderly, and healthy cats, including an advice on using gelatine and bone broth for helping cats with arthritis: www.wayofcats.com/blog/hyper-nutrition-cant-hurt-and-will-help
  • An in-depth explanation on how the cat’s gastrointestinal tract works: www.felineconstipation.org/gut101chapterone.html


Cat Vomits After Eating. Cat Obesity. Puzzle Feeders. Slow Feeding.

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Cat Health Issues

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Special Needs Cats

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Also see the “Hands-On Tips” section below.


Veterinary Clinic

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Rescue and Shelter Medicine

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Feral & Stray Cats. Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR)

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Where To Seek Help and Assistance

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Lost & Found Cats. Cat Registration.

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  • There are several pet and cat registration databases (it’s where you update your cat’s details with your address and contact information. This can help re-unite your cat with you, or re-unite the found cat with their owner). Search for a microchip number details – searches through several Australian pet microchip registration databases.
  • One of pet registration web sites – Central Animal Records


Practical Hands-On Tips & How To’s

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  • Videos demonstrating cat care and management for various cat care issues. Including: How to apply a spot-on product to a cat. How to apply ear drops and clean cat’s ears. How to apply eye drops or ointment. How to brush cat’s teeth. How to clip cat’s claws. How to fit a collar for a cat. How to give subcutaneous fluids to a cat. Giving a cat a tablet. Diabetes routine: Home blood glucose testing for a cat, How to collect cat’s urine, How to give a cat an insulin injection, How to test cat’s urine for glucose and ketones. – See at icatcare.org



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