When it comes to a healthy cat diet, it’s almost impossible to make it ideal. Whether you use wet or dry cat food, there are always some drawbacks in formulas – these can be ingredients, artificial components, flavors, or texture. Each cat has individual needs, and covering them all with mass-market industrial products isn’t always the right decision.
Besides, cats are carnivores – they eat raw meat and don’t need grains. This is what many owners forget about when buying kibbles with wheat and corn.
As a result, their beloved pets suffer from allergic reactions, stomach upset, sensitivities, poor digestion and metabolism, excessive weight, and so on. Ideally, a feline diet should consist of what these hunters ate originally – prey and fish. You can help your cat and create an ideal menu for it.
What Cats Can Eat And Drink
Not only can “human food” be perfectly safe for cats, but some of your groceries could actually be good for them. Discover some harmless staples you can share with your favorite feline:
While you don’t want your kitty eating from the aquarium, feeding him oily fish such as tuna or mackerel can help his eyesight, joints and brain.
Poutry, beef and other meat is a natural option for your little carnivore. Cooked poultry is your best bet. Skip meats high in sodium, such as cold cuts or ham, as too much salt can be toxic to cats.
Sharing a slice or wedge with your kitty is very Gouda of you (see what we did there?) as it’s high in calcium and protein.
Kiddos aren’t the only ones who can benefit from bananas. They can be a healthy snack for cats, too, although they should only be a special treat due to their high sugar content.
Lower in sugar and high in antioxidants, blueberries and strawberries are good fruits to share with your kitty… although probably not in a pie.
Many cats enjoy small pieces of cantaloupe, honeydew or seedless watermelon. Plus, melon is high in vitamins A and C.
While cats, unlike humans, don’t require veggies in their diet, they can be a safe and healthy treat. Your cat might nosh on some cooked carrots, but avoid raw ones as they may be a choking hazard.
Although not a necessary part of their diet, a little bit of white rice won’t harm your cat. In fact, it might be helpful if she’s having some digestive issues.
Skip the spice and just give your kitty the pumpkin. Pureed pumpkin has fiber and nutrients that can help with everything from constipation to hairballs.
Oats have lots of fiber, iron and even protein, all of which are beneficial to your cat’s overall health. You can also use them topically for skin problems.
Protein-rich eggs are another healthful food you can share with your cat. Opt for cooked, as raw eggs may carry salmonella or E. coli.
If you have ever seen your cat nibble on grass, then you know kitties like leafy greens. Spinach is high in vitamins, although it should not be given to cats with kidney or urinary problems.
Of course, any and all of these foods should be given as occasional treats as part of a balanced diet. Talk to your vet about the best food to feed your cat daily or if you have any concerns about what your kitty should or should not be eating.
What Do Cats Drink?
Adult cats only need to drink water as part of a healthy, balanced diet. How much they drink depends on several factors, including their age, size, and whether they eat wet or dry food. You can find out more about how much your cat needs to drink with our guide.
If your cat has an underlying health problem such as chronic kidney disease, it is particularly important that they stay hydrated. If your cat will not drink fresh water, then you can try boiling some plain chicken breast or white fish and give your cat the cooking liquid to tempt them. This should not contain any salt or oil. You can also ask your vet whether oral rehydration fluids would be suitable. These are often meaty flavoured and can be more popular than plain water. Another option may be a pet drinking-fountain as some cats prefer these to water bowls.
If you decide to give your feline friend ‘cat milk’ from the pet shop as a treat, ensure they are still enjoying a balanced and healthy diet and that their treat is part of their daily food allowance.
The most important thing to remember is that fresh, clean water should be available to your cat and weaning (or weaned) kitten at all times.
Cats are meat eaters, plain and simple. They have to have protein from meat for a strong heart, good vision, and a healthy reproductive system. Cooked beef, chicken, turkey, and small amounts of lean deli meats are a great way to give them that. Raw or spoiled meat could make your cat sick.
Can Cats Drink Milk?
The image of a cat happily lapping up milk is such a common one that many people don’t even question it. But it may surprise you to learn that sipping at cows’ milk is actually detrimental to their health, no matter how much they make like the taste of it.
Ideally, cats should only be given water to drink. However, it’s important for your cat to stay properly hydrated, especially if they have other health problems such as kidney disease. Some individuals are really not keen on the taste of water, but there are a few tricks you can try to encourage increased water intake. Read on for our tips.
Kittens have an enzyme in their stomachs that allows them to break down lactose from their mother’s milk, but adult cats don’t have this enzyme and lose the ability to digest milk sugars. Instead, the lactose in the milk may cause an upset stomach when it begins to ferment.
Why Do Cats Like Milk?
Cats love the taste of milk because it is high in fat. They will often choose to drink it even if it results in an upset stomach. If your cat is fed a high quality, balanced diet they do not need the extra fat from drinking milk, no matter how much they like it.
If your cat has drunk some milk, watch them for any signs of vomiting or diarrhoea and contact your vet if you are concerned.
What do kittens drink?
Cat with bowl of water
Young kittens will drink their mother’s milk until they are weaned. There should also be free access to fresh water for their mother and kittens will start to lap this too.
From around 4 weeks of age they will start to explore solid food and drink more water alongside their mother’s milk.
Can cats drink milk if they’re orphaned?
If you are hand-rearing an orphan kitten, or they can’t drink their mother’s milk for any other reason, you should feed them special ‘kitten formula milk’. You shouldn’t use normal milk from another species as it will not contain the right balance of nutrients for their development. The first milk that a mother produces is called colostrum. This is high in antibodies and helps to pass on some immunity to her kittens. If a kitten is unable to drink colostrum from their mother you should get advice from your vet.
When should you start giving kittens water?
Kittens will generally begin to wean around three to four weeks of age, at which point it’s time to start giving them a little solid food. At the same time, you should provide them with fresh, clean drinking water in a shallow bowl.