When deciding what to feed your cat it is important to start off with the basics.
If you are interested in finding out if your cat would benefit from a more tailored product, your vet will be able to advise what will be the most appropriate diet for your cat’s age, weight, breed and health status. There are many to choose from and they often come in different flavours, formats and textures so there will be something out there just right for your cat!
Whether to feed wet or dry food will be entirely down to your cat’s own preference. Cats are very particular about what they like and what they don’t. Wet and dry cat food have very different textures and smells, so if you’re unsure which they prefer offer them both and see which they are eating and which they are leaving.
If your cat prefers dry food, remember that a surprisingly small amount will provide them with a square meal. In order not to overfeed, you’ll likely need to weigh this out to make sure they’re getting the right amount. As it contains less water, you may notice them drinking a little more than if they were on wet food. Remember to provide fresh water every day. You can find out more in our guide on cats and drinking.
Once fully weaned, kittens have different needs to adult cats. They’re still growing so need a different balance of nutrients to keep them healthy.
When you look for kitten food, make sure to pick a food specifically for their age. Generally, most kitten food will be suitable for your kitten up to 12 months old, but always double check the age on the packet.
Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they need meat to stay healthy and thrive. Their digestive system hasn’t adapted to eating a plant-based diet and there are certain nutrients and proteins they can only get from meat. For this reason we would not recommend feeding your cat a vegan or vegetarian diet.
If you’re considering feeding your cat a raw diet, always speak to your vet first. There are some commercially available, complete raw cat foods which can meet all your cat’s nutritional needs. It’s better to choose these over trying to prepare a raw diet yourself as it can be difficult to make sure they’re getting a balanced diet and it could make your cat unwell if not prepared correctly.
It’s fine to give your cat the occasional treat, but they can quickly pile on the pounds if they have too many.
Instead of giving your cat food treats, you could try:
You should avoid giving your cat human food as it can unbalance their diet and not all human food is safe for our cats to eat.
If you really want to give your cat a special treat, we’d recommend cat treats from pet shops or supermarkets. However, a very small amount of well-cooked fresh fish or chicken is safe to give your cat as an occasional treat.
Avoid giving your cat things like milk and liver as these can make them poorly.