The food you feed your cat is the largest factor you can control to give them optimal health. The diet formulation should change over your cat’s life as she moves through the different stages of kitten, adult, senior, and geriatric. The diet type should change over their life as their needs will be different at different ages. The diet type can help manage or improve many medical conditions. Your veterinarian is always ready to help you make the best nutritional choices for your cat.
Pigs are omnivores that typically eat multiple small meals throughout the day. A mini-pig’s base diet should consist of a commercially available, nutritionally balanced pelleted chow formulated for mini-pigs. Different formulations are available based on the life stage of the pig. In addition to pelleted pig chow, pigs may be fed small amounts of other foods, including fresh or frozen vegetables and small amounts of fruit. Pelleted food should be offered first to help ensure it is consuming a balanced diet. The exact amount of pelleted food to feed depends on the brand being fed; most brands give general feeding recommendations calculated from their caloric content. Treats such as small pieces of succulent fruits or vegetables may be offered once or twice a day and are best used as rewards in training.
Once your cat has reached adulthood, their nutrient profile will change from when they were a kitten. Your veterinarian can help you determine what proportion of each nutrient is needed based on your cat's lifestyle and current body condition. It is important to lay a good nutritional foundation to maximize the health and longevity for your cat and reduce the potential for developing obesity.
Gastrostomy tubes are placed percutaneously through the skin directly into the stomach and may be needed for cats who are unable to chew or swallow their food, or for cats with diseases causing anorexia. Special liquid diets or canned diets blended with water are recommended to be given in multiple feedings throughout the day, dependent on the cat’s reason for the tube. Instructions are provided by your veterinarian for tube feeding and tube maintenance. The tube can be removed as early as 14 days after placement once the cat is eating well. Your veterinarian will remove the tube.
Giardiasis is an intestinal infection of man and animals cased by a microscopic protozoan parasite Giardia duodenalis. Giardia is a simple one-celled parasitic species; it is not a "worm", bacteria, or virus. Giardiasis can be an important cause of diarrhea in animals and humans. However, many cats are infected without developing clinical signs or the diarrhea is treated as 'non-specific'.
Picky eaters are often created by their humans offering too much variety of food. Cats can become picky eaters for medical reasons that need to be determined by your veterinarian. It is safe for an otherwise healthy cat to not eat for a few days; beyond this however, they can develop a possibly fatal condition called hepatic lipidosis. To decrease pickiness, having food available for only 30 minutes4-5 times a day can be beneficial. Human food should not be used as a diet as it will lead to nutrient deficiencies. Certain foods are okay to mix with cat food to make them more appealing but check with veterinarian before including these in your dog’s diet. Many cats work on their own schedule and prefer to eat very small amounts frequently (grazing).
Cats are obligate carnivores and cannot be vegetarian. Through evolution, cats have become dependent on the specific forms of nutrients found only in animal tissue. Feeding your cat a proper diet is one of the most important aspects to help keep them at optimal health. It is important to keep in mind that the nutritional requirements and dietary preferences change over the course of the cat's lifetime. Your veterinary health care team can help you make good-quality diet choices and determine the correct number of calories your cat needs in a day.
Chronic kidney disease is frequently diagnosed in aging cats. Nutrition plays an important role in managing CKD in cats. Commercial diets for cats with CKD are developed support kidney function while maintaining body condition. A kidney support diet contains less protein, sodium, and phosphorus and increased omega-3 fatty acids. Your veterinarian will help you choose an appropriate formulation for your cat which will slow the progression of this disease, contributing to both life expectancy and quality of life.
The first inclination of some people when feeding a home-prepared diet to their pet is to simply feed the animal leftovers of what they are eating. It should be realized, however, that the nutritional needs of dogs, cats and humans differ.
As a modern society, we understand the importance of food quality in maintaining or improving our health. We know that we need to eat good quality food in the appropriate quantity and balance for optimal health.