Tips for Preparing a Standard Diet

Fresh food and water are critical part of any animal's diet. You should always provide fresh water at all times. The choice of food will be up to you. However, you still need to decide on the best food, and know how to store and prepare the meals.

Choosing Pre-made Cat food: Many vets recommend pre-made dry and canned food for cats and there are a variety of brands and flavors to choose from when you are investigating. Look for dry cat foods that have human grade ingredients as well as organic ingredients and no byproducts or meat fillers. Canned cat food should have similar ingredients. Watch out for salt and other additives.

The most important thing is that your cat enjoys her food. If she doesn't find it appetizing, she may not get the nutrition that she needs.

Storing: When buying food in bags don't buy more food than your cat needs for two weeks or so. Buying enough food to last six months can be a liability. Once the food isn't fresh anymore vitamin and other nutrients start breaking down with exposure to air. Use all food by the "best if used by" date.

Store food away from warm moist areas like stoves, hot-water pipes and heating ducts. Moisture and heat will cause food to rapidly lose its quality. Finding a cool dry place to keep your cat's food is a must. Store kibble in air-tight, plastic or metal containers. If you leave food in paper bags it is susceptible to insect and rodent infestation. When you open a can of cat food, but don't feed the entire can, be sure to store the open can in the refrigerator sealed with a plastic lid or plastic wrap.

Throw away any food that smells rancid or has mold on it. Never feed your cat anything that seems spoiled.

Free-Feeding or Rationing: Whatever you choose to feed your cat, you'll want to decide how much and how often to feed. Leaving out dry food for your cat at all times works well for some cats, especially if they get a small meal of canned food twice a day. Often cats won't overfeed on dry food when they know the more enjoyable meal is coming later. However, if your cat is overweight, you'll want to be mindful of what you feed. A heavy cat might be more likely to overeat if food is left out on a continual basis.

Follow the directions on the can or bag of cat food for feeding, taking into consideration your cat's age and weight. Also watch your cat for excessive weight gain or weight loss and adjust her diet accordingly.

Adding Extra to a Kibble Diet: If your are feeding a kibble diet and want to add a little extra for your cat, here's a few ways to make a better meal.

Steamed or pureed vegetables

  • Fish Oil
  • Yogurt
  • Probiotics
  • Digestive enzymes

Healthy table scraps on occasion can be a nice addition when preparing your cat's kibble or canned food, but never give the following to your cat.

  • Avocado
  • Coffee Grounds
  • Chocolate
  • Tea
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Fatty Foods
  • Grapes/Raisins
  • Onions
  • Salt
  • Garlic
  • Candy
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