6 Rules to Improve Your Cat's Diet

image of a cat in a shopping bag.

Do Not Overfeed

"Obesity is the most common nutritional disease seen in cats," says Joe Bartges, DVM, PhD at the University of Tennessee's College of Veterinary Medicine. It is a common bad habit for cat owners to feed their cats too much. Cats only need 24 to 35 calories per pound of body weight each day. This guideline is a general measure and will vary depending on your cat's activity levels, health considerations and overall nutritional needs. Smart owners will have a heart-to-heart talk with their veterinarian about Fluffy's dietary needs and work together to provide the best food choices possible.

Necessary Amino Acids

If you're a cat owner embarking on your own vegetarian health regime and you want to include your furry friend, think again. Cats require some amino acids that are found only in meat. Depriving your domesticated cat of meat and meat products can minimize good health and create conditions or concerns with lifelong consequences. Even dog food does not contain all the amino acids that cats need. Long term feeding of dog food to cats can even cause blindness.

Homemade Food

As an alternative to commercial cat food, a homemade diet can be prepared for your cat when you're in the kitchen. Be aware that it will be necessary to talk with your veterinarian in advance for nutritional recommendations and supplements. It is important to feed a diet that is nutritionally balanced and this requires using a recipe developed by a veterinary nutritionist. Do not add supplements not included in the recipe. The internet is a source of good recipes at www.balanceit.com or www.petdiets.com. For a nominal fee a veterinary nutritionist will give you a recipe using the meat and carbohydrate of your choice. Your cat will need to maintain recommended nutritional standards for optimal health. Any discussion about your cat's diet should also address your cat's age, health considerations, activity levels and past food choices.

A Well-Rounded Diet

"The biggest mistake people make is feeding cats dry food," says Lisa A. Pierson, DVM. Manufacturers have to include a lot of unnecessary carbohydrates in order to make a cat food dry, which can contribute to weight gain and obesity. Cats need a diet that is lower in carbohydrate and higher in protein, which can be achieved by feeding your cat canned food. If you choose to feed your cat dry food, add wet food as well.

Senior Cats

Review the foods you are feeding your cat during every visit with your veterinarian. As your beloved pet ages and becomes more or less active, his or her nutritional needs can change. In order to maintain total health and wellness, your cat may need changes in their diet such as providing more or less calories each day or switching which foods are being provided. Cats may also need more or less of specific nutrients. For instance, kidney disease is common in cats, and a diet low in phosphorus and protein has been shown in studies to lengthen the time before the symptoms of renal disease worsen. In some instances, your veterinarian may suggest supplements to the foods you currently provide. Working together with your veterinarian for your pet's long term health and wellness is critical.

Always remember to talk with your veterinarian about your pet's activity levels, health considerations and nutritional needs during your regular office visits. If you have any questions about your cat's diet or well-being, or if you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our veterinarians, please don't hesitate call us today!

Phoenix Veterinary Internal Medicine Services is a completely mobile specialty practice.

As such, we have a business office, but we do not have a clinic. All cases are seen in the clinic of the referring veterinarian or in an emergency clinic.

Our mailing address is: 
10645 N Tatum Blvd, Suite 200-527, Phoenix, AZ 85028

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Phoenix Veterinary Internal Medicine Services

Monday:

8:00 am-5:00 pm

Tuesday:

8:00 am-5:00 pm

Wednesday:

8:00 am-Noon

Thursday:

8:00 am-5:00 pm

Friday:

8:00 am-5:00 pm

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

Testimonial

  • "We can't express how thankful we are for your amazing care and service for our Charlie. You found and fixed his bleeding problem after years of issues. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for giving outstanding care. You're a true blessing to the animal world."
    With sincere gratitude, Joe & Connie
  • "We really appreciated your time and the options you provided to us for Annie. It is difficult to put aside emotions and make the right decision for our four legged friends who depend on us and trust us. Having professionals like you available, helps a great deal in these difficult times. Never underestimate the difference you make, Dr. Greene. Thank you!"
    Karol
  • "Thank you for all you have done and are still doing for Stella. We really appreciate it."
    Ronda M.
  • "I can’t thank Dr. Greene enough for what he has done for Buttons and Me."
    Lois S.
  • "Thank you for your help. Your kindness will not be forgotten!"
    Lori H.
  • "Very professional, I've known Dr. Greene for years! Very compassionate and knowledgeable in the care of your pet. This Dr. Greene goes above and beyond the call of duty for you and your pet’s well-being!"
    Lacy M.
  • "Dr. Greene understood the urgency that was needed for Gracie Mae, when others did not. Knowing you and your team were there to help was reassuring. Thank you!"
    Karen W.
  • "Your kindness and compassion has touched my heart deeply. It is because of people like you that make the world a better place. Please continue to share your light with the world!"
    Carla M.
  • "Dr. Greene’s expertise was invaluable and much appreciated. He put me at ease during an anxious time. I enjoyed discussing tennis with him, which, seemed fitting because BJ was named after a tennis player."
    Rose W.
  • "Thank you for helping with Eddie. Because of your expertise, he did not have to endure surgery. He has recovered well and I appreciate your kindness."
    Pat M.
  • "Thanks for saving Maxwell’s life! He means the world to our family. We appreciate the compassion, kindness, and prompt attention of your staff."
    Bill & Marilyn R.
  • "I am always thankful for those who help the most precious thing to me. Thank you for helping with LuLu."
    Carla M.
  • "Thank you for helping with Kismet. You have been so wonderful and kind to us and we are so thankful."
    John B. & Jonette S.
  • "Thank you for your help with Annie. I appreciate your compassion and generosity. I will never forget it!"
    Tammy
  • "Thank you for your professional excellence, personal care, rapid response, and overall generosity. There have been very few times I have found people that go the extra mile and that really care. I am very grateful that I was referred to you."
    Carmen
  • "Thank you for everything you did for our Barak. You went above and beyond what any vet would have done. You were a God-send to us in our time of need. We will always remember and cherish your kindness. Thanks for making a difference!"
    Warren & Deanna S.
  • "Thank you Dr. Greene for coming in the middle of the night for Maggie. She was a great companion."
    Heather C.