Read the labels and choose the best brand your budget will allow. Adult cat food should offer 28-32% protein, and 10-12% fat. The first ingredients should be meat. Cats are carnivores.* If the first three or four ingredients are carbohydrates (wheat, corn, soybean) than choose something else.
Kittens require higher levels of calories, vitamins and minerals like calcium, phosphorus and protein than older cats. Look for packages labelled “Kitten” or “Growth” formulas. Most Supermarket foods like 9 Lives, Friskies and Whiskas are designed for adult cats (unless specifically labelled otherwise). Adolescent and Adult cats require much lower amounts of key nutrients than kittens, so keeping them on kitten food could lead to health problems later in life. Beware of foods labelled “for any age” because that is impossible.
|Kittens aged 6 – 12 weeks||4 x per day|
|Kittens aged 12 – 24 weeks||3 x per day|
|Kittens aged 6 months – 1 yr||2 x per day|
|Adult Cats1 yr – 6 yrs||1 or 2 x per day|
|Senior Cats 7+ yrs||2 or 3 x per day|
Fresh water should be made available at all times.
Once your cat is about 7 years old, the digestive system begins to show signs of aging. The kidneys begin to lose their ability to handle waste materials excreted in the urine and foods become difficult to digest. Senior foods are formulated to accommodate these changes. Your senior cat’s sense of smell may be diminishing or diminished. This can be serious for cats, as many of them rely on the aroma of the food to stimulate their appetite. There have been cases of geriatric cats that have refused to eat once their sense of smell was gone. A more aromatic food can help, or you might try microwaving the food for a minute to stimulate the appetite.
It is not recommended to leave free access to food throughout the day (with the exception of pregnant Queens) as it can lead to overeating and obesity. We do it anyway because with the number of cats we have it is impossible to monitor who is eating what and someone may go without if we pull up the food too early, but if you can do it, we advise you to offer your cat food for about 1/2 hr. and then remove it until the next mealtime.
So what if you are like us, and have a multi-cat household and cannot monitor who eats what? Well, if your crew consists of adults and seniors- your best bet is to go with senior food. However, if you have kittens in your crew (you will need to feed them more often anyway) we advise you to feed them separately.