New Years around our clinic is the odd season of a particular feline phenomenon: the constipated kitty. No other time of year do we see so many pet parents wringing their hangs when all goes amuck (or doesn't go at all,) in the litter box. Why? It's simple: with central heating and eating kibble, our dear kitty friends are simply drying up.
Dr. Jason's cat Haatim: a nutrition switch changed his litter box, and his attitude. Well, mostly, anyway.
A few few years ago, we had a similar issue with our own cat, Haatim. He was getting very cranky and the litter box was a reeking disaster! Daddy (aka Dr. Jason) started doing all sorts of research online about cat nutrition. We still refer folks to this fantastic website.) We found out that the kibble we were feeding was too carb rich, and a switch to wet food (and some powerful probiotics!) put Haatim's tummy back on the right track. After a week or so, Haatim became more affectionate and begged for tummy rubs. Amazing! And thankfully, the litter box greatly improved.
Before we discuss the best nutrition for cats, we should say that some medical conditions require specific foods with different balances. So before changing a prescription diet, get some vet advice, ok?
Haatim eats canned TikiCat food, but his sister Vega eats our Pounce & Hound Raw Food Nutrition (the salmon is shown above.) It's totally balanced, and according to her, puurfectly delicious!
If you look at the nutritional needs of other cats, felines traditionally get their water from their food. Think about a nice plump juicy bird or mouse. Cats don't drink a ton in the wild, and our domestic friends haven't strayed that far from the genetic tree. If it can possibly fit with your lifestyle, try to feed your cat a wet or raw food, even part of the time. This one change is the best thing you can do for your cat... male cats especially are prone to urinary infections/blockages, and a juicy diet can make all the difference, and keep your cat at home instead of in the clinic.
If you do feed dry kibble, your cat needs an attractice source of water like a drippy tap or a fountain. This is to encourage your cat to drink more water than they naturally would with a wet food.
Back to the dead mouse scenario, image the nutritional balance of that complete meal. Mostly protein, a little fat, and some organ meat and veggies from the mouse's own stomach.
Feeding kibble can be a lifestyle necessity, especially if you are spending the weekend at at Big White, and your kitty is holding down the sofa at home. When you do feed your cat kibble that it's as high protein and low in fibre as possible. We chose Orijen kibble for our store, not only because it's regionally made, but because it's a very high protein dry cat food. Avoid any food fluffy with fibre fillers... they have trouble digesting it, and it absolutely affects the litter box. Read more about cat nutrition here!
We hope these tips will get your cat off to their healthiest year yet! Feel free to talk to us if you would like some more nutritional advice for your feline.