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How The Pet Food You Choose Affects Your Cat's Digestive Health

When watching NBC’s hit series “The Voice” I love watching the judges interact. Each is so talented in his or her own right that it is difficult to choose a favorite – or at least it was. Once I saw Cee Lo Green appear onscreen with a fluffy white cat in his arms, my heart melted. Who doesn’t love cats? They are the perfect pet!

Of course, that is probably what prompted Cee Lo to give his cat the name Purrfect, because despite her perpetual scowl her flawless white fur appears soft and cuddly. In a March 2012 interview on the ABC show “Live! With Kelly”, Cee Lo confessed that Purrfect has more than 40,000 followers on Twitter and that she updates her status from her “iPawd”.

Cats and Illness

On Cesar’s Way, the website for dog whisperer Cesar Millan, expert guest Dr. Suzanne Hetts, a leading expert in animal psychology, explains that cats are flexible in their social hierarchy, and unlike dogs who often have one “alpha” member who leads the group, cats just want people to respect their territory. This is especially true when your cat is feeling under the weather.

There is no question that cats are some of the most loved creatures on the earth, and when they are feeling under the weather it can be as stressful for their caregivers as if another human was ill. All too often there is a direct link between what a cat eats and its physical well-being, such as its digestive health. If you think you are dealing with a constipated cat, then here are some signs that might confirm it.

  • Straining to eliminate the bowels
  • Weight loss
  • Frequent litter box visits with no progress
  • Lethargy
  • Visible signs of abdominal discomfort
  • Vomiting
  • Lack of grooming

Some of the causes of constipation and other digestive issues in cats include lack of dietary fiber, hairballs due to excessive grooming, lack of water or dehydration, prostate issues, blockages, and side effects from medication. You should never try to self-diagnose your cat’s problems and always call a veterinarian for an appointment to confirm the problem and receive proper treatment for it.

Healthy Feline Diets

Most cats eat either a dry or wet food that is purchased at some kind of a retail store, whether it is the local pet center or a supermarket. One thing that all brands have in common is the label that explains about the product, including its ingredients. The next time you go to purchase food for your pet, take into consideration these bits of information from the product label.

  • Product Name – This not only tells which manufacturer is selling the food, but also the type of food. For example it might highlight one of the primary ingredients found in the food.
  • Net Weight – This is how much food comes in the packaging. Keep in mind that wet food will weigh more due to the amount of moisture in the package, while dry food with the same nutrients will weigh less.
  • Statement of Intent – Have you ever noticed a brand of dog or cat food that restates the fact that it is “Food for Dogs” or “Food for Cats”? While it might seem silly, this is also to distinguish the fact that different animal species have different dietary needs. 
  • Ingredients – The ingredients are listed in descending order by how much they weigh. The weight is determined by how much moisture is in that ingredient. Ingredients that are in wet form will list higher than ones listed in dry form, even if they have the same amount of nutrients, based on how much they weigh. 
  • Directions – This not only explains how to feed your pet the food that is in the packaging, but should also recommend how much to give pets of a certain size.

Age Appropriate Pet Food

Make sure the food that you buy for your pet is age-appropriate. Food for kittens and puppies are nutritionally geared towards those younger animals and designed with their dietary needs in mind. The same goes for buying lean food meant for overweight animals for a pet that does not have a weight problem. You wouldn’t buy diet foods for a human with a healthy weight, and it is the same for your pets, too.

California freelancer Sophie Evans loves working from the eco-friendly home she shares with her husband and their son and daughter. Whether she is using sites like www.1stpetnaturals.com to research information for an article about pets or perusing lawyer sites to learn about steps to take after a car accident, she loves the freedom that comes with working from home.

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