FOOD & NUTRITION

Important Things to Keep in Mind

Not many owners that Ive met, says Dr. Cailin Heinze, have been successful at getting their adult cats to eat a homemade diet. Cats develop very fixed food texture preferences early in life, and it can be hard to transition them to different types of food later on. In any case, she urges those who are interested in making the attempt to observe the following bits of advice: …

Feline Dental Diets: Helpful?

Cats in general are very good at concealing the outward signs of illness. Eons of experience in the wilderness have taught them to be wary of revealing any debilitating physical disorder that might signal their vulnerability to a potential predator. This is certainly the case when it comes to feline dental disease. …

Beware: Misleading Number of Calories in Some Weight Loss Cat Foods

Believe it or not, you can find at least 50 cat foods on the market with promises on their labels that claim everything from weight loss to reduced calorie to weight management. But just what do these phrases mean? Unfortunately, they can mean whatever the manufacturer wants them to. …

Beware the Feline Weight Loss Label

When Blazer tipped the scale at 29 pounds, his owner knew it was time to take action. He has always been a big boy, explains Susanne Jenkins of her tabby cat. But over the course of one long winter, he simply blew up. He was living with four dogs and getting into a lot of dog food. …

Choosing a Weight Loss Food for cats

Join the club: About 40 percent of cats are overweight or obese, according to peer-reviewed studies. Unfortunately, that number may actually be an underestimate, says Deborah Linder, DVM, DACVN, head of the Tufts Obesity Clinic for Animals at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. Feline obesity is associated with many health conditions and diseases - including diabetes, skin disease and joint disease.

Getting Started: Safe, Effective Weight Loss for Your Cat

Do a rib check. When you feel your cats rib cage, it should be no more padded than the back of your hand. If your cat appears to be overweight, add up the number of calories he or she receives each day. Count regular food, treats and table scraps. Be honest. (See article on healthy treats in Catnip, May 2013.) Provide daily diet information to your veterinarian during your cats wellness examination. Since obesity can cause other…

The True Necessity of Taurine for cats

Like all mammals, domestic cats require a nutritionally sound daily diet, containing appropriate amounts of vitamins, proteins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats and water. Most of these dietary components come from the commercially prepared foods that the typical cat consumes each day, while adequate amounts of other important nutrients are manufactured within the cats system by means of complex biochemical processes. …

Dear Doctor – Can I feed dog food to cats?

Q My husband and I live in an elderly community, with plenty of pet lovers. Our neighbor recently lost her toy breed dog,...

Flavonoids in Cat Food

Hyperthyroidism and diet According to the Morris Animal Foundation, researchers at the University of Georgia are in the process of completing a study on whether certain cat food ingredients can cause feline hyperthyroidism, a common ailment in middle-aged and older cats. Research so far has found that flavonoids - plant proteins found in commercially available cat food - activate cultured feline thyroid cells as effectively as a cats normal thyroid-stimulating hormone. This suggests that flavonoids may interfere…

Choosing the Best Cat Treats

Many of us maintain a little stockpile of our favorite snacks in a cupboard somewhere. And plenty of pet owners feel that their beloved...

Cat Treat Math: The 10% Calorie Solution

You may be asking: What exactly does it mean to keep treats to 10 percent or less of your cats daily calories? A little math: If your cat weighs eight to 10 pounds, for example, she will require about 200 to 250 calories per day, depending on how active she is, according to Dr. Heinze. That means treats should be no more than 20 to 25 calories. …

Dear Doctor – A young cat who suckles

Letters to Tufts Veterinarians - A Tuna Fish Diet, Suckling Habit