FOOD & NUTRITION

Indoor Plants to Please Your Cats Palate

Stuck indoors all day, cats are often looking for things to do. And one of them is to nibble on your plants. Why not cultivate some house plants that your cat will enjoy without you having to worry about toxicity? A few might even do double duty as garnishes on your own foods or as seasonings in sauces or soups. And in some cases, plants that can be grown indoors might even provide a health benefit for your feline pet.

Yes, Your Overweight Cat Needs Very Small Portions to Trim Down

You might think what bothers cat owners when the vet puts their pet on a weight-management plan is the slow rate of weight loss the doctor sometimes recommends. Indeed, cats who should be thinner for their health can lose weight at a very modest rate - from only 0.5 up to a more aggressive 2 percent of body weight per week. For a 20-pound cat who should lose 5 pounds, that means an eating regimen that could result in as little as one tenth of a pound a week.

Automatic Cat Feeders: For Her Health and Your Sleep

Last month we recommended feeders that are set to open at specific times with specific amounts of food so that you dont end up overfeeding your cat. But automatic feeders do more than control portions. They also teach your pet theres no point in begging, allowing you to sleep uninterrupted. Since the food is handed out by the machine, your cat quickly learns theres no use swatting your head at 5 a.m. Further, the feeder will dispense your cats meals even if you have to be out of the house from early in the morning until after dinnertime.

A Critical Piece of Information Thats Hard to Find On the Cat Food Label

One piece of information you really need to make sure youre choosing the right food for your pet is not on the front of a package of cat food in large letters. Its either scrunched up in tiny print on the side or back of a bag of kibble or on a can in such tiny lettering that it can be hard to make out. Its called the Statement of Nutritional Adequacy.

Finicky Eaters: Born or Made?

Cats in general are happy to eat the same food day after day, say the veterinary nutritionists at the Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. However, owners can inadvertently give their cats an opening to train them into thinking that a lack of variety in the diet is unacceptable.

Cat Food: Its in the Presentation

In the typical household, cats are fed in the exact same spot at each meal, with the food doled out once or twice a day. And if theres more than one cat in the household, they tend to be fed together. But a cats natural preferences are just the opposite. They would rather eat multiple small meals a day - alone.

What Can Cats Eat – and What are Dangerous Foods for Cats?

Many cat owners consider their pets to be part of the family, so it can be a natural extension to want to indulge their every whim. There are human foods that cats can eat - but a list of absolutely forbidden ones, as well. In a multi-pet household, some might think that cats have similar nutritional requirements as dogs, but this is not the case. Each species requires their own well-balanced diet designed just for them.

No, Your Cat Cannot Be a Vegan

A study of 2,000 cat owners in the U.K. found that one in five were not aware their pets were carnivores and required animal products in their diets to thrive. There are many cat owners in the U.S. who also arent aware. Veganism simply cannot be a lifestyle choice you make for your cat, even if you make it for yourself.

Dear Doctor: Milk or no milk?

Can you please settle once and for all whether cats can safely drink milk? Thank you.

Which Nutrition Websites to Trust

When you do an Internet search on how to feed a cat with cancer and come upon a website that says to buy your pet a supplement designed by the person running the site, your instinct to feel suspicious kicks in automatically. Or when you click on a website that says not to feed your cat a diet with grains because cats are not naturally grain eaters, and the site points out that you dont see cats grazing in grassy fields. (For the record, cats tolerate grains just fine.)

Dear Doctor: Tinkering with a cats diet

My wife likes to pure vegetables- like peas, carrots and sweet potato - and mix it into our cats canned food. Is this okay to do? Are there any vegetables that should never be added to the cat food? We also add some cranberry powder (made for cats), along with some hairball powder. We trying to be to health-minded, but could we be causing potential problems?

Nutrition Websites: The Best of the Best

Pet Nutrition: General Information vetnutrition.tufts.edu/petfoodology - visit Tufts Cummings Schools Petfoodology site, with information on everything from whether you should give fish oil to your cat to what to feed your kitten if she has a health problem to diets for certain disease conditions. You can look for any nutrition topic using the search bar. …