FOOD & NUTRITION

Feeding Cats with Kidney Disease

Feline nutrition is a fine balancing act when a cat requires a special diet for a serious health condition like kidney disease. While a kidney disease diet is not a cure, it is a way to help manage the disease in order to minimize symptoms, improve quality of life and hopefully prolong the cats lifespan. To better understand a kidney disease diet and how it works, first its important to understand the nature of kidney…

New Kidney Disease Early Detection Test for Cats

In early 2015, IDEXX Laboratories announced a new test for cats and dogs that detects kidney disease at a much earlier stage - when far less damage has been done to the kidney than the current methods. According to Cailin Heinze, VMD, MS, DACVN, assistant professor of nutrition at the Cummings School, Using traditional tests, a diagnosis is made when about 75 percent of the kidney function has been lost, but the new renal biomarker,…

Dry Food VS Wet Food for Cats

If you compare the Guaranteed Analysis on a can of wet cat food to the one on a bag of dry kibble, the dry food would seem the obvious choice because it shows much higher percentages of protein, fat, and fiber. But thats only because canned food, which contains more water, is more dilute. The nutrients the cat actually ingests in a serving are more dependent on the product than the form in which its delivered. There is no inherent reason to feed canned or dry food other than pet or owner preference, says Lisa Freeman, DVM, PhD, a veterinary nutritionist at Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. What is important is to select a good-quality food manufactured by a well-known, reputable company. Granted, for cats with lower urinary tract problems, including bladder stones or cystitis, wet food makes a better choice because of its higher moisture content.

Smart Ways to Feed Your 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 four-legged companions deserve their own stash of treats as well. But does the habit of giving treats actually benefit our cats - or is it more a matter of anthropomorphism than anything else?

Nutritional Deficiencies in Cats

While individual cats may differ dramatically in various ways, all are alike in their need for a nutritionally sound and palatable daily diet. Fortunately, says Cailin Heinze, VMD, assistant professor of nutrition at the Cummings School, nutritionally sound cat foods are readily available in abundance these days on the shelves of local supermarkets and pet supply stores. …

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: …

How Cats Regulate Their Diet

Most cat owners have experienced the finicky nature of their pets, but a new study shows that cats actually navigate a mixture of wet and dry food offerings to intake the appropriate amounts of fat, protein and carbohydrates necessary for their good health. According to the study (in the Journal of Comparative Physiology B), domestic cats regulate their dietary intake by selecting food despite differences in the macronutrient content, moisture and texture.…

Feline Homemade Diets: Complex

Regardless of how distinctive their individual personalities may be, all cats have in common the need for a nutritious daily diet. Although the most readily available sources can be found on the shelves of virtually any food market or pet supply shop, many owners are convinced that their cats will benefit most from meals that are prepared at home. …

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.