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Ten Common Mistakes When Feeding Cats

cat looking at empty plate

Here are 10 common mistakes made when it comes to feeding cats:

1. Feeding Dog Food to Your Cat

It may come as a surprise as to why someone would feed dog food to a cat but it happens more often than you’d think. Many times, it just becomes easier in a multipet household to let the pets eat from whatever bowl they want. Unfortunately, this can have serious health complications. Dog food doesn’t have enough protein for cats. Dog food is also not supplemented with taurine and that’s something cats require in their diet. C food has more protein and more fat than dog food. If your dog eats it on a regular basis it can result in kidney problems as well as obesity.

2. Feeding too Much Tuna to Your Cat

Tuna as a treat now and then is harmless but as a steady diet can lead to malnutrition. Tuna doesn’t have adequate amounts of vitamin E and this may lead to a condition called steatitis (also known as yellow fat disease). Tuna has a very strong taste and smell so many cats can become addicted to it. Veterinarians refer to them as “tuna junkies.” The problem can be serious because these tuna junkies may refuse to eat anything else. The other problem with a steady diet of tuna is that there’s a risk of mercury poisoning. If you incorporate tuna into your cat’s diet, do it in a controlled way.


3. Feeding Raw Fish

Raw fish contains an enzyme called thiaminase which destroys thiamine (one of the B vitamins). A thiamine deficiency may lead to appetite loss, seizure and also death. Although cooking destroys the enzyme, a steady diet of fish doesn’t provide adequate amounts of necessary vitamins and minerals. Fish is not a typical diet for cats and unless they’re exposed to it through their human companions or if it’s their only food source, they would prefer meat sources. There is also the risk of parasites when feeding raw fish.

cat books by pam johnson-bennett and quote from Georgia SPCA


4. Offering Milk to Your Cat

Once weaned, most cats become lactose intolerant. Although some cats don’t have a problem with the occasional milk treat, offering milk on a regular basis often leads to diarrhea. Milk is not to be a replacement for water and if offered instead, it can lead to dehydration.

5. Allowing Your Cat to Eat Tablescraps

Tablescraps aren’t a balanced diet for cats and most are too fatty and spicy. A diet that contains more than 10% tablescraps can lead to deficiencies. In addition to the nutritional concerns, feeding tablescraps can also lead to behavior problems such as begging and food-stealing. Food with bones can lead to choking. Some bones, such as chicken, can splinter and cause injury to the esophagus.

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