Pets are a part of the family, and as such should be treated with equal care and affection. Cats happen to be one of the most commonly owned pets, loved by a vast majority of humans. These amazing creatures have incredible qualities that are beneficial to their owners and the entire household.
Sharing your home with a cat shouldn’t be seen as having just another domestic animal around. You should feed them, take care of them when they fall sick, buy them toys and even take them along on vacations.
Cats are special animals, and in no time become integral parts of every family they belong to. Establishing a good relationship with them by giving them nice names, assigning them their places and ensuring they are well fed keeps them happy at all times. These beautiful mammals are particularly intuitive and help humans cope with stress. This is why making your cats happy and free from stress is therefore very important. Despite their intuitiveness, cats can not communicate their feelings and needs to us. This is why we must pay keen attention to everything that concerns their welfare. The food they consume, the water they drink as well as their litter boxes for peeing should be of paramount importance to you. Cats just like humans can be stressed by events. This is why feeding your cat properly goes a long way in determining its health. At times when they can not feed properly, baby food might just be what they need. This article will address everything you need to know about feeding your cat baby food.
Can Cats Eat Baby Food?
The simple answer to this question is yes. Cats can eat baby food as a result of the similarities in size and stomach structure. Standard baby food is very nutritious for cats as it is pureed and helpful for your cats in certain situations. Although baby food is good for cat consumption, it is important to know when they require this special treat.
Why Is Baby Food Good For Your Cat?
Simple baby food is great as a replacement for standard cat food. Pureed baby food that is finely cooked is simple to digest, easy to consume and also very tasty and delicious. It is very good and effective for cats that are sick and suffering a lack of appetite.
When Should I Feed My Cat Baby Food?
Illness: Just like humans, cats sometimes find it hard to eat normal food when they are sick or recovering from an illness. Baby food comes in handy during such periods, as it is easier to consume and improve appetite. Baby food also contains important nutrients that are beneficial for a recovering cat.
- Digestion: Sometimes, your cat may have difficulty digesting normal cat food. This might be as a result of injury and the complexity of the food. Baby food is a suitable substitute as it is pureed and very easy to digest. Babies have delicate stomachs like cats, and all their food is easily digestible.
- Nutrition: Baby food contains great nutrients and calories which will help your cat grow. It is great as a regular treat for your cat.
Baby Food Is Good For:
Cats that have a painful mouth and periodontal disease.
- Cats suffering from diarrhea, vomiting and other stomach sensitivities.
- Cats who just had their teeth removed and can not chew firm foods.
- Cats suffering from a loss of appetite as a result of diseases like cancer, CKD, liver diseases and other diseases.
- Cats need to be treated and rewarded.
Best Baby Food For Cats
Cats are regarded as obligate carnivores, this is why it is important that any baby food you give them should contain meat. Meat-based baby food smell enticing and would whet the appetite of your cat that is lacking in appetite. Meat-based baby food contains minerals, calories as well as amino acids that will help them fight off infections and repair any damages to their body. It is easy to eat and digests quickly and fast.
Baby Food Which Your Cats Should Not Eat
Although meat-based baby foods are the best for your cats, there are certain ingredients that are harmful to your cats. Baby foods containing such ingredients should be avoided when choosing feed for your cats. These ingredients include:
- Sweeteners and added sugar
- All kinds of vegetable oils including canola oil
- All kinds of vegetables
- All types of fruits including grapes (except pumpkins for gut mobility)
These ingredients make vegetable and fruit baby products like sweet potato baby food, carrot baby food, pumpkin baby food, green bean food and prune baby food unsuitable for cats. It is important to note that consuming garlic and onions can lead to Heinze’s body anemia. Meat-based for older babies containing flavors like chicken stew and beef stroganoff are also not suitable.
How Long Can Your Cat Eat Baby Food?
Ideally, your cat should eat baby food for just two to three days before you transition it back to standard cat food; raw, gently cooked or canned food. It is important that you transition your cat by the third day, so as to avoid malnutrition. Baby food is designed as an omnivorous diet which does not contain fresh raw organs, bones, and meat. Cats, unlike babies, require fresh meat, as it contains important nutrients such as taurine for their survival.
Baby food is deficient in taurine, which is one of the reasons why it can not be a long term substitute for cat food. Taurine is an essential amino acid for the healthy living of cats. Humans can produce taurine on their own, while cats must get externally; which is from their food. Health complications may arise should your cat be low on taurine.
A taurine deficiency can lead to teeth problems, fatigue, hair loss, skin problems, risks of infection, reproductive as well as cardiovascular problems and stress. Severe cases of taurine deficiency can lead to heart failure or cause eye problems.
Feeding Your Cat
Feeding your cat is more than just, pouring the meal on a plate and making them eat. Cats can be stressed by irregular eating patterns, leading to issues like obesity, cystitis, overeating, and inactivity. You can avoid stressing your cat by following regular and appropriate feeding patterns. This will eliminate anxiety, loss of appetite and make your cat healthy. Below are easy ways to help your cat feed better.
- Make Eating A Fun Activity: Cats get easily bored and a little bit of activity can make their eating process much more fun. A puzzle feeder or cat maze will add much-needed fun to your cat’s feeding. This makes eating fun, keeping your cat occupied and engaged.
- Separate Feeding Areas: For families that have more than one cat, it is advisable to fees them in separate places in order to reduce stress. Feeding areas can be separated by baby gates and size limiting entrances. Feeding areas should also be set in spaces which the cats feel very comfortable in. The agility of the cat should also be considered when setting up a feeding area; its ability to pass elevated like tables and shelves as well as its dietary needs. Feeding areas should also be kept as far as litter boxes as possible.
- Break Up Meals: Breaking up meals aids your cat’s digestion and reduces the desperation at feeding. Instead of one or two big meals, break up the meal into smaller parts, spread over different times of the day. Food puzzles also make it more fun ensuring your cat stays interested in feeding.
- Watch The Calories: Always check the calories of your cat’s feed with your vet to be sure it is on the safe side. Look out for the weight of your cat, to decipher whether it seems to be losing or gaining weight. Also take them for regular check-ups to determine if their calorie intake is in moderation.
Alternatives To Baby Food For Cats
While baby food is a great alternative to standard cat food, there are other great foods that you can consider.
- Kitten Food: Baby cat food is a great choice for your cat, and is more calorie-dense than standard adult cat food. It is very delicious, easily consumable and has a lot of beneficial calories. It is highly nutritious and is very easy to digest.
- Egg Yolks: Egg yolks are very nutritious and will greatly improve your cat’s diet. Add raw egg yolks to their meal bowl, and they will totally love it.
- Raw or Boiled Chicken: Boiled boneless chicken provides a needed variety to your cat’s diet. Raw chicken is also a palatable source of protein which your cat will absolutely love.
All in all, it is important to note that while baby food is ideal for cats and safe during a time of illness, it does not provide them with all the nutrients they require. It is useful for a few days, after which you must transition your cat back to a standard cat diet.
Tips To Consider When Choosing Your Baby Food For Cat
When purchasing baby food for your cat’s consumption, there are a few things you should consider. Some of them are highlighted below.
- Ingredients: Always examine the active ingredients, as it must not contain any of the harmful ingredients like vegetables, vegetable oil, dairy and more as listed above.
- Meat-based Baby Food: Any baby food you choose should be ideally meat-based, as this is the most suitable for cats. Avoid meat-based baby food with ingredients like chicken stew and beef stroganoff as they can be harmful to your cat.
- Size: Do not purchase any food that is too large, as your cat does not need too much. Try to buy something of a moderate size that is suitable for two to three days of consumption.
- Price: It is best to go mid-range when it comes to picking a product like this. Baby food that appears too much might not contain necessary nutrients, while expensive ones night just be unnecessarily exorbitant.
Sometimes you don’t even have to buy new baby food. If you have a baby, who consumes a meat-based food, sharing a serving for your cat would not hurt and can save you some money. Remember to look out for the harmful ingredients before you feed them this baby food.
For sick cats, if the symptoms persist after days of feeding it baby food, it is best to visit the vet. They cannot communicate their pains and ailments, so you have to inspect them daily to notice changes. Pay attention to their appetite, weight, and movement to see if it is normal.
All in all, it is important to study your cat and know its peculiarities. Some cats might not fancy baby food, which is quite normal. Make sure to transition your cat from baby food to standard cat food as smoothly as possible. Keep their feeding area in a fixed location and avoid bringing it close to the litter boxes. Also, make their feeding process a little eventful and fun without stressing them, and give every cat its space if you have multiple cats.
In conclusion, it is important to note that while baby food is ideal for cats and safe during a time of illness, it does not provide them with all the nutrients they require. It is useful for a few days, after which you must transition your cat back to a standard cat diet. If you are still unsure about anything concerning their feeding, it is best to ask your vet as they are in the best position to advise you. Cats are wonderful creatures that will bring you happiness and relieve your stress, but only you keep their own lives stress free.