Are you feeding your tabby correct? Chances are, that might not actually be the case. Lots of times, with a tabby cat, they do need a good diet, but in many cases, pet owners just give their tabby cat the wrong food, which does play into their health. A cat that doesn’t have the right nutrients tends to suffer, and it can be a big problem for owners. However, you can find out what the best tabby cat diet is here and you’ll learn below all about what a tabby cat diet entails.
So What is a Tabby Cat?
One thing lots of people don’t realize, is that tabby cats are a lot more prevalent than you might think. Many cat owners think that a tabby is just one type of cat, one that’s got dark coloring, but that isn’t the case. It’s actually multiple types of cats, all of which have similar distinctive features.
Some of these features include the following:
- Coats streaked with color
- Different patterns on their fur, including tiger stripes, whorls along with stripes, and stripes with spots
- Sometimes have white coats
- Have facial markings on their forehead that look like the letter M
Tabby cats have their own distinctive look, and lots of cat owners don’t even realize the extent of this until it’s brought up, which is something that can be very surprising for many people.
In many cases, people don’t even realize that these can extend to different breeds, including the following:
- Egyptian Maus
- Maine Coons
Many of these breeds have so many different features, especially in size, length of hair, and their coloration, but if you’re wondering, they’re all part of the same species.
People, however, tend to not realize that when they say tabby to refer to their generic shorthair cat, it’s actually not just that. There are so many interesting breeds and such.
But, there are a few advantages to having a tabby cat, and they are as follows:
- They tend to be inexpensive and don’t have pedigrees that require a lot of research, meaning they’re pretty simple
- They don’t have hair that needs to be brushed a lot, nor does it get matted
- They don’t have hereditary diseases like many purebreds do
In essence, tabby cats are essentially the result of thousands of years of genetics going on, meaning that they’ve adapted and changed for the better, learned from the genetic mistakes of their forefathers, and are now cute little kitties that have a lot of power.
Tabby Cats and Eating
Tabby cats are a bit different from us when it comes to our food. You may think that they can have just about anything, but they actually need to have certain foods, and that includes the following;
- It has to be cat food, not food we eat
- It has to have nutrients within it that they may not get when they’re indoors
Now, most tabby cats tend to be great pets for those that want an indoor cat, since they are simple, and they’re suited for the home. It’s very important though, that you feed these little guys correctly. Remember, they’re not out there killing mice and vermin, so they may not get the same nutrients from the food. We’ll go over what you need to give your tabby cat in the next section.
Not all Food is Equal
This should be a given, but when you walk down the cat food aisle in the store, you’ll probably see a whole array of different types of foods. This might seem easy like you just pick the first can you lay your eyes on, but that’s not the case.
With tabby cats, you need to make sure they get food with the following in it:
- A proper portion
It’s important that they get cat food with the right nutrients. Tabby cats tend to be carnivorous, and they eat the flesh of animals, but they often don’t kill other animals for food out in the wild, but instead take the meat they need.
That means for you as an owner that they eat the protein, and they need the essential vitamins. You should make sure that you’re giving them a diet that fits them.
Lots of these cat foods tend to have nutrients that are lacking. But, the best thing to do, is to talk to your vet and ask them what the best cat food is. It may help you if you’re wondering what to get.
As another thing of note, portions are a huge part of this. You should make sure that you aren’t feeding them too much. Lots of the high-quality protein your cat needs is in canned cat food, and that actually has a huge portion amount. You need to control this because if you’re not careful, it causes the following problems:
- Feline diabetes
- Heart problems
- Issues with mobility
It’s very important that you watch out for this since portion control is a huge aspect of taking care of tabby cats. You don’t want them to eat too much, because while fat cats may be cute, they are at risk for so many diseases and the like, and it’s very important to ensure that you are making sure that they are taken care of in the best ways that you can take care of them.
Water Water Everywhere!
Water is super important for humans, and for tabby cats, that’s true as well. They need not just clean water, but fresh water, and it’s very important that you give them water period.
If they don’t get enough water, the following will happen:
- They get dehydrated
- They get sick
- The dryness of the cat food will offset the water that they have in their bodies
So yes, you need to give them water.
But not all water is created equal, lots of times, if you give a tabby cat dirty water, it can make them sick as well. You may think some water is fine, but if it ha the following to it, don’t give it to the cat:
- A bad smell
- A bad taste to it
You should get rid of it because usually, that means that it’s been invaded by bacteria, and it can cause problems within the cat because there are bacteria in dirty water. Cats do need to have water, just like how a human does, and it’s important to ensure that you do give your cat something that’s fresh. After all, would you like to drink dirty water?
The best thing to do is to make sure that the water is changed daily, and if you notice that the water isn’t being drunk by the cats, you do change it out. It could have an issue with it that causes them to avoid it.
Stale water is another big problem with this too. If water is left for too long, it tastes bland, and lots of different issues come about if you notice that the cat isn’t drinking water. So make sure that you take care of your tabby cat, and give it good water too.
You Gotta Take Care of Them
A common misconception of tabby cats is that they can totally take care of themselves. Well, that’s not the case. While cats are nice, independent, don’t need to be constantly walked to use the bathroom and don’t need praise 24/7, they do need you to help you out.
One of the biggest, most contrary beliefs out there, is that all cats are natural hunters, and can totally take care of themselves. But, did you know that tabby cats, despite being carnivores, actually need humans for survival. That’s because of the following:
- Tabby cats have never learned to hunt for themselves
- Their mother didn’t teach them how to do it
- They need care to a certain degree
Because they were never inherently taught this skill, tabby cats need human reliance on this degree. Now, the exception is when you have a cat that is feral. Feral cats tend to know a bit about how to take care of themselves, and if they’ve never been domesticated, there is a chance they could take care of themselves.
But, usually, if you have a tabby cat, you can’t just throw it outside and hope to god that it takes care of itself, but instead, it relies on you for a few things, including the following:
- Litter Box
- Veterinary Care
- To be kept out of danger
These are all various elements that you as a pet owner need to remember. You’re in essence making sure that you take care of others, and you protect the tabby cat. Sometimes, you may think you can just let them roam free, but that’s how cats get killed, and that’s how danger strikes.
Toxic Foods to Avoid
When you have a tabby in your home, you may think that you can just keep them around, but the thing is, there are toxins in the home that cats can actually get into, and they’re poisonous.
Some of the various foods to avoid include the following:
- Various houseplants, including the entire allium family of plants
- Garlic and onions
- Avocados, grapes, chocolate, macadamia nuts
- Anything that a cat shouldn’t be eating, such as plastic
Cats love to get into things, and you should be aware of various foods that are toxic.
Some of these various foods don’t actually kill a cat outright, but they can cause major damage to the organs. Some of them, if they are ingested, only give you a small window of time before the cat is dead, so you should act accordingly.
If you know that your cat may have gotten into something, you should do the following:
- Contact the poison control center or the emergency vet
- Try to get the cat to spit it out, whether through the Heimlich or the like
- Take the cat to the emergency responders right away
Another big problem that can pose a threat to a cat’s life is string and yarn. While this is usually a toy that some owners get for a cat, this well-meaning item is actually quite dangerous. Cats should never eat them because these strings get stuck in the intestines, and if they ingest it, it can get stuck in there. It is definitely dangerous, so you should be smart about what you give your cats, and what you should avoid.
Now, if you feed your cat dry food a lot, you’ll need to compensate for the lack of water that’s in this. There are a few ways to do this. We are going to discuss a few different options that you can use here. They are as follows:
- Wet food, obviously portioned out
- Raw sardines, mackerel or herring
- Avoid tuna, since it is salty
- Raw food
- homemade cooked food
- Raw diet freeze-dried
- Rotation Diet
Now, if you can, at all possible, try to go for alternatives to dry food. Lots of pet owners get dry food because it’s cheaper, but it actually has a lot of problems to it, including the following:
- High carbs
- Can dehydrate a cat
- Can cause the cat to suffer from various issues
For cats, you can go raw, and you can cook food for your cat, but you have to make sure that you do follow the right guidelines.
Always feed your cat a meat diet. This is something that is often kind of misconstrued by some of these vegan cat owners. They believe that you should feed your cat a vegan diet. The answer to that is Don’t Do That. That’s animal abuse. If you feed your cat a raw diet or a rotation diet, you should make sure that it’s meat-rich foods, and it’s something that they can digest. This can be any sort of meaty food that is safe for cats, including the following:
If you do go with the raw food diet, you should make sure that you give them a healthy set of food. Raw food is sometimes not recommended because of the bacteria that could be there, especially in chicken. It also should be avoided if you have a tabby cat with a compromised immune system.
If you go with a homemade cooked food diet, this is actually a simple way to feed your cat, and some cats love it. They can thrive very well, and it’s the easiest way to transition.
This can be something as simple as giving the cat some chicken when you cook it
Freeze-dried food is a great way to help give real food to a cat. However, this is actually one that’s harder for a cat to get onto, and has some drawbacks, including the following:
- The cat may not like it and tends to reject it sometimes
- It doesn’t have the same health benefits and dental benefits as raw food or fresh food
But, if you are trying to get your cat towards a raw style, or even a cooked style, it is a great way to do this.
If you choose to go with canned food, you’ll want to make sure that it doesn’t have the following:
- Ingredients from China
You want it to be human grade as well. However, the problem with canned cat food is that it can create urinary issues in the tract itself, and it can be rejected by some cats. Lots of times, if a cat has had dried food for a while, it can reject this completely.
One way to feed your cat is by trying a rotation diet. Commonly, most pet owners think that having only one kind of food makes the entire diet, but if you think about it, cats can enjoy many different types of foods, just like how humans can. You can rotate food in various ways, such as the following:
- One day canned
- One day raw
- One day cooked
- One day Freeze-dried
If you do this, it gives the cat a diet that’s rounded and can help them transition to healthier foods. If you do this as well, it also takes out the drama of what might happen when the pet food company gets rid of a certain flavor of food that your cat likes.
What About Finicky Cats?
There are some cats that are just super finicky. If that’s the case, there are a few things that you can do in order to help with this. Some cats are dramatic when it comes to foods, but having the cat get used to this is actually important. One type of food is good, but sometimes, the company stops making it, that can be an issue.
Here are a few options to try with this:
- Both dry and canned foods
- Rotate these, especially when adjusting
- Grain-free cat food is ideal for them
- Some form of meat
If you’re wondering about how much meat a cat needs, you want it to be around 300-40 percent protein within dry, and 10 within canned. Lots of cats like pate meats, but you can always try the different varieties. Some cats don’t even like the shredded ones, and may reject it, but if you’ve been wondering what your cat likes, just give them some type of food, and see if they enjoy it.
Always stay away from the following foods though, especially when choosing cat food:
Cats shouldn’t eat grains. Period.
For flavoring, usually, cats love the following, so if you’re stumped, give them this:
- Poultry-based ones such as chicken and turkey
- Seafood and fish
But, contrary to the popular idea that cats should only have fish, it’s actually not good for them, since it can cause health problems. But if you do, you should give them the fish listed in the previous section and only once a week.
Any Human Foods Safe for cats in Small Doses?
So are there any foods that are safe for cats to eat in small doses? Of course! Here are a couple of foods that they can eat:
- Fish oils, especially if broken up
- Eggs, but must be cooked
Of course with this, always make sure they’re limited, and also cut into right-sized portions. The problem is, some owners take this as a chance to feed their cats whatever they want, and this can be a huge problem. If you feed your cat and you notice that it’s getting fatter, you should cut back on the food for them. Portion control is ultimately up to you as an owner, and it’s something that you should be mindful of as well when you’re looking to really ensure that you have the best diet for your tabby cat.
Tabby cats can eat many different things, but you should always give them something that they like. Cats can occasionally be dramatic about the types of food that they eat, and if they do get like that, it may not be because of the food itself, but really the environment that they’re in, and maybe any major changes. If that’s the case, do cater to it. Remember, your furry friend does need to eat healthy food too, and if you want the cat to live a long, healthy life, the best thing for you to do, is to give them the food that they want, and the food their body does need in order to be happy, but also healthy as well.