Cats are glorious creatures that for centuries have been revered by many cultures. Today, cats are loved the world over because they are loyal, affectionate yet mostly undemanding unlike their canine counterparts. Sharing a home with a kitten is a wonderful experience that brings a smile to many people's faces and watching a pet grow up and mature into a confident and streamlined feline can be incredibly rewarding.
It's important that cats be fed a correct diet to suit the different stages of their lives and the benefits will be a healthy cat and one that is less at risk of getting ill or developing any nasty infections or diseases. When a cat's immune system is nice and strong, they are more capable of fending off bacterial and other infections which in the long run means they live longer and happier lives. The main reasons and benefits of feeding a cat the right sort of food to suit their ages are as follows:
Kittens and younger cats are still growing and they nutritional needs are very different to that of a more mature cat. Kittens need much higher levels of protein in their diet on a daily basis and they need more calories on a daily basis to meet their growth needs and to ensure they have enough energy to do what kittens and young cats do best which is to play and chase everything that moves.
Failing to give a kitten or young cat the right sort of diet could result in their bones not developing properly and it could seriously impact their immune systems, opening the door to all sorts of health issues and infecions whether bacterial or viral.
Obesity in cats is becoming a real issue that vets are having to deal with all too often here in the UK and elsewhere in the world. It is fast becoming one of the most commonly seen nutritional health issues that vets have to treat in cats today. It's thought that obesity in cats can be put down to the fact they were improperly fed at some stage of their lives and this includes feeding kitten food to a mature cat that does not go out that often therefore leading a more sedentary life. The same can be said of a cat when kept as an indoor pet with free access to food throughout the day.
With this said, it is all to easy to feed too much of the right food to a cat too, and the result is the same, an overweight cat that's more at risk of developing some very serious health concerns. The reason being that carry the weight can put a lot of pressure on their hearts, other vital organs and on their joints. The result can be devastating because these conditions can shorten a cat's life span quite considerably.
A pregnant cat's nutritional needs are quite different too. Her needs are that much greater because she needs the "extra" so the kittens she is carrying develop properly. Once her offspring are born, she needs to eat more in order to produce milk to feed them while at the same time maintaining her own body condition.
Should a pregnant or nursing cat not be fed the correct amount of food that contains all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals she needs, she may not be able to produce enough milk to feed all her kittens. A mother cat would soon lose condition and if her calcium levels fall dangerously low, it could prove fatal.
When a cat is well cared for and fed a correct diet to suit the different stages of their lives, they can live for anything up to 20 plus years. Once in their golden years, our feline friends may start to suffer from a few diseases associated with old age and this includes things like arthritis which can serioulsy impact their mobility. As such, they need to be fed a diet that contains higher levels of certain vitamins and minerals. Senior cats also benefit from being given glucosamine as well as certain fatty acids which helps them with their arthritis.
Older cats also have a tendency to develop kidney issues and they are more prone to suffer from heart disorders. A vet might recommend feeding a special diet because very often this can help manage a condition very effectively which in short means cats can live out their lives as comfortably as possible.
Sharing your home with a feline friend can be extremely rewarding because cats are loyal, loving and affectionate characters to have around. Making sure your pet is fed a correct diet to suit the different stages of their lives is important because their nutritional needs change as they mature and reach their golden years. When well fed and cared for, cats can live up to 20+ years which in short, means feeding your cat the correct diet to suit their ages has real long-term benefits.