Feline Dietary Issues: What you need to know

From kitten food to adult and mature cats, it’s important that at every stage of life your pet is fed correctly - according to its needs. While it’s good to know what the right things to feed your cat are, it’s also important to know about harmful substances that you should not feed your pet. This is not just foods which your cat may be allergic to as these are usually pet specific but foods in general that could cause tummy upsets, or worse, in your cat.

Foods to Avoid

Onions – Onions contain substances that can break down a cat’s red blood cells, causing anaemia.

Garlic – Garlic can cause an upset stomach and can also affect red blood cells in cats.

Chocolate – Chocolate can be a lethal substance to cats as not only can it cause vomiting and diarrhea it can also cause abnormal heart rhythm, tremors and seizures, and in the worst cases, death if large quantities have been consumed.

Dairy products – It may surprise many cat owners to discover that some adultcats are lactose intolerant, and therefore cannot properly digest milk.Consumption of milk can lead to diarrhea in cats.

Coffee, tea and energy drinks– The caffeine in these drinks can cause your cat to become restless, leading to muscle tremors or heart palpitations.

Raw meat – This may cause vomiting anddiarrhea due toSalmonella, Campylobacter or E. Coli infections.

Allergic reactions

Food allergies are very rare in cats but if you suspect your cat has a food allergy, then take him or her to your vet to ask for advice. Your vet will be able to help diagnose the problem and come up with workable solutions about what to feed your cat. Diagnosing a cat food allergy can be time consuming and will need you to feed a specific diet exclusively to your cat for a number of weeks.

If your vet has found the cause for the allergy, it’s simply a case of removing that type of food, or changing to a new kind of diet. If you have recently added anything new to your home, such as houseplants or foodstuffs, then at your vet visit ensure you make them aware.

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