Are you on the verge of saying yes to sharing your living space and life with a feline friend? Naturally, you'll want to keep the furry bundle of joy happy and healthy, and that starts with avoiding bad nutrition. Following are three food types that should be avoided because they can cause health problems in cats.
You probably already know that most cats go wild for the taste of fish. However, a steady diet of seafood can result in serious health problems for your feline friend, including mercury poisoning. The fish used most often in commercial cat food are salmon, tuna, and whitefish, and each can contain mercury. Mercury poisoning may result in loss of coordination, difficult walking, and lack of overall balance. Too much fish in the diet may also be a contributing favor to the current high levels of kidney disease among cats. Furthermore, fish such as tuna doesn't contain all the nutrients that cats need in order to thrive and may leave them malnourished as a result.
Some pet owners attempt to streamline their shopping by feeding kitty Fido's fare, but the practice of feeding cats dog food is highly discouraged among veterinarians and other animal care professionals. Cats have different dietary requirements than dogs do -- they need to consumer more protein, and they specifically require an amino acid called taurine in order to remain healthy. Taurine deficiencies can lead to heart issues and other health problems in cats. Although cats need vitamin A in their diets, they are unable to process the form of vitamin A usually found in dog food.
As carnivores, the digestive systems of cats are not designed to process vegan diets. Their nutritional needs are highly dependent on getting enough animal tissue in their diets. A cat that is fed a vegan diet will to only fail to thrive, it may perish altogether. Those that survive on a vegan diet will experience issues such as general immune system weakening, increased risk of eye disease, possible issues with blood clotting, neurological problems, gum disease, and digestive disorders. Those whose beliefs are adamantly against the consumption of meat for any reason should consider getting a rabbit or other herbivore as a furry friend instead of trying to force a vegan diet on what is arguably one of the most carnivorous creatures on the planet.
Failure to meet the nutritional needs of your feline friend may eventually result in a frantic trip to the emergency animal clinic when one of the conditions mentioned above occurs. Please contact your local veterinarian at your convenience to find out more about how proper nutrition can help your furry friend thrive for years. For more tips, call a local vet like 1st Pet Veterinary Centers.