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Feeding Your Cat

If you share your life with a cat, you know how wonderfully playful, intelligent, independent, and affectionate felines can be. However, you may have some questions about how to care for Fluffy, keep her happy and safe indoors, or identify potential health problems. This section will address these and other issues that face those who enjoy the companionship of a cat.

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High-quality commercially prepared cat foods have been scientifically developed to give your cat the correct balance of nutrients and calories. Your shelter or veterinarian will be able to recommend the best diet to keep your cat healthy. Buy the highest-quality food you can afford. Lower-quality foods may cost you less today, but they can increase your cat's chances of developing health problems in the future.

Obesity is a serious health problem in cats. Ask your veterinarian to help you determine the ideal body weight for your cat, and adjust your cat's diet to attain and maintain that weight according to your veterinarian's suggestions.

A word about food boredom: It's not uncommon for cats to tire of the same old thing day in and day out. Provide variety in the form of different flavors and textures. Always gradually introduce any new brand of food to prevent digestive upset.

Never feed your cat human food such as table scraps, bones, or high-fat meats. Contrary to popular myth, milk is not necessary for cats and may cause digestive upset. Meat, however, is necessary for cats (because it produces essential metabolites); that's why placing your feline on a low-meat or no-meat diet is never recommended.

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