5 Feline Superfoods Your Cat Should be Eating Right Meow!
-By Caitlin Flegel, RVT
As a cat owner, I know first-hand how hard it can be to resist the head rubbing and insistent meows from my kitty during dinner time. And can you blame them? Our food must look and smell so much more appetizing to them then the same old kibble and wet food day in and day out. Unfortunately, feeding cats certain human foods, especially milk products, can spell disaster for both their gastrointestinal systems and our floors! Fortunately for Fluffy, not all human food is off limits. Check out our list of feline superfoods, you might even have them in your cupboard or fridge already!
This fall favourite is packed with fibre, vitamins A, C, & E as well as calcium and iron. The fibre in pumpkin is great for promoting a feeling of fullness and may help with weight control while the vitamins and minerals help boost the immune system and keep your cat’s skin and coat looking and feelings it’s best. Adult cats can be fed ½-1 teaspoon of cooked and pureed pumpkin daily. If feeding canned pumpkin, be sure to only choose 100% pumpkin with no added sugar, spices, or fillers.
With powerful antioxidants and UTI-fighting properties, cranberries pack a powerful nutritional punch for your cat. Cranberries contain special compounds called proanthocyanidins that have been shown to prevent E. Coli and other bacteria from sticking to inner walls of the urinary tract, preventing infection from occurring. In addition to these super compounds, cranberries also contain vitamins C, E, and K. While it is not recommended to feed your cat raw cranberry, there are many high-quality supplements Always be sure to talk to your veterinarian before adding new supplements to your cat’s diet.
If your cat is on a weight loss program and protesting their reduced portion sizes, I feel your pain! Cats can be downright miserable when they’re hungry, fortunately, grating zucchini on top of their food each morning can increase the staying power of their food. Zucchini’s high water content and fibre adds a lot of bulk without many added calories. Try finely grating 1-2 tablespoons on top of their food each day to promote fullness.
Kelp is widely considered the healthiest of all sea plants with its high levels of vitamins and trace minerals. If that isn’t enough, kelp is also an excellent source of dietary fibre, pantothenic acid, and magnesium. Kelp also has high levels of iodine, a key mineral for the thyroid gland. Because of the high levels of iodine in kelp, always follow the directions on the bag and consult your veterinarian before adding it to your cat’s diet.
While not a super food in the traditional sense, adding a teaspoon or two to your cat’s fresh water each day can help encourage your frisky feline to drink more water. Many cats are chronically dehydrated from not drinking enough water on a daily basis. Studies show 1 in 3 cats will have some type of kidney related disease in their lifetime and dehydration plays a role in the disease. Homemade broth is always best, but if you’re using store bought, always get low or no added salt. Alternately, you can add a few drops of the liquid inside cans of tuna, sardines, or clams. Be sure to change the water out after a couple hours and always keep separate bowls of plain, fresh water available.
Do you know of another Feline Superfood that should be on this list? Let us know in the comments below!