Summer is here, and just like humans, cats need to stay cool and hydrated during the hot months. The right foods can help keep your cat healthy and comfortable, while the wrong ones can cause dehydration and other health issues. So, take a note of these following suggestions and be mindful of what food you serve your cat to make them stay hydrated and healthy this summer.
1. Wet Food
One of the best ways to keep your cat hydrated during the summer is by feeding them wet food. Wet food contains more moisture than dry food, which can help your cat stay hydrated and cool. According to a study published in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, cats who were fed wet food had a higher water intake and urine output than those who were fed dry food. "Feeding your cat wet food during the summer months can help keep them hydrated and reduce the risk of urinary tract problems (Dr. Jane Brunt, Executive Director of the CATalyst Council)".
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for your cat's skin and coat health. During summer, your cat's skin can become dry and itchy due to increased exposure to the sun. Fish, a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids can help keep your cat's coat healthy and shiny. According to a study published in the Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition, cats who were fed a diet rich in fish had a lower incidence of skin disorders and a higher skin barrier function.
Chicken is a lean protein source that can help keep your cat's muscles strong and healthy. According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, cats who were fed a diet high in protein had a higher muscle mass and a lower body fat percentage. According to a veterinary nutritionist, feeding cat a diet high in protein can help keep them lean and healthy during the summer months, while also providing them with essential nutrients."
4. Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables can provide your cat with essential vitamins and minerals, while also helping to keep them hydrated. Some good options include watermelon, cucumber, and berries. As these berries and fruits have antioxidants in them, it immediately hydrates cats internally and replenish the skin of cats. However, it's important to note that not all fruits and vegetables are safe for cats to eat as some of them may be have cyanide content which affects the feline’s health. Always check with your vet and provide only valid fruits. Avoid giving your cat grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, and avocado, as these are believed to be harmful to cats.
5. Limited Treats & Carbohydrates
Treats are a great way to reward your cat, but it is important to limit them during summer. According to Dr. Larsen, "Too many treats can lead to weight gain and other health problems." Instead, you can provide your cat with berries and wet foods. Additionally, as cats are obligate carnivores, they require a diet that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates. During summer, it is essential to limit the carbohydrates in your cat's diet, as they can contribute to weight gain and other health issues.
Feeding your cats the right foods during the summer months can help keep them healthy and comfortable. However, always consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your cat's diet, and ensure that any new foods are introduced gradually. Moreover, don’t forget to keep water to their reach and refill their bowl regularly so that they are hydrated throughout the day. With the right nutrition and care, you can ensure that your feline friend stays healthy and happy all summer long.
- Farrow, H. A., et al. "The effect of feeding wet food on water intake and urine output in cats." Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery 11.8 (2009): 642-646.
- Scherk, M., et al. "Nutritional strategies for the aging cat." Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery 16.7 (2014): 581-588.
- Kim, Y., Morris, J. G., & Rogers, Q. R. (2005). Dietary protein and amino acid requirements of cats revisited. Journal of animal physiology and animal nutrition, 89(7-8), 209-220.
- Rees, C. A., Bauer, J. E., & Burkholder, W. J. (2004). Effects of dietary fish oil on cutaneous miliary dermatitis in cats. Veterinary dermatology, 15(4), 198-204.
- Witzel, A. L. (2013). Fruits and vegetables for cats. Compendium on continuing education for the practicing veterinarian, 35(2), E2.
- Larsen, Jennifer. "The Obligate Carnivore." Veterinary Practice News, 15 March 2013, www.veterinarypracticenews.com/the-obligate-carnivore.