Educational Articles

Cats + Nutrition

  • Since we want the best for our pets, we should include them in the go green movement. Here are a few ways you can create a cleaner, greener home for you and your pet.

  • A cat that is not wanting to eat or is not eating, is a cat who has a potentially life-threatening medical condition. Many conditions can lead to the inability of your cat to eat or for your cat to lose her appetite completely. It is important to find the underlying cause so that an appropriate treatment plan can be created. Appetite stimulants may be prescribed and in some cases a feeding tube may be placed by your veterinarian. Decreased food intake or any change in eating habits warrants investigation by your veterinarian.

  • Approximately 20% of cats across all ages suffer from painful osteoarthritis in one or more joints. The incidence of osteoarthritis increases with age. Because cats are living longer, it is more likely than ever that every cat owner will face the issue of osteoarthritis at some point.

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM), and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stand united in their position that feeding raw food to cats is potentially dangerous to both the cat and to you. In the most recent study conducted, nearly 25% of the raw food samples tested positive for harmful bacteria, including Salmonella ssp. and Listeria monocytogenes.

  • When the digestive tract is upset, vomiting and diarrhea may result. Since the causes of these symptoms are varied, it’s best to consult a veterinarian. Often, a bland diet is recommended to rest the digestive tract and to decrease vomiting and diarrhea. Bland diets consist of a single easily digestible protein source and a simple carbohydrate. Pet owners may prepare bland diets at home or choose one of the many commercially available diets.

  • Pet owners may not realize that caffeine can be harmful to their pets. They also may not know that many foods and drinks in their cupboards contain caffeine. This particular chemical boost can be toxic for them.

  • Treats are a great way to bond with your cat but can be a major contributor to obesity. Treats should be no more than 5-10% of your cat’s caloric intake as they add calories, and in greater quantities, can create a nutritional imbalance. Excellent treats that are low calorie and satisfying are vegetables such as green beans, broccoli, and cauliflower as well as air-popped popcorn. Many homemade treat recipes can be found on the internet but be sure that these are not too high in calories or contain inappropriate ingredients for your individual cat. Check the recipe with your veterinarian before having your cat taste test them!

  • The general condition of your cat's skin and coat are good indicators of her health. A healthy coat should be shiny and smooth, not brittle or coarse, and healthy skin should be supple and clear, not greasy, flaky, or bumpy. Selective breeding has led to the development of cats with a myriad of different coat characteristics requiring varying grooming needs. In order to maintain the skin and hair in a healthy state, your cat also requires a properly balanced diet.

  • Critical care patients in the hospital can often become malnourished which can delay healing and recovery. Wound healing and tissue repair are intimately interrelated with nutrition. In a hospitalized critical care patient receiving inadequate nutrition, normal cellular metabolic activities are disrupted which can lead to problems with medications; either with inadequate drug activity or creating a relative overdose if drug elimination is slowed. If a cat is not eating well on their own, one of various types of feeding tubes can be placed to help the cat receive adequate nutrition.

  • Cat food labels can certainly be confusing to interpret. In the United States, the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) has developed model laws and regulations that states use for animal feeds. In Canada, pet food labeling guidelines are regulated by the Consumer Packaging and Labeling Act administered by Industry Canada. The Canadian government's Competition Bureau also has an extensive working group that upholds a voluntary code of conduct for the labeling and advertising of pet food. The most important information when comparing one dog food to another is the guaranteed analysis. Ingredient lists are somewhat useful when evaluating a particular cat food, but it is important to recognize the limitations. Talk to you veterinarian about the ingredient list and nutrient profile to help choose the diet that is right for your cat.

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