When it comes to picking the best food for our cats, the choices can become overwhelming. There are more cat foods available on the market than ever before and between your friends, the internet and your veterinarian you’re probably confused on which one is best. Thankfully, there are a lot of very good foods out there so you have a lot of room to make the right choice. What’s best for one cat might not be for another, so making sure you have something that works well for the kitties in your home is important. If your cats are doing just fine, there’s really no reason to change their food. However, you might be noticing some signs and symptoms that mean your cats would do better on another diet. If you’re seeing anything like these, it’s a good idea to give another food a try.
#1 – Upset Stomach
One of the most obvious signs your cat’s food is not agreeing with their body is an upset stomach. Chronic vomiting or diarrhea should be checked by a veterinarian because there are so many causes, but don’t be surprised if it turns out you’re feeding a food that just doesn’t sit well. Some cats are more sensitive to ingredients than others, so you might have to work with your veterinarian to determine which ingredients are causing the upset stomach.
#2 – Dry, Dull Coat
Your cat should have a soft, luscious coat (or healthy down fuzz and skin if you’ve got a hairless kitty). There are natural oils that keep it shiny and smooth and the wrong food can deplete these oils. If your cat isn’t getting the right nutrients, you’re going to start to see it in their coat. Dry, flaky, rough and sparse coats are a sign that something is missing in your cat’s diet. Whether it’s a food they can’t digest well or a food of poor quality, you’re likely to see something going wrong with your cat’s coat.
#3 – Lethargy
When getting the right nutrition, your cat should be full of life and energy. All cats have different activity levels, but you should know what’s normal for your cat. If they seem a little lethargic, it might be that they aren’t getting what they need out of their diet. If you notice any sort of lethargy, you’ll want to consult your veterinarian to rule out other causes. But perhaps adding some antioxidants or other nutrition boosts will help your cat feel better.
#4 – Unhealthy Weight
More and more cats are becoming obese and this is often due to overfeeding. With foods a better quality than ever, we’re not needing to feed as much as we think we do to achieve adequate nutrition and healthy weights. Too much food might mean your cat needs to go on a diet. While trying less of the right food is best, you might need to switch to something with fewer calories. On the flip side, some cats have trouble keeping weight on and they might need more food and a food with higher calories to add on the needed pounds.
#5 – Itchiness
Food allergies are not extremely common in cats, but they also aren’t unheard of. If you notice your cat itching and scratching year round, you might want to consider whether their food has anything to do with it. Consult your veterinarian to rule out other causes, but also consider finding out if you cat has any food allergies. If they do, you can start avoiding the ingredients they’re allergic to and offer something that leaves them comfortable and nutritionally fulfilled.
Cover photo: Ross Funnell via Flickr.