Keep your cat happy and healthy by following our nutritional guide

To keep your cat happy and healthy you need to provide them with a well-balanced diet that meets their energy and nutrient requirements. Follow the tips below to learn how to provide your cat with the best nutritional care possible.

1. Know your cat’s dietary requirements 

Cats are carnivores, so their diets need to consist of high quantities of animal proteins and fats. It is important to feed your cat a high-quality, premium commercial food that is appropriate for their life stage and health status. Your cat’s nutritional requirements will change over the course of their life, so be sure to identify what life stage your cat is at and feed them appropriately. If your cat is affected by certain diseases or illnesses, an appropriate therapeutic diet prescribed by your veterinarian can help control symptoms and delay progression. It is important to remember that every cat is different and, therefore, you should seek veterinary advice on the ideal diet for your cat, particularly if your cat has medical problems, special dietary needs or has a sensitivity to any foods.

As well as providing a balanced diet, ensure your cat always has access to clean water. You may notice that the amount of water your cat drinks changes depending on their diet, this is because cats get some of their daily water intake from wet food, so cats solely on a dry food diet will generally drink more water

2. Provide a varied and stimulating diet 

Mealtime is a great opportunity to provide your cat with stimulation, which is beneficial for their overall welfare. Try providing your cat with food enrichment toys, a variety of high-quality wet and dry food and dental chews (if compatible with the cat's medical needs). Providing wet foods regularly in your cat’s diet also ensures adequate water intake and can help maintain a healthy urinary tract .  

Cat Hack: Is your cat a fussy eater? 
You can tempt your cat to eat by slightly warming food, offering foods that are tasty or have a strong odour and by slowing integrating a variety of new and different quality foods into their diet. 

3. Avoid problem foods 

It is not recommended that you give your cat bones as they can break teeth and cause constipation and intestinal problems. Cooked bones are especially problematic as they can splinter causing potentially fatal internal damage and blockage. Raw bones and meat also carry bacteria that can make both animals and human’s sick, and so are best avoided. Veterinary approved dental foods and chews are a good alternative to raw bones to provide your cat with entertainment and assist with tooth cleaning. Do not give your cat milk, as many cats are lactose intolerant and will get intestinal upset and diarrhoea. 

Avoid giving your cat human food as it can cause illness. In particular avoid giving your cat: 

  • avocado
  • chocolate
  • coffee
  • cooked bones
  • cooked manufactured meat
  • garlic
  • grapes
  • milk
  • nuts
  • onions
  • sausages and sausage meat


4. Provide small frequent meals 

Your cat should ideally be offered small portions of food at least 4-5 times a day as this is more consistent with a cat’s natural feeding pattern. Providing small meals throughout the day makes feeding time more interesting and fun and may increase activity, help prevent obesity, and is associated with greater urinary tract health. 

Cat hack:

Providing opportunities for your cats to exert effort and search for their food will help keep your cat entertained and active. Trying using things such as timed feeders, puzzle feeders or varying the location of feeding. 

Interested in learning how to provide the best quality of care for your cat so that they can thrive?

Read about best practice in cat welfare, health, environment, and behaviour.

*These tips were compiled from resources by RSPCA and SPCA.

Read SPCA's website Keeping Your Cat Safe and Happy at Home for more paw-some tips.