As we mentioned in the previous topic in this category, there is three kinds of diets for cats. For the first type which is homemade diet you can refer to Persian cat diets – Homemade food & Food warning. Now we want to discuss about two other diets include commercial and special diets.
1. Commercial diets
Pet food reputable companies have been doing research for decades to scientifically develop a complete and balanced diets that meets AAFCO – Association of American Feed Control Officials – standards and provide safe and healthy animal foods.
The main features of a good commercial food are the digestibility and the protein amount. It is obvious the higher the price, the greater the protein content and more highly digestible which is a measure of how efficiently the nutrients in a food are absorbed and metabolized.
There are two type of commercial cat foods include dry food and in cans.
– The dry food
Cats usually like this kind of food, because it is like a crunchy and encourage them to grasp and chew the food and also help them to keep their teeth clean and help reduce the occurrence of hair balls.
The ingredients of dry commercial food cover the intestinal health, required blended soluble and insoluble fibers, prebiotics, beet pulp and flavor of Persian cats. These kinds of foods usually contain a generous dose of Omega 6 fatty acids to help with maintaining a shiny and healthy coat of hair on the Persian cat and also fortified with L-Carnitine, an important nutrient for breaking down fat and turning it to energy and maintaining good liver function as they grow older.
But an exclusive diet of dry food can lead to health problems, particularly for male cats because they contain unnecessary carbohydrate which causes indigestion, blockages and urinary tract disease.
If you are feeding your Persian cats with dry food, you have to be sure that they are drinking more water to avoid becoming dehydrated and developing kidney disease.
– Canned or wet food
Canned or wet food ingredients are the same with dry food include the optimal protein and fat content, L-Carnitine, corn, wheat, soy or artificial preservatives. However, they contain fewer carbohydrates, grain free and has high water content which ensures water intake of your persian cat and lead to her general health especially kidney and urinary tract health.
– Reading Pet Food Labels
It’s important to learn the basics of reading pet food labels which includes Ingredient, Guaranteed Analysis, Fatty Acid, Fiber, Magnesium, other mineral (ash) and feeding instruction. We will discuss about all these items in detail to help you choose the best food for your Persian cat.
✓ The Guaranteed Analysis will tell you about the ingredients. So, by considering this part you can find how much protein, crude protein, fat, fiber, nutrition levels, moisture, ash, magnesium, and taurine is in the food. “Crude” may seem like a term to specify the quality of the nutrient, but it just refers to the method of testing the product. Also, the guaranteed analysis provides a measure of the various nutrient categories; however it is not related to the quality of the ingredients such as digestibility or the overall quality of the food.
✓ The ingredients in the label are usually listed in the order of their weight, so the ingredients which come first are the heaviest. In a good commercial food protein source is listed first, and then listed again several times more in the first few ingredients. Protein is very important, because it can provide energy for your cat metabolism. The source of protein such as fish, chicken, beef, turkey, and etc. is not so important unless your cat has an allergy or intolerance to a specific protein. If you are looking for a food with a certain flavor to give your cats what they love, choose specifics over generics, such as “beef” instead of “meat.”
✓ If you see grain products listed several times in the first few ingredients, that means there could be more grain than meat in the food which is not so good for your Persian cat. Even if food is “grain-free,” it can still be loaded with carbs like potatoes and veggies. However, processed carbs can be utilized by cats as an excellent energy source and are not necessarily bad.
✓ To check the Guaranteed Analysis accurately, you have to consider that wet and dry foods use different standards. To compare the amount of ingredients in the wet and dry food, it is better to convert canned food to dry base. There is some sites that help you to convert these amount easily, however, there is simple calculation as follow:
Divide the reported amount of ingredient (for example 9% proteins) by the total amount of that ingredient in a dry food (for example 30% protein). Then, multiply the result by 100. Equal Dry Protein = (9/30) x 100 = 30%
✓ Only two fatty acids include linoleic and arachidonic are required for your cats. Fats are burned and convert to energy and help keep skin and coat of the Persian cats glossy and healthy.
✓ Fiber actually helps digestibility of your cat body by slowing down the transit of food through the intestines.
✓ The magnesium levels are important for urinary tract health, which is why they are listed separately. The other minerals called ash in cat food listed on the label collectively. By looking for a statement “[Name] is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles for [life stage(s)]”, you will be ensure that the food is formulated to meet minimum nutritional requirements in accordance with the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).
✓ Taurine is an amino acid which is a particular need of their diet; without sufficient taurine, cats come blind and also develop a potentially fatal heart disease. Because of this, all commercial cat foods are now supplemented with taurine. It is the main difference between cats and dogs foods. So, Do not forget that cats cannot survive on dog food.
✓ There will also be feeding instructions that tell you how much of the food to feed your cat. It is just a suggestion; you have to adjust the food portions considering some factors such as your individual cat’s weight, his body type, breed, his age and the energy he consumed.
✓ According to FDA guidelines, the word “natural” in the label means that none of the ingredients substituted with chemical ones. This kind of food shall have an official USDA label. However, buying the food with “holistic?” on the label is not recommended. Since it is an unknown and illegal term.
2. Special diets
– Hair ball
You have to feed your Persian cat a specific hairball formula with extra vitamins, especially Vitamin B to maintain their coats healthy, either as his regular food or as a side dish to help him eliminate hairballs in a way other than upchucking them. There are also some special food that your cat can eat to help prevent forming and clogging up of hairballs.
Persian cats are sensitive to food and have some special needs because of their snub noses and flat faces, and also their long hair coat. Generally, any high-quality food, dry and canned contain all necessary vitamins and supplements without cheap fillers and additives, is suitable for keeping your Persian in good health. Read the labels carefully according to the above instruction and choose the best foods which have the human-grade ingredients.
Kittens need extra protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals and also optimum nutrition during their rapid growth. Since kittens are so active and their bones and supporting tissue and muscle are also growing rapidly, they require more energy, extra nutritional support and extra protein which make you to buy a high quality canned food for kittens which also contain a high fat.
According to AAFCO Cat foods, two labels mentioned on the food labels, “All Life Stages” or “Adult Maintenance.” All Life Stages cat food is formulated to meet requirements for a growing kitten meaning that the food will likely be higher in calories, calcium and phosphorus, highly digestible natural proteins combined with an adapted fiber content and prebiotics with a number of tasty flavors, Complete and Balanced Nutrition, Satisfaction help to strengthen the health of the Persian kitten’s digestive system. The combination of Vitamins E, C, taurine, lutein and other antioxidants help your Persian cat to have a strong and healthy immune system.
– Senior cat
Like people, in older cats (over 12 ages) energy requirements go up and lean body mass goes down which make them gain more weight by eating more food because they are less active, so it is important to consider that the fat content should decrease while the protein and fiber content increase in their food. The important point is that the senior cats’ ability to digest fat is reduced gradually, and after a while the ability to digest protein is also reduced and they cannot absorb the nutrition like before as they grow older. Although cats don’t have cholesterol problems like humans. However, too much fat ends up obesity which is not good for their health. Do not forget that keeping a normal weight on your senior cat which proportion to its size; help him live a healthier life. If your cat has an unexplained weight loss, take her to the veterinarian at the earliest. According to the studies performed by scientists, some cats lose weight two years before a terminal event.
Most senior cat foods are not the true geriatric cat because they are formulated for middle-aged cats. In this case, if you can’t find a nutrient-dense food for seniors, buy a kitten food instead with low fat to supply the required amount of nutrients for your senior cat.
– Veterinary Diets
In some special occasion, when your Persian cat is suffered from a simple disease or a renal disease, diabetes, or cancer, he will need a special diet for a limited time or for the rest of the cat’s life to help him cope with a medical problem depending on the individual problem.
If your Persian does not like to eat this special diet, ask your veterinarian for a list of suggested alternatives. You have to be patient and present the new diet to her every day.
Persian cat metabolism like us responds to climate change and makes them to eat more or less depending on the weather. For example they may eat less on hot days or more in a cool evening or during the cold winter months. It is a common issue and there is no need to be worried about it. Just make sure your cat is maintaining his proper weight throughout the year.