The right diet is really important for your cat. It’ll help keep them happy and healthy. The diet they need will vary depending on their age and we recommend feeding cats dependent on their life stage.
Obesity is a growing problem for the UK’s pets. We see lots of overweight cats every year which can cause lots of health problems they otherwise might not get. Keeping a close eye on your cat’s diet will help keep them at their ideal weight. You may find regular weighing of your cat will be useful in keeping your cat’s weight in check. You can read advice about obesity in cats on our PetWise Pet Health Hub.
A Cat’s Diet
Cats are classed as ‘obligate carnivores’, meaning that they are strictly meat eaters. Their bodies need certain nutrients, which can only be found from animal meat as they are physically unable to make these essential nutrients themselves. An example of these are Taurine and Arginine, which are essential building blocks for your cat’s health. Without them, your cat could become extremely ill. Taurine deficiency can cause dangerous heart problems and eye issues that can lead to blindness.
The easiest way to make sure your cat is getting all the nutrients they need is to feed them a good quality, complete cat food. You can buy these from pet shops, vets, supermarkets or from our PDSA Pet Store.
Some people choose to feed their cat a raw diet - which comes with many health risks. Read our vets' advice on raw diets.
‘Life-stage feeding’ matches your cat’s diet to what they need at different ages and stages of development. As well as energy, cats need different levels of protein, vitamins and mineral content in their diet depending on where they are in their life. Food companies make food especially for these life stages.
A cat’s life stages for feeding are varied depending on food manufacturer, but this is a good guide:
- Kitten: 0-12 months
- Adult cat: between 1 and 7 years of age
- Senior cat: over 7 years of age
- Geriatric cat: over 11 years of age.