What does the adult maintenance stage in cover nutritionally for cats?FamilyPet
Although your kitten may look like an adult cat when she’s about six months old, she’s still an adolescent and you shouldn’t switch to adult maintenance until she has become 12 months old.
Adult cats should eat enough of a high-quality, nutritious food to meet their energy needs and to maintain and repair body tissues. The amount you feed your adult cat should be based on her size and energy output. Activity levels vary dramatically between pets and will play an important role in determining caloric intake.
Diet is the cornerstone of a happy and healthy cat. Here are some guidelines on feeding your cat a healthy diet; however, you should also discuss this thoroughly with your veterinarian or pet nutritionist.
• Animal-based protein. An adult cat needs 25 to 30 percent protein and a kitten needs 30 percent. A named meat should be the first ingredient on the label.
• Taurine. Since cats can’t manufacturer this important amino acid through their bodies, they must get it in the diet, and taurine is only found in animal tissue.
• Fats: Fat is a concentrated energy source for cats, aids in the transport of nutrients; assists various body systems, including digestion, and protection against bacterial and viral invasion. Adult cats fare based on diets with 15 to 20 percent fat content and kittens need about 20 percent.
• Linoleic acid
• Arachidonic acid
• Carbohydrate. Another energy source, carbohydrates often provide fiber. However, cats cannot digest carbohydrates so they really aren’t needed.
• Vitamins and minerals: Tiny amounts of vitamins are essential to cats for normal metabolic functioning. Most vitamins cannot be synthesized in the body, and therefore are essential in the diet, but supplementation is not necessary unless suggested by a vet. In general, minerals are most important as structural constituents of bones and teeth, for maintaining fluid balance and for their involvement in many metabolic reactions. They must be provided in the diet.
• Water. The cats’ ancestor lived in the desert, so that probably explains why they aren’t thirst-driven, but dehydration is a medical emergency and it can happen very quickly. If your cat isn’t much of a water drinker, feed her a diet of canned or a combination canned/dry, because dried kibble just doesn’t have any moisture.