Feline Food and Nutrition

Your Cat’s Diet

Managing your cat’s weight can improve his or her health. Obesity can cause hypertension and predispose your cat to such conditions as diabetes, hepatic lipidosis and arthritis.

People Foods: Are They Safe?

Cats require ample protein and different nutrients than dogs, such as taurine (an essential amino acid), arachidonic acid (fatty acid), and pre-formed vitamin A (rather than beta-carotene), all of which are found only in meat. However, you should refrain from feeding your cat raw or cooked meat; raw meats may contain parasites and cooked meats tend to be high in fat.

Other foods to keep away from your cat:

  • Milk: Although some cats may safely tolerate milk, large intakes may cause diarrhea in cats that lack the enzyme lactase, which is necessary for dairy digestion.
  • Raw fish: A raw fish diet can lead to a deficiency of the vitamin thiamine, making your cat more likely to develop a total lack of appetite, general weakness, abnormal posture, and seizures. Thiamine deficiency also can lead to death.
  • Raw eggs: A diet high in raw eggs can increase a cat’s risk of biotin deficiency. Lack of the vitamin biotin may cause loss of hair, dermatitis, and poor growth.
  • Raw liver: Liver is high in vitamin A; too much vitamin A can be toxic to cats.
  • Chocolate: A favorite treat for many humans, chocolate is anything but sweet for cats. Under any circumstances, DO NOT let your cat eat chocolate. Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, both of which are toxic to cats and can produce fatal effects, even in tiny amounts.
  • Small, soft bones: Chicken or pork chop bones pose a serious choking threat and should never be given to cats.
  • Table scraps: Your dinner leftovers and discarded table scraps are not nutritionally complete or balanced foods for cats. If you can’t resist sneaking your cat an occasional bite, restrict this to less than 10 percent of your cat’s daily food intake.

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Yankee Hill Veterinary Hospital


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  • "We were in town visiting my grandmother and our dog had been dealing with an anal gland issue for a couple weeks. We had visited other vets (spent quite a bit of money) and she still wasn't healing. She looked to be getting worse so we called around a few other vets in the Lincoln area and was sort of brushed aside and told they were too busy with no suggestion as to where else to go. When we called Yankee Hill they were so sweet and accommodating. They let us bring her in right away."
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  • "If you want a caring professional veterinary hospital Yankee Hill is your place."

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