There are hundreds of thousands of cat food brands and formulas on the market today, which means choosing the best one for your cat can be quite the challenge. Only you and your veterinarian can decide what’s best for your cat, but it’s important to feed the proper diet. Sure, there are plenty of over-priced gimmick foods out there, but that doesn’t mean you should stick to the bare-bones grocery store brand if you can provide something healthier.
Just like with people, cats that eat an improper diet for too long will start to suffer dangerous and sometimes irreversible health issues. These are some of the most dangerous consequences:
#1 – Obesity
Obesity is a growing health problem in both cats and dogs. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be taken as seriously by owners as it should be. Obesity not only inhibits your cat from moving around in day to day life, it can exacerbate a multitude of other health problems. Obesity is also linked to osteoarthritis and other joint disorders, as well as Diabetes Mellitus. The issue doesn’t come from feeding too much food alone, however. Cats eating the wrong diet won’t be able to digest their food properly or might be getting too much of one nutrient and not enough of another. These factors can contribute to obesity and what your cat is eating should be taken into consideration as much as the amount of food eaten.
#2 – Urinary Crystals & Stones
Urinary stones and crystals happen for a variety of reasons, but diet has been seen to play a huge role in their appearance. These may or may not be related to a urinary tract infection, but either way they are often uncomfortable for your feline friend. There are various types of crystals and stones but a major part in the treatment of all of them includes a change in diet. In fact, there are special diets formulated for cats that have recurring urinary issues. This is because the acidity or alkalinity of the urine can make the problem worse. Balancing the pH level through diet is a major way to keep these issues at bay.
#3 – Allergic Reactions
While food allergies are not the most common allergies seen in cats, they do happen. If you notice your cat is showing severe skin issues, you might want to seek veterinary care for allergy testing. Cats can be allergic to any ingredient, so you’ll want to make sure that if your cat does have a food allergy, you avoid those ingredients at all costs. More often than not, you’ll want to find a specialized diet that’s made for cats with food allergies.
#4 – Gastrointestinal Upset
Just like people, the wrong diet will lead to an upset stomach. If your cat has prolonged vomiting or diarrhea (or both), you’ll want to seek veterinary attention right away. These two ailments are symptoms of a myriad of ailments, but they can also be caused by simply feeding your cat a diet that is poor quality or not ideal for your individual kitty’s needs.
#5 – Diabetes Mellitus
Cats can get Diabetes Mellitus just like people and it’s actually becoming more and more common as the obesity rates rise. Your cat’s diet has a lot to do with the diagnosis and management of Diabetes Mellitus so you’ll want to work closely with your veterinarian to determine what’s best for your feline friend. When left untreated, Diabetes Mellitus is fatal. Make sure your cat is not eating too many sugar carbohydrates such as grains and potatoes and stick to more nutritional ingredients in your cat’s food.
#6 – Immunosuppression
With a poor diet comes poor health overall as can be seen in any animal, including humans. Immunosuppression is the weakening of your immune system, and this will happen to cats overtime if they are constantly eating poor quality food. There have been some studies that suggests most, if not all, commercially prepared pet foods contain mycotoxins that act as immunosuppressants in the body, but as long as you have regular check-ups with your veterinarian, your cat should be fine on a high-quality food.
#7 – Nutritional Imbalances
Nutritional needs are relatively the same among all domestic cats, but they can vary individually as well. Poor-quality cat food is notorious for being full of unnecessary carbohydrates and have minimal nutrients. This leads to your cat feeling full but not being nutritionally satisfied. This is where you’ll find your obesity, Diabetes, immunosuppression and more come into play. Feed your cat a properly balanced, high-quality diet, and you’ll see them shine – literally! A cat that’s getting quality nutrition is going to be alert and active with a glowing, soft coat.