Cats are among the most popular pets in the United States. There are more than 80 million pet cats in the country. However, many cat owners do not know a great deal about their pets. For example, a cat owner might wonder, “What do cats eat?” By learning more about cats and their digestive systems, pet owners can take better care of their furry companions.
Cats, like their wild cousins, are referred to as obligate carnivores. This means that, unlike humans, cats must have meat to be healthy. Cats should never be fed purely vegetarian diets. They will not get all of the nutrients that they need, which can cause many health problems.
However, this does not mean that cats are incapable of eating vegetables or other plant matter. Many pet owners have noticed their cats chewing on the grass when they are outside. Cats often like to do this to increase the amount of roughage in their diet and improve their digestion.
Cats may also eat grass to make themselves throw up. For example, if they have a hair ball, eating some grass can make it easier to get rid of the obstruction. It is also possible that eating grass helps to soothe a cat that has a sore throat.
In the wild, of course, cats primarily feed on the small animals that they catch while hunting. These are most commonly small rodents, such as mice or voles, small birds, fish, or even reptiles and amphibians. House cats may occasionally catch prey while they are outside, but they primarily eat food provided for them by their owners.
Knowing what do cats eat makes it easier to provide proper nutrition to a pet. The two main types of cat food that are available are wet food and dry food. Different cats may prefer different types. Some cats will refuse to eat wet food, others may reject dry food, and some will eat whatever they are presented with.
Cats that are having particular health problems may require specially-formulated prescription food. For example, a cat that is suffering from a urinary tract infection may need a special cat food to help the infection clear up. Cats with diabetes will also need prescription cat food.
Cats can also be fed a certain amount of raw food. This meat should be fresh and suitable for human consumption. Some meat that is classified as “pet grade” can contain preservatives that are dangerous for cats and other smaller animals.
Cats can also be given raw bones to improve their dental health. Make sure that the bones are not too small to be swallowed, so that the cat does not choke on them. A cat should always be supervised while it is eating raw bones.
Feeding a cat properly ensures that it gets all of the nutrition it needs to live a long and happy life. Being able to answer the question, “What do cats eat?” helps pet owners take good care of their cats for many years to come.