What is the Best Diet for a Pregnant Cat?
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When we welcome a pet into our home, we know that one of our primary responsibilities as owners is to offer them adequate food to ensure they enjoy a good quality of life. However, diet is not static: nutritional intake must always be adapted to our pet's different life stages.
One of the possible stages in a female cat is pregnancy. Of course, the cat's nutritional requirements will be higher during that time. In order to help you feed your cat as well as possible, in this AnimalWised article we'll discuss what is the best diet for a pregnant cat.
A pregnant cat's diet and weight
If you don't want to take responsibility for a cat's pregnancy and her future kittens, it is always best to neuter her. Once your cat gets pregnant, it is your duty to ensure the proper care of the kittens, including finding them a good home if you can't care for them yourself.
Here you can learn more about contraception methods for cats if you have any doubts on the subject. We can't stress this enough, as animal abandonment figures are critical and unplanned reproduction makes them even worse.
That being said, once your cat is pregnant you must take into account her previous body weight. During pregnancy and after delivery your cat will present increased nutritional requirements,and the best way to ensure that her body has adequate fat reserves for pregnancy and lactation is that she has a normal weight before the pregnancy.
If your cat has had a normal weight throughout her life, the proportion of body fat will be more easily balanced during the process. If you want to breed your cat deliberately, you must ensure she's not overweight or underweight before even considering a mate.
What are the nutritional requirements of a pregnant cat?
During pregnancy, a cat's body must have enough energy to ensure the proper fetal development of the kittens. A pregnant cat needs an additional supply of energy, that is, of calories, which should be increased primarily through animal protein.
It is also important to increase her fat reserves in order to prepare for lactation. Unlike what happens during a dog's pregnancy, a cat will find it very difficult to keep a percentage of body fat close to the 25% required for milk production. Therefore, the cat food supplied during pregnancy should ensure a higher fat intake.
A pregnant cat also needs an extraordinary contribution of calcium, an important mineral for the fetal development of the kittens. When you look for feed to sustain the best diet for a pregnant cat, make sure it has a high percentage of calcium.
What is the best food for a pregnant cat?
The best way to give your cat all the nutrients she needs during pregnancy is to offer her dry feed for kittens since this type of food contains a high energy content and very important nutrients for development, and is therefore the best diet for a pregnant cat. Obviously, the transition to this type of feed must be gradual to avoid any digestive discomfort.
Dry feed for kittens not only serves the important function of meeting the cat's nutritional requirements during pregnancy: when the kittens are weaned, they will eat the dry feed instinctively and be easily initiated to the feed that they need.
How much food does a pregnant cat need?
A pregnant cat should be fed with the ad libitum method, that is, she should always have available food, and she must be able to eat as much as she wants, without any restriction.
This approach will ensure enough body fat is gained during pregnancy. However, at the end of the gestation you will observe that the cat's appetite decreases. Don't worry - this is normal, and it is the result of the growing uterus pressing on the stomach cavity.
During pregnancy, your cat should go to the vet for regular check ups and to monitor the status of the cat and kittens. Now that you know what is the best diet for pregnant cats, don't miss the following articles on other life stages:
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