What Do Cats Eat And Drink In The Wild?

When cats are in the wild, they usually follow a particular eating habit where they feed on small amounts of food throughout the day.

cat-wild-eating-huntingAll animals living in the wild believe that food is the ultimate survival resource. When it comes to cats, this fact is evident because they have to hunt in order to feed and live. According to animal experts (who have studied about wild cats for long), these animals feed on a variety of different item depending on the geographical location.

With that being said, this post will go ahead to highlight what cats eat and drink while in the wild.

Small rodents and birds

According to research conducted by scientists who have examined the faces and stomach contents of most wild cats, these feline friends mostly feed on small rodents such as mice, rats, hares and rabbits as well as small birds such as sparrows and robins. According to deeper research, cats also feed on larger prey such as moles, squirrels and bats. When a cat is hunting in the wild, the degree of success is impacted by the level of experience, the body size/mass, the season and the availability of prey.

Insects and reptiles

Although this may appear somewhat insignificant, the truth is that most cats feed on insects and reptiles in large quantities in order to get full. Insects such as spiders, grasshoppers, cockroaches and lizards come with essential nutrients that are not found in any cat foods sold locally.

Puddle water

Cats are very interesting creatures. Since they’re known to be wild creatures, cats mostly search for water which has accumulated in potholes, manholes and small puddles around the garden. The reason why cats enjoy drinking natural water over “processed” tap water is due to their sensitive sense of smell which detects water preservatives such as chlorine and fluorine. A cat’s sense of smell is 14 times higher than humans meaning the water that seams odorless to us is quite irritating to cats on the other hand.

Cats eat fresh prey

Similar to the rest of the feline family, cats also feed on fresh prey which they’ve hunted by themselves. This principle classifies cats among the cleanest animals in the wild. To add on this, cats usually consume the entire prey they’ve hunted such as skin, feathers, organs and bones. Something else you need to know about the feeding habits of cats in the wild is that they don’t eat plants such as grains, vegetables or fruits. This means that when feeding your cat, you have to avoid adding large amounts of grains and plant substances to their meals.

Final thoughts 

Cats enjoy feeding alone while in the wild. Quite different to how we treat them, cats mostly hunt and feed 10-15 times a day. When it comes to drinking water, cats prefer drinking natural rain water which has accumulated in small pools around the garden.

 

Does Your Cat Have a Sensitive Stomach?

There’s a fine line between being a picky little brat that has gotten used to being hand-fed by its owners and being a cat that can’t tolerate certain foods because of a sensitive stomach. For most people, the difference between the two is not easily noticeable, but there are certain behaviors that should make you ponder.

meow-i-was-sick-a-few-days-beforeLike people, cats can suffer from gastrointestinal and digestive disorders. If digestion or absorption of food is reduced or its passage through the digestive tract is altered, your feline friend is most probably suffering from a digestive disorder. They are quite common and most clear up within a few days. However some cats need long-term management due to regular or permanent digestive issues. Dehydration, malnutrition and acid-base and electrolyte imbalances are consequences that need to be dealt with efficiently, so it is essential that you recognize the signs and consult with your veterinarian.

Most often, the signs of these afflictions are soft stools and diarrhea, but you should also check for other possible symptoms such as vomiting, change in appetite, weight loss, abdominal pain, flatulence, diarrhea/constipation, regurgitation, blood or mucus in the feces or weakness.

It’s best not to delay diagnosis, because when a gastrointestinal disease becomes chronic it can be a debilitating problem for your cats and testing and a thorough diagnosis from the vet will be required. In simple cases of a sensitive stomach, the situation can easily improve by checking the source of the problem.meow-connection-hairballs.jpg


Spoiled or questionable food
could have provoked any of the aforementioned symptoms. Even hairballs are often at fault, in which case giving your cat a specialized “hairball formula” cat food is recommended.

Milk or dairy products can also be the cause of a sensitive stomach in your cat. While cats might be fond of the taste, you should remember that they often lack the ability to digest dairy products properly and they are often considered human foods that could be dangerous to animals.

Feeding your cat according to package directions might seem extreme to some, but it is ultimately a wise decision as eating too much can upset a cat’s digestion. You should also keep in mind that any change in nutrition can irritate your cat’s system.

Switching your cat’s food should be done slowly by gradually mixing greater and greater proportions of the new food with the old one.

Cats that eat fast also swallow a lot of air. By dividing big meals into smaller portions, fed throughout the day, you could easily solve this problem!

Lastly, always feed your cat a nutritious, high-quality food! It’s not just about the taste, it’s also the fact that food made with low-quality ingredients cannot be easily digested by cats.

Be mindful when dealing with these issues and remember to confirm with your vet whether it is a simple and easily treatable problem or a serious health issue!

 

Wet vs Dry Cat Food

With so many sources, legitimate or less so, telling us what and how to feed our pets, the perfect feeding regime for your cat has lately transformed into an overly complicated bachelor thesis instead of a routine task. In the past, feeding your cat seemed a much simpler and easier activity and, even now, owners are tempted to keep old practices alive, but for those who prefer commercialized products it is hard to decide what to buy.

There are many healthy foods humans can consume that your cat should avoid at all costs, leaving most of us with little to no alternative than sticking to pet shop and veterinary approved cat food. There are several brands on the market, so picking just one will always be hard to do, but if we take into consideration that there are mainly just two types of food promoted by each brand, it won’t be so difficult to decide. In the end, it all comes down to “wet” or “dry” cat food.

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Wet vs Dry Cat Food – Which is the Best Choice?

Most cats seem to be more attracted to consuming wet food, which is more similar to how food used to be when they lived in the wild, after all. The perks with this type of cat food are also closely related to maintaining a good health condition for your pet. Many cats do not drink as much water as they should and wet food ensures that they are hydrated, not only well fed. It is also easier for pets that have missing teeth or jaw problems to consume wet food than dry food.

On the other hand, wet food may be more expensive than dry food and it is bought in smaller amounts at a time. Storing it in the fridge might ensure it is edible and fresh for a longer period of time, but try to avoid doing this too often since some cats hate eating cold meat or cold products in general. It is best to serve them food at room temperature.

On this note, if you do decide to give your cat wet food, be careful when buying canned wet food. The bigger the quantity, the harder it will be to ensure fresh food for your cat! As with humans, canned foods are better eaten as soon as you open the can and storing it for too long is not recommended, even if you improvise something to cover the can after having already opened it.

Dry food might not be as appealing to your cat as other types of food, but it is generally easy to store and presents less risks in ending up spoiled or inedible for your pet. There is however the issue of lower levels of animal based proteins which are found in dry kibble. This is important for your pet’s development and should be a priority when choosing the type of foods you provide them.

In the end, it’s best to balance out the two! Find a brand of cat food within a price range you can afford and make sure to offer your cat a diverse meal every day!

 

Human Food that is Harmful to Cats

All pets have a tendency to steal a treat or two when you’re not watching and cats are no exception to the rule. Whether it is accidental or of your own accord, feeding your cat certain foods that you consume on a regular basis without any problem might turn out to have the opposite effect on your pet! There is a long list of edible products for humans that can even turn out to be fatal, not only harmful for cats!

As absurd as the chances of your cat consuming alcohol may be, your cat’s health is in great peril once she ingests even a single spoonful of it. This substance is known to cause severe liver and brain damage for our furry companions and you should take extra care not to leave any of it in your pet’s proximity! The higher the quantity, the higher the risks: coma and even death can result from such an experience!

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Chocolate is TOXIC to cats!

Your desire to offer your cat something sweet might be well intended, but it can have severe repercussions on its health! Giving chocolate to your cat is a definite NO! Besides caffeine, chocolate also contains a substance called theobromine, which could lead to heart problems, muscle tremors or seizures.

An unusual and generally unexpected risk is generated by dairy products. Most cats are lactose-intolerant and consuming milk or any other dairy product can cause diarrhea and other digestive problems for your pet. The main reason is that cats’ digestive systems are not capable of processing these substances.

Tuna is generally a cat’s favorite dish, but tuna prepared for humans compared to that especially made for cats can produce malnutrition or even mercury poisoning.

Take out some raw meat out of the fridge and your cat will come running from a mile away after catching a whiff of it! Unfortunately, there are many cases in which your cat might end up with food poisoning as many raw meats and fish contain bacteria. In addition, serious neurological problems, convulsions and coma can results from a lack of thiamine, which is an essential B vitamin that is destroyed by a certain enzyme contained by raw fish!

Second only to fish, liver is another black listed product for your cat. While small quantities might be inoffensive, regular or excessive consumption can produce vitamin A toxicity. From deformed bones, bone growths on the elbows and spine and osteoporosis to death, this ailment is not a joking matter when it comes to your cat’s health!

Not as likely to be consumed as other products might be, grapes and raisins are however risky. There are few reports of cats growing ill from eating them, yet kidney failure is a constant repercussion in dogs who have consumed grapes, so it would be best to avoid them altogether!

It is very tempting for humans to share their food with their beloved pets, but in case you forget to avoid the aforementioned products and end up feeding your cat any of them, pay attention to any changes in its health and report to your veterinarian as soon as a negative reaction appears!