How to Feed Multiple Cats with Differing Nutritional Needs
How to Feed Multiple Cats with Differing Nutritional Needs

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How to Feed Multiple Cats with Differing Nutritional Needs

The only thing better than owning a cat is owning more than one cat. While a multiple-cat household means additional snuggles and cuddles, it can also mean a little extra work when it comes to mealtime. Fear not! We’ve assembled this tasty buffet of tips to help make sure all your feline companions get the proper amount of food and nutrition.

 

Why Cats May Have Different Diets

Similar to their humans, cats’ diets vary for a number of reasons. First is personal preference. Some cats want dry food, others wet. Some like different flavors or to dine at a specific time. 

 

Other reasons your cats may require a more specific diet include life stage or lifestyle: 

  • Older cats appreciate food that’s softer and easier to digest. 
  • Kittens need bite-size meals that help build their growing muscles and immune systems. 
  • Overweight cats need food to help them manage their weight without sacrificing flavor or nutrition. 
  • Some cats may need to take prescribed medication with food. 

 

Now, how can you make sure each cat is eating the right food come suppertime?

 

6 Tasty Tips for Feeding Cats Different Diets

 

1. Take It Slow

Make any changes to your cats’ diets gradually over the course of several days. This will help reduce stomach issues or requests to “speak with the manager.”

 

schedule mealtimes

 

2. Schedule Mealtimes

Instead of setting up a 24-hour buffet, schedule regular times for dining. This helps ensure your cats are hungry when it’s time to eat and won’t steal from anyone else’s dish throughout the day.

lunch monitor

 

3. Be a Lunchroom Monitor

The best way to prevent fights over food or other eating issues is to keep an eye on your cats when you feed them. You’ll be certain everyone is getting a proper meal, and you’ll get some extra time to hang out together.

dining rooms

 

4. Separate Dining Rooms

Try feeding each cat in a different room, putting their food bowls far apart or separating eating spaces with a barrier like a baby gate, trash can or chair. 

mealtime level

 

5. Take Mealtime to a New Level

Another option is to put one cat’s meal on the floor and the other’s on a countertop. This works well if one of your cats is older or heavier and can’t make the leap.

patient positive

 

6. Stay Patient and Positive

Your furry friends might not take to these changes immediately, but kind words, your ongoing affection and judicious use of treats will go a long way toward having them accept a new mealtime routine.

 

dining rooms
 lunch monitor
mealtime level
patient positive
 schedule mealtimes
 take it slow
  • gray and white kitten licking lips ready to eat healthy cat food containing taurine
    gray and white kitten licking lips ready to eat healthy cat food containing taurine

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    The Importance of Taurine in Kitten and Cat Food

    Taurine is an important component found in all IAMS™ kitten and cat foods. This important amino acid is essential for cats of all ages, and critical for healthy development, normal heart muscle function, vision and reproduction. It even aids in digestion!

     

    Unlike other amino acids, taurine is found as a free amino acid in body tissues, such as the heart and eyes, and is not incorporated into proteins.

     

    Most mammals manufacture taurine from other amino acids, but cats and kittens need more than their bodies can produce and rely on their food to make up the difference. Pet food’s animal-based protein ingredients are natural taurine sources, and the amino acid can also be added to pet food recipes on its own.

     

    Why Does IAMS™ Add Taurine to Kitten and Cat Food? 

    All IAMS™ kitten and cat foods are formulated with high-quality animal-based proteins that are naturally rich in taurine as their primary ingredient. So why supplement these foods with additional taurine? Two reasons: natural variability and the production process.

     

    IAMS™ Dry Cat Food: The Natural Variability 

    IAMS™ dry cat and kitten foods include taurine to supplement each food’s primary source of the amino acid — an animal-based protein like chicken, egg, lamb or fish. These natural sources naturally vary in their nutrient content, so adding supplemental taurine helps ensure your cat or kitten is getting enough in their diet every day.

     

    IAMS™ Wet Cat Food: The Production Process 

    For wet food, the canning process itself may affect the complex taurine balance of the food. That means IAMS™ wet cat foods must contain more taurine, as much as twice the taurine found in dry food, to ensure cats are getting enough.

     

    black kitten and white kitten laying on each other under a blanket, relaxed and full on healthy cat food containing taurine

     

    Symptoms of Taurine Deficiency in Cats and Kittens

    Cats and kittens need their taurine! Kittens need taurine for healthy growth and development, and adult cats that don’t get enough taurine can develop serious health conditions. Low levels of taurine put your pet at risk for preventable health conditions that can become serious over time.

     

    Impaired Vision and Blindness 

    Taurine is essential to the proper development and ongoing health of feline eyes, particularly the retinas. Without enough taurine, retinal cells can’t function properly and may die, which can cause impaired vision and even blindness (a process called feline central retinal degeneration).

     

    Heart Disease 

    Taurine plays a key role in supporting cardiovascular health, too. A lack of taurine weakens the heart muscle, which, in turn, can lead to heart failure. This condition is known as dilated cardiomyopathy and can be fatal.

     

    Decreased Reproductive Performance and Growth 

    Optimal reproductive health and growth also rely on taurine to complete a number of important health processes. Maintaining adequate levels during pregnancy, nursing and early growth helps ensure proper structural development for kittens and wellness for the mother.

     

     

    Feeding your pet well is an important part of taking care of them. Learning the importance of ingredients like taurine is one way you can ensure you’re giving them exactly what their body needs. By giving your kitten a healthy start and understanding  their nutritional needs, you’re giving them the best shot at a long, healthy and happy future. Your cat would thank you if they could!

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