Strategies For Feeding Cats In Hot Weather

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As the temperatures rise, it’s important to pay special attention to your cat’s diet to keep them healthy and fit.

Just like us, cats can be affected by the heat, and suitable nutrition becomes crucial. They need more than just water to stay hydrated; they also need the right food that meets their nutritional needs.

In this article, we’ll explore strategies for feeding Kitty in hot weather, including choosing the right type of food and portion size.

Your Cat’s Nutritional Needs In Hot Weather

Like us, in hot weather, your cat needs extra fluids to stay hydrated. They also need help regulating their body temperature because they don’t have an efficient way of sweating.

High temperatures increase a cat’s need for fluids, causing them to pant more often, which can lead to decreased appetite and energy levels. In addition to providing more water for them in hot weather, they also require a diet that includes more protein, fat, and carbohydrates than usual.

Do Cats Lose Weight In Summer?

Can Cats Lose Weight In Summer

Your cat can potentially lose weight during the summer months, but it is not necessarily a direct result of the season itself. There are several related factors that can contribute to weight loss in cats during this time.

  • Excessive heat can cause cats to become lethargic and less inclined to eat.
  • They may also experience decreased appetite during hot weather due to reduced metabolic rate, so the need to eat is reduced.
  • Changes in feeding patterns can decrease your cat’s appetite as they get used to a new feeding regime. If you’re introducing your cat to more wet food, for example, make the change gradually and start in the spring before the heat hits.

If you notice significant or concerning weight loss, speak to your vet to rule out any underlying medical conditions or to discuss dietary adjustments.

The Right Food For Hot Weather

Choosing appropriate foods for your cat will help to provide the necessary support for them to cope with hot weather.

Read The Label

Look for low-sodium and low-fat cat foods that are high in quality protein and contain omega-3 fatty acids. This combination of nutrients will provide your pet with energy, help them maintain a healthy weight, support their skin, muscle maintenance and keep a shiny coat.

Stay away from foods that contain artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives which can be harmful to cats. When selecting a brand, check the label to ensure it meets AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) nutritional standards.

Consider Kitty’s Needs

Choose food that is specifically formulated to meet your cat’s specific needs, such as age or activity level.

If your cat is getting older or has put on extra pounds recently, switch them over to a senior-specific diet or discuss with a veterinarian what’s best for their dietary needs. Your vet may recommend extra care, such as offering fish oil or other supplements specifically formulated for cats.

Then again, kittens may require different nutrition from adult cats due to their rapid rate of growth.

Wet food is a great option as it is higher in moisture content and contains essential vitamins and minerals like calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6) folic acid (B9), biotin (H) vitamin C and A.

In addition to wet food you can incorporate homemade meals or treats into their diet which can give them the added nutrition they need while encouraging hydration during the summer heat.

Wet Cat Food vs Dry Cat Food

The Benefits Of Wet Food Over Dry Food

Opting for wet food over dry food for Kitty in hot weather can be significant when helping your cat feel more comfortable. I’ve had some cats who really love their dry food, so it’s still on the menu. But I also offer scrumptious wet food to tempt them.

  • Wet food is higher in moisture content than dry food, making it a great option to help Kitty stay hydrated.
  • Wet food is easier for them to digest than dry kibble.
  • Wet food contains fewer calories than dry food, which can help Kitty to conserve energy and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Good quality wet food contains more protein and other essential nutrients than dry food.
  • Some cats tend to prefer the taste and texture of wet food over dry food.

Disadvantages Of Wet Food Compared To Dry Food

Wet cat food has its disadvantages as well.

  • It’s generally more expensive than dry food.
  • Wet food can be messy.
  • Wet food is harder to store and keep fresh than dry cat food.
  • Some cats also don’t like the taste of wet food as much as dry.
  • Dry kibble is easier to serve than canned or semi-moist varieties, especially if you’re out most of the day. If you’re worried about Kitty not eating enough while you’re at work, you might consider an automatic cat feeder.

Avoid Overfeeding

In the warmer months, it is essential to be attentive to how much you are feeding your feline friend.

Cats need smaller meals during warm weather because they become less active, so portion sizes need to be smaller. Overfeeding can be quite damaging to a cat’s health, leading to obesity, diabetes, and even joint damage.

  • You can keep track of the amount of food consumed by your cat by weighing out what they eat each day.
  • If you can manage it, instead of giving them one large meal, consider providing several small meals throughout the day for better nutrition absorption.

Tempt Your Kitty With Homemade Meals Or Treats

If your cat is eating less than normal, try DIY meals and treats using cat-friendly ingredients like cooked chicken or fish. These tasty morsels provide a refreshing change and might encourage them to eat on hot days.

  • It’s a good idea to consult with a veterinarian about the nutritional requirements necessary for your pet’s specific breed and health condition(s).
  • When making homemade meals, provide a balanced diet of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals. Fresh ingredients are always preferable over processed foods.
  • When making homemade treats, such as smoothies or frozen treats, make sure that they have the same nutritional benefits as regular food.
  • Avoid adding extra salt, sugar or spices to meals and treats as these can be unhealthy for cats and cause stomach upset.
  • Ensure that you are only giving healthy treats that will not contribute to weight gain or other health issues such as diabetes or heart disease.
  • Incorporating raw fruits and vegetables into homemade meals can provide additional vitamins and minerals not found in store-bought brands. You could even give a small amount of watermelon a try, and see if Kitty approves.
  • It also allows you greater control over what goes into each meal and provides a way to tailor every meal towards your pet’s individual needs.
  • Introduce new foods gradually to give them a chance to get used to them and appreciate your cooking skills!

Don’t Feed Kitty From The Table

Dont feed your cat at the table

Avoid feeding your cat table scraps or other ‘people food” because these can contain high levels of salt and fat, which is unhealthy for Kitty. Some foods may also be toxic for cats so it’s best to avoid giving them anything other than their normal food or an occasional healthy homemade treat.

Avoid Offering Spoiled Cat Food

In hot weather, it’s more difficult to keep cat food fresh. If your cat is presented with dried out food that smells funny, do you think he or she would eat it? Would you?

It could be as easy as using a can cover specially designed for pet food to avoid spoiled cat food. Keeping the covered cans in the fridge will keep them moist for longer.

Conclusion

By following these simple steps, you can help keep your cat healthy and safe in hot weather by ensuring their diet supports them through the summer. Your kitty will show their appreciation by being a happy cat who gives lots of rubs.