Opinions from the Karma Cat + Zen Dog Rescue Society
Look for foods that have a type of real chicken, turkey, duck, or fish as the first ingredient … and avoid foods that have corn, wheat or “by products” listed as any of the ingredients. The better the food ingredients, the healthier the cat – and the less you’ll actually have to feed them. A lot of food is filled with fillers – with better food, it will also usually lead to a cleaner litter box (less poop!).
Just take some time to read the labels and you’ll notice the difference between the brands that use real food and those that use fillers. Why do the cats like the food that is mostly fillers? Because of the taste additives … think of it like candy: tasty, but not very nutritious.
The good stuff will be a little more expensive but you won’t have to feed as much as with the lesser kinds. Keeping your cat lean will extend his/her kitty life.
To use wet or not? We think that giving wet food each day is good for your cat. It is more natural for cats to lap or lick their food – rather than crunching. In the wild, it would be rare to find a bowl of crunchy foods. Additionally, cats are not known for their love of water and this can sometimes translate into not drinking enough. Giving wet food (even adding a tiny bit of water to it) will keep your cat hydrated as well.
Kittens: feed kitten food until they are about 6 months old. Have dry food out all the time and feed wet food once or twice a day after they are 8 weeks old (four or more smaller feedings a day for baby kittens and/or underweight kittens).
Lysine: is a supplement you can add to cat food – it can help keep their immune systems in good order. Give about 250 mg L-Lysine to adult cats up to twice a day, and about 100 mg L-Lysine to kittens up to twice a day. Buy the powder specifically made for cats online or the generic version at a human health food or vitamin store.
There has been a lot of dialogue lately about what litter is best. This is a personal choice that has to work for your home as well as your cat(s).
One of the more natural litters is best for all cats (even baby kittens): World’s Best Cat (WBC) Litter or Swheat Scoop. We have found that the World’s Best Cat Litter really lives up to its name: traps odors, clumps well, minimal dust, and it lasts MUCH longer than the clumping clay litters. Kittens under 8 weeks should never use clumping litter.
It is best for the cats to use unscented litters however we have found the lavender-scented WBC litter to work just fine. Cats have a very, very strong sense of smell and the scented litters can overwhelm them. Lavender, however, is a calming scent. Adding some baking soda to the litter will help combat odors. Scooping at least once a day is also critical.
Guidelines for the number of litter boxes needed:
- 1 litter box per cat plus 1 extra or 1 per floor plus 1 extra
- The more litter boxes, the cleaner they all will be … for the cat(s) and for you.
- Completely empty and wash the litter boxes about once per month. Use soap and water to scrub the boxes – avoiding harsh chemicals that can etch the plastic or leave residual odors behind.
- Placing a plastic mat under the litter boxes can help contain any messes – liquid or solid. Occasionally, cats have been known to just plain “miss”. If this becomes a habit, make sure that there are no health issues going on. Urinating outside of the box can sometimes be an indicator of a urinary tract infection and/or kidney stones.
We do not work for any company listed and we are not veterinarians … we are just cat lovers.