· By Veronika Broukal
Mixed feeding for cats
Mixed feeding is the most common way to feed cats. But what does this term actually mean, and how does healthy mixed feeding work? And what advantages does it offer?
What is mixed feeding and what are its benefits?
As the name suggests, mixed feeding means a mix of wet and dry food. Many owners provide their pet with dry food on a permanent basis, adding wet food daily. This approach has many advantages. Because while dry food has a high energy density, wet food is relatively low in calories due to its high water content. This means that you can cover the energy requirement more quickly with mixed feeding, i.e. only with wet food. However, it is not advisable for every cat to offer their dry food ad libitum, i.e. permanently. Some animals are more susceptible to obesity due to various factors, so that an exact ration calculation is necessary for them.
What are the disadvantages of mixed feeding?
For some owners, wet food seems impractical as opposed to dry food. After all, it takes up more space and must be stored in the refrigerator after opening. At this point it should be mentioned that cats should never be given food that has a low temperature. Food that is far too cold can be harmful to your pets stomach in the long run. It is best to take the pack out of the fridge half an hour before feeding to bring it to room temperature. When feeding my own cats, I go one step further myself: just before feeding, I pour some warm water into the bowl. In this way, the food is additionally heated and my cats drink even more liquid. Even if feeding wet food requires a little more effort, its advantages outweigh the disadvantages. It provides your cat with liquid. This is immensely important to protect your cat from diseases such as the kidney. A downside to mixed feeding is the extra calories your cat consumes. So of course you have to be careful to adjust the rations of the two products accordingly.
How does mixed feeding work?
In order to calculate how much to feed your cat, you first need to know your cat's calorie needs. There are two methods for doing this: First, you can simply pay attention to the manufacturer's feeding instructions, and second, you can calculate it yourself. The formula for this is as follows: 418 kJ/kgKM 0,67 /day. Please note that this value only applies to adult healthy animals in maintenance metabolism, i.e. not to pregnant or lactating cats. So an example of mixed feeding would be one portion of dry food in the morning and one portion of wet food in the evening.
What else do you have to consider?
As with any feeding, you must make sure that you only offer your cat high-quality products. For dry food, watch out for the absence of grain and industrial sugar, as well as a high meat content. Ideally, this is even declared in detail, i.e. broken down. The situation is similar with wet food: it is best to contain a very high meat content (at least 65%) and high-quality fat sources such as linseed oil. Even if high-quality food is often more expensive than alternatives in the supermarket, it is an investment in your cat. Because, like us humans, a wholesome diet (together with exercise) is the key to a healthy existence.