EXCLUSIVE: Wondering what to feed your cat in the summers? An expert opines

If you are a cat owner, surely you have a lot to say about cat eating habits? Their favorite food, their least favorite, the one they trust with their food, do they like to be fed by hand or are they, independent eaters. Do they also visit other homes for their specific food stash other than their owner?

Most cats lose up to 15% of their appetite in the summer, because they use less energy to maintain their body temperature in the summer, and therefore require less food. Summer is here and cats have likely moved on to a different appetite to beat the heat. Pet parents are accustomed to felines rubbing their legs or butting their heads against their pet parents and talking loudly when they are hungry. If you have noticed, most cats generally like to eat small meals spread out throughout the day which actually helps to maintain a normal body weight.

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Cats need a diet rich in fat and protein with some animal nutrients throughout the year. However, this diet cannot work in the summer. But what about their water consumption? Cats are known to drink water poorly and it is very important to make sure they get extra water during the scorching summers. Most pet parents swear by 60% wet food and 40% dry food which works for their cats in their diet. It is best to follow a lighter and more fluid diet. Whether you feed your cat dry food from any of the popular brands or an occasional wet food, along with homemade food, be sure to stick to a water-rich diet during the summer. Cats are also susceptible to heat stroke, although they tolerate heat better than dogs. Here is a list of foods you should feed your cats in summer that will keep them hydrated and also add essential nutrients to their diet:

Spinach and rice

Make a puree of spinach and boiled rice in a ratio of 1:4 and add water to make it a slightly moist base. Spinach is high in vitamins but should be avoided in cats with kidney or urinary tract problems.

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Boiled eggs without yolks with boiled rice / boiled barley without the shell

Eggs are rich in protein and should be given to cats cooked. Mashed egg whites soaked in rice and chicken broth can be an ideal and balanced meal for cats. The consistency can be like meat sauce.

Milk, yoghurt and rice/boiled barley without the husks

A combination of these helps maintain high hydration levels in cats. Curd acts like natural probiotics and so does curd. Rice is an easily digestible carbohydrate and a good source of energy.

Watermelon treats cats

Watermelon is full of water and iron content and can be fed as a treat to cats but without the seeds. Any watermelon, in fact even cantaloupe can be given to cats, only after they have been de-seeded. Just make sure to feed this fruit in moderation as it has some sugar in it.

Chicken broth ice cubes

Boil the chicken in water to make a thick broth, add a few chicken pieces in this mixture. Do not add any salt or pepper to this mixture. Once it cools down, pour it into ice trays and freeze it deeply. After two hours you can feed your cats ice cubes.

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Foods that you should avoid giving to cats in the summer

Heat-producing meats such as lamb, venison, goat meat or even oily fish such as tuna

Cereals, wheat, oats and ragi are hot too

Advice from vets

Try feeding your cat regular dry food with some extra water, as this will help in more hydration. Alternatively, you can also give your cats dry food mixed with wet food.

Summer can be tough, but you can make it fun and easy for your cat by making a few changes in their diet and making sure they don’t get dehydrated.

Make sure not to over-sunbathe and stay in the shade or indoors during peak and sunny hours.

Feed your pets the above foods in moderation only after consulting your veterinarian. Also check what additional supplements to give your cats. Stay indoors, enjoy some time with your felines and watch the summer fade away.

About the author: Written by Anushka Iyer, Founder and CEO, Wiggles.in

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