I saw that it is better to feed a cat homemade or canned food than to give it dry food, since a cat will not drink enough water for it's own health. Probably a better idea might be to mix soft food with dry food or do all soft food.
Also, neutering a male cat too young can lead to problems later in life.
By Robyn Fed from Hampton, TN
Thanks for the tips. It's also good to have several water bowls in different parts of the house. My cat drinks out of every one. I have one under a rocking chair I never use. Another is on top of table. A third is in our bedroom. Give it a try.
On neutering: many vets will suggest neutering at around six months of age, since male cats usually become sexually mature between 6-8 months. You can also wait too long to do this, though. According to this info:
Studies done on a couple of groups of neutered males, some done under 12 months and others a year older and up are showing that having the surgery done on a cat a year old or older can result in a cat with more aggression and also one who's less affectionate.
On the other end of the scale ( under six months): a very long time ago, we rescued a black-and-white tuxedo shorthair male that was four months old when we got him and had been neutered at three months.
Blackbeard grew to be one "manly" looking boy, big-boned and hefty, lovable, and very healthy, with no medical problems to speak of until he peacefully died in his sleep at nearly nineteen years old. In that case, neutering young had no effect on him emotionally or developmentally.
Sources: kittencare.com and peteducation.com ( and personal experience).
Canned does provide more water and less carbohydrates, which can contribute to being overweight. It all depends on the cat. I have 5 with 3 being overweight. To get them down to an acceptable weight, they were switched to canned. I have another who has trouble gaining weight and he is on dry. Everyone is weighed weekly on a baby scale. If weight goes up or down, then diet can be adjusted or a trip to the vet if things don't look right. The one thing I wouldn't suggest is relying only on the canned food to increase hydration. As for having several water bowls around the house, that is probably the best thing you can do to increase water consumption. I tried those "water fountains". It was appealing to one cat, but it didn't make the difference I was expecting. Now that there are 6 water bowls in different areas of the house, everybody is drinking more. Also, each cat has certain bowls they prefer over others. I also read that it helps to vary the type of bowl. Some are large dog bowls one is a small pail, another is a large water station and the last one is an old goldfish bowl. (You should see them drinking out of the goldfish bowl! They love that one!) A lot of it is experimentation. What works for one cat, may not work for another.
I add a little extra water to my 18 year old cat's canned food. It seems to help prevent constipation that she has a tendency to get.
The only one of my 3 males who gets urinary track infections is the one who was neutered at 6 weeks before I got him. Now I rinse out the can as well and pour it into their food and so far it's been a year of good health. I also cook up chicken, strain the fat out of the broth and they love to drink it. Anything to get extra water into them.
I am going to try these tips, goldfish bowl, how wonderful. I know mine will go nuts for this,
and the filling the cans with water and the cooking and straining the broth, and the chicken. This is all great!
I am about to get my cat neutered as well, it is around 7 months. It is very affectionate since it was bottle fed from a young age, and it is very dependent on humans, I don't expect that to change, but I kind of wish it would in a way so the cat will not feel left out of things if I cant pick it up about thirty times a day. I changed its food also.
This is great information!
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