Category Archives: Cat Diet

Questions and answers related to cat diet.

Why does my cat like when I program the automatic feeder incorrectly?

auto pet feeder configuration issue

Auto Pet Feeder overflows due to configuration issue

The picture says it all!

My cats enjoy the auto pet feeder.  The feeder works on a timer, allowing you to set up to 8 feedings by configuring the start time and end time of the feeding.  The feeding time will vary depending factors such as the size of the food.  I have found that small food pieces fall out faster than large pieces.  My feedings are approximately 30 seconds each, and I have configured about 4 feedings per day (for 3 cats).  They also get some treats when they are good kitties (which is always!).

The problem that occurred (as seen in the picture) was caused because I started the feeding at 11:00pm, and then configured the feeding to stop 30 seconds later.  Unfortunately (for me), I set the end time for AM, which means the feeder was configured to continue dropping food throughout the night.  The cats loved it (because they didn’t have to clean it).

This feeder is great because it allows you to store many weeks of food (our cats use the medium size feeder).  We do not leave our cats alone for extended periods, but its still nice to have a low maintenance feeder.  If we leave our cats alone for a day or two, we can trust that the feeder will feed our cats, unless the power goes out, of course.

I also previously owned the auto pet waterer.  The cats enjoyed the filtered running water, but the product I received was not built to last.  There is also alot of maintenance required, which involved cleaning the unit every 3 weeks or so.  The motor was a little too noisy for my liking, and would sometimes stop dispensing the water.  I fought with the unit for many months, until one day the water starting overflowing out of the unit.  At this point, I no longer trusted the unit and I disposed of it.  Conceptually it is a great product, but it did not work out for us.

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Why does my cat eat ants?

If a cat sees any type of moving critter (such as an ant), the cat will likely do one of the following things:

  • kill the bug by eating it
  • kill the bug by playing with it

Cats instinctively try to kill most moving creatures that are much smaller than them, and that includes ants.  Sometimes your cat will eat the bug immediately, while other times your cat may swat at the bug numerous times until the bug is no longer moving.  It’s difficult to tell if your cat was trying to kill the ant, or if your cat was playing with the ant and just got a little bit too rough :(  It’s the same deal with cats and fighting — you can’t always tell if they are playing or not.

More About Ants

Ants are a type of insect that are much more complicated than most people give them credit. There are about 20,000 different species of ants that can be found around the world.  Ants can live in almost every environment, assuming the ground is not permanently frozen.  Ants live in groups, called colonies, and the members of the colony work together very efficiently.  Pretty neat, eh?  There are a growing number of people gaining an appreciation for ants, and many people even keep them as pets.

For more information about ants, or pet ants, visit AntsCanada.com.   If you decide to start your own colony of ants, you will probably want to keep your cat away from them :)

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Why does my cat eat plants?

Your cat is a carnivore, so why is he eating your plants? Plant eating is a normal cat behavior, but almost every pet owner is annoyed by it (myself included).

In the wild, cats probably eat plants as a source of fiber. In most cases, owners must either accept the behavior, remove the plants from the home, or try to redirect the behavior to a different source (such as cat grass).

However, if the plant in your home is poisonous, you must remove the plant from your home or place it in a location where the cannot cannot chew it. If your cat has eaten a poisonous plant, you should take him to see a veterinarian. Toxic plants can cause some serious health issues for your cat!

Is your cat eating his food? If your cat does not like his food, he may be eating your plants as a food source.

Cats biting fake tree

Cats biting fake tree

Why Do Cats Eat Plants?
Cats eat plants because the plant either tastes good, or feels good on their mouth while they are eating it. Some plants, like catnip, also produce a pleasurable effect. Cats don’t know which plants are safe plants and which plants are hazardous plants.

How can I stop my cat from eating plants?
Training your cat to stop eating your plants is very difficult. Most likely, you will end up getting rid of your plants, or choosing safe plants and accepting the ‘chewed up’ appearance of your plant!

However, if you’d like to keep your plants, here’s somethings that you can try:

  • Place your plants in cat-proof places, or places that are difficult for your cat to access
  • Provide your cat with cat grass in order to redirect the issue to an appropriate plant
  • Place mothballs to the plant’s soil
  • Spray the plant a scent or product that will keep your cat away from the plant
  • Attempt to train your cat that he cannot chew the plant (use a water squirter or air horn when your cat bites the plant)

What should I do if my cat eats a plant?

If your cat eats a plant, you should contact your veterinarian.  If your cat has eaten a poisonous plant, your cat needs to see a veterinarian as soon as possible.  You should also bring the plant with you when you go to see the veterinarian so they can determine the type of plant.  Different plants can affect cats in different ways.  Some plants may simply cause your cat to have an upset stomach and diarrhea, while other plants can be toxic and sometimes fatal to cats.

Are plants poisonous to cats?
Yes, some plants are dangerous for cats to eat. There are different opinions about which plants are safe for cats and which plants are dangerous for cats. Even if a plant is considered safe for your cat, it is possible that your cat can become sick from the plant.

If your cat ate a plant, you should check to make sure the plant he ate is not toxic to cats. If it is, you should speak with your veterinarian quickly!

Below is a list of plans that are considered poisonous to cats (taken from the Cat Fancier’s Association):

Almond (Pits of)
Aloe Vera
Alocasia
Amaryllis
Apple (seeds)
Apple Leaf Croton
Apricot (Pits of)
Arrowgrass
Asparagus Fern
Autumn Crocus
Avacado (fuit and pit)
Azalea
Baby’s Breath
Baneberry
Bayonet
Beargrass
Beech
Belladonna
Bird of Paradise
Bittersweet
Black-eyed Susan
Black Locust
Bleeding Heart
Bloodroot
Bluebonnet
Box
Boxwood
Branching Ivy
Buckeyes
Buddist Pine
Burning Bush
Buttercup
Cactus, Candelabra
Caladium
Calla Lily
Castor Bean
Ceriman
Charming Dieffenbachia
Cherry (pits, seeds & wilting leaves)
Cherry, most wild varieties
Cherry, ground
Cherry, Laurel
Chinaberry
Chinese Evergreen
Christmas Rose
Chrysanthemum
Cineria
Clematis
Cordatum
Coriaria
Cornflower
Corn Plant
Cornstalk Plant
Croton
Corydalis
Crocus, Autumn
Crown of Thorns
Cuban Laurel
Cutleaf Philodendron
Cycads
Cyclamen
Daffodil
Daphne
Datura
Deadly Nightshade
Death Camas
Devil’s Ivy
Delphinium
Decentrea
Dieffenbachia
Dracaena Palm
Dragon Tree
Dumb Cane
Easter Lily *
Eggplant
Elaine
Elderberry
Elephant Ear
Emerald Feather
English Ivy
Eucalyptus
Euonymus
Evergreen
Ferns
Fiddle-leaf fig
Florida Beauty
Flax
Four O’Clock
Foxglove
Fruit Salad Plant
Geranium
German Ivy
Giant Dumb Cane
Glacier IvyGolden Chain
Gold Dieffenbachia
Gold Dust Dracaena
Golden Glow
Golden Pothos
Gopher Purge
Hahn’s Self-Branching Ivy
Heartland Philodendron
Hellebore
Hemlock, Poison
Hemlock, Water
Henbane
Holly
Honeysuckle
Horsebeans
Horsebrush
Horse Chestnuts
Hurricane Plant
Hyacinth
Hydrangea
Indian Rubber Plant
Indian Tobacco
Iris
Iris Ivy
Jack in the Pulpit
Janet Craig Dracaena
Japanese Show Lily *
Java Beans
Jessamine
Jerusalem Cherry
Jimson Weed
Jonquil
Jungle Trumpets
Kalanchoe
Lacy Tree Philodendron
Lantana
Larkspur
Laurel
Lily
Lily Spider
Lily of the Valley
Locoweed
Lupine
Madagascar Dragon Tree
Marble Queen
Marigold
Marijuana
Mescal Bean
Mexican Breadfruit
Miniature Croton
Mistletoe
Mock Orange
Monkshood
Moonseed
Morning Glory
Mother-in Law’s Tongue
Morning Glory
Mountain Laurel
Mushrooms
Narcissus
Needlepoint Ivy
Nephytis
Nightshade
Oleander
Onion
Oriental Lily *
Peace Lily
Peach (pits and wilting leaves)
Pencil Cactus
Peony
Periwinkle
Philodendron
Pimpernel
Plumosa Fern
Poinciana
Poinsettia (low toxicity)
Poison Hemlock
Poison Ivy
Poison Oak
Pokeweed
Poppy
Potato
Pothos
Precatory Bean
Primrose
Privet, Common
Red Emerald
Red Princess
Red-Margined Dracaena
Rhododendron
Rhubarb
Ribbon Plant
Rosemary Pea
Rubber Plant
Saddle Leaf Philodendron
Sago Palm
Satin Pothos
Schefflera
Scotch Broom
Silver Pothos
Skunk Cabbage
Snowdrops
Snow on the Mountain
Spotted Dumb Cane
Staggerweed
Star of Bethlehem
String of Pearls
Striped Dracaena
Sweetheart Ivy
Sweetpea
Swiss Cheese plant
Tansy Mustard
Taro Vine
Tiger Lily *
Tobacco
Tomato Plant (green fruit, stem and leaves)
Tree Philodendron
Tropic Snow Dieffenbachia
Tulip
Tung Tree
Virginia Creeper
Water Hemlock
Weeping Fig
Wild Call
Wisteria
Yews — e.g. Japanese Yew
English Yew
Western Yew
American Yew

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Why does my cat get constipated?

My cat is constipated and I don’t know what to do!

Your cat can be constipated for a large number of reasons. Constipation is quite common (but not normal) in cats. Older cats become constipated more often than younger cats and kittens.

Constipation, in and of itself, is not a disease. It is, however, a sign that all is not well within the cat’s gastrointestinal tract. And if not attended to promptly, constipation can become a debilitating and serious condition. If you suspect your cat has not had a bowel movement for several days, it’s time to consult your veterinarian.

How often should my cat poo?
Every cat is different, so there really isn’t an answer to this question. However, a healthy cat generally has a bowel movement once or twice each day.

How do I know if my cat is constipated?

Your cat is probably constipated if he is having no bowel movements, or if the bowel movements are infrequent. Your cat may strain while attempting to perform a bowel movement. Also, when a cat is constipated, there is usually a smaller amount of stool.

Generally, it is difficult to recognize when a cat is constipation until the problem becomes more severe, such as distress and frequent trips to the litter box. Sometimes, cats will not use the litter box if they are extremely constipated. Constipation is quite painful for cats, just like it is for humans.

You may notice your cat making loud noises while attempting to use the litter box. He may also lick the anal area if he is in pain. When cat constipation becomes very severe, cats can even lose their appetite and even begin vomiting.

What causes constipation in cats?
Cat constipation can result from a number of issues and illnesses. Cats can become constipated if they do not drink enough water, due to dehydration. Cat constipation can also be caused by stress. If your cat is uncomfortable with the litter box, he may hold off on the bowel movement. Constipation is quite common when owners attempt to toilet train their cats. There are numerous tricks and treatments that can be used to reduce and prevent constipation in cats.

How can I treat my cat’s constipation?
Your veterinarian is the best person to recommend a treatment for your cat’s constipation.  However, there are some treatments that you can try at home.  If the constipation persists, it is a good idea to take kitty to see the doctor.

Constipation is generally caused by dehydration.  If your cat is not drinking enough water, he can become dehydrated.  If your cat is dehydrated, you should encourage your cat to drink more water. Some owners add some flavor to their cat’s water in order to encourage them to drink more.  Cats love to find water.  Therefore, you can encourage your cat to drink more water by placing water dishes around the house.  Your cat will drink the water when he finds the bowl.  This is an effective strategy, and it’s fun too!  Just be careful, some cats drink from the toilet bowl too!

Cat constipation can be reduced or treated by putting your cat on a high fiber diet. Some excellent sources of fiber that have been successful with cats include bran, psyllium, and pumpkin. If your cat is on a high fiber diet, it is very important to ensure that he drinks an adequate amount of water.

Some cat owners have had success relieving constipation by giving their cat malt paste.  Malt paste is often used as a hairball treatment for cats.  It works by lubricating the intestines of your cat, which may help relieve your cat of constipation.  Some experts say that it is not a good idea to use malt paste as a long term treatment.  You should talk to your veterinarian for more information if you plan to use this treatment long term.

If your cat is constipated due to a more serious cause, your cat needs treatment from a veterinarian.

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Why does my cat like beer?

We don’t recommend that you let your cat drink beer. It is a depressant and is unhealthy for your cat.

Your cat likes beer for the same reasons that adults do — it tastes good!

I have personally witnessed a cat that loved beer so much that he would knock the bottle off the table, just so he could get a small taste while the owner cleaned it up.

It is possible that cats like beer because it is generally made with malt.  Cats love malt!   Malt is used for flavoring in many cat treats.  It is also used to flavor many types of hairball prevention pastes.

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Why does my cat have bad breath?

This is a very common issue.  Many cats have bad breath.  Your cats breath should smell like the last thing he or she ate.  So, if your cat just ate a bowl of cat food, your cat’s breath should smell like cat food.  If there are other foul odors coming from your cats mouth, he could be suffering from dental issues.

What causes bad breath in cats?

Cats can have bad breath if they suffer from periodontal complications or disease.  This is similar to the reason why humans may have bad breath if they suffer from gingivitis.  Gingivitis is very common among cats.  Gingivitis can contribute to your cat’s breath problem.  However, your cat’s breath will probably always smell like cat food immediately after he eats cat food!

There are a few things that you can do to reduce the smell of your cats breath:

  • feed your cat a dental food
  • brushing your cats teeth
  • have your cat’s teeth professionally cleaned

What is dental food?

There are numerous cat foods that can prevent or slow down the impact of various periodontal diseases and complications.  The foods generally work by cleaning the teeth and massaging the gums while your cat eats.  There are both foods and treats that you can feed to your cat to improve his oral hygiene.  These foods and treats are great because it is easy.  And let’s face it — not every cat will let you brush his teeth!  You can now let the food do the brushing for you!

What do I need to brush my cat’s teeth?

Before you can brush your cat’s teeth, you will need the following tools

  • a toothbrush for your cat
  • toothpaste that is suitable for cats (do not use human toothpaste or baking soda)

How do I brush my cat’s teeth?

You must start very slow, because teeth brushing is not a natural thing for your cat.  It is best to start this process when your cat is young, but adult cats can learn to accept the process as well.  You must have time and patience — don’t give up.  Teeth brushing will improve your cat’s health and reduce trips to the veterinarian.

To brush your cats teeth follow the steps below.

  1. First of all, pick of a time of the day for teeth brushing so it becomes a part of your pet’s routine. You should try to brush once/day, or a few times each week if you are not able to do it every day.
  2. Treat your cat to some tasty food after teeth brushing so your cat looks forward to the brushing.
  3. To get started, offer your cat a taste of the toothpaste.  It is important to find a toothpaste that your cat likes, or he may never want you to brush his teeth.  Teeth brushing should be a somewhat enjoyable experience for your cat.
  4. Before using the toothbrush, first try gently rubbing the toothpaste on the gums and upper teeth of your cat, using your finger.  Your cat must get used to this feeling before you try to use a toothbrush in his mouth.  Slowly increase the amount of time that you do this.  After a couple weeks, you may be ready to attempt the next step.
  5. Now try brushing very gently with the soft bristled toothbrush. Be very very gentle.
  6. After you cat has accepted the step above, you are ready to continue with your teeth brushing routine.  Great job!

Teeth brushing should take no more than 30 seconds. The upper teeth are more important for preventing periodontal disease. Teeth brushing can prevent disease, but sometimes professional cleaning is still required. However, teeth brushing can reduce the frequency, and possibly severity, of professional teeth brushing.

What’s involved in professional teeth cleaning?

Professional teeth brushing of cats is quite intense (i.e. usually requires general anesthesia), and often involves the following steps:

  1. Oral examination (awake, and then under general anesthesia)
  2. Remove plaque and tartar above the gumline
  3. Remove plaque and tartar below the gumline
  4. Polishing
  5. Irrigation
  6. Floride treatment
  7. Post operation examination
  8. Recovery at home
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Why does my cat fart?

Are you sure it is your cat farting, or is someone blaming your cat? Humans very frequently blame their pets for farting when really it was the human that stunk up the room!

You might be wondering… do cats fart?  Cats do fart! If it was indeed your cat that farted, he probably farted for the same reasons that human beings fart. Your cat most likely is not digesting food properly. This could be influenced by diet as well as the health of the digestive system. Some foods take longer to digest than others and may ferment in the stomach or intestines, causing a build up of gas.

How can I stop my cat from farting?

You probably cannot stop your cat from farting, just like you cannot stop yourself from farting. However, you can probably reduce the frequency that your cat farts, or perhaps reduce the level of stink! You can reduce the amount of gas that your cat needs to pass by feeding a high quality food. You can also restrict milk intake because the lactose in milk can contribute to any digestive problem. If you let your cat outside, your cat may be eating other sources of food such as birds, mice, and bugs. This could be another reason why your cat is farting!

Farting is indeed normal, but why does my cats farts stink so bad?

Cats are carnivores and are generally on a diet rich in protein. Protein-rich diets produce small amounts of intensely stinky gas because proteins contain lots of sulfur. Because there is only a small amount of gas, your cat’s farts are probably silent most of the time. Silent but deadly, of course!

There are a number of possibilities that can explain why cat farts can smell so bad and are so silent but deadly:

  • cats don’t feel embarrassed about farting so they just let it rip (like kids do!)
  • the amount of gas produced is extremely potent, even though it is a small amount
  • the gas is released more slowly when cats fart due to the horizontal orientation of their gastrointestinal system

We all hate when our cats fart, but how do our cats feel when we fart?

Believe it or not, your cat might actually like the smell of your farts (gross!). You may notice that your cat starts sniffing the air after you fart. If your cat runs away after you fart, the noise may have scared him — or, your farts are really really stinky! If your farts are that stinky, you probably should not be complaining about your cats farts!

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