For many of us, most of our experience with cats will come from the domestic snugglers currently snoozing soundly at the foot of our beds. These are familiar creatures—often pampered and spoilt, enjoying a diet of top-quality cat food, salmon, and other delicious treats.
Outside, however, there is another type of feline who lives a drastically different life. Wild cats are tough and hardy, scavenging what they can where they can. While there are apparent differences between these and their domestic siblings, there are many similarities which unite them; their need for food, shelter, and protection against the threats they face daily.
The Diet of Wild Cats
Establishing and understanding the diet of wild cats can also be beneficial if you are a pet owner. Mirroring the diet of your cat as closely as possible to what they would naturally enjoy is excellent for their health and can help to keep your furry friend in excellent shape and peak health throughout their lives.
While many commercial cat foods offer excellent benefits, following a natural diet allows your cats body and digestive system to work in an almost instinctive way, and this can be fantastic for their condition and wellbeing.
One of the key factors of the diet of wild cats is how they eat. Domestic cats tend to graze if food is left out without restriction. Like humans, some cats will eat because they are bored, because they like how the food tastes, or simply because it is there. Feral cats will kill and eat throughout the day, preferring small, regular chances to eat, rather than the standard three square meals a day.
Most of their calories will come from protein and fat, with only a small amount being gained from carbohydrates. In addition, it is important to remember that many wild cats will have to work hard for their food, tracking down and hunting their prey, and using up bursts of energy for the intensity of the chase and kill.
Feeding Your Cat like a Wild Cat
In comparison, most commercial cat food will have a high carbohydrate content, and there is almost zero effort on the part of a domestic house cat to have to hunt for or source their meals. The consistency of always having food available can be a good thing. Cats can self-regulate, choosing to eat little and often— a routine more in sync with their wild cat counterparts. Some cats, however, will simply take advantage of the all-you-can-eat buffet, and this can result in obesity and health issues.
The diet of a wild cat will be almost entirely made up of raw meat, and imitating this is a great place to start if you are looking to switch up your pet’s diet. Be thoughtful when selecting your cat food. It should be high in fats and proteins, and low in carbohydrates. Timed feeders can be useful when it comes to regulating meal times. Feeders should be set to provide food at regular intervals throughout the day.
It can also be a good idea to make your pet work for their dinner. Place the food bowl at the top of stairs of further away to ensure that they exercise en route, and ensure that you are providing plenty of opportunities for play and exercise throughout the day.