The right food to feed Ragdoll cats and kittens
Cat food can be classified into dry, moist and semi-moist foods. Each has its advantages, and Ragdolls need various types of food at different stages. Kittens need whole mother’s milk and wet food, while adults need more protein and dry food. Pregnant Ragdolls have special dietary needs that also change throughout the pregnancy.
Ragdoll kittens should only be nursed for the first four to five weeks. Cat milk includes all the nutrients necessary for kitten growth, including antibodies that help prevent disease. Breast milk also transmits other antibodies that the mother produced to fight previous illnesses.
More food should be given after four to five weeks, as the kitten requires more nutrients to support its rapid growth. The introductory meal should be easy to digest. Mix the canned food with warm water or kitten milk replacement until it becomes a loose paste. DO NOT use regular cow’s milk, it is too heavy for kittens and could cause indigestion.
After another four to five weeks, your kitten should be ready for dry food. To facilitate the change, moisten the dry food with a little warm water for the first few feedings. It is also essential to choose high quality dry food supplements and some of the good brands are Iams®, Science Diet® and Nutro Kitten®. Science Diet Feline Growth® is popular with Ragdoll kittens. Supplements can be given twice daily with morning and evening feeding. You can switch to adult food after about 12 months.
Choosing and preparing cat food
Ragdoll kittens have fragile stomachs, so be very careful when choosing kitten food. Food should always be warm or slightly above room temperature. Throw away any food that has been left out for more than 30 minutes, especially in the summer. Bacteria grow rapidly in warm, moist food and may give your kitty an upset stomach, or even lead to food poisoning. To stop wasting food, just watch how much your kitty eats at one time so you know how much to prepare per meal.
House flies can easily contaminate kitten food, so keep your feeding area as fly-proof as possible. Wash the feeder daily with hot soapy water and replace the water in the drinker several times a day. Wash the drinker at the same time and refill it with fresh water.
Table scraps can be given from time to time, but don’t make regular meals out of them. Cooked human foods do not contain the nutrients necessary for your kitten’s growth. Generic cat food from grocery stores is best, but Stellarhart recommends high-quality cat food from specialty pet stores. Also, cats don’t like the smell of plastic and metal bowls, so use only glass drinkers.
dry vs wet food
Dry foods are generally best for your Ragdoll, except at the nursing and introduction stage. They work your kitty’s chewing muscles and help keep teeth white. Dry food consists mainly of meat and vegetables, and can be served moist or dry. Serving them dry allows your cat to nibble throughout the day, rather than eating one large meal at a time. Dry food should contain 9-10% moisture, 8% fat and 30% protein.
Moist foods contain approximately 75% moisture and equal amounts of fat and protein. Not all wet foods are the same, some are just meat or fish, while others are a mix of meat and vegetables. The former should not be used for regular meals, as your cat may become addicted and refuse to eat other foods. Small cans of assorted food treats are usually just meat or fish. As with kitten food, wet food should be warmed to room temperature before serving.
Semi-moist food is approximately 35% water, 27% protein, and 7% fat. Most of them are nutritionally balanced, very tasty and can be left to snack on, but they go bad faster than dry food.
Occasional kitten treats won’t harm your kitty, but be careful not to fill him up so he can still eat regular meals. Treats should not provide more than 10% of your kitty’s daily caloric intake. Look for chewy treats to help improve your kitty’s dental health
B. Adult Ragdoll Feeding
Ragdolls are not very active, so they gain weight faster than other cats. Don’t let them become obese give them only 70 calories per kilogram of body weight. Many of what people think are favorite cat foods are actually harmful. Here are some of the most common myths about cat food:
Fish may be good for cats, but it can’t meet all of their nutritional needs, and too much of the same nutrients can be harmful. Tuna is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, which need vitamin E to break down. too much tuna in your cat’s diet can cause yellow fat disease (steatitis).
Milk is rich in water and carbohydrates, but many cats are lactose intolerant and have digestive problems within hours of drinking milk. Regular cow’s milk can cause diarrhea and loose stools, which can lead to malnutrition and dehydration. If your cat likes milk, use cat milk replacement instead.
Cats love the smell of catnip leaves, but it can cause short-term behavioral changes. Catnip is a hallucinogen and possibly puts your cat in a near-delirium state. Some effects include rolling, rubbing, chasing ghost mice, or just staring into space. Although not addictive, catnip has no place in your cat’s diet.
It might be more convenient to feed your cat and dog from the same bowl, but it’s not very healthy for either pet. Cats require more protein, taurine, preformed vitamin A, B complex vitamins, and arachidonic acids, which they can obtain from a diet rich in meat. A shortage of these nutrients can make your cat seriously ill, and an overdose can have the same effect on dogs.
Low ash diets
A popular belief among cat owners is that low-ash diets can help discourage urinary tract infections. But that is only partially true. Ash is not a single nutrient, but is actually a group of minerals including calcium, copper, magnesium, phosphorous, and zinc. Lower magnesium levels keep urine in its normal, slightly acidic state, but reducing other minerals will have no effect.
Other foods to avoid
Alcohol can be toxic and cause fatal complications.
Many baby foods contain onion powder, which can be harmful to the blood.
Bones of meat and fish.
Small splinters can cut into the digestive tract and cause bleeding.
Caffeine (coffee, tea, chocolate).
Caffeine can affect the cat’s heart and nervous system.
Citrus oil extracts.
This can cause stomach upset and vomiting.
Animal fats can cause pancreatitis.
Do not feed your cat greasy cooked meats, or at least trim the fat first.
Grapes and grapes.
These contain a toxin that can damage the kidneys.
Vitamin and iron supplements for humans.
Excess iron can damage the liver, kidneys, and the lining of the digestive tract.
Liver is safe in limited amounts, but too much can cause vitamin A toxicity.
The unknown toxins in macadamia can damage muscles, the digestive system, and the nervous system.
Marijuana can cause vomiting, depression, and an irregular heartbeat.
Some mushrooms contain highly toxic substances that can affect multiple systems and even cause death.
Onion and garlic (powdered, cooked or raw).
These contain disulfides and sulfoxides, which can cause anemia. They are harmful to both cats and dogs, but cats are more vulnerable.
Persimmon seeds can obstruct the intestines.
Potato, tomato and rhubarb.
These can be harmful to the nervous, digestive, and urinary systems. The leaves and stems could also be toxic.
Raw eggs can damage your cat’s hair and coat.
Salt and salty foods can cause an electrolyte imbalance, a potentially fatal condition that affects the heart and nervous system.
String beans and other vegetables may not be digested, which can cause blockages.
Sweets are high in empty calories, which can lead to obesity, diabetes, and dental problems.
Yeast can expand in the stomach during digestion, causing it to rupture.
Once you’ve educated yourself about the unique requirements of ragdoll cats, you’ll instinctively know what’s good or bad for your cat.