Feeding Ragdoll Cats & Kittens
In general cat food can be classified into dry, moist, and semi-moist foods. Each one has its advantages, and Ragdolls require various kinds of food at different stages. Kittens need on the whole breast milk and moist food, while adults require more protein and dry food. Pregnant Ragdolls have special dietary needs that change throughout the pregnancy as well.
A. Feeding Ragdoll Kittens
Ragdoll kittens should be only breastfed for the first four to five weeks. Cat milk consists of all the nutrients required for the kittens growth, including antibodies that help prevent disease. Breast milk also passes on other antibodies that the mother produced to fight previous diseases.
Additional food ought to be supplied after four to five weeks, as the kitten requires more nutrients to support its fast growth. Introductory food should be easy to digest. Mix canned food with warm water or kitten replacement milk until it constitutes a loose paste. Do NOT use regular cows milk this is too heavy for kittens and may possibly result in indigestion.
After another four to five weeks, your kitten should be ready for dry food. To make the change easier, moisten dry food with a little warm water in the first few feedings. Its also important to choose high-quality supplements to dry food and some of the good brands are Iams, Science Diet, and Nutro Kitten. Science Diet Feline Growth is popular among Ragdoll kittens. Supplements can be given twice a day with morning and evening feeding. You can switch to adult food after approximately 12 months.
Choosing and preparing kitten food
Ragdoll kittens have fragile stomachs, so take extra care in choosing kitten food. Food ought to always be warm or slightly above room temperature. Discard any food that has been left out for more than 30 minutes, especially in the summer. Bacteria grows quickly in warm, wet foods and may upset your kittens stomach, or even cause food poisoning. To stop wasting food, just watch how much your kitten eats at a time so you know how much to prepare per feeding.
House flies can easily contaminate kitten food, so keep your feeding area as fly-proof as possible. Wash the feeding bowl each day with hot, soapy water and replace water in the drinking bowl several times a day. Wash the drinking bowl at the same time and refill with fresh water.
Table scraps can be provided occasionally, but dont make regular meals out of them. Cooked human foods lack the nutrients necessary for your kittens growth. Generic cat food from groceries are much better, but Stellarhart recommends high-quality foods from specialty pet stores. Also, cats dont like the smell of plastic and metal containers, so use only glass drinking bowls.
Dry vs wet foods
Dry foods are generally better for your Ragdoll, except in the breastfeeding and introductory stage. They work your kittens chewing muscles and help keep the teeth white. Dry food consists mostly of meat and vegetables, and can be moistened or served dry. Serving them dry allows your cat to nibble throughout the day, rather than eating one large meal at a time. Dry food ought to contain about 9 to 10% moisture, 8% fat, and 30% protein.
Moist food contains about 75% moisture and equal amounts of fat and protein. Not all moist foods are the same some are all-meat or all-fish, while others are a mix of meat and vegetables. The former should not be used for regular meals, as your cat can get addicted and refuse to eat other foods. The small treat cans of variety foods are usually all-meat or all-fish. As with kitten food, moist foods ought to be warmed to room temperature before serving.
Semi-moist food has about 35% water, 27% protein, and 7% fat. Most of them are nutritionally balanced, highly palatable, and can be left out for nibbling, but they spoil faster than dry food.
Occasional kitten treats will not harm your kitten, but take care not to fill them up so they can still eat regular meals. Treats ought to not provide any more than 10% of your kittens daily caloric intake. Look for hard chew treats to help improve your kittens dental health
B. Feeding Ragdoll Adults
Ragdolls are not very active, so they gain weight quicker than other cats. Take care not to let them become obese provide them only 70 calories per kilogram of body weight. A lot of what people believe to be cats favourite foods are actually harmful. Here are some of the most common cat food myths:
Fish may be good for cats, but it cant cover all 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 them down. a large amount tuna in your cats diet can lead to yellow fat disease (steatitis).
Milk is rich in water and carbohydrates, but many cats are lactose intolerant and get digestive problems a few hours after drinking milk. Regular cows milk can cause diarrhoea and loose stools, which can cause malnutrition and dehydration. If your cat likes milk, use replacement cat milk instead.
Cats love the smell of catnip leaves, but it can cause short-term behavioural changes. Catnip is a hallucinogen and may put your cat in a state of near delirium. Some effects include rolling, rubbing, chasing phantom mice, or simply staring into space. Although its not addictive, catnip has no place in your cats diet.
It could be more convenient to feed your cat and dog from the same dish, but its not very healthy for either pet. Cats need more protein, taurine, preformed vitamin A, B-complex vitamins, and arachidonic acids, which they can get from a meat-heavy diet. A lack of these nutrients can make your cat seriously ill, and an overdose can have the same effect in dogs.
Low ash diets
A popular belief among cat owners is that diets low in ash can help discourage urinary tract infection. But thats only partly true. Ash is not a single nutrient, but is actually a group of minerals including calcium, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc. Lower levels of magnesium keep urine at its normal, slightly acidic state, but reducing other minerals will have no effect.
Other foods to avoid
Alcohol can be toxic and lead to fatal complications.
Many baby foods contain onion powder, which can be harmful to the blood.
Fish and meat bones.
Small fragments can cut into the digestive tract and cause bleeding.
Caffeine (coffee, tea, chocolate).
Caffeine can affect the cats heart and nervous system.
Citrus oil extracts.
This can lead to stomach upsets and vomiting.
Animal fats can lead to pancreatitis.
Dont feed your cat fatty cooked meats, or at least trim the fat off first.
Grapes and raisins.
These contain a toxin that can harm the kidneys.
Human vitamin and iron supplements.
Excessive iron can damage the liver, kidneys, and the lining of the digestive tract.
Liver is safe in small amounts, but a large amount can lead to vitamin A toxicity.
Unknown toxins in macadamia can damage the muscles, digestive system, and nervous system.
Marijuana can lead to vomiting, depression, and irregular heart rate.
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 anaemia. They are harmful to both cats and dogs, but cats are more vulnerable.
Persimmons seeds can obstruct the intestines.
Potato, tomato and rhubarb.
These can be harmful to the nervous, digestive, and urinary systems. The leaves and stems may also be toxic.
Raw eggs can damage your cats hair and coat.
Salt and salty foods can lead to electrolyte imbalance, a potentially fatal condition affecting the heart and nervous system.
Strings from beans and other vegetables may possibly 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.
Just remember that you are not feeding a human but an animal with unique feeding requirements.