When it comes to cat nutrition, there are many factors to keep in mind, including the specific needs of your feline friend. Though some trends in what to know about cat nutrition may remain unwavering from year to year, these past few years have brought many changes in the pet parenting world.
In 2020 and 2021, between new COVID-19 restrictions, quarantines, and remote work and schooling, there has been a dramatic increase in people adopting new pets. Partially because people are now spending more time at home, many pet parents have noted that welcoming a new four-legged member to the family was directly related to the pandemic.
Not to mention, there have been countless studies on the numerous positive effects pets can have on people. They can help provide companionship, reduce stress and anxiety, give someone a sense of responsibility, motivation, and purpose. Plus, cats can be a fun form of entertainment and help improve people’s moods.
One of the best ways to look after our four-legged companions is to be aware of their nutritional needs and provide them with the best nutrition possible. Some of the top cat nutrition trends for 2022 include:
1. Dietary Restrictions
Like humans, cats can also develop allergies* or intolerances to specific foods and ingredients. While your young kitten may not have any particular dietary needs, it is best to keep an eye on their diet throughout their entire life. It is entirely possible that as your cat gets older, they could develop an allergy. Common allergy symptoms include:
- Excessive itching
- Red or watery eyes
- Sneezing or wheezing
- Swollen pads
- Paw chewing
- Vomiting or diarrhea
Even if your cat does not have an allergy, you may notice that they have a particular food intolerance. Some people may need to avoid lots of sugary or fatty foods that can cause an unsettled stomach, and the same may be true for your cat.
Their stomach may not agree with every food brand, or they may have a preference for dry or wet cat food. As all cat parents are probably already aware, many cats can be prone to being picky eaters.
Just because your cat doesn’t have an allergy or intolerance, that doesn’t mean that you can’t tailor their diet. For instance, some pet parents who practice veganism or vegetarianism also wish their feline friends to follow the same diet. Be sure that if you are cutting certain items out of your cat’s diet, they are still receiving all necessary nutrients. Additionally, consult your veterinarian before making any significant changes, and don’t be surprised if certain dietary alterations just aren’t feasible for your naturally carnivorous kitty.
2. Pet Supplements
Pet supplements have become increasingly popular over the past few years. Some top choices include:
- Fish Oil
- Various pet-safe CBD products
People use daily supplements to reach their balanced, nutrient goals. Supplements can be given to cats for similar reasons, especially when cat food nutrition alone isn’t enough.
Many pet parents have found that pet CBD products can also offer remedies to many common health-related issues, such as anxiety, pain, and inflammation.
Of course, it is recommended that you talk with your veterinarian before starting your cat on any supplements. Your veterinarian can be an invaluable resource for learning more about what your cat needs in order to live a well-balanced and healthy lifestyle.
3. High-End Products
It is no secret that most pet parents treat their cats as a member of their family or even as one of their children—hence the term fur baby. Our pets are cherished and loved companions who we want to treat with the utmost care. Not to mention, it can be fun to spoil your feline friend from time to time.
With this in mind, it should come as no surprise that many cat parents are now investing more in high-end products. This can include spending extra money on specific food brands or buying top-of-the-line products such as collars, beds, and toys.
Countless businesses now specialize in gourmet treats and goodies—think five-star quality for your cat. If high-end, name brand, or designer is what you want, you will have plenty of options for nearly any cat product you can think of.
However, purchasing high-end cat products doesn’t mean you needlessly spend money on unnecessary items—some can be quite practical and useful. For instance, many cat parents are now choosing to use cat backpacks instead of the usual cat carrier to transport their cats.
Some cat parents have also invested in catios. Cat patios are a wonderful option that allows your feline friend the opportunity to get some fresh air and sunshine without the risks of running away, getting injured, or having a tousle with another animal.
4. Online Shopping and Subscriptions
Many pet parents are now opting to shop online and join subscriptions in lieu of shopping in-store every month for cat necessities such as food, treats, and litter. While having been an option for many years, online shopping has recently skyrocketed in popularity, due mainly to the recent pandemic and quarantine mandates.
There are many benefits to online shopping. For instance, there is a lower chance of the item you want being out of stock, plus you can have everything you need delivered right to your doorstep.
Likewise, subscription services have become ever more common, particularly during these past few years. Just as people have subscriptions for streaming services, fitness classes, and food delivery companies, there are now subscriptions for pet food and fun pet-themed boxes.
Although each subscription is unique in its own way, you can often customize your deliveries. Plus, there are many subscription services that, as long as you are a long-term member, you will be able to save money on cat necessities.
5. Sustainable and Responsible Brands
There are many steps that people have begun taking to be more environmentally friendly and conscious of their carbon footprint. These can include anything from driving an electric vehicle, recycling, not using single-use plastics, and supporting more eco-friendly and sustainable businesses.
This type of lifestyle can also be carried over into the products you purchase for your cat. Not only can you choose a cat food that has responsibly sourced ingredients, but you can also keep an eye on whether the packaging used is better for the environment.
Another item to keep an eye on is whether the companies you purchase from have a mission-driven goal of being more sustainable.
Before making any significant changes to your cat’s diet, it is essential that you first consult your veterinarian and do any necessary research. Veterinarians can be a great and helpful resource. They can provide meaningful tips and warn you of nutrition trends from which you should steer clear.
It's also worthwhile to keep in mind that you and your cat’s nutrition requirements and needs may fluctuate over time. For instance, if you don’t have much flexibility in your budget, you may not want to be purchasing high-end products or paying for shipping for online orders at the moment. Not to mention, nutrition for older cats may require an increase in various daily supplements.
Don’t forget that you know your pet best, which means you are their advocate and speak on their behalf. While it can be helpful to listen to the advice of other cat parents, you will know what’s best for your cat.
The information presented in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute or substitute for the advice of your veterinarian.
title: Cat Nutrition Trends for 2022
author: Emily W.