A frequent error is feeding dog food. Never feed dog food to a cat!
Cats require twice as much protein and B vitamins as do dogs. Cats, unlike
dogs, cannot convert certain dietary precursors into necessary amino acids and
water soluble vitamins. A cat given dog food over a long period can develop
taurine deficiency, vitamin A deficiency (night blindness), niacin deficiency,
retinal degeneration, and other serious or fatal illnesses.
Another common error is to overdose a cat with vitamins A and D or calcium
and phosphorus, either by giving the vitamins directly or by supplementing the
diet with products that are high in them (such as raw liver or fish oils).
Excess vitamin A causes sterility and loss of hair. Excess calcium, phosphorus,
and vitamin D cause metabolic bone and kidney
Raw fish should not be fed to cats. Raw fish contains an enzyme that
destroys vitamin B1 (thiamin). A deficiency of this vitamin results in brain
damage. Fish is also deficient in vitamin E and has the potential to transmit
Never feed dog food. It is deficient in essential nutrients cats
Specialty foods and even table scraps can be given as treats once or twice
a week-but only after the regular diet is eaten. Cooked meats (including organ
meats such as liver or kidney), cottage cheese, cooked vegetables, cooked fish,
milk, and yogurt are foods with strong taste appeal that cats seem to enjoy.
Only give them in small amounts and do not offer dairy products if your cat
appears to be lactose intolerant (usually evidenced by diarrhea).
Never feed meats exclusively.
Treats should never exceed 20 percent of a cat’s total daily food.
Uncooked meat and raw fish should not be given because of the dangers of
vitamin deficiency and transmitting diseases.
Vitamin and mineral supplements are not necessary or desirable if you are
feeding a balanced cat food.
Cats have highly selective eating habits. The location of the food dish,
noise, the presence of other animals, and other threats or distractions can
adversely affect how much they are willing to eat. A cat in a boarding facility
may go an entire week without eating (which can be dangerous).
Cats prefer to have their food served at room temperature.
Many cats will not eat if the food dish is located near the litter
Water is a very important nutrient for cats. Always have plenty of fresh
water available. Canned food diets are more likely to provide an adequate
amount of water than are other types of food.
WebMD Veterinary Reference from "Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook"