Cat food can be divided into dry, wet and semi-moist foods. Each has its benefits, and Ragdolls need different types of food at different stages. Kittens need whole milk and wet food, while adults need more protein and dry food. Pregnant Ragdolls have specific dietary needs that also change throughout pregnancy.
Ragdoll kittens should only be breastfed for the first four to five weeks. Cat milk contains all the nutrients necessary for kitten growth, including antibodies that help prevent disease. Breast milk also passes on other antibodies that the mother has produced to fight previous illnesses.
After four to five weeks, more food should be fed as the kitten needs more nutrients to support its rapid growth. The starter feed should be easy to digest. Mix canned food with warm water or cat formula to form a fluffy paste. DO NOT use regular cow’s milk, it is too heavy for kittens and could cause indigestion.
dried animal food
After another four to five weeks, your kitten should be ready for dry food. To make the transition easier, moisten dry food with a little warm water for the first few feedings. It’s also important to choose 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 a day in the morning and evening. After about 12 months, you can switch to adult food.
Selection and preparation of cat food
Ragdoll kittens have sensitive stomachs, so take extra care when choosing kitten food. Food should always be warm or slightly above room temperature. Discard any food left out for more than 30 minutes, especially in the summer. Bacteria grow quickly in warm, wet food and can potentially upset your kitten’s stomach or even cause food poisoning. To stop food wastage, simply watch how much your kitten eats at once so you know how much to prepare per feeding.
Houseflies can easily contaminate kitten food, so keep your feeding area as fly-proof as possible. Wash the feeding bowl with hot, soapy water daily and replace the water in the drinking bowl several times a day. At the same time, wash the drinking bowl and fill it up with fresh water.
Leftovers may be given occasionally, but do not prepare regular meals from them. Cooked human food does not contain the nutrients necessary for your kitten’s growth. Generic cat food from the grocery store is better, but Stellarhart recommends high-quality cat food from specialty pet stores. Also, cats don’t like the smell of plastic and metal containers, so only use glass drinking bowls.
Dry vs. wet food
Dry food is generally better for your ragdoll, except during the nursing and introductory stages. They train your kitten’s chewing muscles and help keep their teeth white. Dry food consists primarily of meat and vegetables and can be served moistened or dry. Serving them dry allows your cat to nibble throughout the day instead of eating one large meal at a time. Dry food should contain around 9 to 10% moisture, 8% fat and 30% protein.
Moist food contains about 75% moisture and equal amounts of fat and protein. Not all wet foods are created equal, some are made up of 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 other foods. The small treat boxes with different foods are usually just meat or fish. As with kitten food, wet food should be allowed to warm to room temperature before serving.
Semi-moist feed contains about 35% water, 27% protein and 7% fat. Most are nutritionally balanced, very palatable and can be left out for snacking, but spoil faster than dry food.
Occasional kitten treats won’t harm your kitten, but make sure they don’t get too full so they can continue to eat regular meals. Treats should not account for more than 10% of your kitten’s daily caloric intake. Look for hard chews to improve your kitten’s dental health
B. Feeding ragdoll adults
Ragdolls are not very active, so they gain weight faster than other cats. Don’t let them get obese, just give them 70 calories per pound of body weight. A lot of what people think are cats’ favorite foods are actually harmful. Here are some of the most common myths about cat food:
Fish may be good for cats, but they cannot meet all of their nutritional needs, and too much of the same nutrients can be harmful. Tuna is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, which require vitamin E to break down. Too much tuna in your cat’s diet can cause yellow fat disease (steatitis).
Milk is high in water and carbohydrates, but many cats are lactose intolerant and experience digestive problems a few hours after 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 substitute cat milk instead.
Cats love the smell of catnip leaves, but it can cause short-term behavioral changes. Catnip is a hallucinogen and may put your cat in a delirious state. Some effects include rolling, rubbing, chasing phantom mice, or just staring into space. While 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 need more protein, taurine, preformed vitamin A, B complex vitamins and arachidonic acids, which they can get from a meat-rich diet. Deficiencies in these nutrients can make your cat seriously ill, and overdosing can have the same effect in dogs.
Low ash diets
A common belief among cat owners is that a low-ash diet can help prevent UTIs. But that is only partly true. Ash is not a single nutrient but a group of minerals including calcium, copper, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc. Lower levels of magnesium keep urine in its normal, slightly acidic state, but reducing other minerals has no effect.
Other foods to avoid
Alcohol can be toxic and cause deadly complications.
Many baby formulas contain onion powder, which can be harmful to the blood.
fish and meat bones.
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 lead to pancreatitis.
Don’t feed your cat fatty, cooked meat, or at least trim the fat off first.
grapes and raisins.
These contain a toxin that can damage the kidneys.
Dietary supplements of human vitamins and iron.
Excess iron can damage the liver, kidneys, and lining of the digestive tract.
Liver is safe in limited amounts, but excess can cause vitamin A toxicity.
Unknown toxins in macadamia can damage the muscles, digestive system, and nervous system.
Marijuana can cause vomiting, depression, and an irregular heart rate.
Some mushrooms contain highly toxic substances that affect multiple systems and can even cause death.
Onion and garlic (powdered, cooked or raw).
These contain disulfides and sulfoxides that can cause anemia. They are harmful to both cats and dogs, but cats are more susceptible.
Persimmon seeds can clog the intestines.
Potato, tomato and rhubarb.
These can be harmful to the nervous, digestive and urinary systems. The leaves and stems could also potentially be poisonous.
Raw eggs can damage your cat’s hair and coat.
Salt and salty foods can cause electrolyte imbalance, a potentially fatal condition that affects the heart and nervous system.
Threads from beans and other vegetables may not be digested, which can lead to constipation.
Sweets are high in empty calories that can lead to obesity, diabetes and dental problems.
Yeast can expand in the stomach during digestion and cause it to burst.
Once you learn about the unique requirements of ragdoll cats, you will instinctively know what is good and bad for your cat.