Is Your Kitten Ready for Adult Cat Food?
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Does Premium Matter?
Why move your nearly grown kitten to a premium adult cat food? Because quality counts. It's crucial to continue the superb nutrition she's been getting from a premium kitten food into adulthood. Downgrading to a basic nutrition brand at this stage of her life may upset her digestive system and certainly won't provide her with the same type of nutrition she was raised on.
Think of a baby. When it's time to start giving him solid food, you wouldn't feed your child anything less than the best nutrition you can buy. The same is true for your maturing kitten. She needs the best age-appropriate food there is to help maintain overall health. Premium foods such as IAMS are formulated to meet all her needs and provide additional benefits.
They're specifically designed to provide your cat with a formula that features:
Balanced, optimal levels of protein, fat, moderately fermentable fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals, which make costly supplements unnecessary
High-quality recipes and great taste
Standards that meet or exceed Association of American Feed Control Officials standards
Nutrient-dense formulas that are right for each life stage
See the Results
What do all of these features add up to? A happy, healthy cat. With premium cat food, you can expect to see these important indicators of good health. They contribute to providing your cat with a long, healthy life:
Exceptional muscle tone
A shiny, luxurious coat
Healthy skin and bones
Clear, bright eyes and clean teeth
Small, firm stools
Founded upon decades of research, premium formulas from IAMS help maintain your cat's health and help provide him with the nutrition he needs for a long life. Generic brands simply may not match the level of expertise that goes into every bag of IAMS cat food.
When to Switch
When your cat is about 12 months of age, it's time to change her diet to a premium maintenance formula. When you transition your cat to an adult diet, it's important to monitor her weight and body condition and adjust portions if necessary.
Because cats generally eat only what they need, free-choice feeding is adequate for most cats. (Free-choice makes food available to your cat around the clock and lets her eat when and how much she needs.) Indoor cats that don't get much exercise, however, may overeat if fed free-choice. For them, portion-controlled feeding twice a day is a better routine.
To determine how much food to give your cat, check the recommendations of the pet food manufacturer on the label. Use the guidelines and weigh your cat on a weekly basis. If your cat is gaining or losing weight and shouldn't be, slightly adjust her daily intake and weigh her again the following week.
How Do You Do It?
To avoid intestinal upsets, make the change from a kitten formula to an adult diet over a period of four days with the following method:
Day One: Fill your cat's dish with 75% kitten food and 25% adult food.
Day Two: Mix adult and kitten food in a 50/50 ratio.
Day Three: Feed your cat a mixture that's 75% adult food and 25% kitten food.
Day Four: Switch to 100% adult formula.
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- adp_description_block248Why Antioxidants Are Good For Your Cat
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Antioxidants are good for your cat because they play a key role in minimizing damage to cells, including cells of the immune system.
These important, naturally occurring nutrients help maintain health by slowing the destructive oxidative process of cellular molecules. They also can be important in supporting immune responses and vaccine recognition in cats. This may be especially critical for kittens that are being vaccinated while their immune system is still developing.
Additionally, antioxidants can reverse decreases in immune-cell function for senior cats, increasing them back to healthy adult levels.
Antioxidants in IAMS™ Cat Foods
Antioxidants are nutrients found naturally in the body and in plants such as fruits and vegetables. Common antioxidants include vitamin C, vitamin E and certain compounds called carotenoids (including lutein and beta-carotene). A blend of several antioxidants in moderate amounts may be more effective than high levels of one antioxidant.
How Antioxidants Work
As cells function normally in the body, they produce damaged molecules called free radicals. These free radicals are highly unstable and steal components from other cellular molecules, such as fat, protein or DNA, thereby spreading the damage.
This damage continues in a chain reaction, and entire cells soon become damaged and die in a process called peroxidation. Peroxidation is useful because it helps the body destroy cells that have outlived their usefulness and kills germs and parasites. However, when left unchecked, peroxidation also destroys or damages healthy cells.
Antioxidants help prevent widespread cellular destruction by willingly donating components to stabilize free radicals. More importantly, antioxidants return to the surface of the cell to stabilize rather than damage other cellular components.
When there are not enough antioxidants to hold peroxidation in check, free radicals begin damaging healthy cells, which can lead to problems. For example, free radical damage to immune cells can lead to an increased risk of infection.
Antioxidants and Your Cat’s Immune Response System
Because antioxidants play a key role in minimizing damage to cells, such as those that make up the immune system, recent research examined the benefits of certain antioxidants on the immune response of cats. The results of these studies indicated that antioxidants are important in helping cats maintain a healthy immune system.
The research also showed that each antioxidant benefits the immune system uniquely, so one antioxidant at high levels is not as effective as a group of antioxidants acting together.
Antioxidant Source Function Vitamin E Plant oil extract, tocopherols Optimizes immune system’s T-cell activation Beta-carotene Vitamin premix, corn meal, chicken by-product meal and chicken fat Optimizes types of cells present in the blood, increases antibody levels
in the blood and optimizes vaccine recognition
Antioxidants and Aging in Cats
Recent research also examined the effect of aging on immune responses. The findings indicate that as cats age, immune cell responses may decline. Including antioxidants in your cat’s diet can help reverse the age-related decrease in immune cell function, returning it to healthy adult levels.
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