Choosing The Right Diet for Your FIV-Positive Cat
Trying to figure out what to feed your FIV-positive cat can be quite a challenge, especially if you’re a first-time owner. Yes, they’re pretty much like any other cat, but since they have a weaker immune system, they’re more vulnerable to infections and diseases. However, that doesn’t mean they won’t be able to live normal, happy lives—they can, and they do! The key is in choosing the right diet.
Here’s how to do it…
1. Ask for your veterinarian’s opinion
If it’s your first time caring for an FIV-positive cat and you’re not sure how to pick the right diet, then you should talk to your veterinarian first. They can help you narrow down the options and come up with a meal plan that fits the current health status of your cat. For instance, if your cat is suffering from kidney disease, then they may need a prescription kidney diet; if your cat has diabetes, then your veterinarian may tell you to only feed them foods that are rich in protein and low in carbohydrates. It’s always different for every FIV-positive cat since there’s no specific diet that works for all infected felines.
2. Think about your cat’s nutritional needs
When choosing the right diet for your FIV-positive feline friend, it’s important that you do your research and learn about the nutrients that your cat needs to stay strong and healthy. Diet is a major factor in maintaining good health, even for us humans. Being well-informed about your cat’s nutritional needs will make it easier for you to make sure they’re getting enough vitamins and minerals from their meals to live long, healthy, and happy lives.
3. Go for high-quality cat food
If you think that all commercial cat food is good for your FIV-positive cat, then think again! There are plenty of low-quality cat food brands being sold on the market that not only offer little to no nutritional value but also cause various health problems in cats. They typically contain ingredients that are high in carbohydrates, like wheat, grain, oats, potatoes, and rice, or use harmful chemical preservatives, such as BHT and BHA, which are known to cause skin diseases, as well as cancer.
High-quality cat food, on the other hand, contains a lot of protein-rich ingredients, like chicken, beef, fish, or lamb. According to PetMD, you should always check the first three ingredients since the heaviest ones are usually listed first. That means when you see a high-protein ingredient at the top of the list, it most likely makes up the majority of the cat food. For good measure, you can always do a background check on the company that manufactures the cat food you’re planning to buy. Do some research and try to find out what other cat owners think about the brand.
4. Consider homemade meals
If you have the time, then preparing homemade meals for your FIV-positive cat is a great idea. You’ll be able to control what goes into your cat’s meals and make adjustments when needed. However, before you choose to go this route, you should be well-versed in both safe and unsafe foods for cats. You can learn about them online, but the safest way to go about it is to consult your veterinarian, especially if your cat has a health condition, or is currently on medications or a prescription diet.
5. Talk to your veterinarian about supplements
Since FIV-positive cats are immunocompromised, immune-boosting supplements can be added on top of a healthy diet to keep them strong and prevent them from developing health issues.
There are plenty of vitamins and supplements to choose from. The most common ones include vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and L-Lysine, which strengthens the immune system, as well as the eye and respiratory function. If you’re interested in giving your cat vitamins or supplements, ask your veterinarian for their professional opinion. They’ll help you figure out which ones would benefit your cat best and give you instructions on proper dosage and administration.