Top 3 Tips on Feeding your Cats

Magic in grass

Top 3 tips I learned from Dr. Jean during the 7-day Cat Conference.  She and all the other 20+ experts all agreed on these tips for the most optimal way to feed cats.

These tips are from one of the speakers -Dr. Jean Hofve – her talk was called “How to improve cats’ diet without breaking the bank”  I think we’d all love that 😉

Top tips I learned from Dr. Jean during the 7-day Cat Conference.  She and all the other 20+ experts all agreed on these tips for the most optimal way to feed cats.

I want to start by saying there is absolutely no judgment here, as I know firsthand how expensive it can be and how inconvenient it can be to do improve our animals’ diet.  And I too have fed dry food to both my cats and dogs.  However, instead of beating myself up I live by the Maya Angelou quote “Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better.” So know I am doing better. 😉

I have always been interested in healthier diet options, for literally all species. I am and have been a Certified human health coach for over 12 years.  I have been studying supplements for all species for 19 years, and I am in the process of becoming a CPN – Certified Pet Nutritionist, to continue to further my knowledge of this ever changing field.

Which is why I jumped at the chance to attend this cat conference by Dr. Jeff Grognet. It was wonderful to see a whole 7-day event, specifically just for cats.

I am also gathering all the information I can, to share with you for dogs and horses, so I will be posting those as well, in near future, in newsletters and more frequently, on my Facebook and Instagram pages.

Tip #1 – No dry food for cats. Why? Because they are very dehydrating, and Dr. Jean advised that if you think wet food is expensive, wait until you see the cost to treat a cat with chronic kidney failure or bladder stones that have to be surgically removed at a veterinarian. Dry diets are associated with a lot of health issues for cats in their urinary system.

Plus carbohydrates which are pretty high in dry food. Cats love them but it’s not good for them. Cats are carnivorous and don’t eat carbohydrates in the wild. I will admit before really learning and understanding this information all my cats have had dry food along with some canned. And they love it…I called it “kitty crack” and just as humans we love carbs and sugar, it isn’t the healthiest option for us.

I had to work to wean 2 of my 3 cats off it slowly. The only thing I use it for now is I keep a small amount of dry cat food in a Tupperware container and shake it if for some reason I can’t find one of them. Then I reward them with a dehydrated raw cat appropriate treat.

Now they all love the mixture of canned, frozen raw, and dehydrated raw (which I rehydrated for them when using as a meal) Only use it freeze dried or dehydrated as an occasionally treat. You can reconstitute them with water, or broth and it is important to do so if you feed these as a meal. They need the water from their food!

Cats do get diabetes like humans when they are fed all those carbohydrates.

Tip #2 – Dr Jean also mentions that cats are not meant to “free feed”. Why? Because, in the wild they hunt and then eat and then hunt and eat, there is not ability to free feed and their digestive tract is built to hunt and eat. Free feeding can cause a lot of weight gain and that can also lead to diabetes.

When you are weaning an overweight cat who is addicted to dry you need to go really slow, it’s hard to get them off of it sometimes. And if you are free feeding then you can start by feeding them 3 to 4 times per day to help them get off that free feed schedule. Dry addicted cats can be a challenge to introduce new foods too. Please be patient and go slow while providing options of canned wet, raw and reconstituted freeze dried or if you eat meat (I do not, as a vegan), you can offer them some of your lightly cooked plain protein as another option. It can take weeks or months to transition, or if you are lucky some will take to it right away.

One of my cats was immediate, one took a couple weeks, and one took a month. Most important. Cats must keep eating, so you don’t want to stress them out and have them miss 3 or more meals. If they won’t eat any new options, then go ahead and feed them a small amount of the dry food, with the other food options either in the same bowl or near it and eventually you can get them transitioned over.

I personally feed 3 smaller meals which include breakfast, dinner and before bed. They get an occasional freeze dried or dehydrated protein treat. It does of course cost me more, however the savings at the vet’s office have been worth it, that and their health and longevity.

I also have the added benefit of using animal communication and EFT for animals if necessary. Although, to be totally honest I just decided, hold the vision of how it will be around here (since after all they did sign up to be with me LOL) and stay confident they will go along with it, and they do.

Tip #3 – What is the most ideal way to feed cats. The order of what Dr. Jean feels is the best way to feed your cats. She says the bottom of her list is any generic big box store dry food.

The other part of this Tip is Variety!!! Mix up the brands and proteins so that they don’t just get used to only one food, for many reasons. That brand could go away or be recalled. And if that one food doesn’t have all they need they could be imbalanced. Also, by switching it up it can be closer to what they would do in nature. They don’t always only eat one protein.

Her rating system:

  • 5 paws – a great homemade balanced organic raw protein with steamed/mashed vegetables or a high quality frozen raw food specifically for cats.
  • 4 paws – a great quality canned wet cat food or a reconstituted with hot water or broth -freeze dried or dehydrated raw cat food. And you can always add a little bit of fresh human grade meat to any canned cat food. This is also a great option for cats.
  • 3 paws – middle of the road or cheaper canned cat food
  • 2 paws – lowest quality wet food – However…. Dr. Jean would rather have a cat eat the cheapest and lowest quality canned food over even the “best” dry food. She said Fancy Feast is always a better choice than any dry food. So, if this is what your budget allows and/or, if that is the only thing your cat will eat, then so be it, you are doing the best you can for your cat.
  • 1 paw – dry food, any brand!
  • Lower than one paw…. Homemade food that isn’t balanced for cats!! If you don’t have a balanced food recipe just for cats, then you can cause a host if health issues. They need specific ratios and minerals to survive.

I hope you found this information helpful and valuable. I know I did 😊

I could go on and on, because there is so much to know and learn. And I will continue to share what I learn with you, to help you improve the life and health of your beloved animal family members.

If you want more information from Dr. Jean check out her website:

She also has a great book that has been updated in 2023 called “What Cats Should Eat: A Holistic Veterinarian’s Guide to Your Cat’s Optimal Diet” that you can find on Amazon.

See you on Facebook and Instagram with more tips!