Our beloved adult cat's (Bernie) appetite for grass has increased a great deal over the past few months. We are worried that it may be a sign of ill health. We leave dry food out for our cats all day while we are gone, so he is getting plenty of food. Do you feel we have cause to worry?
Bernie’s grass appetite may be a craving for real / living food. Introducing raw food into his diet could be of great benefit to him. This can be as simple as adding some table scraps or bits of raw meat to Bernie's current diet, or you can transition him to a real raw food diet (which is the healthiest route, but more time consuming and expensive - see our article about pet food). Here is a web site with more good information about introducing raw food into a cat's diet: http://www.catfood.catnutrition.org
Supplementing Bernie's diet with antioxidants should help, as well (try something like Only Natural Pet Whole Food Antioxidant Blend). Additional supplements are probably not necessary, particularly if you will be introducing raw food into his diet. You mentioned that dry food is left out for the cats because you are gone for long hours. I would encourage you to avoid this practice. It is not good for a cat’s digestion to “graze” all day. With the kibble left out the cats will be less hungry when you feed their “real” food in the evening – so they will eat less of the more nutritious, wholesome diet. In addition, the amount each cat eats cannot be monitored or controlled. Is it possible to find a local pet-sitter or neighbor who could stop in once during the day to offer a “snack” to the cats between meals if you feel it is too long for them to wait? 10 hours is a long stretch, but not too long for a healthy animal.
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