Are there feral cats hanging around your house or neighborhood? Or are you a cat rescuer? Then it is a high time to think about what to feed these stray cats.
Every cat deserves a healthy and nutritious diet. But feral cats can’t have access to healthy food as indoor cats. This implies that their diet does not meet the required standards.
If you are a caregiver to stray cats then you need to know how important your service is. You work around the clock to provide food and care for cats that might otherwise have nothing.
Caring for stray cats can be too expensive. So, how do you know this is the best cat food for feral cats?
Keeping reading to learn the nutritional needs and the best cat food for feral cats that provide all the nutritional needs at an affordable price.
Is Feeding Feral Cats Illegal?
According to research, there are a lot of people out there with compassion when it comes to helping animals. Nobody thinks about legality when it comes to helping these stray cats.
Most of these people find stray cats living in their neighborhood and immediately act to help them. The caregivers go-ahead to spay or neuter the cat then provides high-quality food and shelter.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of issues that crop up when it comes to caring for feral cats such as ownership, civil liability, feeding bans, and leash laws.
The laws about caring for stray cats can be confusing but we recommend caregivers to be aware of the law in advance before offering shelter and food.
Familiarizing yourself with the law will prevent you from experiencing a hell of a problem in the long run. The good news is that these laws vary from one municipality to another.
How Long Can Feral Cats Go Without Food?
Food and water are essential to life for felines. Feral cats need daily fluids and nutrition to stay healthy and alive.
According to veterinarian reports, all cats need to drink water and eat cat food regardless of their age every single day.
Starving feral cats are highly susceptible to a short lifespan. Drinking water help for cleansing purposes while food for well-being.
On average, feral cats can go without food for about a week or two weeks but this will heavily depend on the amount of water intake and general body health.
Other factors that may influence the survival rate of a stray cat are age, weather, and environment, emotional state and genetic heritage.
You should note that older cats won’t survive for long without food as compared to younger cats. Also, stray kittens won’t last long without food as compared to adult cats.
Well, it is high time to start showing compassion to the world not only on humans but also on stray cats. But you need to know more about the feed ban laws on stray animals in your locality.
10 Best Food for Feral Cats in Winter – Buyer’s Guide
Here are some of the most proven best cat food for feral cats:
Are you running a local shelter for feral cats? And wondering which best cat food to feed them? Well, worry no more since Purina Cat Chow Naturals is a perfect solution for your stray cats.
The dry cat food contains high-quality ingredients that help to promote healthy weight gain, healthy skin, and shiny coat.
The cat food has received a lot of praise from many feral cat forums and Facebook groups. The food is made without artificial flavors and preservatives that might ruin the well-being of the furry friend.
Besides that, the cat food has high-quality natural fibers that help to control hairballs and facilitate proper bowel movement.
The real chicken and turkey make the food to be quite delicious for the stray cats. Also, the food formula contains animal fat, brewer rice, ground yellow corn and soybean meal.
- Has no artificial flavors or preservatives
- Natural fiber help to control hairballs
- Help to promote healthy weight gain and skin coat
- Too expensive for maintaining feral cats
- Render cats to produce stinky fart and poop
Royal Canin is a reputable company when it comes to the manufacturing of high-quality cat food ideal for all ages and breeds.
The cat food formula is loaded with plenty of nutrients ideal for outdoor cats that are older than one year. The ingredients help to facilitate their well-being in the wilderness.
The most wonderful thing about this cat food is that it has an exclusive blend of antioxidants that help to support the health and well-being of the feline while outdoor.
Besides that, the precise calorie content help to maintain healthy weight gain and this is the reason why it is regarded ideal for feral cats.
Cat food is quite tasty and delicious. Some of the ingredients used in the manufacture of cat food are gluten cornmeal, chicken meal, brown rice, corn, chicken fat and pea fiber among many others.
The only drawback about the food formula is that some sheltered feral cats tend to vomit after eating and this is because it is not grain-free.
- Has exclusive blend of antioxidants for health support
- Has precise calorie content for healthy weight gain
- Has well-balanced nutrients for cats
- Not ideal for kittens
- Causes vomiting in some feral cats
- Too expensive for local shelter cats
The dry cat food is offered by Rachael Ray Nutrish which is a giant brand when it comes to the manufacturing of cat food formula in the market.
The real chicken ingredient has made the cat food formula to receive lots of praises from any cat forums and Facebook groups.
The most beautiful thing about the food formula is that it does not contain any strains of artificial flavors and preservatives that tend to have a negative impact on the feline.
Besides that, lack of ground corn, wheat, and soy ingredients make the cat food to be ideal for those felines that are prone to allergies.
Here are some of the ingredients used in the manufacture of the cat food; chicken, chicken meal, corn gluten meal, brown rice, brewers rice, dried peas, poultry fat and fish meal among others.
The only big issue with the food formula is the presence of gluten cornmeal which tends to affect other felines after eating.
- Contain high quality proteins for lean muscles and well-being
- No artificial flavors and preservative
- No poultry by-products and fillers
- Has gluten meal ingredients not ideal for cats
- Relatively too expensive for feeding a colony of stray cats
Diamond Naturals is a big brand in the production of high-quality cat food that tends to meet all the nutritional needs of cats.
The most interesting thing about the food formula is the free-range chicken ingredient that makes food to be quite tasty and delicious.
Besides that, the high-quality level proteins help to foster lean and strong muscles for hunting prey. The vitamins and minerals facilitate healthy skin and coat.
Another amazing feature of the food formula is the presence of probiotic ingredients that help to facilitate the healthy GI tract of the feline.
The main ingredients behind the food formula recipe are chicken meat, ground white rice, chicken fat, natural flavor, flaxseed, powdered cellulose, taurine and pumpkin seeds among others.
- High quality proteins from free range chicken
- Has antioxidant properties for healthy skin and coat
- Proprietary probiotics to enhance healthy GI tract.
- Has no artificial flavors and preservatives
- Make some cats sick
- Fibers from fruits and vegetables causes digestion problem
Felines tend to be picky eaters but with sportmix wholesomes cat food expect them to clear the bowl after every minute.
The food formula contains natural ingredients that are quite tasty and delicious. This is the reason why some cats tend to eat more.
Besides that, if you have a feral cat that tends to react to certain types of proteins and carbohydrates then it is high time to consider this food formula.
The most wonderful thing about cat food is that it lacks corn, wheat, and soy. This implies that there is no chance of the food to reduce allergic reactions.
Also, the food formula is packed with lots of nutrients such as omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids that help to promote healthy skin and coat.
One thing that makes this food formula stand out from others is that it is relatively affordable hence ideal for feeding a colony of feral cats in a local shelter.
- Relatively affordable
- Ideal for felines that are sensitive to certain protein types
- Has well-nutritional balance for healthy skin and coat
- Contain premium natural ingredients
- Make some cats vomit
- Smells awful and some cats would hate it
Are you running a cat local shelter and wondering which food formula is suitable for these furballs? Worry no more. Blue buffalo wilderness is the best deal for feral cats.
The food formula is packed with high-quality proteins from chicken which help to build and maintain lean muscles.
The most amazing thing is that blue buffalo wilderness is made with healthy carbohydrates which help to fuel the cat active lifestyle.
Besides that, it is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that help to support strong immune system, health, and all life stage requirements.
Another thing that makes this food formula stand out is the absence of artificial flavors and preservatives that cause food allergies in cats.
The main ingredients of the food formula are deboned chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, potato starch, fish meal, peas, and chicken fat among many others.
- Loaded with premium ingredients like real chicken
- Grain-free food formula for allergic cats
- Promote health and well-being of felines
- Has exclusive life source bits like vitamins and mineral
- Relatively expensive
- Make some cats to drink lots of water
- Make some cats to be sick
Instinct is a giant brand in the pet industry and it has a strong reputation for manufacturing high-quality cat food like ultimate protein natural cat food.
The food formula has a high quality of proteins that come from real chicken and animal meals. Since cats are obligate carnivores then this food perfectly matches their digestive system.
Besides that, the food recipe lacks grains, artificial flavors, and preservatives that might ruin the health of a furry friend.
But, it contains natural flavors that are delicious and tasty for any picky eater. You will be required to regulate the eating portions since many cats tend to love it.
The premium proteins help to build and maintain lean muscles while the natural probiotics facilitated a healthy digestive system.
Lastly, the food formula occurs in two types that are dry and wet. Hence, you can pick any option that suits your cats.
- High premium proteins ideal to build and maintain lean muscles
- Made from high-quality ingredients
- Has natural probiotics for digestive health
- Omega 3 fatty acids enhance healthy skin and coat
- Has antioxidant properties for supporting the immune system
- Price relatively high for a local cat shelter
- Causes bloat in some cats
- Some felines experience vomiting after eating
Purina is a great brand when it comes to pet feedings and Purina one tender dry cat food is one of their products.
The food formula has received lots of praise on many cat forums and Facebook groups hence the reason behind their popularity.
The cat food formula has a lot of natural and essential nutrients that help to promote good health among felines.
Besides that, the food is not packed with artificial flavors and preservatives hence quite ideal for those furballs prone to allergies.
The most beautiful thing is palatability. Cats are known to be picky eaters but when it comes to Purina one tender dry food things tend to be different.
The price of the food formula is quite affordable and if you have a batch of cats in the local shelter then consider it.
- Loaded with natural and essential nutrients
- Lack artificial flavors and preservatives
- Highly palatable for picky eaters
- Relatively affordable
- Frequent change in formula affect some cats
- Highly susceptible to ants due to poor storage
Sheba wet cat food contains lots of natural ingredients and nutrients that are ideal for supporting the health of a cat.
The high-quality proteins help to buildup and maintain the lean muscles of kitties. Also, the vitamins and minerals are meant for growth as well as maintenance of kittens.
The most wonderful thing about the cat food formula is the absence of corn, wheat, and soy which tend to cause a negative impact on cat health.
Besides that, the delicious taste of the food formula helps to create an appetite for felines that won’t eat.
Lastly, the food formula is made from fresh ingredients such as chicken, chicken broth, chicken liver, poultry by-products, meat by-products, guar gum, and minerals.
- Support overall health and vitality of feline friend
- Has premium proteins for lean muscles
- Contain all natural ingredients
- Highly tasty and delicious
- Relatively affordable
- Some feline experience diarrhea
- Opening the lid tend to be difficult
Meow Mix dry cat food has delicious flavors of chicken, turkey, salmon, and ocean fish. This is the perfect food formula for picky eaters.
The most wonderful thing is that the food formula is packed with complete and balanced nutrition ideal for feral cats.
Besides that, the food formula has all essential vitamins and minerals that help to promote health as well as the well-being of the feline friends.
Another important feature is the presence of high-quality proteins that facilitate the growth of lean muscles in kitties.
Meow Mix Original Choice cat food is quite affordable and the impact of the food on the cat is worth the value of your money.
- Offer complete and balance nutrition
- Relatively affordable for colony of cats
- Provides all essentials vitamins and minerals
- Has high quality proteins for supporting strong and healthy muscles
- Some cats may experience vomiting
- The smell have the cats to avoid eating
What Are The Nutritional Needs Of A Feral Cat?
Both indoor and outdoor cats have the same nutritional requirements. However, indoor cats tend to have a healthy diet when compared to feral cats.
Cats are obligate carnivores which imply that their bodies that rely more on animal proteins in their diet. Their digestive system is unable to extract nutrients from vegetable matters.
The following are some of the nutritional requirements of feral cats according to the Association of American Feed Control Officials:
Cats require a higher level of proteins than dogs. This is due to the inability of the liver to regulate the rate of breakdown of proteins. Proteins help cats to maintain lean muscles and the production of energy.
Cats need taurine from amino acids to enhance the formation of bile, proper functioning of heart muscles and healthy eyes.
Unfortunately, they have limited enzymes for producing taurine from amino acids hence the reason why supplying cat foods with taurine is recommended.
Insufficient taurine in their diet could lead to cardiomyopathy, retinal degeneration, reproductive failure, and abnormal kitten development.
The amino acid is responsible for the production of ornithine which helps to bind ammonia that is produced during the breakdown of proteins.
Lack of arginine in the diet of cats will lead to death, loss of coordination, excessive meowing, and salivation.
This is an essential component of fatty acids and cats are unable to produce their own arachidonic acid. The component helps to suppress inflammatory responses due to an allergic reaction.
The component is quite common in animal fats and this is the reason why it is recommended to supply kitties with real animal meat.
Active Form of Vitamin A
Kitties tend to lack an enzyme that is responsible for converting beta-carotene to retinol. This is the reason why they need preformed Vitamin A to enhance vision, growth and healthy skin coat. Most of these preformed vitamin A is found in animal proteins.
Felines are unable to manufacture sufficient Niacin and this is the reason why it requires a higher amount in their diet.
Sufficient amounts of Niacin in the cat diet help to facilitated weight gain, appetite, and prevent hemorrhagic diarrhea.
Cats normally need a low amount of starch in the diet since their digestive system cannot tolerate a high level of starch in their diet.
What To Feed Stray Cats Besides Cat Food?
Feeding stray cats is a controversial subject in recent days. Many people fear to feed feral felines since they might attract other stray cats in neighborhoods causing a nuisance.
However, if they are not causing any problem in the community then there is no problem feeding these felines.
The good news is that stray cats are natural hunters and they can feed on mice, birds, lizards, fish, rabbits, and squirrels among many other small rodents.
On the other hand, it is not recommended to feed these stray cats the following human foods: Chocolate, Cucumbers, Garlic and Bread.
Feeding feral cats with canned tuna and cat food help to prevent the extinction of other small animals mentioned earlier in the universe.
How Much Do Feral Cats Eat?
A lot of people tend to care much about feral cats even if they are not their own cats. Some might go the extra mile to offer shelter apart from food but it is advisable to abide by the law before taking custodians of stray cats.
The good news about stray cats is that they tend to eat less as compared to indoor cats since they supplement the cat food with hunted food in the bush.
However, the cost of maintaining a colony of stray cats is too expensive since they deserve high-quality food like indoor cats.
Shopping for stray cat food can be a challenge especially if you are a beginner but it is recommended to go for high nutritious and quality cat food in the market.
Most of the cat food mentioned in our guide are quite affordable and healthy for feral felines. If you own a cat rescue shelter then these are some of the best cat food to consider and they are highly recommended by veterinarians.
Final Thoughts about Best Cat Food for Feral Cats
Do you have feral cats coming in your backyard now and then? And you are wondering which best cat food is ideal for them? Well, the above listed best cat food for feral cats is ideal for them regardless of the breed.
Most of the cat food in the list contains high-quality ingredients that help to foster well-being and support the immune system.
The most beautiful thing about cat food is that they are affordable and grain-free. Therefore, there is no chance the feline is going to experience an allergic reaction in the long run.
If you are planning to start a cat rescue facility then it is wise to consult the authorities in charge. This will help you from landing into the problem of breaking the law concerning stray animals.
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