H E L PW A N T E D BRAIN FOOD
THE FINICKY CAT BY ARDEN MOORE
I’ve got a smart cat. Casey quickly masters tricks like paw hellos and figure-eight weaves between
my legs, and he always trots my way
when I call his name.
In the pet first-aid classes I teach,
Casey serves as my feline assistant
and displays his feline smarts by
always finding where I hide his treat
bag and leaping on the table when it’s
time to demonstrate the safe way to
wrap an injured cat in a bath towel.
But could he be smarter? Like
many well-intentioned pet parents, I
didn’t recognize that bolstering brain
power in our cats relies on:
1.Providing mentally and physi- cally stimulating indoor enrichment items like food puzzles, cat
furniture trees, and feather wands
that tap their innate hunting talents.
2.Making wise choices at chow time. The types of foods, treats,
and supplements we give our cats
greatly influence their intelligence
and give their overall health a boost.
In my quest to create a nation
of smarter, healthier cats, I turned
to one of the country’s renowned
experts on holistic health and nutri-
tion — Jean Hofve, D.V.M. This retired
holistic veterinarian operates little
bigcat.com and just unleashed her
latest scientific-backed e-book called
What Cats Should Eat: How To Keep
Your Cat Healthy With Good Food.
“Good nutrition and indoor
enrichment are important for brain
and body health,” Dr. Hofve said. “The
optimal nutrition for a cat is a mouse,
but that’s not practical. So, what we
try to do is build a better mouse.”
Dish up “brainy” omega-3s.
DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and
EPA (eicosapentaneoic acid) are
two vital omega- 3 essential fatty
acids that ease inflammation and
encourage cognitive development
(aiding in memory and learning).
DHA is the primary fat that comprises the structure of the brain,
and EPA is found in cell membranes
and keeps cell membranes flexible
and ensures that neuron messages
are transmitted. Good sources of
omega-3s include krill oil, sardine oil, and anchovy oils.
Power up your Ps:
prebiotics and probiotics.
It’s easy to confuse the two.
Prebiotics are fibrous addi-
tives that feed good intes-
tinal microorganisms and
are found in some pet
foods. Probiotics are live
more sensitive to heat and moisture
and are more commonly packaged
as capsules. Probiotics are nutritional
supplements used to treat diarrhea,
constipation, and other digestive
issues. The quality and efficacy varies,
so consult your vet for recommenda-
tions to meet your cat’s health needs.
IDEAL CAT DIET
“Fresh foods are full of digestive
and metabolic enzymes. So the
less processed, the better. Look for
organic, pasture-raised, grass-fed
foods.” — Jean Hofve, D.V.M.
OR LESS CARBS
ABOUT 65% TO 75% WATER