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Nutrition Nuggets
Your cat's nutrition is important for a healthy & happy life. petMD experts help you to know what to feed your cat, how much food to feed, and the differences in cat foods, so your cat gets optimum nutrition.

Nutrition Nuggets is the newest offshoot of petMD's Cat Nutrition Center. Each week Dr. Coates will use her expertise and wisdom to blog about the intricacies of cat nutrition.

Indoor Cats are Fatter Than We Thought

I didn’t make it to the American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition Symposium this year, but I recently reviewed some of the research that was presented there. I want to share the results of one study that looked at the differences in body composition between indoor, neutered cats, and outdoor,... READ MORE

Oct 04, 2013 / (1) comments

Why You Need to Check the Cat Food Label Every Time

I really should listen to my own advice.   How many times have we talked here about the importance of reading ingredient lists when purchasing cat food? I’ve lost count, so I’m embarrassed to admit that this lesson was once again driven home for me just last week.   READ MORE

Sep 27, 2013 / (4) comments

What Do You Put Your Cat's Food In?

We spend a lot of time talking about how best to feed cats here, but I don’t think we’ve ever mentioned what to put that food in or on. Last week, TheOldBroad mentioned that she had a couple of cats with skin problems related to eating from plastic food bowls. While this is not a common problem,... READ MORE

Sep 20, 2013 / (0) comments

How to Calculate the Carbs in Your Cat's Food

Controversy surrounds the inclusion of carbohydrates in cat food. Cats are carnivores after all, and as such, their natural diet is quite low in carbohydrates. They get some from the intestinal tracts of the animals they eat, but that’s about it.   READ MORE

Sep 13, 2013 / (2) comments

Woo Your Finicky Cat With Mood Lighting

Cats have a well-deserved reputation for being finicky eaters, but sometimes they aren’t turning their nose up at the food itself but at their surroundings instead.   READ MORE

Sep 06, 2013 / (1) comments

Vegan Diet Almost Kills Kitten

Did you hear about the case of the Australian kitten that nearly died from being forced to eat a vegan diet? According to an article in the Herald Sun, its owners fed it potatoes, rice milk, and pasta. Unsurprisingly, the cat became very sick:   READ MORE

Aug 30, 2013 / (12) comments

Fish Oil for Cats with Arthritis

Diagnosing a cat with arthritis sometimes seems like an exercise in futility. When it comes to our canine patients, veterinarians have access to an incredible range of treatments that are both safe and effective, but the shelves are a bit barer for cats. I rely heavily on nutritional management.   READ MORE

Aug 23, 2013 / (2) comments

Obesity Clinics for Pets?

Over on Nutrition Nuggets for dogs this week, I talked about a new part of the 2014 Association of American Feed Control Officials 2014 model feed regulations. It will result in calorie counts being included on all dog and cat food labels. In that post, I mentioned how prevalent obesity is in dogs and... READ MORE

Aug 16, 2013 / (2) comments

Frequent, Small Meals Promote Feline Weight Maintenance

I often talk to owners about the benefits of feeding cats multiple small meals throughout the day, an arrangement that most closely mirrors what nature intended and can help prevent diseases like obesity and diabetes mellitus. This is easier said than done, however. Most of us are busy enough that playing... READ MORE

Aug 09, 2013 / (2) comments

Of Cats and Fish

I was eavesdropping on a conversation between pet owners a few days ago that got me to thinking. The question they were debating was, “Why do we feed our cats fish?”   READ MORE

Jul 26, 2013 / (2) comments




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Photo of Jennifer

... graduated with honors from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in 1999. In the years since, she has practiced veterinary medicine in Virginia, Wyoming, and Colorado. She is the author of several books about veterinary medicine and animal care, including the Dictionary of Veterinary Terms, Vet-Speak Deciphered for the Non-Veterinarian .

Jennifer also writes short stories that focus on the strength and importance of the human-animal bond and freelance articles relating to a variety of animal care and veterinary topics. Dr. Coates lives in Fort Collins, Colorado with her husband, daughter, and pets.