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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.

The Right Foods for Cats with Cancer

Taking care of a cat with cancer is hard enough, but when his or her appetite begins to wane, questions about quality of life soon follow. Watching a sick cat’s food intake is very important for two reasons:   READ MORE

Nov 15, 2013 / (1) comments

Is Your Cat Fat? Toss the Treats

I don’t like fat cats. I have nothing against them personally, but when I see one in practice I can’t stop myself from thinking about the myriad ways those extra pounds will likely shorten their lives and/or diminish their enjoyment of what time they do have left. Perhaps a more nuanced way... READ MORE

Nov 08, 2013 / (1) comments

How the Right Cat Food Can Help Prevent Bladder Stones

One of the nice things about diagnosing bladder stones (uroliths) in cats is that the three main types are amenable to prevention, and sometimes even treatment, through diet.   READ MORE

Nov 01, 2013 / (1) comments

Why Exercise May be the Best Medicine for Your Cat's Diabetes

I just finished listening to a podcast produced by the Public Radio show Science Friday called the “Fallacies of Fat.” In it, Dr. Robert Lustig talks about diet, exercise, weight loss, and health and how they are not all related in the ways that you might think.   READ MORE

Oct 25, 2013 / (1) comments

How Long Can My Cat Be Fed a 'Critical Care Diet'?

A couple of weeks back, TheOldBroad ask about the appropriateness of feeding critical care diets to cats on a long-term basis. “It's very palatable and the critters seem to really like it,” TheOldBroad said. “However, it's my understanding that it's not a good option... READ MORE

Oct 18, 2013 / (1) comments

How Organ Meats Can Be Beneficial for Cats

In response to a post about the importance of reading ingredient lists on cat food labels, Westcoastsyrinx said, “Personally I find that the organ meat is not an appropriate regular source of protein as the amino acids are not the same balance as muscle meat, and such parts as kidneys will contain... READ MORE

Oct 11, 2013 / (1) comments

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




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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.