Cat Nutrition: What Your Cat Should Be Eating

Correct cat food and proper cat nutrition are the brick and mortar of raising a fit and healthy cat. Cat obesity and renal diseases are greatly avoided if you’ll give your cats the correct protein, vitamins, and minerals found in nature-designed food for cats. Don’t start by trusting the longest running cat food ad on TV – you have to know how to choose your cat’s food yourself.

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Cats Are Obligate Carnivore

Before cats learned to plop themselves on a sofa and fiddle with the remote, they were wild, hunting animals. So their natural diet is moist, protein rich, low in fat, very low in carbohydrates meat from a kill. So proper cat nutrition mimics this nature-designed food for cats. Cats are obligate carnivore, meaning they’re strictly meat eaters. Imagine giving plant-base foods to a strictly meat-eating mammal. The result is chaos in their metabolism.

Nutrients Cats Need

A cat’s metabolism is very different from a dog’s. For one, cats cannot digest carbohydrates through their saliva and they don’t have as much enzymes in their stomach as dogs to digest carbs. Here’s what you should be giving your pets:

Proteins

Cats need high protein diet. Not just any protein but protein that comes from animal meat. They are best given to your cat fresh and raw; their digestive tract is designed to breakdown meat products. Cats have particular need for the amino acid taurine, and heat destroys taurin; thus, giving raw cat food is recommended.

Fats

Although cats don’t need high amount of fat in their diet, they still need fat to breakdown and transport some vitamins and minerals to the entire body. Some fats are needed to insulate and cushion internal organs from the elements too.

Vitamins and minerals

In the wild, cats take vitamins and minerals from eating the digestive system including the stomach content of their herbivore prey. So they still eat a small amount of plant food for proper cat nutrition but in partially digested form. In your home, your pet can take these vitamins and minerals in supplement form or from high-quality wet cat food diet.

Water

Cats don’t eat dry kibble in the wild; the meat from a kill contains at least 70% water. So keep clean water always available to your cats at home for proper cat nutrition.

Cats and Plant-base Carbohydrates

Cats don’t need high carbohydrates in their diet. They get their calories from animal protein and fat – not from plant-base foods such as cereals and grains like some cat food brands advocate. A cat food that contains even 35-50% carbohydrate calories is going against proper cat nutrition.

Cats and Dry Kibble

More and more pet veterinarians are discovering that dry kibble is a menace to proper cat nutrition. Dry kibble is robbing cats of the much needed water content in their diet. Not only does dry kibble offer zero water to your cat, it sucks water from your cat’s digestive system too. The long-term effects of feeding dry kibble are renal dysfunctions and eventually failure. Not to mention dry kibble is high in plant-base carbs to begin with.

Vet-advised Cat Food

Most pets including cats are better off with a nature-designed diet. That means closely mimicking what nature intends your cat to eat. Many vets are recommending fresh meat over high-quality wet food at the same time you can hear some vets say wet foods are better. In reality, there are advantages and disadvantages between the two choices. For one, raw meat exposes your cats to salmonella, E. coli, and other bacteria while wet pet food tends to contain high carbohydrates and fats. However, it’s clear that raw meat and wet food diet is far better than dry kibble no matter how the brand advertised it to be good for cat nutrition.

Read the Label

Lastly, learning how to read the cat food label is essential for proper cat nutrition. You have to know what you’re giving your cats from Petco’s shelves. Mind you that cat food labeling is not obligated to be as detailed as human food labeling. It’s all the more reason to learn.

For instance if you see grain in the ingredients, it’s more likely that it’s high in carbohydrates. So check the carbohydrate level; it has to be 3-5% only. If you see wet cat food with very little to no plant-base products, that should be good for your cat. Remember also that soy and soy products should not even make it to the cat food ingredients

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