Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they must eat meat to survive.
Cats are incapable of digesting and receiving sufficient nutrition from the majority of vegetable proteins. Unless on a specific veterinarian-controlled diet, cats cannot eat a vegetarian diet and survive. Dog food is also not balanced for cats and can lead to health problems. Cats need more fat and protein and certain specific amino acids found in meat, such as taurine and arginine.
Choosing a cat food
There is no one food that is best for every cat. Cats are individuals just like people, which means that you could feed a brand of very well-formulated food to a group of cats and find that most of them do great, some not as well, and in some, it may actually cause some gastrointestinal upset. Luckily, there are many well-formulated cat foods to choose from today and it is fine to try several to determine which one works best for your cat.
High quality ingredients are essential for a healthy food. Some economy brands are made from inexpensive ingredients, are not easily digested and therefore do not provide the best nutrition. They have lower energy values and lower-grade proteins and thus pass through your cat's system without being absorbed. This means you must feed larger amounts, which may end up costing you more in the long run.
Review the list of ingredients:
VarietyFeeding your cat a variety of food prevents your cat from developing a preference for food that may not be 100 percent nutritionally balanced. If however, your cat is content with a single nutritionally complete and balanced cat food, there really is no reason to feed more than one variety.
The exception to this rule is feeding tuna. Tuna is "addictive" to some cats and is not a balanced food. Overfeeding of tuna may also cause a serious disease called "yellow fat disease" where the fats in the body become hardened and turn yellow. Limit the feeding of tuna to a treat food.
Common Feeding Problems
Commercial cat foods are formulated as dry, semi-moist, and canned. The products differ in water content, protein level, caloric density, palatability and digestibility. The differences are primarily attributed to the processing methods used by pet-food manufactures. A quality cat food provides the necessary nutrients in a properly balanced proportion no matter what the formulation.
Adapted from the CFA Mentor Program
Share with your followers.
This program is supported by
The Cat Fanciers' Association, Inc.
This program is supported by The Cat Fanciers' Association, Inc.