In case you didn’t know, a cat is an obligate carnivore. You will find no such thing as vegan cat food because the cat must rely on nutrients found only in meat from other animals. If you want to kill your cat, put him on a vegan diet. Instead, learn cat nutrition requirements.
Cats became hunters because they needed to consume prey with high amounts of protein, moderate fat content, and a minimum of carbohydrates. Kitty needs other nutrients as well, such as vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and amino acids. These will be available to him from protein sources.
With a balanced diet, the cat does not need any supplements, and, in fact, these can harm your cat. Therefore, do not give them unless your vet suggests it.
Look For The AAFCO Nutritional Guarantee
You can obtain a commercially prepared cat food that supplies the correct balance of calories and nutrients. The Feline Nutrition Expert (FNE) Subcommittee of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) has established minimal nutrient requirements for cats.
Certain nutrition information must be provided by pet food manufacturers on the package. The AAFCO has established labeling regulations. Any pet food that carries an AAFCO statement of a nutritional guarantee could work for your cat, as it would be considered nutritionally complete and balanced.
Read the nutritional label to compare cat foods. Read the ingredient list and look for foods in which meat or seafood list among the first few ingredients, indicating you will find more of these in the food than other ingredients. You can feel reassured that you will get enough animal-source ingredients to supply basic needs, including amino and fatty acids.
The nutrients your cat needs fall into six categories:
The Need For Protein
Since cats are obligate carnivores, they need to eat a lot of protein, as compared to other animals. This protein in the diet will have many uses. The main ones include developing and maintaining muscles, skin, fur, nails, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, enzymes, hormones, and antibodies.
Why Won’t Plant Protein Work?
Cats cannot digest plant protein or break it down in a usable form in their bodies. Plants simply don’t have a sufficiently high level of great-quality, highly digestible protein. Would you feed a cow a meat-based diet? Not likely! Their digestive system cannot handle it. Similarly, don’t expect a cat to thrive on vegetables or grain.
The Value Of Animal Protein
Cats’ bodies need the nutrients in protein in order to survive. Their digestive tract breaks the protein into amino acids — building blocks that reassemble into the type of protein the cat needs just then.
A cat’s diet must supply 11 essential amino acids. Look at this list:
Just make sure that protein provides the foundation of your cat’s diet, and that it will include sufficient fat.
What About Animal By-Products?
If the label ingredients include meat by-products, stay away from it! Meat by-products often include the waste from shelter-houses, such as heads, hooves, or intestines (including their contents). Sometimes these by-products come from vet clinics (euthanized animals), road kill, or dead zoo animals, for example.
Not only that, but if the meat comes from a euthanized animal, the chemical used for that purpose cannot be broken down by cooking. Do you want to include a fatal chemical in your cat’s diet?
These additives become a signal that the meat quality is very low.
Watch For Fillers
Often a cat food company will add a lot of filler to their food, since protein costs so much. These fillers are often carbohydrates. If a high-quality commercial food has digestible carbs, that is acceptable. Try to look for more digestible carbohydrates such as brown rice and oatmeal instead of wheat and corn
When you read labels, opt for a grain-free food if you can find one. A cat should get less than 10% of the meal’s calories from carbohydrates.
Feeding Dry Food
Dry food has the advantage of being less expensive and not requiring refrigeration. However, do put the food in some kind of air-tight container to keep it fresh longer. Store in a cool, dry place and don’t use past the expiration date.
The main drawback to dry food, in my opinion, boils down to its lack of moisture. If your cat drinks a lot of water, or if you have a cat water fountain that the cat will use regularly, that will prove most helpful.
However, dry food does not supply the water your cat needs to remain healthy. Wet food provides moisture.
Why Is Water So Important?
To understand how critical water becomes for your cat, read this post from this website, which will inform you about the benefits of water to the cat. Here is a link: https://theliteratecat.com/what-are-the-cat-health-benefits-gained-from-drinking-water/ Water hydration can keep your cat safe from multiple health problems.
If you want to check out a good list of healthy cat foods, read this reference: pet.reviews/best-cat-food/ In it, you will find “The Top 11 Best Cat Foods.” You might find just the right food on this list.
What your cat eats and the water he drinks will all contribute to his health, good or bad. To keep your fur baby healthy, select a nutritious food with all the essential ingredients and make sure kitty drinks fresh water daily.
You will gain your reward from your cat’s good health and high energy.
References I used for this post: petmd.com/cat/nutrition/cat-nutrition-what-makes-nutritional-cat-food pet.reviews/best-cat-food/ vet.cornell.edu/departments-centers-and-institutes/cornell-feline-health-center/health-information/feline-health-topics/feeding-your-cat naturalcathealth.com/nutritious-cat-food/