Cat Nutrition

Nature of the Diet

The study of species appropriate diets of our companion animal’s wild ancestors determined that grains were not necessary in their daily diet.  Cats are obligate carnivores and their nutritional foundation should come from a high protein, high moisture diet consisting of natural meat, organs, and bones. Why, then, is grain in most of our dry and canned pet foods? It is a less expensive source of nutrients and energy than meat, and it serves as a binding agent to keep the kibble formed even though the process of cooking the rendered kibble kills all enzymes needed to thrive.

It is important to evaluate your cat’s diet to ensure you are providing enough moisture and enzymes to keep the organs functioning properly. If your kitten or cat is eating a diet unfit for felines such as an all dry kibble or a diet containing too much grain, their organs can become stressed. Cats on all dry diets live in a chronic state of dehydration, and  over time, kidney, liver and digestive diseases can appear due to stressed organs that must work harder to function properly. Many do not realize how important proper nutrition is and can prevent diseases. The correct core diet can be determined by muscle testing. Proper nutrition can even heal physical and behavioral issues. To learn more about muscle testing, click here

Were you aware that…

  • Cats are built to acquire their protein and nutrients (amino acids) needed from meat.  Dry food (kibble) contains very little water and cats on a kibble diet need to increase their intake of water, but since cats are not natural thirsters they are less likely to get adequate amount of hydration on a kibble diet alone.  Cats on a dry food diet are at risk for the Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease. 
  • Grains seem to play a significant role in many allergies and grains contribute to chronic diseases such as diabetes and cancer.
  • Felines do not have amylase in their saliva needed to break down starches and it is the starch that creates the tartar build-up – they do not need grains and starch in their diet.
  • Moisture is required in the diet for proper organ function and cats in the wild are designed to eat @ 70-90% moisture that they get naturally from the prey content. Dry food only provides @ 12% moisture.
  • You should avoid these ingredients when buying commercial dry  or canned food: Meat Meal, Animal Fat, By-products, Soybean Meal, Corn, Rice Gluten, Wheat Mids, Rice Bran, Wheat bran, Flour, *BHA, *BHT, *Ethoxyquin, *Artificial Flavors and Colors, *Propylene Glycol, *Corn Syrups, *Sugars, *Sucrose, *Fructose, and *(Menadione  dimethylprimidinol sulfate) *beware of treats with these toxic ingredients
  • This is the Criteria of good ingredients to look for: Whole, fresh meat source should rank in the top 2 ingredients, or single source meat meal (ie chicken instead of “poultry” meal) – Superior sources of protein,  Whole, unprocessed grains, vegetables and other foods with a minimum of food fragments – brewer’s yeast, wheat bran.
  • The best diet you can offer your cat is a well-balanced and natural raw diet. Raw means that the protein is in its natural state without hormones or being cooked so it still contains the nutrients and enzymes needed to boost the immune system. It is important to include all of the components of a raw diet – RMB (Raw Meaty Bones for calcium) muscle meat, organs and some veggies if needed. The ratio of bone to meat is extremely important so muscular skeletal diseases do not occur.
  • Cats should not eat the same protein every day for months or even years.  Without rotating the proteins allergy and skin issues arise and the issues are simply from an imbalance of fats in the body as a result of not rotating or incorporating different proteins in the diet.
  • The worst diet you could feed your feline is an un-balanced raw diet that may only consist of a couple of chicken breasts or chicken legs and fruits or vegetables. This is not all a cat would eat in the wild if you think of a mouse carcass – it has bones, muscle, organs and stomach contents.
  • Know your cat.   Know the signs of what is good and what is of concern.
    • Coat:  Indicates proper utilization of protein and fatty acids.  Good is soft and glossy.  Poor is dry/brittle, and dull.
    • Muscle Tone/Joints:  Indicates proper utilization of vitamins and minerals.  Good is recovering from strenuous exercise well.  Bad is having problems recovering after exercise.
    • Skin Condition:  Indicates proper utilization of protein and fatty acids.  Good is smooth and pliable.  Bad is dry, flaky, patchy, or hot spots.
    • Eye Color (membrane under lower lid):  Indicates proper utilization of minerals  Good is darker in color (pink to red).  Poor is light of white in color.
    • Gums (firmness/color):  Indicates proper utilization of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.  Good is firm, no bleeding when rubbed, and darker color.  Poor is loose, bleeding when rubbed, and light color.
    • Energy Level:  Indicates proper utilization of vitamins and minerals.  Good is more energy and mainly calm.  Poor is tires easily and more nervous, but could also be hyper/high strung.

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