Cat Food 101 (Part 2)

Cat Food 101 (Part 2)

CHOOSING BETWEEN CANNED AND DRY CAT FOOD

Every cat parent has a different opinion on wet cat food vs. Dry cat food. Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that they need muscle-based meats in their diets. Although theoretically, they might get enough protein from plant material to exist, they need the amino acid taurine, which is found primarily in the muscle meat of animals, in order to thrive. On the whole, wet cat food, with the primary ingredient being meat or fish, provides a meal that is better suited to a cat's dietary needs. However, this doesn't necessarily mean that canned wet cat food is always a better choice than dry cat food.

The following are Some of the pros and cons of canned food: it is more expensive, can spoil more easily and requires refrigeration after opening, it is less energy dense than dry food, has up to 78% moisture content and tends to have more fat and protein especially animal protein and fewer carbohydrates than dry food. While those of dry cat food includes: it is more economical, it is convenient because you can leave it out and it doesn't spoil as easily, it is energy dense [which means a cat can consume lots of calories quickly], has about 10% moisture content, tends to have more carbohydrates and less protein than wet food and may be only slightly better than canned food at preventing dental disease.

The bottom line? “More research is needed to determine whether wet food is better,” Bough says. But the high moisture content in wet food can be beneficial to cats with urinary tract problems, diabetes, or kidney disease. It can help compensate for cats' low thirst drive, which may be partly due to their evolution as desert animals. More study is needed to confirm whether feeding wet food can help prevent some of these problems from developing in the first place. Higher protein levels more often found in wet food may be of benefit to strict carnivores like cats, who depend on consuming animals to meet their nutritional needs and require up to three times the protein of omnivores.

“But you can have a high protein diet that's still deficient in essential amino acids,” says Larson, citing taurine as an example. ‘’And the same is true for fats and essential fatty acids. So you need to make sure the subparts are covered.”

In all, If you feed your cat premium cat food, she is likely to thrive whether the food is in wet or dry form.


VEGAN DIETS AND HOMEMADE FOOD FOR CATS

Unlike dogs and humans, cats need specific vitamins, minerals and proteins that only come from meat, so while vegetarian or vegan diets might be a healthy choice for you, they are a bad for your cat. But what cats need is not just raw meat. That may be part of life for big cats in the wild, but it`s unnatural for house cats, Hill says. “in the wild, they eat the whole animal or bird they catch, not just the meat. Meat alone will be deficient in vitamins, minerals and amino acids.” Plus, bacteria on raw meat, like salmonella and E. Coli, can make your cat and you very sick.

Concerning home made food, making your own cat food is a difficult and time consuming process, as the recipe may not contain the right quantities and proportions of nutrients for your cat.Churchill says it is best to not go through this routine alone and strongly recommends that you get a veterinary nutritionist to help, because cats are only 8 to 10 pounds and changing one ingredient can change the whole nutritional value of the diet.

Generally, most experts say commercial cat food is the way to go. “The beauty of commercial food is that it is formulated specifically for cats, so it is complete and balanced and meets their needs and you do not have to worry about it,” Churchill says.

To live a long, healthy life, your cat undoubtedly needs proper nutrition. I believe this article on cat food 101 has been able to give explicit guidelines on how to select an appropriate diet for your cat.
 
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