What food is best for my cat? This is an oft-asked question among the cat owners who have to deal with finicky cats who just refuse to touch the dry cat food that is given to them and instead eye the frozen meats that are stored in the refrigerator. Well, as much as the pet food companies may claim that the cat food formula with grains and even fruits and vegetables are good for the cat, the truth is that only cat food that is high in protein is ideal for your feline friends. So, instead of falling into the smart advertisement tactics of the pet food companies, it is best to understand the dietary requirements of the cat to avoid all the serious health complications that your cat may have to face in the future.
Low-carb, High Protein Cat Food
Yes, this is exactly what your cat needs. A low-carb, high protein diet for cats is necessary as they are strictly carnivorous. Unlike humans and even dogs which can derive the proteins from plants, cats have completely different metabolism and dietary needs. While a human can derive proteins from plants and animal sources, cats lack the enzymatic pathways for the proper utilization of plant-based proteins. The insufficient proteins in the body, leads to inadequate protein turnover or rather the redistribution of amino acids from the skeletal muscle and other tissues to support metabolic functions. This can result in loss of the lean muscle mass in cats and the retention of the proteins as well as fats in the body. In fact, veterinarians have noted that a number of obese cats who were on a high-carb diet lost weight significantly when they switched to high protein cat food.
The inability of cats to metabolize the carbohydrates in their diet, especially those present in the dry cat food, has had us wondering whether dry food is as good as the pet companies claim it to be. The presence of carbohydrates in food not only has no connection to the dietary requirements of the cat, but these plant proteins can actually be detrimental to the health of the cat, resulting in diseases like diabetes, kidney failure, cystitis, inflammatory bowel diseases, and obesity in cats.
In addition to the proteins, water too is an integral component of the cat’s diet. In fact, the preys of the cats in the wild contain around seventy percent water and only six percent carbohydrates. Do not be fooled by labels such as high protein dry cat food as it only entails the presence of plant proteins. Instead, canned wet food contains higher levels of proteins and are thus much more beneficial for the cat.
High Protein Canned Cat Food
Canned food with a higher percentage of meats and some water in it is the preferred choice for many cat owners who want their cats to switch to a high protein diet. Cats which have been on dry foods for too long may try to resist the change to wet foods. However, it is best that you start introducing the canned food to your pets over a course of time. You can do so by sprinkling some of their favorite fish treats on top or pour in the water from top. If your cat insists on eating the dry food, then crush and sprinkle some on top of the wet food.
When choosing the canned food for your cat, do not just pick up foods based on words such as “natural” and “premium” on the cover. Instead, look for ingredients such as chicken, salmon, turkey, beef, or lamb on the cover. Do not be fooled by words like “chicken meal”, or “chicken by-product meal” or “chicken by-products”. These are just words to indicate that the meat has been cooked at high temperatures, usually rendering them worthless. By-products like intestines and egg shells, which are less nutritious than whole meats should be avoided as well. You need to necessarily avoid grains and wheat as they can cause allergies in cats.
The best high protein cat food is either homemade food, or the raw food diet for cats. You can purchase meats that are free of hormones and bacteria from a reputable butcher. Avoid purchasing foods which are high-carbohydrate, grain or vegetable-based, and instead stick to high protein diet to increase your cat’s energy, promote weight loss, cure constipation, prevent diabetes, and improve your cat’s coat quality.