Ask any cat and we will tell you just how important a carnivorous diet is. A healthy diet is the foundation for a long and healthy life for us cats. Unfortunately, many pet owners do not look carefully enough at product labels to determine if the foods they are giving us are nutritious enough. Providing us with the right diet can cut back on veterinary costs because the better our diet, the better our health. Many cat owners debate on what is best between moist canned cat food and dry cat kibble. Making sure we have all the nutrition we need is what is important.
We cats know just how expensive canned food can be but sticking with the cheapest bag of dry food you can find is not always best. Many dry cat food manufacturers use too much plant-based proteins and carbohydrates in their foods. Additionally, dry food is low in water content and since we do not stop as often to drink water as a dog, it is important that we receive enough water from our food source. Also, we need fresh water every time we eat since we drink water with each meal we consume.
My owner discovered the hard way that reading pet food labels is extremely important. She gave me dry food every day and eventually I started displaying signs of medical difficulties that resulted from kidney problems. If the dry foods you give us do not have contain the right nutrition, it can end up leading to inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, diabetes, cystitis, kidney disease, asthma, poor dental health, hair balls, and hepatic lipidosis. That is not to say that all dry cat food is bad. However, you can only ensure that we are eating right if you check the label on food products carefully.
Since plant based proteins are much cheaper than animal based proteins, many dry cat food manufacturers will try to save money by using corn, soy, rice, and wheat as a source of protein. Cats, both domesticated and wild are very strict carnivores. Never will you see a cat choosing to eat plants over meat. Mother Nature designed us to thrive on eating meats in order to keep up with our metabolic design. In other words, plant based proteins are not enough to keep us happy, healthy, and active. We must have a sufficient source of animal based protein in our diet.
Yet another thing to watch out for on cat food labels is carbohydrates. We cats are prone to diseases such as diabetes, much like our human owners. High amounts of carbohydrates can damage our bodies and lead to improper levels of insulin. Make sure the foods you buy us are not too high in carbohydrates. You should also make sure the food you buy contains plenty of water, or at least supply us plenty of water during meal times as this helps prevent kidney problems and cystitis. Water is the key to a healthy urinary tract system for us cats.
Of course, most of the dry cat food that contains a sufficient amount of protein and other essential vitamins and minerals for cats are among the more pricey brands of food. You do not have to go out of your way and financially strain yourself over us. There is an easier way to ensure we receive the right nutrition while saving money. Consider a homemade cat feast that is easier on your wallet and nutritious enough to keep us healthy. The most popular homemade cat diets are grain free and consist of fresh, raw meats.
Not everyone can handle raw meats like we cats can and that is perfectly understandable. We would be just as satisfied with meat if you had to boil it in order to handle it. Boiling chicken, fish, and beef is just fine with us.
Make sure you do not give us any milk-based products in our foods as this could lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain. We lack the proper enzymes needed to break down milk-based products so it is best to avoid them all together. Make sure the foods you provide are an adequate source of meat-based protein for our health.
The most important thing to consider when coming up with a healthy diet for us is that we need essential nutrients such as vitamin A, taurine, fatty acids, and arginine. Plant foods lack these essential nutrients, which is why it is not good to base our diets as though we are vegans. Humans may be able to survive as vegans but we cats cannot. Without meat, we would surely perish and that is something no good cat owner wants to see. In other words, our bodies are not built to process plant material in the way that a human’s body does.
Never consider giving us dog food as a replacement if you are out of cat food. Dog food is generally high in plant based foods because dogs can survive on both meat and plant based foods. Their digestive systems can handle plant based foods whereas ours cannot. Additionally, dog food typically does not contain taurine since dogs do not need taurine. All of us cats need taurine. Without it, we can suffer from taurine deficiency, which can lead to reproductive issues, heart disease, and blindness. What we cats need is something that contains meat, poultry and seafood.
Do not make the mistake of thinking table scraps will provide us with the nutrition we need. Although table scraps are okay every once in a while, they should not serve as a meal replacement. Table scraps are much too fatty for us and can wreak havoc on our digestive system. Eventually, we can suffer from problems such as vomiting, diarrhea, obesity, and other serious medical conditions. Also, meats containing bones are no good for us since they can become lodged in our throats, stomach, and intestines. Treat us with raw fish and other meats from time to time to compensate and ensure a well-balanced diet.
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