Purr-fectly Balanced: Cat Nutrition for Pet Owners
We all know that what we eat can affect our overall health and well-being dramatically. Feeding our beloved pets is no different. When it comes to making good choices regarding cat nutrition, Cat Care of Vinings is proud to be your go-to resource. While we are always here for you to ask questions, read on to learn the basics of feeding your cat well.
How Cats Are Different
The basics of feeding another living thing generally are the same from species to species: water, carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals all make up the foundation of any diet.
Cats are not just like any other species, though, and do have some unique nutritional needs to take into account.
- Protein requirements—Cats are evolutionarily hunters and they require a lot more protein than other species. In fact cats need two-to-three times more protein than dogs do in order to thrive.
- Amino acids—While dogs can technically get by on a well-formulated vegetarian diet, cats cannot. As obligate carnivores, they do need meat in their diet as a source of certain amino acids like arginine and taurine. Unlike other species, felids lack the ability to synthesize these important compounds. Without an appropriate nutritional source, ammonia metabolism and heart muscle health can be affected.
- Vitamin needs—Cats need meat sources of vitamins A and D and require higher amounts of B vitamins than most other species.
When it comes to cat nutrition, our feline family members need a diet specially formulated with cats in mind.
Providing the Best Cat Nutrition Possible
With so many options out there, how does one choose the best cat food for their pet? When it comes to cat nutrition, there is no one-size-fits-all answer for everyone. Rather, you should take into account:
- Your budget
- Whether your cat needs to lose weight, gain, or maintain
- Your cat’s age and reproductive status
- Any underlying health conditions
- Preferences for dry vs wet food
- The WSAVA guidelines on selecting a quality food
In general, things like grain-free, meat only, raw, or homemade diets are not recommended unless fed under the supervision of a board-certified veterinary nutritionist. It is easy to make mistakes with these types of nutritional plans that may negatively affect your cat’s health.
Good nutrition is the foundation of stellar wellness care for your pet. Cats are not small dogs, and understanding their nutritional uniqueness is important.
That said, with the plethora of information and choices out there, it can be hard to know what the right decisions are. Please don’t hesitate to reach out for assistance. Our team is passionate about cats and always happy to help where we can.
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