Animals are classified into three categories based on their dietary habits. Herbivores are creatures thriving on green plants and their products. Carnivores are creatures solely depending on a meat-based diet. Lastly, omnivores are creatures surviving on plants and meat.
To ensure you’re feeding your cat the right food, it’s worth first knowing the category it belongs to. A quick Google search or a call to your vet can help you understand that cats are obligate carnivores, meaning meat products form the basis of their survival.
Cats are obligate carnivores, which implies their nutrients are dependent on animal products.Cats evolved as hunters that consume prey that contains high amounts of protein, moderate amounts of fat, and a minimal amount of carbohydrates, and their diet still requires these general proportions today. Cats also require more than a dozen other nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and amino acids
Having said that, you can feed your cat some greens, but it is usually more about your fur baby’s preferences and food safety. They can conveniently snack on apples, de-seeded melon, cucumber, strawberries, carrots, peas, and more. However, avoid letting your furball nibble on chocolate, grapes, raisins, raw meat, cheese, and other food items that can be highly toxic to your munchkin.
Sometimes, even when you are cautious about spoiling your cat with excessive food indulgences, the kitty can accidentally ingest items that can put its health at grave risk during house parties or other celebrations. This is just one of many reasons to consider buying pet insurance. Cat insurance helps provide your furball with quality medical care during food poisoning, allergies, accidents, injuries, and other health emergencies.
So, consider buying a pet policy that best suits your furball’s health needs and your pet insurance budget. In the meantime, read this article to learn the basics of cat nutritional needs.
Nutritional needs of cats
Cats are obligate/hyper carnivores needing a diet comprising 70% animal protein at least. Whether or not a cat is domesticated, its nutritional needs are primarily dictated by its ancestral roots and physiology.
Cats have evolved over the years as hunters, feeding on their prey right after killing them. They have a biological advantage over other creatures in the sense that their gastrointestinal tract is designed in a way that allows quick digestion of proteins and fats.
Feeding plants might benefit cats with many minerals and vitamins; however, eating plants alone can’t provide the wholesome nutrition they need. This is because cats need an important food constituent known as “Taurine,” mainly found in meat.
Also, cats lack protein complexes needed to split carotene into vitamin A sourced from plants. Instead, cats get their vitamin A requirements directly from the liver of their prey.
Unlike many other animals, cats can’t synthesize unsaturated, very long chain fatty acids from multiple short chain fatty acids available in plants.
It’s not easy to make home food for cats, as it is time consuming and difficult. The recipes for making at home might not contain the right amount of proportions of nutrients for your cat. It is recommended that owners of cats purchase commercial cat food that is rich in nutrients and has balanced components designed for cats in particular. If a vet suggests a home recommended recipe for medical purposes only then make the cat food by yourself.
The ideal cat diet
Looking at the feline evolutionary history and early dietary needs, the most reasonable food choice for cats is a raw diet. Cats thrive on fresh prey whether they discharge their duties in the wild, on ships, farms, granaries, or barns. So, highly processed food, grains, vegetables, cooked meat products, dehydrated food, dry kibble, etc., can offer a cat a range of flavors and food items but can’t replace their basic diet.
What must be in your cat’s food?
Your cat’s food must contain –
- Pasture-raised and cage-free meat
- Organic ingredients
- Fresh ingredients (as much as possible)
- Formulated by cat nutrition experts
- No fillers
- No hormones
- No steroids
Pay attention to your cat’s diet to help them live a happy and healthy life. Nevertheless, consider purchasing cat insurance to manage unanticipated pet health scenarios more effectively. Pet insurance can assure your furball timely medical care during unplanned vet visits and you some financial relief. So, why not contemplate buying a policy?