To know what to feed your cat, it is first important to know a bit about their digestive system and the types of food their bodies can and cannot break down. Secondly, we’ll take a look at the different food options out their for cats.
1. Cats & Digestion:
Unlike humans, cats have a very short digestive tract that allows them to eat foods that may contain parasites. The food goes quickly in and out, whereas the human digestive system takes times as it moves through the many organs.
2. Avoid Unidentified Meat:
If you see any of the following listed under ingredients, it might be best to look for a different cat food: meat meal, meat byproducts, meat & bone meal, animal fat, or animal byproduct meal. This gives no indication of what kind of meats are being used or where they are coming from.
3. Avoid Grains, Vegetables, and Fruit (Stick with Animal Protein):
Grains, vegetables, and fruit should not be a part of a cat’s diet. In the wild, cat’s strictly eat meat. Unlike wild dogs, who sometimes eat berries and plants, cats do not. The only plant fibers they consume are ones found in the digestive tract of the animal they are eating. If your cat happens to eat grass, you have probably noticed that your cat will often regurgitate it. This is because they lack the enzymes to break these foods down.
4. Types of Cat Food:
Dry Food– The typical dry cat food undergoes a baking process. The food is baked at high temperatures, which destroys the nutrients in the food. Another issue with dry cat food is the water content is much too low for cats. While a dog can make up for the lack of water by drinking at the water dish, a cat is unable to lap up enough water to make up for the lack of it in dry food. The carbohydrates are often too high, and the type of protein is often too high in plant-based and not high enough in animal-based protein.
Canned Food– Canned cat food is a step up from dry cat food. The biggest reason for this is because the water content is vastly higher, which means kitty is able to stay better hydrated. When looking for canned food, try to buy one containing animal protein only. Look for human-grade cat food, not feed grade. Feed grade will contain waste products coming from the human food industry.
Raw Food– Raw cat food can be purchased fresh or frozen or it can be made at home using meats and supplementing with the necessary vitamins and minerals. For more information on feeding your cat homemade raw food, visit the following website: https://catinfo.org/
5. Food sensitivities:
Does your cat have itchy skin or digestive upset? It could be linked to a food sensitivity. If you are unsure of what your cat is sensitive to, you could try an elimination diet or have your cat’s hair & saliva analyzed. By doing this, we can find which sensitivities resonate with your kitty.
To learn more about PetMedella’s Sensitivity Scan, check it out at: http://www.petmedella.