All creatures are different and have different dietary needs. Pets cannot eat all the same foods that people can, and not all pets can eat the same things either. Cats have dietary needs of their own, and not even two cats use the exact same menu. Below are some details on what the best diet for cats really is.
Cats are carnivores, which means they need a diet heavy on protein. According to a 2011 study by NIH, feral cats chose to eat a diet that was 52% protein, 46% fat, and only 2% N-free extract, which includes carbohydrates, sugars, starches, etc. Therefore, one can aim for a protein-based diet for their own cat, looking at the nutrition label on commercial cat foods for guidance.
Little to No Carbs
As mentioned, the best diet for cats contains very few carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are highest in grains, vegetables, and fruits. Grains include rice, wheat, and oats. Although these food groups are healthy for people, they can lead to serious health issues in cats, such as obesity and organ issues.
Dependent on Age
Cats don’t have the same diet all throughout their lives. Just as one’s ideal diet changes from babyhood through childhood through adulthood, so a cat eats differently throughout its life. For example, a kitten needs more nutrients geared toward its energy level and rapid growth, but an older cat might need higher protein and moisture but low fat. For this reason, it could be better to select age-appropriate cat foods over foods “for all ages.”
Cats might face different dietary needs throughout their life aside from age. Some cats might develop and phase out of food sensitivities and allergies, and need foods with simpler ingredients. If a cat is nursing, it will need a high-calorie diet.
Wet Food Has Benefits
Cats may have originated from an animal that would have lived in the desert. Cats do not lap up much water per day, so it can be harder to keep them hydrated. Wet cat food of high quality could be better than dry kibble. Either way, don’t forget to wash your cat’s feeding bowls after every meal!
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