As a cat owner, there are a few things that you need to know about cat food. Not all cat foods or treats are formulated the same. Most often, manufacturers will use different words to describe the same product. For instance, dry food means one thing while a canned food means something else entirely. Knowing what these terms mean can help you make an educated decision when selecting cat food.
The first thing to understand is the nutritional needs of your cat. Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that they must eat meat. In order for them to maintain their body weight, they must have access to enough protein. Just like humans, cats require protein from some type of food or supplementation. Although cat food may sound like a good idea, it is important to understand cat nutrition in order to provide the best care for your cat.
The primary ingredient in most cat food and treats are water. Dry foods tend to be high in carbohydrates and lower in protein, while canned foods are high in protein and low in carbohydrates. Because of this, the dry food companies will utilize high fructose corn syrup as an addition to their dry food product. This isn’t a bad thing per se, but this ingredient should never be consumed by your cat. For one thing, it isn’t a healthy option, since it can cause obesity in pets and lead to diabetes and hyperactivity.
Many cat owners mistakenly believe that their pet’s dietary needs are not necessary as long as they purchase cat food from a pet store or shop at a supermarket that carries the brand of cat food they love. Though this is partially true, there are several nutritional necessities that all cat foods should contain. Cats are obligate carnivores, which mean that they must eat meat. In order for cats to meet their vitamin and mineral needs, it is necessary to give them meats such as chicken, beef, fish, eggs and even organ meats such as liver and kidneys.
Besides the needed vitamins and minerals, all good cat foods should contain taurine, a protein-rich amino acid. As you probably know, taurine is known to help with cat health by strengthening the immune system and enhancing the cat’s sense of smell. Taurine is also essential in preventing the development of kidney stones. Without supplementation, cats cannot properly metabolize calcium, which is another necessary nutrient. Taurine also helps maintain the pH levels in the urine, which is important for preventing kidney stones and maintaining the pH level of the blood.
It is also important to note that canned food has less moisture content than most other types of cat food. The moisture content of canned cat food, is usually less than half that of fresh food. However, there are canned food products available which still maintain the moisture in the food but at a lower moisture content. These types of canned cat food are high in protein and have a higher moisture content, but with less overall moisture. You can opt for these canned cat food products if you prefer dry food.