Today I just want to take a moment to discuss the importance of cat nutrition.
Nutrition is often overlooked by us cat parents, but giving our kitties good nutrition is actually one of the best ways that we can love them. Nutrition is the fundamental foundation for overall health. It’s also nature’s best preventative against cat illnesses and ailments.
So let’s talk about what needs to be in our cat’s daily diet in order to achieve overall good nutrition for our cats.
First of all – cats need to have a species specific diet. What that means is that their diet should closely mirror what they would eat if they were in the wild hunting their own prey. This means the diet should be high in animal protein, low in starch and carbohydrates and no grains. Cats can’t actually process grains in their digestive tract the way that we can as humans. Many commercial cat foods use soy as the main protein source. This is not healthy for cats. Cats cannot digest soy and soy is not species specific nutrition. We prefer high quality animal protein like rabbit – but any animal protein is going to be better than the other substitutes.
You should be able to read and understand the ingredients in your cat’s food. If the words are too big for you and you can’t understand them – more than likely the food is full of additives and preservatives or food coloring that provide no nutritional value to your cat whatsoever – and in fact can kill many of the nutrients in the food.
Another point to consider is supplementation. One of the key things that is missing in all processed foods – that means ANYTHING in a can or a bag – is live food enzymes. Metabolic and digestive enzymes are the building blocks for our cats’ overall well being. These enzymes are very sensitive to heat and when you process foods, you heat it to a certain degree and all of the live enzymes are stripped away. These enzymes are needed for healthy organ function, tissue function, cellular function, joint function and immune function. So if you are feeding a processed food, you will want to supplement these enzymes in so that they can still get a well balanced and healthy diet.
Another thing we want to look at for good nutrition with our cats is hydration. Hydration is so important for our cats urinary tract system to work properly. What that means is they have to have moist foods in their daily diets. Kibble alone is not enough. It is dry, dehydrated and over processed and they are not able to get the moisture that their bodies need. Which takes us back to species specific diets: In the wild, when eating their prey, there is about 65-75% water. In kibble there is about 5% water, whereas wet food contains 70-80% water. So we want to make sure that they are getting the hydration that they need on a daily basis. They will not make up for the deficit at the water bowl – so be sure that they get moisture in their food.
So wrapping up the key points: It is very important that you pay attention to the nutrition that you are giving your cats in their daily diets. The diet should be species specific which means higher in animal protein and no grains. Make sure that they are getting the hydration that they need (65-75% water). And be sure to supplement the enzymes that they need into their food if feeding anything from a can or a bag.
At the end of the day, we all just want happy healthy cats. One of the best ways that we can love our cats is by giving them the nutrition that they need.