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Monday, June 22, 2009

all about kitty nutrients - part 1

A compilation of cat nutrition basics we found in the journey of our lives with our cats.

Neutered adult cats' diets need to contain 25% protein. These are contained in meats, fish, cheese, milk, eggs. They are necessary for (1) growth and repair of body tissue, (2) making hormones, (3) supplying essential amino acids especially taurine, arginine and lysine - in total they will need 11 of the 23 amino acids available, (4) energy.

Cats are capable of digesting fats in a diet containing up to 25-30% fats. Fats are contained in vegetable oils, butter, and other animal fats such as oily fish. Fats are essential to the cat for (1) energy, (2) essential fatty acids for total body health and healthy skin and coat, (3) vitamins A, D, E, and K.

This is especially important for indoor, sedentary cats. Fibre can be found in cooked grains and vegetables.
Dry diets tend to have higher concentration of fibre compared to canned food or homemade meals, as they tend to contain vegetables and grains. Grains also supply carbohydrates, which cats have no major need for energy as they obtain most of it from proteins, but grains and/or vegetables are still essential for domestic cats for a healthy digestive system. If you are feeding grain-free diets, look out for other fibre-sources such as fruits and vegetables.

to be continued