Dogs and cats have been next to us for a long time, making excellent companions and sometimes even best friends. However, in recent years, cats have seen an increase in popularity, given that they have fewer maintenance needs compared to dogs. This also makes them a cheaper alternative.
On the other hand, cats absolutely need a balanced diet to keep them fit and healthy. Many studies have shown throughout the years that they have specific dietary requirements in order to get all the necessary nutrients. You can find different types of products to choose from, including diets suited for various stages in life or specific physical conditions.
Unlike dogs, cats are by definition carnivores, so here’s a list of things to keep in mind if the next time you are looking at various dry cat food products, you are not sure which one to choose.
Cats have high protein requirements in order to maintain their health, as they supply the essential amino acids needed to create antibodies, enzymes and hormones. Moreover, they maintain tissue and skin quality with a proper pH balance. However, the right proteins can only be taken from animal sources because amino acids from vegetable sources are not well synthesized by cats.
A protein-lacking diet means low energy levels and potential growth and development problems that can occur. However, the levels each individual needs vary with factors such as age, physical activity, digestion and so on.
If you notice that your cat is not as active as he or she used to be with no apparent reason, then make sure you get a vet’s opinion and see if it’s necessary to add some more proteins to his or her diet.
Since their own bodies cannot produce the necessary taurine levels, this essential amino acid must be supplied from other sources. Its presence is very important, as this substance is responsible for normal heart muscles function, vision, and reproduction.
This organic compound keeps many biological and metabolic functions working, including the development of bile salts for digestion, functioning brain and nervous systems, as well as female reproduction and fetal growth.
The potential side effects of a taurine-lacking diet can include blindness, heart disease, and decreased reproductive performance or growth. Because of this and in order to maintain a healthy immune system, optimal levels of taurine must be obtained through food.
For your cat to enjoy perfect health, vitamins are to be taken into account, as they are responsible for metabolism regulation, growth, and normal functioning of other organs. They are divided into two categories – fat or water soluble, and some can be synthesized within the body.
The fat-soluble vitamins include A, D, E, and K, and are usually stored within the body when not used.
By comparison, water-soluble ones which include the C and B-complex groups, go through the organism quicker. Given that a cat’s digestion cannot convert certain substances from vegetable sources into vitamins, it is important to ensure the right nutrients intake, from animal sources.