Tip No : Dont Buy Kitten Food For A Cat
One of the most important items to consider when choosing a cat food is found on the back of the cat food container. The nutritional adequacy statement tells you if the product will serve as a complete and balanced meal for your cat’s particular life stage. Life stage refers to a cats specific developmental period.
The statement will either say cat food or kitten food. It may also say the food is for all life stages, growth and maintenance, growth and reproduction , and, possibly, for indoor or outdoor cats.
There is no one single combination of food that is best for all cats, says pet nutritionist Angele Thompson, PhD. So pick the one that works best for yours.
Health Conditions And Protein For Older Cats
Cats with the following diseases require a medically-formulated pet food:
- Chronic Kidney Disease/Failure
- Food allergies
- Irritable Bowel Disease
If your cat is diagnosed with one of these conditions, your vet will likely recommend a specialist diet.
Kidney Disease and Protein
Kidney disease is among the most common chronic diseases in elderly cats.
Persian cats are most likely to have this condition, but it can affect any cat breed. If your cat has kidney problems, it will need less protein.
When a healthy cat eats protein, its kidneys filter out the waste products from the protein, and these waste products are expelled in the cats urine. Cats with kidney problems cannot perform this function efficiently, so they get a build-up of toxic waste products in their blood.
But this doesnt mean protein should be eliminated from their diet completely because cats need some protein to survive. Instead, it must be fed pet food specifically formulated for cats with kidney disease.
These cat foods are similar to senior cat foods, but there are differences:
If you put your cat on a specialized diet, youll likely be able to slow down the development of chronic kidney disease. The amount of protein a senior cat needs depends on its size and health.
Always feed your cat quality proteins that are easily digestible.
Royal Canin Hydrolyzed Protein Feline Treats Adult
Buying the Royal Canin Hydrolyzed Protein Feline Treats gives your cat a chance to enjoy every bite without the worry or severe food hypersensitivity response that may cause GI and skin symptoms.
- These treats for adult felines will minimize or avoid skin and GI sensitivities present in many proteins since hydrolysis breaks proteins to smaller peptide units that a cats immune response will not detect.
- Have ideal amino acids, and vitamin B levels will provide skin barrier reinforcement, minimize skin sensitivities and irritation while offering nourishment needed for healthy skin.
- Are highly palatable and digestible
- Suitable for elimination trial or long term use.
- Guaranteed analysis:Crude protein: 23% , crude fats: 18% , crude fiber: 5.8% , moisture: 8.0% as it is basis.
- First ingredients: Brewers rice, hydrolyzed soy protein, chicken fat, powdered cellulose, natural flavors, vegetable oil, and dried plain beet pulp
- Quantity and calories: Come in a 7.7 oz., package, and have a calorie value of 3919 kcal ME per kg or 1.6 kcal ME per treat.
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Best Source Of Protein For Cats
Cats are obligate carnivores, so they must eat animal protein to survive. Most experts agree that a meat-based diet, combined with small amounts of starch and plant-based protein, is the healthiest diet for a cat.
Animal proteins have higher biological availability than plant-based proteins. Animal flesh can provide a cat with more amino acids, vitamins, and minerals they require, so it is considered a complete food source.
Amino acids are not found in plant-based proteins. Also, cats are unable to convert the beta-carotene from plants into vitamin A. They must obtain preformed vitamin A from animal protein.
Thats not to say that any old meat will suffice. Digestibility is just as important as biological availability. Your cat must be able to digest the protein, or the vitamins, minerals, and amino acids will go to waste.
Benefits Of Hydrolyzed Protein Cat Foods And Cons
Some of the benefits that these foods present include the following:
- Kitties can still eat favorite protein Your pet can eat their favorite food without resulting in hypersensitivities since these foods have only hydrolyzed proteins. Therefore, they make it easy to provide complete and balanced diets without the hustle of homemade meals.
- Digestibility Besides reducing allergenicity and antigenicity, the breakdown improves digestibility, something recommended in hypoallergenic foods.
- Most are single protein sources Since manufacturers use one hydrolyzed protein sources, this further minimizes the chance of hypersensitivities.
- Lower allergies research has shown smaller instances of hypersensitivities in cats and dogs. Furthermore, since these diets are truly hypoallergenic, they will reduce the possibilities of new allergies if fed on a long-term basis.
- May Help felines IBD and acute enteritis Most felines with inflammatory bowel disease and acute enteritis are likely to benefit from these diets.
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Tips For Identifying Food Allergies And Sensitivities
Many pet owners are surprised to learn that their cats can be allergic to the same things they can. In addition to environmental allergies, cats can be allergic to certain foods. Contrary to popular belief, grains are not actually a common source of allergies in cats its usually protein. The most common food allergens for cats are chicken, beef, fish, and dairy products.
Here are some of the most common signs of food allergies in cats:
- Chronic itching and skin inflammation
- Over-grooming and hair loss
- Recurrent skin and ear infections
- Chronic vomiting or diarrhea
- Frequent bowel movements
- Straining during bowel movements
Food allergies can be tricky to diagnose because sometimes the symptoms mimic those of other conditions like bacterial infections, mites, or other allergies. In many cases, your veterinarian will want to rule out these causes to help narrow down the options.
If your cat has a food allergy, the only way to treat it is to switch to another food that doesnt contain the offending ingredient. If youre not sure what your cat is allergic to, you may need to do a food trial which involves switching to a limited ingredient recipe made with a single source of protein one your cat hasnt had before. After 8 to 12 weeks if all signs of the allergy disappear, youll have confirmed the diagnosis and potentially identified the allergen. From there, you can either stick with the limited ingredient diet or gradually reintroduce one allergen at a time to identify it.
Feeding Directions For Optimal Dog Nutrition
Pay careful attention to the feeding directions, which tell you how much food should be given to your pet to maintain a healthy weight. Dog nutrition needs vary by breed, age and activity level, so use the feeding guidelines as a starting point for determining the proper serving size for your pet. Cut back or add food accordingly to maintain proper weight and growth.
Caitlin Boyle is a writer from Charlotte, North Carolina. Her hobbies including trail running and planning fantasy vacations. She has two dogs, Maggie and James, and a cat that believes hes a dog, Ferguson.
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How To Find Protein Content In Wet Cat Food
When reading cat food labels, keep the dry matter basis in mind. It can be deceiving to look at the protein percentages listed there before taking into account the amount of water in the food.
To accurately compare the protein level in cat foods, you can mathematically remove the water with the equation below. Lets try to use this formula to break down the protein content with the Tiki Cat Puka Puka Luau Succulent Chicken Grain-Free Canned Cat Food Formula. Per the label, it contains 16% crude protein and 80% water.
100 – Moisture Content % = Dry Matter %
Calculate the percent dry matter by taking the percent moisture and subtracting that number from 100.
EX. 100 80% Moisture Content = 20% Dry Matter
Crude Protein % / Dry Matter % = Crude Protein
Divide the nutrient percentage by the percent dry matter.
EX. 16% Crude Protein / 20% Dry Matter = .8 Crude Protein
Crude Protein x 100 = Crude Protein %
Multiply crude protein calculation from previous step by 100.
EX. .8 Crude Protein x 100 = 80% Crude Protein
You can use the same formula to remove the moisture content in a dry cat food. However, since there is so much less water in dry food, the protein value doesnt change as much. Thus, the conversion is not as crucial.
Alternatively, online calculators are available to complete the calculation for you.
Can Cats Be Allergic To Protein
Food allergies are fairly common in the feline population. Food allergies may result in symptoms such as:
Allergies to foods are generally triggered by specific proteins within the foods. In order to diagnose a food allergy, a diet trial must be completed. This involves feeding a strictly limited diet, or elimination diet, for a period of eight to 12 weeks.
If the diet trial results in a resolution of symptoms, the cat is generally diagnosed with a food allergy.
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Important Terms For Interpreting Cat Food Labels
If youre going to start putting a little more time and effort into your cat food choice, youre going to need to learn how to interpret the information on a cat food label. Though every cat food product may look unique, all commercial cat foods are required to have the same elements:
Product Name: This is used to identify the product. The product name usually highlights one of the main ingredients, but that isnt a requirement. When it comes to product names, there are a few tricks you should be aware of that manufacturers often use. The wording of the name matters more than you might realize.
For example, different rules apply for Beef Cat Food, Beef Recipe Cat Food, Cat Food with Beef, and Beef Flavor Cat Food. Confused? We dont blame you!
If a product is called Beef for Cats it must contain at least 95% beef, less water for processing and added vitamins and minerals. For a product called Beef Dinner for Cats, however, it only needs to contain 25% of the named ingredient . Cat Food with Beef only needs to contain 3% beef and Beef Flavor Cat Food doesnt need to include a certain amount it just needs to be detectable with testing.
Net Weight: This simply states how much food is in the container by weight and/or volume.
Statement of Purpose or Intent: It may seem silly, but somewhere on the label it must state that the product is for cats.
Heres a quick example to show you what we mean:
|Cat Food A|
Understanding The Pet Food Label
Everyone is concerned these days about what to feed their cats. It can be very overwhelming and hard to understand when you start reading the labels. We will explain how to analyze the nutritional composition of a bag or can of food.
Cats are metabolically designed to utilize protein and fat as their primary sources of energy. In the wild cats eat rodents and birds composed of mostly fat and protein and the only carbohydrates ingested would be the plant material that is in the gastrointestinal tract. Cats have a very limited ability to process carbohydrates. In fact, they can only utilize up to about 10% of their diet from carbohydrates and any surplus is stored in the body as fats.
Brand A Canned Food
Net Weight: 454 grams
Brand A is 78% moisture or water and the cans net weight is 85 grams. Since 78% of that 85 grams is water, that means that the remaining 22%, or 18 grams, is the rest of the nutrients. The dry matter composes therefore 22% of the total can.
Brand B dry food is 10% water and the bag weight is 454 grams. That means that the reaming 90% of the bag or 408 grams is the rest of the nutrients. So, the dry matter composes 90% of this diet.
To compare the protein levels on a dry matter basis, we take the protein and divide it by the percentage of dry matter in each food.
Ex. Brand A canned food protein content = 11 / 22 = 50%
Ex. Brand B dry food protein content = 32 /90 = 35%
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How Much Crude Protein Does Your Cat Need
As mentioned earlier, cats are true carnivores, or what experts like to call obligate carnivores. This simply means that they thrive on a diet consisting mainly of meat.
The Association of American Feed Control Officials is the organization responsible for setting regulations for nutrient composition of cat and other pet foods. According to its guidelines, adult cat food should contain no less than 26% crude protein by weight in the guaranteed analysis . For kittens, the ideal pet food should have a minimum of 30% crude protein by weight.
Why Is Protein So Important For Cats
Cats are obligate carnivores. In nature, a cat has to eat animal products or shell die. A cat might go her entire life without tasting anything thats not an animal or part of oneand that cat wouldnt have any nutritional deficiencies. A cat is an animal that eats other animals. Every aspect of her being is fitted to that purpose.
And when you break down an animal, what is it made of? Mostly protein. Or, on a more fundamental level, amino acids and fatty acids. Flesh and fat.
For cats, protein is life-giving. It supports lean muscle mass and gives them the energy they need to function. From the strength to pounce to the energy to purr, protein is vital to every process in your cats body.
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What About Those Hard
Many consumers are unfamiliar with all those hard-to-pronounce ingredients, which makes them question their safety. Fortunately, a quick internet search can tell you those long names are just the scientific name for vitamins or minerals. For example, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate sounds intimidating. If you look it up online, however, youll see thats the scientific name for vitamin C.
What Is Water Sufficient For Processing
Some ingredients, like whole meats, are rich in water. Water is also added to commercial cat foods as part of the manufacturing process to facilitate mixing. You may see this on the ingredient list as water sufficient for processing. Most of the water is subsequently driven out of dry foods to make them more shelf stable.
Canned foods contain much more water than do dry foods, which makes canned food a better match for the way cats prefer to get their water and an overall healthier choice.
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What To Look For When Shopping For Cat Food
When shopping for cat food, it helps to have some idea what youre looking for. Now that you have a better understanding of how many different options are out there, you may be wondering how to narrow it down. Below youll find some helpful information regarding 5 different factors to consider when making your choice.
Tiki Cat Born Carnivore Grain
This the best high protein low-carb cat food. This delicious cat food is a specially formulated carnivorous diet designed particularly to serve your cat the high protein, low carbohydrate nutrition it needs. Not only that, but it is also tasty to ensure that your cat always eats and gets its full of healthy nutrition with each meal.
First, this meat-based dry cat food has a combination of chicken and fish as its number one ingredient. These, together with other real, natural, and healthy ingredients combine to give your cat a delicious and healthy meal with each serving. On top of that, this quality grain-free food has been baked in order to preserve flavor and maximize nutrients. Tiki relies on low-carb ingredients like pumpkin, flaxseeds, and salmon oil to ensure that your cat gets a much-needed, low-calorie diet. The meal is an excellent pro plan for your pet.
- It has a very high protein content and guaranteed ingredient quality
- It uses low carb ingredients such as corn wheat or soy
- It contains chicken fat and fish meal which is ideal for your pet friends
- It is also rich in potato protein and plant proteins
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Natural Balance Lid Limited Ingredient
It does not matter if your cats are sensitive to certain foods or you just want to make the food as simple as possible, Natural Balance LID is a good choice. This dry cat food will give your canine pet complete and balanced nutrition for a healthy or happy life. Its first ingredient is chicken, and this high-protein formula is perfect for cats of a different breed.
Natural Balance LID is formulated with one protein source, so you know exactly what your cat is eating. This cat food is composed of 59% chicken ingredients and good fats that provide protein and fatty acids to keep the muscles, coat, and skin healthy. It is high protein cat foods.
34% of the formula is plant-based ingredients to provide the fiber that your cat needs for healthier digestion. It also contains minerals, essential vitamins, and other ingredients to complete the nutrition your cat requires.
The company is aware that your cats need not just healthy food but it should be also safe for them. To ensure their safety, the safety conducted nine safety test on every batch at a certified laboratory. They make sure that only premium-quality ingredients were used in manufacturing the cat food.
The Natural Balance LID may contain a limited number of ingredients, but these are the essential ones that will help your cat remain to be healthy. This cat food can provide the best nutrient for your cats to sustain their energy throughout the day.