Cat Nutrition

The community of dog owners focused on canine health is growing at a rapid pace. Since the launch of the film Pet Fooled, a documentary about the inner workings of the pet food industry, pet parents are starting to feed a more species appropriate diet to their dogs and extending the longevity of their lives by leaps and bounds.

But what about cats?
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 prevention against feline illnesses and ailments.

Cats are stoic beings and they mask pain instinctively. Everyone who has ever been owned by a cat knows that felines seem super resilient and we usually don’t know they’re sick or hurting until the damage has already been done.

This is why cat parents have to be even more proactive than dog parents when it comes to our cat’s health. It’s our job, as responsible pet parents, to make sure they live the long and healthy lives they deserve.

Where do we start?
First, cats should be fed a diet that closely mirrors what they would eat in the wild if they were 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. If you find corn or soy in the first 5 ingredients of your cat food, it’s time to switch up the food.

Cats, unlike dogs, have a low thirst drive so they must get moisture from their food. In the wild their prey is made up of 70-80% water. Without the appropriate amount of moisture, our cats stay in a constant state of mild dehydration – which leads to health problems over time.  Feeding them a moisture rich diet allows their bodies to properly function in the way that nature intended.

Over 96% of cat parents feed dry kibble to their kitties – laid out as an all-day buffet for them to munch on whenever they want or need to fuel themselves. If you’re part of this statistic, start adding some wet food into your cat’s daily feedings.  We recommend feeding smaller meals 2-3 times per day on a routine schedule.

Another point to consider is supplementation. One of the key ingredients that is missing in all processed foods – that means ANYTHING in a can or a bag – is enzymes. Metabolic and digestive enzymes are the building blocks for our cats’ overall wellbeing. They are very sensitive to heat, so these important enzymes are lost during processing. Enzymes are needed for healthy organ, tissue, cellular, joint and immune functions. If you’re feeding a processed food, you will want to supplement these enzymes back into your cat’s food so that she can still get a well-balanced and healthy diet.

Twenty one years ago, when we rescued our oldest boy, resources for cat health were all but unheard of. We didn’t even think about his nutritional needs or ever consider what kind of diet a cat should be eating for optimized health. We just grabbed a bag of cat food at the market – because it was ‘cat food’. We are now so uplifted to be part of a proactive community of cat parents striving to provide the very best and most appropriate nutrition and care for our cats. Every step towards better providing for our cat’s essential needs is another step closer to a longer and healthier life for our feline friends.

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