Diet for cats it’s a crucial factor for good health.
Putting some concern into what your cat is fed can make a huge difference when you think about its quality of life.
Cats that are fed properly have minor tendencies towards developing diseases that can be life-threatening and have high-cost treatment.
There are two types of cat foods, the dry ones, and the canned ones.
Several veterinarians types of research seems to think that the moist food can bring more benefits to the pets when compared to the dry one.
The main reasons that dry food is slowly being retired are:
- The water content is lower than the canned, this can predispose your cat to urinary tract diseases that can be very dangerous and life-threatening, besides having a high-cost treatment.
- The carbohydrate portion is too high and it can predispose your pet to obesity, diabetes and intestinal diseases.
- The protein is plant-based, and cats are obligate carnivores, which means that they need muscle-based meats foods in their diets.
The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) says that a vegan diet is not appropriate for cats, they aren’t adapted to it, some cats munch on grass or other plants, but most biologists agree that such roughage serves only as a digestive aid and provides limited if any nutritional value.
Feeding a cat a plant-based diet is a lot like feeding a cow a meat-based diet, their digestive system isn’t built to digest it, they require essential nutrients that only meat can provide to them, including taurine, arachidonic acid, vitamin A and vitamin B12.
So they meet their nutritional needs by consuming small prey such as rodents, birds and small reptiles and amphibians, this is why they have a higher protein requirement than many other mammals.
Without a steady supply of these nutrients, cats can suffer from liver and heart problems, not to mention skin irritation and hearing loss.
There is also a very specific and common problem that can affect the cat health when we are talking about vegan diets, that is the deficiency of the essential amino acid called Taurine.
We say that amino acid is essential when the body can’t synthesize it, and it must be ingested through diet.
Humans and dogs can produce it, but cats are unable to do this and require a direct source from an animal product, where the taurine is found.
Such as meat, milk, eggs, etc.
Cats that aren’t fed with food that contains animal food in it can develop a taurine deficiency.
It can affect the heart, developing a heart issue known as dilated cardiomyopathy or DCM.
That happens when the heart muscle becomes very thin and weak, preventing them from pumping blood and supplying oxygen to the body normally.
This can be a fatal disease if not corrected on early stages.
How to choose your cat food
High-quality cat food will always list a source of animal protein as the first ingredient with plenty of healthy animal fats and limited carbohydrates. Never purchase cat food that is made with corn, wheat, or soy ingredients, or one that uses artificial additives like colors, flavors, and artificial preservatives.
The proteins break down into amino acids, which are burned for energy or used to make new proteins and keep the metabolism healthy.
Fat helps with the digestion and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, reduce inflammation associated with arthritis and aid in the development of the retina and visual cortex.
Besides the right nutritional content, they must be approved on the feeding test, that evaluates the digestibility and absorption of nutrients in live animals.
All food brands passed those tests to be commercialized, now what you have to do is choose between canned or dry food.
There is some new knowledge there is being used to prevent illness in cats during their life, the Preventive Nutrition. It is based in giving a proper diet and exercise routine to your cat all their life, preventing future illness, it is cheaper and less harmful to your cat when compared to treat the diseases once they have appeared.
Studies indicate that preventive nutrition should be focused on feeding your cat with canned food.
Here you can learn more about the differences between dry and canned food.
But before applying it to your cat, there are some things you should know about:
- All urinary tract systems are much healthier with an appropriate amount of water flowing through them. The urinary tract obstructions commonly occur when cats (especially males) are fed dry food and are extremely uncommon among cats fed canned food.
- Cats inherently have a low thirst drive, so they need to consume water with their food.
A cat’s normal prey is approximately 70 – 75% water the dry food is only 5-10% water. Unfortunately, cats do not make up this deficit at the water bowl. It is clear that canned foods are better suited to meet catʼs water needs.
Several studies have shown that cats on canned food consume double the amount of water when compared to cats on dry food when all sources are considered.
- Carbohydrates wreak havoc on some cats’ blood sugar/insulin balance predisposing them to diabetes. Dry foods, as well as some canned foods, are high in carbohydrates, you also need to pay attention to the “grain-free” ones, since it does not always mean “low-carb”, some brands often use potatoes and peas instead of grains.
- Some can say that dry food exerts a beneficial effect on dental health, but it has no scientific support for its use in preventing dental diseases.
- Brushing your catʼs teeth daily is the best way to keep their mouth healthy. Also, supplying chunks of meat to chew on is also helpful.
- In addition, dry food is very heavily processed which includes being subjected to high temperatures for a long time resulting in alteration and destruction of nutrients, it can also there are some extra concerns regarding dry food that you should know about:
-Bacterial contamination, that can lead to vomiting and diarrhea;
-Insects and their feces, that can cause respiratory problems;
-Fungal mycotoxins, contained in grains and are extremely toxic;
-Ingredients that often cause allergic reactions.
You should read our post about dry and canned food and think about preventive nutrition, and after that, here are some comparisons about two cat food brands that are very common.
Sheba Vs Fancy Feast
Crude Protein Comparison For Cat Food
On average, Fancy Feast wet cat food recipes contain 10.05% more protein than Sheba recipes. Clearly, there is a significant difference between the protein content of Sheba and Fancy Feast.
Crude Fat Comparison For Cat Food
The table shows that the Fancy Feast provides far less fat than Sheba.
The difference in fat content is roughly 6.68%.
As you can see, Fancy Feast and Sheba guarantee a similar amount of crude fiber.
Sheba Pet Food Ingredients vs. Fancy Feast Pet Food Ingredients
Sheba and Fancy Feast both use the following controversial ingredients in many of their products:
Here are some of the controversial ingredients used only by Sheba.
Here are some of the controversial ingredients used only by Fancy Feast.
Corn Gluten Meal
Whole Grain Corn
Chicken By-Product Meal
Poultry By-Product Meal
Soybean Protein Concentrate
Animal Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols)
Sheba and Fancy Feast both use the following harmful ingredients in many of their products:
Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex
Here are some of the harmful ingredients used only by Fancy Feast.
Product Safety: Recall History of Sheba & Fancy Feast?
According to our records, neither brand has issued any product recalls.
Therefore, consumers have no reason to question the safety of Sheba or Fancy Feast pet food products.
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