Do Cats need meat?
We’ve been talking about all things cats this week and I’ve been getting more questions from you Cat Moms and Dads out there about the best nutrition for them little tigers.
So let’s get into the basics - what do Cats need to eat and why?
Cats are Carnivores. You might not want to hear this, but your cat needs meat to thrive. Cats are obligate Carnivores which means they necessarily have to be fed animal protein in some way or the other. We’ve seen vegetarian and vegan bloggers feed their cats the same diet and we’ve witnessed those cats die.
That is why it is so important for me to explain a bit about Cats digestive system, so you can make the decision what to feed your cat as informed as possible.
Cats have scissor-like teeth designed exclusively to rip, tear and chew meat and bones. When they are fed dry kibble instead, their teeth are not really capable of processing all of those tiny pellets by chewing. As a consequence, most of the kibble is swallowed whole. This can lead to it swelling in the stomach once it is met by the gastro-juices which then stretches the stomach lining and causes the cat to vomit or be unwell.
But the effects of kibble are another day's topic. Let us look at the Cats’ digestion again.
The components of your Cats Diet should ideally be limited to the following:
- Protein from meat or fish
- Amino acids like taurine and arginine (essential for cats whereas dogs can manufacture these)
- Fatty acids
Cats have no dietary requirement for carbohydrates. They evolved to get almost all of their fluid intake from the food they eat. A mouse, a typical prey food, is about 70% water. Dry kibble food contains far too much carbohydrates and far too little moisture to be an appropriate food for cats.
Overall it’s important to keep in mind to add some quality animal protein to your Cats Diet to provide the best nutrition you can - you wouldn’t feed a tiger strict veg, so why treat your little tiger differently?