The Safety Of Dry Food
Dry food is far from a clean, safe, and pathogen-free source of food for your cat. Please see this section on my Making Cat Food page which details just a few of the many pet food recalls due to contamination of commercial pet food with deadly chemicals, bacteria , fungal mycotoxins, and storage mites.
The issue of rancid fats in dry food is also discussed on the Making Cat Food page.
Fungal mycotoxins are deadly chemicals produced by molds. Molds are very common contaminants of grains but molds can be found in many different food sources. In mid January 2011, 200 cows died from eating moldy sweet potatoes that were mixed into their feed.
There is no doubt in my mind that many cats and dogs have become ill from the contaminants that are often present in dry pet foods yet nobody puts 2 + 2 together and realizes that the diet is the source of the pets illness.
Keep in mind that dry foods are not refrigerated and they sit in warm warehouses, on pet store shelves, and in your cupboards for weeks or months before your pets consume them leading to increased bacterial growth and rancid fats.
At the very least, dry food should be kept in the refrigerator but it is better to just refrain from feeding this type of food completely.
Eukanuba Cat Veterinary Diet Renal Formula
If your kitty has kidney problems, both the wet and dry Eukanuba Cat Veterinary Diet Renal Formulas are an excellent choice.
- Its palatable and has moderate in high quality, animal-sourced protein to boost kidney function.
- Has correct omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid ratio, i.e., 5-10:1, making it suitable for lowering pressure and hypertension in the kidney. Also, omega-3 fatty acids that will promote kidney filtration process. All these benefits will slow the progression of CKD.
- Soy isolated protein ensures that the level of phosphorus is low.
- The added citrate helps maintain pH balance.
- The beet pulp, FOS, Gum Arabic serve as Nitrogen Trap Fibre System to help increase nitrogenous waste excretion via feces, consequently reducing the amount removed via kidneys.
What Is A Good Brand When Selecting A High Protein Dog Food
Feeding a diet rich in meat protein helps promote the optimal health of all dogs from the timid Teacup Chihuahua to the burley Great Dane. When high meat is combined with a moderate fat level and a lowered amounts of grain free carbohydrates the result is perfectly balanced nutrition ensuring a dog can thrive in all life stages from an active puppy to a sedentary senior.
Now, this approach is different to brands that claim to feed your dog like a Wolf. Whilst these diets are high in protein, they may also be combined with high fat levels. These high fat levels were crucial for wolves to fuel their highly active lifestyle as well as ensure they survived the harsh times of famine. Today though, our dogs not only look very different from a wolf, but they are far less active. So, whilst protein remains a very important dog food ingredient, we need to make sure the fat levels are not too high.
Wellness CORE delivers natural, superior protein-rich, nutrition thats specifically crafted for modern dogs to thrive. Featuring fresh meat and concentrated meat sources as our key ingredients, every recipe is combined with moderate amounts of fat, low carbohydrates and a unique blend of wholesome fruits and vegetables, superfoods, botanicals and nutritional supplements to be the best meat-based nutrition available.
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My Cat Is Doing Just Fine On Dry Food
Every living creature is fine until outward signs of a disease process are exhibited. That may sound like a very obvious and basic statement but if you think about it
Every cat with a blocked urinary tract was fine until they started to strain to urinate and either died from a ruptured bladder or had to be rushed to the hospital for emergency catheterization.
Every cat on the Feline Diabetes Message Board was fine until their owners started to recognize the signs of diabetes.
Every cat with an inflamed bladder was fine until they ended up in severe pain, started passing blood in their urine, and began to refuse to use their litter box because they associated it with their pain.
Every cat was fine until the feeding of species-inappropriate, hyperallergenic ingredients caught up with him and he started to show signs of food intolerance/IBD .
Every cat was fine until that kidney or bladder stone got big enough to cause clinical signs.
Every cancer patient was fine until their tumor grew large enough or spread far enough so that clinical signs were observed by the patient.
The point is that diseases brew long before being noticed by the living being.
Of course, in order to be on board with the preventative nutrition argument, a person has to understand the following facts:
1) All urinary tract systems are much healthier with an appropriate amount of water flowing through them.
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.
Tip No : Focus On Nutrients Not Ingredients
Dont spend too much time trying to decipher that ingredient list. Animals require nutrients, not ingredients,” says Sherry Sanderson, DVM, PhD, University of Georgia, College of Veterinary Medicine. You should be most concerned about the nutritional value of the end product, and less concerned about the ingredients that get you there.
This is where the label’s Guaranteed Analysis comes into play. It lists nutrients found in cat food.
In general, cats need a variety of nutrients to survive, including protein, water, carbohydrates , vitamins, and minerals.
The specific nutrients depend on your cats life stage, among other things. But the way nutritional information is presented has often sparked debate. Some say current pet food labels, in general, are confusing and misleading, and one consumer advocacy group has called for a total overhaul of the labeling rules.
Why the controversy? Cat food manufactures are only required to list the minimum and maximum amounts of four nutrients: protein, fat, fiber, and moisture.
- They must list the minimum amount of crude protein and crude fat.
- They must list the maximum amount of crude fiber and moisture.
For example, a box of cat food may read: Crude protein — 32%. That means it contains at least that much protein. It could have more, but no less.
Manufacturers may voluntarily include information about other nutrients, such as ash, magnesium, and taurine, which is a must for cats.
Pros For Wet Cat Food
- Cooked at high temperatures for sterilization which yields a longer shelf life
- Several different textures and moisture levels available
- Generally made with at least 60% moisture, often high in protein as well
- High moisture content may be useful for weight management, constipation, and urinary health
How Much Protein Does A Senior Cat Need Per Day
You should always check the label on your pet food to ensure your cat is getting enough protein in its diet. According to the National Academies, a healthy cat that weighs 9 lbs and consumes 250 calories per day should eat 12.5g of protein per day.
Old cats sometimes struggle to digest the protein in cheap, commercial cat foods. That why it was thought that senior cats have low protein requirements. However, this is inaccurate. In fact, senior cats require foods that contain high-quality, single-source forms of protein .
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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Demystifying The Cat Diet
Many times a day I hear the following question from my clients: What is the best food to feed my cat? My answer is always dependent on the age, body condition and health of the cat. However, for the average adult healthy cat, I recommend a canned diet with the following composition greater than 50 percent of the calories ingested should be from protein, less than 10 percent daily calories from carbohydrates, and at least 30 percent of their daily calories from fat.
Why would I make this recommendation? It is for the following reasons.
Cats are obligate carnivores. They are designed to eat meat, not plants. An ideal diet for a cat would be five-to-six mice per day for your information, mice are high in protein , low in carbohydrates and approximately 48 kcal per mouse. Unlike omnivores, cats are unable to process and store carbohydrates well. Cats fed high carbohydrate diets have higher blood glucose levels compared to cats fed low carbohydrate diets due to their failure to convert excess glucose to glycogen . Many cats recently diagnosed with Diabetes Mellitus are placed on a high protein, low carbohydrate diet and their diabetes has gone into remission. These cats no longer need insulin. In addition, it has been speculated that cats fed high carbohydrate diets may have a have a higher incidence of gastrointestinal disease due to their poor management of carbohydrates ingested and resultant bacterial overgrowth in their gastrointestinal tract.
Daves Pet Food Restricted Diet Phosphorus Wet New Formula
While the older formulation had a limited amount of protein, the new formula only has restricted phosphorus and sodium. Instead of reducing protein, they shifted to using high quality, highly digestive proteins.
- Its formulation supports renal function as it has a low sodium amount to ensure correct blood pressure balance and phosphorus to reduce the burden on kidneys in excreting the excess amounts.
- Uses chicken broth and chicken as their first ingredients
- Its grain-free making it the right choice if your feline has a sensitive stomach,
- It has added vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids , taurine, as well as other minerals and nutrients. All these added nutrients will improve your felines overall well being
Natural Balance Ultra Dry Cat Food
The Pros: The balanced nutrition in this food is suitable for all ages and breeds. It is gluten free with multiple types of fiber. The unique blend of antioxidant ingredients aids in strengthening a healthy immune system. For a dry food, itâs very moist at a 10% moisture.
It also has a fairly high protein level at 34% and the fiber is just right at 3%. The formula includes taurine as well as calcium, vitamin E, Vitamin C, biotin, folic acid and phosphorous. The price is very reasonable.
The Cons:It uses chicken meal and salmon meal rather than whole meats. Brown rice is the second ingredient, so itâs not grain free. Yeast is also listed as an ingredient, making the gluten free label questionable. The bag is not resealable, so youâll have to find another way to keep it fresh.
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Senior Cats Need Increased Protein Levels
As cats age, their protein requirements increase due to reduction in digestive efficiency.
Many cats of 12 or more years of age should be fed a diet containing nearly 50% protein. Many diets formulated for older cats have decreased protein levels due to concerns over kidney disease, which is common in the aging cat population.
While protein restriction may be beneficial for certain cats with kidney disease, a more conservative approach to protein restriction is now recommended and is a topic that should be discussed with your veterinarian.
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Our List Of Best Low Protein Cat Food
- Life Stage: Adult
Analysis Of The First Ingredients:
This prescription of dry cat food is an ideal choice for your cat if it has joint/bone problems associated with kidney issues which often happens if your cat suffers from kidney disease .
Blue buffalo features limited protein of high quality source like deboned chicken as primary protein source.
This highly digestible protein makes it easier for your cats tummy to process the food without too much trouble.
It is also accompanied with dried egg product as a secondary protein source with high biological value in order for your cat to make the most efficient use of its amino acids without straining your cat liver or kidney with too much metabolic workload.
The second, third and fourth ingredients in this product are the main sources of fast energy to keep your cat active enough to bounce and roll over as these activities can enhance the joints function.
This formula is also supplemented with ingredients which are very valuable for cats with kidney or liver problems such as DL-Methionine, L-Threonine.
These essential amino acids can enhance the metabolism in both the liver and the kidney. It also can help with digestion and absorption of the food in your cats stomach.
These amino acids also can give extra support to your cats bones and joints. ,
- Life Stage: Adult
Analysis Of The First Ingredients:
This diet is great low protein food for a cat with early signs of kidney disease.
Analysis Of The First Ingredients:
Daily Recommended Protein Allowance For Cats According To Nrc
The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 for the purpose of performing scientific research and providing services for the governmental, public, and the scientific communities.
So, what does science say? According to NRC, daily protein intake norms for cats are as follows:
- 1.8 lb kitten 10g
- Adult 9lb cat 12.5 g
- Nursing 9lb cat 41g.
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How To Transition Your Cat To A High
When youre ready to transition your pet to a high-protein cat food, make the switch gradually. As with most changes involving cats, patience is your friend.
On the first day, mix in a small amount of the new cat food with the old. If all goes well, take a week or two to gradually increase the amount of the new food while decreasing the amount of the old food until your cat is completely on her new diet.
Dont be alarmed if your cat takes a sniff and decides to skip a meal. Remove the dish and resist the urge to give treats and snacks.
Once you offer the next meal, your cat likely will be hungry enough to give it a second chance. During this transition, be sure your cat doesnt go longer than 24 hours without eating.
A thoughtfully chosen diet lays a fantastic foundation for a healthy cat. Their nutritional requirements are different from those of other species, including humans, which can make appropriate dietary options seem counterintuitive. What is good for people can end up being harmful to cats.
Fortunately, pet parents can learn simply by studying a cats natural diet. By providing a high-protein cat food, you can help set your cat up for a long, energetic and healthy life. And as always, check with your veterinarian to see the best food options for your cat.
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.