A common theme in the pet food industry is the increasing popularity of grain free pet food for dogs, which has seen huge sales spikes over the past five years. But what about cats? In recent times, grain free diets for cats are also on the up. This article looks at the requirements for a cat’s diet and the benefits of feeding a cat grain free pet food.
What does a cat require in its diet?
Cats are obligatory carnivores, meaning that they must eat meat to survive. They rely on nutrients found only in animal products. Cats evolved as hunters, and their requirements are still the same as those of their ancestors many years ago.
At the most basic level, there are 41 nutrients required for cats, compared with 37 for dogs. Essential nutrients for cats include:
This provides a cat with energy and is essential for the growth and development of body tissues such as muscles. It also forms the basis for substances that are needed for body functions and is involved in the prevention of disease. Protein contains essential amino acids and is found in food such as fish, meat and poultry.
These are the individual components that make up protein. Cats have higher requirements for amino acids than dogs and break down protein rapidly. Their bodies are unable to adapt when dietary supplies are low. A common amino acid that cats can develop a deficiency in is arginine. This is crucial for their metabolism, and they are unable to produce this themselves.
Another essential amino acid is taurine. This helps the health of a cat’s eyesight, heart function, bile formation and reproductive system. Without food, cats cannot produce taurine themselves, which is dangerous. Their only source comes from meat, poultry or fish.
Benefits of Grain Free
Grain free cat food is formulated without grains such as wheat, corn, oats, barley and rice. There are a variety of benefits to feeding a cat grain free food.
One of the main health benefits of grain free cat food is that it can be beneficial for cats with more sensitive digestion. If a cat is frequently experiencing vomiting and diarrhoea symptoms, this can indicate that they are struggling to digest the food they are eating. Swapping to a grain free alternative may help settle their digestion.
Switching to a grain free cat food can also be extremely beneficial for cats with a known food intolerance. Common symptoms of intolerance to grains include:
Here at Hudson’s Pet Care, a new cat range is coming soon. The Connoisseur Cat range consists of four recipes specifically developed to provide a selection of high protein and high total animal content which is irresistible to cats. Additionally, each of these recipes is grain free and suitable for cats with grain intolerances and sensitivities.