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Cat food

UPD This article is the result of long-term observation of their animals, basic knowledge about

anatomy and physiology of cats, the study of a large number of Internet articles. Invaluable help

had a book published in 2014 by Royal Canin “Encyclopedia of clinical nutrition of cats”,

Pascal Pibo, Vincent Burge, Denise Elliott. The book is the result of international cooperation

many authors.

Cat food.

One of the most controversial topics in felinology is the topic of good nutrition. You don’t have enough drive

emotions and communication? Ask a question: what do you prefer to feed your cats? Better yet

categorically express your commitment to prepared foods or a natural diet, this is not

fundamentally, the main thing is to express the intransigence of the position.

I do not want to take either side in this protracted conflict, I only want to talk

about facts, nothing more. And perhaps we will be able to take a look at the topic of eating cats from a new angle.

Fact 1: Cats are obligate predators. Their jaws and teeth are made to kill and tear the victim.

in pieces. Cats do not chew; they swallow food in fairly large pieces. And before

eat, they must first track down and catch this victim.

Fact 2: Cats hardly distinguish the taste of food compared to humans. We have about 9000 in our language

taste buds, in cats less than 500 (in dogs about 2000). But the smell is almost 14 times

more sensitive than in humans, and a special vomeronasal organ is much better developed

Jacobson, located on the palate behind the incisors (remember how funny cats open their mouths,

sniffing at a flowing cat). Significantly greater value when eating food than in humans,

cats have a sense of touch, so the consistency of the products is important. Lips and nose are very susceptible to

hot. Contrary to popular belief, a cat’s sweet taste is determined, albeit worse, than

bitter, salty or sour.

Fact 3: The normal acidity of a cat’s gastric juice is approximately pH 1-1.5, which is very

concentrated hydrochloric acid, able to dissolve bones and bacteria, inhibit

penetration of protozoa. Helminth eggs and protozoa cysts can survive because they have

a sufficiently dense shell, and for their death, a long exposure (exposure) in acidic

environment, and the advancement of the food lump in predators occurs rather quickly.

Fact 4: Cats have very short intestines. The ratio of intestinal length to body length is

only 3: 1, 4: 1. For comparison: in dogs 6: 1, in humans 10: 1, in herbivores 20: 1 or more. Suction

the intestinal capacity of cats is also lower. According to various authors, about 10% less than

in dogs. The advancement of the food lump in the gastrointestinal tract in obligate predators occurs substantially

faster than herbivores, because from plant foods to get nutrients is much

more difficult. The process of digestion in a cat takes about 12 hours, in cows several days.

Fact 5: Cats are not adapted to consume plant and carbohydrate foods: short

intestines, relatively high speed of passage of the food lump, the nuances of exocrine

pancreatic function. Cat’s salivary glands do not produce amylase. * Amylase –

the main enzyme that breaks down carbohydrates. Glucose in cats is obtained not from carbohydrates, but from proteins.

Cat cells have an increased insulin tolerance, therefore, the intake of digestible

carbohydrates, an increase in the proportion of carbohydrate food in the diet – is fraught with problems, in particular,

the development of diabetes

Fact 6: metabolic problems, with a high content of plant foods in the cat’s diet,

arise not only due to the relatively high content of carbohydrates. Big problem

represents the amino acid composition and their relationship to each other.

For cats, 11 amino acids are indispensable, that is, they cannot be synthesized by the body and

should come with food: taurine, arginine , histidine, leucine, lysine, phenylalanine, threonine,

isoleucine, methionine , tryptophan and valine. In the synthesis of proteins for each type of body tissue

a strictly specific set of amino acids is required.

For example, valine, arginine, and tryptophan are contained in equal amounts in tissue protein.

(1: 1: 1), but if in the diet their ratio is 1: 1: 0.5, then the assimilation of all these

amino acids is determined by the amino acid contained in a minimum amount.

Isin can work in the body only in the presence of another amino acid – arginine. Products

where both substances are combined, are cheeses and dairy products.

Adequate intake with food and the ratio of three amino acids to each other are crucial:

valine, leucine and isoleucine. These three amino acids work only together and have their own

abbreviation: BCAA (from English branched chain amino acids, branched chain amino acids

chain). BCAAs lower cortisol levels and increase serotonin levels in the blood, giving a feeling

appeasement and tranquility; maintain insulin synthesis at the proper level; stimulate

synthesis of growth hormone, providing growth and development of young animals and maintaining muscle mass in

adults. Adequate intake of these amino acids in the correct ratio yields almost

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the same anti-obesity effect as fasting. BCAA’s Best Source is Chicken

meat and chicken hearts, a lot of these amino acids and in beef. Soy Protein (the only

more or less adequate vegetable substitute) and turkey contain branched amino acids

1.5-2 times less chain.

Taurine is a vital amino acid, a deficiency of which very quickly causes

pathological changes in the cat’s body. Two target organs suffer from its deficiency in

first of all: eyes and heart. Since the effects of taurine on the heart muscle have been discovered

cats, and it began to be added to ready-made rations without fail, the number of animals with

dilated cardiomyopathy decreased significantly. Taurine is also essential for adequate

the work of immunocompetent cells. In neutrophils, the percentage of taurine among all

free amino acids of the cytoplasm is 76%, in lymphocytes 44%. Taurine deficiency causes

decreased activity of the cellular component of immunity: phagocytosis is inhibited, activity decreases

neutrophils, the degree of damage to own cells by oxidizing agents and free

radicals. Moreover, it is the cellular link that is the basis of the immune defense of cats. Natural

the source of taurine is meat, most of it is contained in the heart muscle.

The rational selection of proteins from different products, taking into account their mutual complementation, is very important when

drawing up a diet.

Fact 7: In addition to essential amino acids, cats need to be ingested with food and other substances,

the synthesis of which the body is impossible. Among them, niacin, or vitamin B3 ( niacin is a common

name of nicotinic acid, nicotinamide and their metabolic products). Nicotinic acid deficiency

leads to loss of appetite and weight, gum disease and hemorrhagic diarrhea. Source

Vitamins for cats are eggs, meat, fish, wheat bran and yeast.

Cats cannot absorb beta-carotene from plant foods, they need vitamin A in active

the form that they can only get from animal products, primarily

from the liver and egg yolk. This circumstance should be considered when choosing food additives (need

retinal palmitate). With hypovitaminosis, night vision and the condition of the skin, coat, worsen,

kids are lagging behind in development. Remember that excess vitamins can be more dangerous.

hypovitaminosis, especially do not get involved in nutritional supplements. Chronic A-hypervitaminosis

in predators (cats and dogs), arising, for example, due to prolonged feeding of their raw

liver, causes a disease of the spine, which is characterized by bone growths along

the edges of the vertebral bodies and is accompanied by a restriction of the mobility of the joints of the cervical spine.

Intake of large amounts of vitamin A during pregnancy can lead to

the occurrence of congenital malformations in the fetus.

The cat’s body is not able to convert linolenic fatty acid to arachidonic.

Therefore, the diet should contain ready-made arachidonic acid. Gamma linolenic acid

refers to omega-6 unsaturated fatty acids, is considered the most important fatty acid for

dogs and cats. It plays a key role in maintaining animal skin health. Contained in

most vegetable and animal fats, including chicken fat. Arachidonic acid too

refers to Omega-6 PUFAs, is the body’s source of a number of highly active

biological substances that take part in the maintenance of hemostasis,

blood coagulation, transmission of nerve impulses and many others. Arachidonic deficiency

acid leads to a violation of blood coagulation, prolonged wound healing, delayed

tissue regeneration, impaired vascular permeability, pathologies in contractile activity

muscle wall of the bronchi, veins, arteries, the development of dermatitis, a decrease in local and general

immunity. Contained in red meat, liver, eggs, especially in milk fat, as well as in

salmon, salmon oil. Omega-3 – unsaturated fatty acids are equally important for normal

metabolism and ensuring optimal cat health, the main sources are

fish oil, animal fats and egg yolk, as well as linseed oil and seaweed. The most

Important omega-3 acids for dogs and cats:

• Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA)

• Eicosa Pentaenoic Acid (EPA)

• Docosa-hexaenoic acid (DHA)

Alpha linoleic acid (ALA) is considered an essential fatty acid for dogs and cats.

It has been experimentally proved that the absence in the diet of experimental animals of irreplaceable fatty

acids leads to problems with the skin and coat, negatively affects the function

breeding and excretory system. Introduction to the diet of alpha-linolenic acid eliminates

pathology data, if the processes have not acquired an irreversible character. Main natural

sources of α-linolenic acid are various vegetable oils (linseed, sea buckthorn).

Cats can synthesize EPA and DHA from ALA, although conversion levels will be low. Docosa

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hexaenoic acid (DHA) is important for the development of the brain and immune system, as well as for maintaining

vision in young animals.

Extremely important is the ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 PUFA. Normal ratio for

cats is 1 / 1.3, while in the finished feed the ratio is 10/1, which causes a bias

reactions in the direction of activating the production of antibodies to own cells and contributes to the formation of

chronic inflammatory processes. Omega 6 / Omega 3 PUFA Ratio Too Low

increases the risk of developing arthritis and allergic reactions, digestive disorders and higher

nervous activity, contributes to the protracted course of inflammatory processes and disturbance

development of young animals. Inclusion of omega-3 PUFAs in the diet, primarily fish oil or

preparations based on it in the treatment regimen of itchy dermatoses, can significantly reduce the dose

hormones and antihistamines, reduce treatment time.

Fact 8: The ducts of the pancreas and liver always connect in cats into a common duct,

flowing into the duodenum 12. Therefore, the inflammatory process always spreads from one

body to another, it is only a matter of time.

Fact 9: Exocrine pancreatic cells of adult cats producing

digestive juices have an extremely low ability to adapt to dietary changes.

The enzymatic composition is stable and relatively scarce, primarily due to a decrease

the production of enzymes that break down carbohydrates. Adaptive capabilities at a young age

pancreas above. If you don’t know what your kitten will eat in the future,

introduce it to ready-made rations and natural food, this will reduce the risk of problems with

digestion later on.

Fact 10: The intestines are one of the main organs of the mammalian immune system, cats don’t

an exception. The final segment of the small section (ileum) is rich in lymphoid elements,

which lie in the mucous membrane and are represented as single (solitary) follicles,

and their clusters in the form of Peyer’s plaques. In fact, the intestine is the main organ,

triggering the circulation of immunocompetent cells and the synthesis of immunoglobulins, forming

sensitivity to foreign substances and factors providing all mucous membranes

local protection. I would like to note that the content of young animals in conditions close to

sterile, significantly worsens the development of Peyer’s plaques with all the attendant

the consequences. * Who wants more details, in the article at https://moluch.ru/archive/154/43637/ you

can familiarize yourself with the function of intestinal lymphoid tissue in more detail. It is about

man, but the information is given in a fairly understandable language and is relevant, including for cats. Only

the number of Peyer’s plaques is less, 11-25, while the number and severity with age

significantly reduced.

Now let’s talk about the pros and cons of natural nutrition and ready-made rations, about those mistakes,

which cat owners do most often.


Species-specific diet. Cat – an obligate predator created by nature to receive everything

nutrients, vitamins and minerals from animal foods. Kittens rations should

contain at least 35% protein, in an adult animal – 30%. It is important that the protein be

full, that is, it contained all the necessary amino acids. Kittens need irreplaceable

amino acids (in grams per kg of body weight) are about one and a half times higher than in adult animals. Was

a series of experiments was carried out in which animals chose their diet themselves. Wherein

the B / W / U ratio has always been obtained within the protein range of 52%, fats 36%, carbohydrates 12%, which

as close as possible to the ratio of nutrients in the main cat prey – mice:

proteins – 56-63%, fats – 20-30%, carbohydrates – 5-10%. The total amount of food per day is calculated by

formula: up to 9 months. 10% and over 9 months 5% of ideal body weight (approximately).

The total number of kilocalories required per cat per day is a very individual indicator,

depends on the hormonal status of the animal, age, activity, possibility of walking,

temperament, breed (metabolic rate varies). Range from 40 to 100 kcal per 1 kg

body weight per day.

Meat is the main source of protein for cats. The protein content in meat can range from 11

up to 21% (average 18%). Poultry meat contains several more proteins (chickens – 18-20%, turkey

24.7%), significantly less connective tissue, and proteins and fats are better absorbed. In poultry meat

many growth-promoting amino acids – tryptophan, lysine, arginine. In poultry meat lipids

more PUFA than beef and mutton. Vitamin and mineral composition of poultry meat is not noticeably

different from the meat of other land animals.

The ease of splitting it into amino acids in a cat’s body depends on the origin of the protein.

Amino acid composition and their ratio determine the biological value of the protein. Contrary to

the existing myth, cats can be given pork, they digest it perfectly, but you need to be

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sure that the product is not infected with helminths. At the same time, they must be fed first

lean carcasses, liver and heart. Pork is a leader in meat products in content

thiamine, vitamin B1 and polyunsaturated fatty acids. If on average in other types of meat

Vitamin B1 contains 0.1-0.2 mg%, in pork 0.6-0.8 mg%. Pork protein rarely causes

an allergic reaction in cats, as opposed to beef.

The liver and kidneys of animals are the main sources of vitamin B12. The liver is rich

vitamins A, B, C, E, D, in sufficient quantities contains amino acids, antioxidants, iron,

calcium, zinc and copper. Unfortunately, not all animals are able to eat raw liver, often it

gives a laxative effect. If the cat weakens from the product, it is subjected to short-term

heat treatment, boiled liver is attached, while the absorption of substances that stimulate

hematopoiesis is not disturbed.

Very useful to cats rabbit meat. In rabbit meat, a high content of vitamin B1, less than in

pork, but about 1.5 times more than in beef, and also significantly more than in beef,

essential amino acids: lysine, tryptophan, threonine.

Lamb – meat is quite heavy, but it contains significantly less purine bases, which increase

the risk of forming urate stones, which can be taken into account when compiling a diet for cats with IBD,

in the urine of which urate salts are determined. Reduce their content in meat of other origin

can be by boiling, the broth can not be used.

Any meat is the main source of zinc, the lack of which leads to a delay

growth and sexual development.

It follows that poultry and rabbit meat, the liver and heart of animals are suitable for feeding cats

most of all, and lean lamb and pork can be used to formulate therapeutic diets.

Inclusion of brains and spleen in cats ’diet is undesirable. Brains contain too much

amount of cholesterol and phosphorus. The spleen is an organ of lymphopoiesis, a filter for

microorganisms, in it there is a destruction of red blood cells and platelets, so feeding

often causes diarrhea, can be the cause of poisoning. In this case, the brain, in combination with the liver and

egg yolks can be used in clinical nutrition for anemia.

The high acidity of the gastric juice of cats can dissolve almost any bone, but

only if they have not been subjected to heat treatment. Bones of course not in

pure form, are an extremely important component of the natural diet, a source of mineral

substances necessary for the growth, development, and functioning of all organs and systems, especially for

pregnant and lactating females, young animals. Usually used as a bone component

chicken heads and necks, day-old chicks, quail fed whole. Bones of other birds and

animals are too large, their use is possible only in crushed form. If for some

reasons, the pet cannot consume the bone component (allergy, lack of teeth, failure),

he needs regular intake of nutritional mineral supplements. Mineral deficiency

substances adversely affects the health of cats, especially pregnant, lactating,

and kittens. In advanced cases, a severe pathology is formed: alimentary hyperparathyroidism –

endocrine disorder characterized by excessive synthesis and secretion of the hormone

parathyroid glands – parathyroid hormone, which is involved in the regulation of extracellular

calcium. In this case, calcium is washed out of the bones and the risk significantly increases.

spontaneous fractures. The level of calcium in the blood serum can

to stay within the normal range, therefore, the main diagnostic method is survey radiography.

The shares in the diet of the liver and the bone component can regulate the degree of formalization of the stool.

Raw liver weakens, heat-treated liver and bone component fix.

When feeding daily chickens, there are some features:

– It is impossible to categorically combine with ready-made rations;

– not all cats normally tolerate the large amount of yolks and fluff consumed at the same time;

– There is a risk of salmonella infection.

The yolks, at least partially, can be removed in the same way as fluff (should be doused with boiling water, and it

easy to remove).

Vegetable component, dairy products, bran, are included in the diet if necessary.

Direct indication: constipation. It is useful to include dairy products in the diet of young, pregnant and

lactating animals, taking into account tolerance. Sour milk is preferred.

Products: cottage cheese 4-5%, fermented baked milk, natural yogurt. Kittens usually tolerate goat milk

and 10% cream (fat close to cat’s milk). Lactose Tolerance in Adult Animals

individual, much depends on the diet during the period of growth and development. Cat that since childhood

constantly received dairy products, most likely and in adulthood will love them and

digest well.

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The ratio of meat and dairy products, the inclusion of vegetables and cereals in the diet helps

maintain urine pH at the right level, for cats the norm is from 6.0 to 6.5. The share of vegetables and cereals

should not exceed 10-20% of the diet. Alkalization of urine can lead to struvite formation

(crystals of magnesium phosphate, ammonium). pH below 6.0 may precipitate oxalate crystals

calcium, the formation of urate uroliths (uroliths – urinary stones). Urine in cats is very

concentrated, therefore the slightest fluctuations in acid-base balance quickly lead to

precipitation and provoke the development of urolithiasis, ICD. Struvites are soluble,

oxalate and urate stones – no, therefore, in the treatment of struvite urolithiasis it is very important not to

go to the other extreme with a change in urine pH. A variety of uroliths is determined by analysis


Diet therapy depending on the type of uroliths:

Struvites: limit or exclude vegetables and dairy products; raw meat required (acidifies


Oxalates: exclude legumes (including as part of ready-made rations), green vegetables and herbs,

limit dairy products (rich in calcium); include cereals and bran (in reasonable

limits), it is useful to treat watermelon and melon, their juice removes oxalates.

Urata: exclude broths, trout, herring, seafood, venison; from meat products

lean lamb, skinless chicken, duck, or other boiled meat is preferred

origin (purine bases go to a large extent into the broth); increase share in

diet of dairy products, eggs (boiled eggs can be given regularly), vegetables (can not be given

legumes and cauliflower).

Dairy products are not a mandatory component of the diet of cats with natural

nutrition. They are included in the menu according to the testimony and desire of the owner with normal tolerance.

Permissible ratio of meat / dairy products: 2 / 1-1 / 1. Even if correction is necessary

diet, the main source of nutrients and essential substances for cats are meat and

offal. Milk and its derivatives are useful at the risk of developing hyperparathyroidism.

Eggs are an excellent source of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. It’s better

soft-boiled eggs and a steam omelet without salt are digested, contrary to the established belief that

animals need only raw eggs. The fact is that raw egg white contains two

“Unpleasant” component: antitryptase – an enzyme that blocks the trypsin, and avidin –

biotin antagonist. During heat treatment, these substances are destroyed. Raw eggs break

digestion of protein foods and can cause the development of B7 hypovitaminosis (vitamin H, biotin),

therefore, it is necessary to limit their use by an adult cat to one per week. Thermally

processed – safe (except in cases of individual intolerance).

Vegetable oils, fish oil or salmon oil are added drop by drop according to indications, while

ordinary sunflower oil contains three times more vitamin E than olive oil; the most useful

for cats, vegetable is pumpkin; carrots are more healthy in boiled form; fruits and cheese can be given as

treat a bit.

CONTRAINDICATIONS for cats: grapes, raisins, avocados, onions, garlic, nuts (especially macadam and

walnut), alcohol, chocolate, raw potatoes, especially green, smoked meats, sausages,

marinades, pickles, fat.

The main mistakes supporters of natural nutrition:

· Feeding porridges, soups, food “from the table”

Chopping meat to minced meat

· The use of only meat pieces, tenderloins

· Ignoring the cat’s desire to treat itself with vegetables, dairy products, fruits from the list


· Inclusion of bones in the diet with mixed nutrition (the reasons will be announced in the text below)

· Mixing in one feed the finished dry feed and natural products.

So, to summarize what we know about the characteristics of cats and their needs, the correct

a natural diet should be based on poultry meat with a bone component (approximately 10%).

In this case, the cat should receive food in the form of pieces, which allows the animal to satisfy not

only hunger, but also game and hunting instincts, “brush” teeth, maintain gum health and

natural acidity of gastric juice.

It’s useful to include the heart of animals, which is vital for our pets, in our diet.

taurine. It is rich in other nutrients, micro and macro elements. Daily portion

per adult cat / cat from about a matchbox, fed raw.

The liver allows you to satisfy the need for vitamins and regulate stool (raw relaxes,

thermally processed fixes), the optimal content in the diet is about 5%.

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It is more useful to give eggs in the form of a steam omelet or boiled soft-boiled. Heat treated eggs

healthy animals can be fed almost daily.

Dairy products, primarily fermented milk, can become

a constant part of the diet, especially with bone problems and chronic constipation, but

the basis should still be meat and offal.

In this case, the cat can and should be treated to pumpkin: raw, grated on a fine grater, baked, or

blanched. Pumpkin helps maintain liver health, increases resistance to

helminthiasis. With constipation, age-old pets, with obesity, it is useful to add bran to food.

You can safely include in the diet a small amount of carrots, zucchini, broccoli for stimulation

peristalsis as a source of dietary fiber. Vegetables, cereals, bran, fruits when calculating

calories and B / W / U ratios are not taken into account. For cats, this is just a dietary supplement, not

source of nutrients and not the basis of the diet.

You can combine meat and vegetables, meat and cereals, dairy products with bran or

an egg (e.g. cottage cheese and a raw egg). Milk porridge can be given to cats as a treat, or as

the main dish for clinical nutrition (for example, with chronic renal failure). Do not mix dairy products with

vegetables or meat.

If the cat weakens, we increase the share of the bone component and remove the liver, gradually introducing it

in the diet after a break, and only thermally processed.

Fresh sea fish can be included in the diet of cats without any fears, even regular

use does not increase the risk of vitamin B1 and the development of ICD. Thiaminase problem

occurs only in mono-diet conditions, for a home mixed diet this is not relevant.

Feeding fish does not have any effect on the development of urolithiasis. it

the assumption was made based on the fact that the fish has a lot of phosphorus, which

theoretically creates the conditions for the formation of struvites. Studies have disproved this

point of view. Fish is an important source of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Is

danger heat-treated fish – in this case it is important to remove all bones; can not be fed

raw lake and river fish because of the high risk of helminth infection, it is really harmful

eating fish with chronic renal failure, when reducing the level of phosphorus in the blood is one of the main tasks.


Ready-made feeds already have a fairly long history. The first biscuits for dogs appeared in

far 1860. About cats “remembered” only in the twentieth century, so industrial feed

They began to win the hearts of purrs only in 1930. It was originally just

pellets from meat and bone meal, gradually the composition became more complicated, and production methods

more sophisticated. Ready-made dry feed has become truly affordable since the extruder was created.

Now the market is saturated with a huge number of brands and varieties of the product. Feed Economy

classes balanced only by main indicators and calories; full-time,

capable of supporting the body’s activity more or less within the physiological

needs; premium and super premium feeds that take into account the maximum amount

parameters, including trace elements and vitamins; and of course a holistic feed, in the manufacture of

which are based on the species-specific needs of cats in animal protein. There is feed for

mothers and babies, teenage kittens, for adults and age animals. Veterinary created

rulers designed to correct the main metabolic disorders, the most common

in the population.

A huge plus of ready-made feed – they relieved the owner of the responsibility for compiling

a balanced diet for pets. You go to the store, buy a pack of feed, and all that

required – pour the required number of granules into a bowl or put canned food. Is it good or

badly? On the one hand, it’s certainly good, but as in any situation, there are pitfalls.

Soy, which is the main source of protein in cheap feeds, is abundant.

a substance similar in structure to 17 bettaestradiol, phytoestrogen ginestein. One of the main

effects – increased production of prolactin, which has a direct effect on

reproductive system. In addition, the substance inhibits tyrosine kinase, causing a cascade of reactions,

from color changes to immunosuppression. Tyrosine kinase is one of the most important links in the system

signaling in the cell. In some fodder with soy, the content of ginestein reaches 8 or more

mg / kg, calculated on the daily diet.

The vast majority of finished feed, if not all, contains a predominant percentage of omega 6

PUFAs in relation to Omega 3 PUFAs, which increases the risk of developing autoimmune and allergic

reactions, arthritis, digestive disorders and higher nervous activity, contributes to protracted

the course of inflammatory processes, violates the development of young animals.

Allergization is the main problem of animals receiving ready-made diets. First of all it

occurs due to direct damage to the intestinal mucosa by adjuvants and

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enterotoxins. Damaged intestinal wall becomes permeable to large molecules.

Secondly, poor nutrition helps to reduce the acidity of gastric juice,

increased risk of helminthic invasion and increased production of Ig E. As a result, an increased risk

development of atopy. Third, decreased contact with microorganisms in the early postnatal

the period during the formation of immunity, excessive enthusiasm for sterilization of the environment, changes

the ratio of different shoots of T helper cells and increases the tendency not only to infectious

diseases, but also to increase the risk of allergic reactions.

Reducing the acidity of gastric juice (raising the pH to 2 or more) when ready to feed

diets must be taken into account if the cat is on a mixed diet. It is impossible

include the bone component in mixes, in the diet as a whole, if your animal gets dry

feed. It will not be able to adequately digest bones, which can lead to serious problems, even

to intestinal obstruction. It is believed that for safe feeding of bones, a cat should not

receive dry food for a minimum of two weeks. If the animal is age, to normalize

gastric acidity may take a longer period. Given that sharply

it is usually impossible to replace the finished diet with meat, the transition period may stretch to

month and more. At this time, the cat needs to take mineral nutritional supplements.

Mixed diet and nutrition of prepared feeds adversely affect susceptibility to

helminthic infestations and food toxicoinfections, infection with protozoa. The reason is the same

insufficient acidity of gastric juice.

A cat is an obligate predator; therefore, it needs a high digestibility of the diet. In the ready

water-oil emulsions are formed in feeds, the three-dimensional structure of proteins is destroyed, which

complicates the absorption of nutrients. In the interaction of amino acids and carbohydrates in conditions

heat treatment occurs Maillard reaction. As a result, melanoidins, substances

giving coloring of granules which dissolve and digest much worse, according

compared with the original molecules, but they have a much higher ability to cause

allergic reactions compared to the original crude proteins. Allergies are often not caused

animal protein, as such, and not the corn or wheat that make up the feed, but atypical for

natural diet molecules that are perceived by the body as foreign. Reaction

Mayara reduces the biological value of proteins, because amino acids, especially lysine, threonine,

arginine and methionine, after combining with sugars, become inaccessible to the digestive

enzymes and therefore not digestible.

I want to pay attention to casein, more precisely, the processes that occur with it during

making dry feed. With the interaction of casein and soy protein, new

atypical antigenic complexes, in addition, casein after heat treatment promotes

the appearance of antibodies to Ig A in the saliva of cats. It can also affect sustainability.

animals to infections and increase the likelihood of allergic reactions.

Thus, the technology of feed production causes a quantitative and qualitative change.

food proteins, the diet as a whole, which contributes to the development of allergic and autoimmune

diseases in cats, reduces their resistance to infectious diseases.

When eating natural products, changing according to internal processes

cat’s taste preferences signal to the owner about the need to correct the diet in one or

the other side. The big problem with ready-made rations is what is their advantage:

stable composition. On the one hand, good feeds are created taking into account all basic needs.

kind of. On the other hand, all animals are individual. Each has its own metabolic rate, nuances

hormonal background, its own living conditions and activity. In this case, skewing can easily occur.

only for protein, but also for vitamins, and hypervitaminosis is much more dangerous than hypovitaminosis in

consequences for the body. In this case, animals with

increased appetite, high metabolic rate, for example, sphinxes, eaten per day

more than calculated by feed manufacturers. The stable composition of the finished feed, with flavoring

additives and flavorings, deprives the animal of the ability to change the diet in accordance with

changing needs throughout life, creates the prerequisites for the development of pathologies

metabolism. Especially dangerous are cheap plant protein feeds containing

dyes, preservatives and flavoring additives.

In this case, the most expensive feed holistic level is also not always safe. Often, after 2-3 years

of such seemingly high-quality nutrition, animals develop hepatitis, pancreatitis, it’s difficult

amenable to therapy with an unclear prognosis. The fact is that a high percentage of protein is no less harmful.

Nitrogenous slag formed during metabolism is very toxic and can cause

development of renal and hepatic insufficiency, depletion of the pancreas, disrupt

digestion processes. Moreover, even in the best feeds it is impossible to avoid

Page 8

formation of melanoidins, this is a consequence of cooking technology, such is the fee for convenience


The last, but not least, point that I would like to draw your attention to is

water-salt metabolism with various types of nutrition. Cats are descendants of desert animals. Their

the body is designed so that production will be the main source of moisture. Cats don’t like

water, do not like to drink, swim. With natural species-specific nutrition, a sufficient amount

fluid enters their body with meat. If a cat is fed dry food, he not only cannot

be a source of water, but also draws on itself the already existing moisture from the cells through the walls

intestines. Plus salt, which is often added to feed to cause dehydration of cells and

thirst that should stimulate the cat to drink water. What we get as a result: outflow of fluid

through the wall of the intestine to wet the croquettes to enable the digestion process and

facilitate the passage of the food lump; outflow of fluid from cells by increasing the level of ions

sodium in the blood; forced increase in water consumption, to which the body is not adapted.

If the cat refuses to drink enough water, the risks of metabolic disorders

increase at times. The result is chronic dehydration, constant stress

system: renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) and renal structures, elevated

the risk of abnormalities in the work of the cardiovascular system, a reduction in the expected lifespan of

behind emerging kidney failure in the first place. To prevent this

developments should be required to monitor fluid intake by animals,

receiving dry food. In case of impossibility to trace and ensure sufficient consumption

cat water, it is recommended to switch to wet prepared rations. The output may be

pre-soaking dry food, but only if the soaked food immediately

eaten, its storage is unacceptable.

In case of serious problems at any feed, you can replace it sharply with

another, but ideally, the transition should be smooth, within 1-2 weeks, with a gradual

an increase in the share of new feed in the daily diet. Cats are conservative, drastic changes often

cause failures in the digestive tract.

Often a situation arises when a person cannot stop at just one type of nutrition,

the cat receives both ready-made rations and meat. Personally, I find this feeding regimen even more

preferred over only dry feed. The only caveat: consider

inevitable decrease in acidity of gastric juice, exclude bones from the menu, and regularly

carry out preventive deworming, and do not give drying and meat in one feeding,

the digestion process should go too differently.

The main mistakes when feeding cats with ready-made diets:

– lack of control over fluid intake

– frequent / abrupt transitions from one feed to another

– feeding adult animals rations for kittens (this is permissible only if we are talking about

pregnant and lactating cats)

– lack of control over the weight of the animal

– Do not put bowls with water and dry food nearby, and also leave soaked not eaten

feed in bowl until next feed

The food is suitable for your pet if it has shiny coat, healthy skin, no excess

molting, good condition, he is cheerful and active, and the contents of the pot are pleasing to the eye. Ideally, once a year

it is necessary to conduct a routine examination at the veterinarian. In addition to a general inspection, it is useful to do

biochemical analysis of blood (liver tests and creatinine) and general analysis of urine. This will allow

identify abnormalities before the clinical symptoms of malaise appear.

The main conclusion from all available information: there is no ready-made single recipe for everyone. Owner

must take into account many factors, deciding how to feed your pet. Hope new

knowledge will help you make the right choice.

We are what we eat, this expression is also relevant for our favorites.

Page 9Source- “On the nutrition of cats” T. Shitova

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