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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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%.
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
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
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|