Cat Food Protein Content

Protein is essential in the cat’s diet. It is important to check the cat food protein content on the labels of the foods your feed your pet, to ensure that your cat stays healthy. For thousands of years, cats have eaten meat, which is a rich source of protein. Even if they don’t require as much energy as their wild ancestors, domesticated cats still need proteins.

The Need for Proteins

Cats need proteins for a proper development and growth; in addition, proteins strengthen the immune system. The proteins are also a rich source of calories; if not consumed the proteins will be deposited as fat and cats do need healthy deposits of fat.

As a matter of fact, cats don’t require proteins, but the amino acids that make up the proteins. Cats require 22 amino acids; 10 of these cannot be synthesized and need to be provided. These amino acids are present in proteins. These essential amino acids are the arginine, histidine, taurine, valine, lysine, leucine, isoleucine, methionine, thereonine, phenylalanine or tryptophan.

The levels of amino acids may differ in proteins; some proteins are more recommended for felines, as they may break down easier into essential amino acids.

Some healthy proteins for felines include eggs, fish, beef, meat or soybeans.

The Amount of Proteins Required

The amount of proteins in the cat’s diet may depend on the cat’s level of energy and on his health condition. Some medical conditions (i.e. kidney problems or bladder stones) will dictate a diet that is poor in proteins.

The protein requirement will stay the same even for senior cats.

The amount of proteins required by an adult cat is between 25 and 30%. Kittens require a slightly higher amount of proteins, so as to be able to grow and develop normally. Kittens should get 30 to 35% proteins in their food. Typically, commercial cat and kitten food contain the required amounts of protein, but you should check to make sure. Pay attention that the labels will display the total amount of proteins and only 70 to 80% of this amount of proteins is digestible. The cat requires between 25 and 30% digestible proteins.

Pregnant and lactating felines may also require a higher quantity of proteins.

If the cat has a weaker immune system or has an illness, the protein intake should be increased.

Excess of Proteins

In theory, an excess of protein is not dangerous. The cat’s organism will break down the proteins, use the needed amounts of energy and deposit the remaining amounts into fat. This may only be a problem if the cat is overweight.

However, some vets believe that a diet that contains an excess of proteins can cause damage to the kidneys. Consequently, you should only get food that contains the recommended amount of proteins. If your vet indicates an increased need for proteins, your cat will receive more proteins, but just for a reduced amount of time.