High Protein Cat Food

High protein cat food is particularly important because proteins play a significant role in growth and development. More than that, if a certain amount of protein is not assured, or if these nutrients are not assimilated properly, the immune system becomes weak. Through metabolic processes, proteins can be turned into fat and stored, or can be burned as calories.

Role of Proteins

Proteins do not affect only the immune system and the metabolism of your cat. They also regulate the pH and are used in the production of:

  • Antibodies
  • Enzymes
  • Hormones
  • Tissues

Proteins and Amino Acids

Out of the 22 amino acids that cats need, only half of them can be synthesized in their body. The other ones, which are called essential amino acids, must come from food. If any of these essential amino acids are deficient, then health problems are more likely to occur. Hence, the cat food must provide the following amino acids:

  • Arginine
  • Histidine
  • Isoleucine
  • Leucine
  • Lysine
  • Methionine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Threonine
  • Tryptophan
  • Valine
  • Taurine

Types of Proteins

There are 2 types of protein: complete and incomplete. The classification is made according to the amounts of essential amino acids. Foods of animal origin represent valuable sources of complete proteins, while incomplete proteins abound in:

  • Legumes
  • Grains
  • Vegetables

Best High Protein Cat Food Choices

Since proteins are so important, choosing cat food that is rich in such nutrients is recommended. Keep in mind, though, that some proteins are better than the others for your cat. The types and amount of amino acids each protein contains, as well as the ease of synthesis, are the factors that differentiate the proteins. It's recommended to opt for foods that contain complete proteins, as the incomplete ones cannot be utilized properly by cats.

Eggs represent the standard when calculating the biological value of a certain food. They have a biological value of 100. Other foods rich in proteins and their corresponding biological value are listed below:

  • Fish meal and milk - 92
  • Beef - 78
  • Soybean - 67
  • Meat and bone meal - 50
  • Corn - 45

Depending on how much protein your cat needs, you can choose various meals based on the aforementioned foods. It is better to focus on meat-based meals and to feed your cat fewer grain-based meals. Protein needs are influenced by several factors, which include:

  • Psychological state
  • Activity
  • Age
  • Digestibility of consumed protein

Downsides of High Protein Diets

Feeding your cat too much protein will not have any bad effects, unless he or she suffers from a kidney disease. In normal cats, the excess of proteins is partially eliminated through urine, and partially turned into fat. Commercial cat food producers only supply a little over the minimum recommended protein requirements.

In the wild, cats are obligate carnivores, meaning that they consume only foods of animal origin, and hence, foods rich in proteins. However, the diet of your cat differs very much from the diet of wild cats. Cat food that is available commercially needs to be checked in order to make sure that the required amount of proteins is assured. More than that, keep in mind that only the total amount of available protein is displayed on the label, and not the amount of digestible protein.