Nutritional Factors of an Ideal Cat Diet

Cat diet is essential in determining the health and longevity of your feline. The basic nutritional needs of a cat are protein, fat, vitamins, minerals and water. All these nutrients are important and an imbalanced diet will lead to a poor health.

Regular cat food may contain all of these ingredients; however make sure you pay attention to the labels of the food you purchase.

Proteins Essential to Growth

Proteins should be included in every cat’s diet, as they are a great source of energy. Proteins are essential in the growth and harmonious development of a cat. Proteins help in the production of antibodies, enzymes, hormones and tissues.

Eggs, meat or fish may be great sources of protein for cats. It is important to provide your pet with animal protein in addition to protein that comes from other sources.

Importance of Fats for Fatty Acids and Energy Deposits

Fats are also needed in a normal cat diet, as they are deposits of energy and a source of fatty acids. The fats may be taken from meats or vegetable oils. Cats need primarily two fatty acids: linoleic and arachidonic. These may be found in meats.

Fat and Water Soluble Vitamins

Cats need vitamins for their metabolism and for growth. Cats can get their vitamins from food and these vitamins may be either water or fat soluble vitamins. Cats need fat soluble vitamins such as vitamin A, K, D and E. the B vitamins and vitamin C are water soluble vitamins that should be present in a normal cat diet.

If the cat doesn’t get enough vitamins, supplements should be provided. Vitamin deficiency can cause different coat and skin conditions. Talk to your vet whether your cat needs vitamin supplements.

Minerals for Bones and Muscles

Minerals are beneficial for your cat’s bones and muscles and contribute to your cat’s normal reflexes and psychological reactions. Cats need calcium, magnesium, potassium, chloride, copper, iron, iodine, selenium or zinc. These may be found in the majority of cat foods or in meats, fish and eggs.

The cat food may be dry or wet, canned food. You may also prepare food for your cat, but you need to pay attention to include all the needed nutrients.

Most dry foods that can be purchased in stores contain the needed nutrients for you cat. However, the dry food may have a higher percentage of carbs and less protein. Cats need no, or negligible amounts of, carbs (maximum 5% of their daily diet).

Canned food contains less carbs. Canned food is also recommended for cats that are overweight or have kidney disease. Dry food helps preventing dental plaque, so if you opt for a canned food diet, make sure to include some dry treats, so that your cat will have healthy teeth and gums.

If a cat suffers from a disease, the vet will recommend a prescription diet.

Kittens and lactating cats will require a special diet that includes wet food.

The best cat diet depends on the cat and his lifestyle and health condition. Most cats may do well if they get dry food for life, while others will require canned food or a special prescription diet.