Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Hospital’s Blog
A Purrfect Recipe for Cat Nutrition
If you have spent any time around cats, you will agree when we say that they are certainly not the same as small dogs. This is no different when it comes to what they eat. Feeding your pet properly is essential for good health and a long life.
Thankfully your pet experts at Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Hospital know all about cat nutrition and are available to help you find the purrfect diet for your pet.
How Cats are Different
If you were to feed your cat the same thing as your dog, there’s a good chance that over time your cat would not thrive. This is because the nutritional needs of cats are very different than those of the canine species.
The primary difference between cats and dogs is that while dogs are omnivorous and can thrive on a combination of animal and plant foods, cats are strict carnivores. They must have animal protein in their diet to survive, and cannot thrive as vegetarians.
Cats have unique dietary needs including:
- High protein requirements (2-3 times higher than dogs)
- Arginine (an amino acid found in animal protein)
- Taurine (an amino acid found in animal protein)
- Vitamin A (cannot be synthesized by the cat from plant material)
- Vitamin D (must be obtained in the diet through animal sources)
- High B vitamin requirements
In order for cats to do well, they must eat a diet carefully constructed by someone familiar with the unique requirements of the feline species.
Cat Nutrition for Feline Fanatics
Feeding your cat is more complicated than you might think. Half the battle is selecting a balanced food for your pet that you can trust to meet all of their needs. Look for a food that:
- Has contact information available for the manufacturer
- Employs a full time animal nutritionist with either a PhD in animal nutrition or a board certification by the American College of Veterinary Nutrition/European College of Veterinary Nutrition
- Is tested by AAFCO feeding trials
- Has published research on the product in peer-reviewed journals
Of course even cats can differ from one to another. Cats who are strictly indoors may have different nutritional needs than those who spend time outdoors. Likewise, some cats may have medical needs such as urinary tract issues, diabetes, kidney disease, or inflammatory bowel disease that require therapeutic diets designed to help these problems.
When it comes to cat nutrition, we are on your side to help you select the best diet for your individual pet. It can be a confusing endeavor, so don’t be afraid to reach out to us for help. You cat is our priority!