As ‘obligate carnivores’, cats have to eat animal protein to obtain all the amino acids they need in their diet. Indeed, there is one vital amino acid that cats cannot get from any source other than animal protein – taurine.
Taurine is critical for a cat’s normal heart, eye, and reproductive function. Unfortunately, cats cannot manufacture it from other amino acids like most other mammals can; therefore they need a meat-rich diet.
Domestic cats fed on commercial dry pet food might get as much as 40% of their calories from carbohydrates. However, pet cats do not need them in the percentages they are found in the majority of these processed foods. Moreover, there is no minimum recommended requirement of carbohydrates for cats, and too many carbohydrates can be a prime reason why pet cats become overweight.
Fighting the Flab
Any cat owner that can no longer feel their pet’s ribs without pressing should be concerned about their animal being overweight. Fortunately, cats love playing so there is a very easy solution to this problem.
Cats are pre-programmed to enjoy short bursts of intense activity – so all a concerned owner needs to do is pull out a piece of string, feathered toy, or laser pointer and have puss run around after it for five or 10 minutes a few times a day.
Of course, prevention is always better than cure so responsible cat owners should ensure they pay close attention to the nutritional information contained on their pet foods.