Nutritional advice for healthy, happy cats
Almo Nature has formulated its nutritional advice for cats based on the following nutritional philosophy.
Because of a cat’s amazing ability to adapt and survive, it is often believed that they are a simple animal to feed. Unfortunately, this belief is completely false.
A cat’s digestive complexity means its strict food requirements have remained unchanged over time… even after millennia of coexistence with humans.
This is caused by two very important factors, let’s see below.
1. A cat has no instinct to drink
This innate ability can be found in the cat’s desert origins. Due to the lack of water sources in deserts, cats needed to preserve liquids gleaned through their food, which comprised small prey.
A cat’s body can preserve most of the fluids obtained through nutrition by urinating less, eliminating only small amounts.
If we see a kitten first approach a bowl of water, we will notice that it will do everything except drink. This skill will be learned through observing the mother or other animals.
To encourage a cat to drink, there are several solutions available on the market that stimulate intake of fluids (if necessary) and attract them to water… these systems are often of great help but not always sufficient on their own.
Nutrition based solely on dry foods, even if with an abundance of water sources available, often does not prove to be effective in maintaining a cat’s hydration levels. Over time, a cat’s sedentary lifestyle – given its lack of need to get food or escape from predators – coupled with other predisposing factors, can lead to health issues such as renal problems or cystitis, etc.
2. The cat is a strict carnivore
The small prey a cat hunts and eats in the wild ensures high protein consumption and keeps the cat in good condition. The intake of animal proteins for a cat is indispensable as it has a reduced ability to synthesize amino acids (protein components) from non animal proteins. Animal proteins are therefore essential for its survival and to prevent the development of serious illnesses.
Feeding a cat food comprising animal proteins but predominantly cereal and plant sources to address deficiencies is not always the right solution.
How can we help our cat?
Alternate between dry foods and wet foods to ensure a proper diet throughout the year, and get them used to the consistency of both wet and dry food as young as you can… imprinting the habit into their memories.
Increasing the ratio of wet food not only reduces caloric intake, it also increases our cat’s hydration levels and provides a good source of animal proteins containing essential amino acids.
In addition, alternating between white and red meat and fish recipes is not only good practice but an important tool to provide all the nutrients your cat requires without excesses or deficiencies.
How to serve these foods
Serving wet foods in the morning and evening – and not leaving it more than half an hour in the bowl – is useful to ensure a fresh meal; kibble can be left at cat’s disposal throughout the day and night.
Written by Dr. Benedetta Giannini – Veterinarian