The following are three important things that you need to know about the dietary needs of your feline friend.
Cats Need Protein
Although all mammals, carnivores in particular, need dietary protein in order to thrive, cats need more of it than their canine counterparts. Protein is comprised of various amino acids, and cats metabolize these at a faster rate than most other mammals do. Unlike dogs and certain other mammals, cats do not possess the ability to adjust their metabolisms to make up for a lowered protein intake—meaning that their bodies still act like they're processing high amounts of protein when they aren't. This can lead to a variety of physical disorders. For instance, cats who do not get enough of the amino acid taurine may go blind or experience significant cardiovascular disorders. Experts recommend that a typical cat's daily dietary protein intake be 25 percent.
Too Much Fish Isn't Good for Cats
Many people automatically assume that fish is one of the best things that they can feed their pet cat. However, a diet high in fish can cause serious health problems in cats. Like people, cats can be allergic to seafood because it contains substantial amounts of a protein known as histamine, which is instrumental in triggering allergic reactions. Fish is one of the three major foods that causes allergic reactions in cats. Urinary tract infections can also be a problem due the high levels of phosphorus and magnesium, and kidney problems may develop in some cats. Also, the kind of fish used to create commercial cat food is usually of the worst possible quality—much of it is the fish waste from seafood processing plants that would otherwise be thrown away if it weren't being made into cat food, and most of it is at least half-rotten.
Go Easy on the Milk
Who hasn't been absolutely charmed by photographs, drawings, and other depictions of cute little kittens lapping up fresh milk from a saucer? However, just like other mammals, cats can be lactose-interolerant, especially after they have been weaned. Giving cats milk to drink on an occasional basis as a special treat probably won't do them any harm, but milk isn't the mainstay of the feline diet that many people seem to think it is. For more information on keeping your feline friend as happy and healthy as possible, please don't hesitate to contact a local veterinarian, such as one from Clayton Veterinary Associates, at your earliest convenience.