What can cats eat?

Yanko Dann

Yanko Dann

Cat person always has been and always will be. Come and get to know my love in words for cats, not just mine.

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Cats are carnivores, which means they need to eat meat to survive. Any cat owner knows this only too well – cats are infamous for their finicky eating habits. They can be incredibly picky about what they eat, often showing very little interest in food even when starving hungry. Many owners have had the experience of buying a big sack of quality dry cat food and watching it go down the disposal or into the litter box after just one meal!

The fact is that much of what we typically think of as ‘human food’ isn’t suitable for feline consumption. The table below outlines some foods that are safe for humans but not for cats, along with ones that are okay both ways:

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Cats must consume meat in order to survive. Cats are classified as carnivores, as opposed to omnivores or herbivores. Cats can not digest meats that contain high amounts of carbohydrates such as grains and vegetables like dogs can. Cats need 22 essential amino acids. The first ten come from proteins within the flesh of their prey; the other twelve amino acids are produced by the cat’s own body, but it cannot produce these itself so they have to get them from food. Cats also require taurine, fat, vitamins A & D, calcium, phosphorus and arginine which is an amino acid found in protein sources that provide a rich source of nitrogen for the body.

What veg do cats eat?

Cats can digest vegetables such as carrots and green beans in small amounts, but need large amounts of protein in their diet to be healthy. Vegetables are typically not a very reliable source of dietary fiber for cats. They should receive the majority of their nutrition from animal sources, meaning meat and fish. Most canned cat foods contain a very high percentage of vegetable or plant matter, including corn gluten meal or maize gluten meal which is a filler ingredient used by pet food manufacturers because it is extremely inexpensive. Cats do not process carbohydrates well and they rely on getting most of their energy from protein and fatty acids rather than from carbohydrates. Fiber isn’t an essential component of any carnivore’s diet except that required to keep the intestinal tract moving. In fact, fiber can cause constipation and may lead to the formation of hairballs. Cats with an insatiable appetite or that are over-weight often benefit from a low-fiber, high protein diet with lower calories per cup.

What is a cats Favourite food?

Cats can digest meats such as beef, lamb, rabbit or chicken. These are usually higher in protein and lower in carbohydrate compared with some commercial brands of cat food, especially dry varieties. It is often better to cook all types of meat for your cat because raw meat has more bacteria which are not good for cats. Canned cat food is safer because it does not contain bones that can splinter or sharp pieces of gristle that could cause harm if swallowed. Most canned cat food contains the same ingredients listed on the label whereas dry kibble can have up to 50% of its formula made of cornstarch, wheat middlings, rice bran and other highly-processed cereal grains which offers little nutritional value when consumed by a cat.

What is bad for cats to eat?

Cats should not be fed foods with high levels of simple sugars, starches or carbohydrates as these can lead to obesity and diabetes. Fatty foods such as pork rinds, bacon fat, fried chicken skin and lard are also harmful because they can cause pancreatitis in some cats.

What about chocolate for cats?

Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine which is toxic to cats at certain doses so it cannot be included in a diet of a cat’s regular food. This means that chocolate must never be given as a treat since even a small amount could make your cat very ill or kill him. Theobromine poisoning from eating chocolate is similar to the effects of drinking coffee or tea. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness, increased heart rate, muscle tremors and seizures. More severe signs may include collapse with a weak pulse, liver failure and death.

What about my cat eating birds?

If you have ever seen your cat catch then eat a bird they are not doing anything wrong or odd they are simply following their natural instincts as they would do in the wild. Birds are part of their natural diet so it does not matter if your cat catches them in your yard or even inside their home they will eat what is there at that time and you should not try to stop them

What is the healthiest food for cats?

Cats need a diet that is high in protein and specific nutrients such as taurine and vitamin A. They should never be fed dog food because it does not contain all the nutrients that cats require to be healthy like Taurine which is essential for their dietary needs. Cats also cannot digest plant-based proteins so it is important to only feed them meat.

What do cats eat if they are sick?

In some cases, a veterinarian may suggest modifying your cat’s diet to help alleviate the symptoms of an illness. In these situations, you can try feeding your cat canned pumpkin or plain cooked white rice mixed with boiled boneless skinless chicken breast or ground beef as both could provide additional fiber without any significant nutritional value. This will help firm up loose stools and can be used as a short term solution to allow time for your cat’s digestive system to return to normal as the illness passes. But keep in mind that these treatments are not meant as long-term solutions since they do not have any nutritional value, so you should only use them until your veterinarian has given further recommendations.

What about other meats or dairy?

In addition, some owners may want to avoid beef and chicken and feed their cat a vegetarian diet instead. Unfortunately, cats cannot digest plant proteins like soy because the amino acids they contain interfere with protein metabolism and this causes urinary problems. Only cats that lack an enzyme needed for processing meat — such as those born with a genetic defect — will benefit from a vegetarian diet.

What about canned food?

Although most canned cat foods contain the same ingredients listed on the label, dry kibble can have up to 50% of its formula made of cornstarch, wheat middlings, rice bran and other highly-processed cereal grains which offers little nutritional value when consumed by a cat. Dry foods are also high in carbohydrates which cats require very little of in their diet.

Canned cat food is considered higher quality since it contains more protein with less carbohydrate that your cat needs for energy. Cats who only eat dry food may end up suffering from obesity or diabetes at an early age because they do not get enough nutrients from their regular food intake. When fed as part of a balanced diet.

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