Feline nutrition

Did you know that the dry cat food you are feeding your cat is likely 35-50% carbohydrates?  Cats, however, were designed to be strictly carnivores.

Any idea how many carbs are in a mouse?  About 3-5%.

The huge descrepancy in what nature intended our cats to eat and what we feed them has led us to change the way we think about feline nutrition.  The high incidence of obesity and subsequent diabetes in cats is now thought to be strongly linked to the high carbohydrate content of most commercial cat foods.

Canned foods contain considerably less carbohydrates, as the starch required to make a dry kibble is at the root of the problem.  Many canned cat food have carbohydrate contents below 7%.

Admittedly, canned cat food can be a hassle.  It is messy, smelly, and generates a good deal of trash.  If dry food is warranted, finding one with the lowest carbohydrate content is critical.  Dry perscription diets, such as Purina DM, can have carbohydrate contents as low as13%.

As you get your cat on his/her Atkins regimen – you may find that they are reluctant to change.  Having eating potato chips until now, they may resist moving to a protein based diet.  Be patient and change foods gradually.

For more information on how vegetarian veterinarian, Jennifer Lavender, became convinced of the importance of lowering our cats’ carbohydrate consumption – visit the Metro Paws AH website at DallasMetroPaws.com

You will find links to articles from feline internists as well as links to sites that help you compare labels objectively.