Like any living organism, cats need food in order for them to survive. Although they can adapt to an omnivorous diet, cats require as much protein as they can get; making them more of a carnivore compared to other domesticated animals. This characteristic alone should be considered by a pet owner in providing food for his pet.
Primarily, a cat’s diet should consist of six essential classifications of nutrients, which are the carbohydrates, protein, minerals, fatty acids, vitamins, and water. All these important elements of cat nutrition should be provided for your pet to ensure its wellness and prevent it from being sickly and prone to mortality.
Among the six important elements of its diet, cats need protein the most because it can also serve as their source of energy. For humans and other mammals, protein primarily serves as a nutrient for growth and building tissues; and this is what makes cat nutrition different from other organisms. It has the ability to break down protein from the food it eats and turn it into useful energy instead of relying on carbohydrates alone.
As in all living things, water plays the most important role in sustaining life for cats. It enables the cat to keep its constant body temperature, release toxins inside its body, digest its food, and basically make all its bodily processes possible. Therefore, for a pet owner, giving your cat sufficient water at all times should be a priority. Although cats generally have a higher tolerance to dehydration, you should provide for this particular need such that you can be assured that it stays healthy all the time. You can do so by giving it clean water with the use of water fountains or drinking pans that it can access easily.
Cat nutrition is not limited to feeding your pet alone. The quality of the food itself is important to keep your cat in its healthiest state. There are certain factors that affect food quality, and the food you provide for your cat is characterized by these aspects. These include the dry matter basis, energy content, utilization, digestibility, among others. From these characteristics, you can choose a diet for your pet to ensure that it gets all the nutrients it needs. The dry matter basis is a comparison of the actual food content of the cat food relative to its water content.
Energy content and utilization, on the other hand, refers to the capacity of the cat to obtain the energy from the food that it metabolizes. Digestibility pertains to how easily the food can be broken down by the cat’s digestive system and how much of the nutrients it has can be absorbed by your pet. For this matter, you should refer to the various indicated characteristics of commercially available cat food to assess its quality better.
On the other hand, if you prefer to prepare your cat’s food on your own, it is advised that you pay close attention to the details of cat nutrition and other related concepts so that your cat gets the nutrients it needs.