DIET


WHAT TO FEED YOUR CAT?

Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that they rely on nutrients found only in animal products. Cats evolved as hunters that consume prey that contains high amounts of protein, moderate amounts of fat, and a minimal amount of carbohydrates, and their diet still requires these general proportions today. Cats also require more than a dozen other nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and amino acids. Their systems are set up to metabolize a natural diet high in moisture, high in protein and very low in carbohydrates.

Cats have no dietary need for carbohydrates, carbs are processed and stored as fat. Dry cat food is a carbohydrate heavy diet that stresses the cat’s digestive system and reduces the efficiency of protein absorption. If the diet does not contain enough animal protein for their daily needs, or they are unable to process an adequate amount of that protein, cats will sabotage the muscles in their own bodies to obtain their daily needs. Additionally, feline satiety is signaled by the ingestion of sufficient amounts of animal protein in their food; lacking it, they will consistently overeat, resulting in yet more carbs being converted to fat.

We suggest feeding a properly balanced raw diet. Providing a balanced raw diet is key otherwise raw is not a healthier option. Raw is the healthiest option for your cat. Should you not feed raw we suggest canned cat food over dry food.


PICK YOUR BRAND

Seek brands that have a AAFCO-approved nutritional guarantee and adherence to WSAVA guidelines. Avoid canned foods containing peas, lentils, other legume seeds, or potatoes as main ingredients. Limited grain content is ok this includes corn and rice. Pet foods that carry an AAFCO-approved nutritional guarantee, often referred to as the“AAFCO statement,” are considered to be nutritionally complete and balanced. The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) is a voluntary membership association of local, state and federal agencies charged by law to regulate the sale and distribution of animal feeds and animal drug remedies.

What is the WSAVA?

The World Small Animal Veterinary Association is an international group of over 200,000 veterinary professionals. Their mission is to “advance the health and welfare of companion animals worldwide through an educated, committed and collaborative global community of veterinary peers.”

WSAVA Guidelines:

  1. Evidence of scientific formulation
  2. Extensive testing
  3. Quality control by manufacturing their own foods.
  4. Research to meet long-term nutritional needs and subject this research to a peer-review process.

What to avoid in a cat foods?

Avoid a “BEG” diet (Boutique brands, Exotic ingredients, Grain replaced with pulse).

  • Boutique brands – A boutique brand is one made by a pet food manufacturer who does not employ an appropriately qualified team of experts to study and formulate their diets. These companies often rely on marketing trends rather than testing and nutritional research.
  • Exotic ingredients– These are ingredients not classically found in pet foods and consist of animal proteins such as kangaroo, buffalo/bison, ostrich, alligator, duck, lamb, salmon, venison, and rabbit.
  • Grain replaced with pulse– Traditional grains have been replaced with pulse ingredients (legume seeds such as peas, lentils, various beans and chickpeas) and it is these pulse ingredients that are currently thought to be a major contributor to the development of NM-DCM. *

CANNED CAT FOOD

Canned cat food has a moisture content of at least 75 percent, making it a good dietary source of water. Water is essential for chemical reactions in the body, temperature regulation and joint health and mobility. It makes up about 60 percent of your cat’s body, so it’s vital to maintain proper hydration through adequate water intake. Canned foods for cats are often higher in protein and lower in carbohydrate than most dry diets. Because of the water, they are also lower in calories per volume and the cans offer built-in portion control versus having a whole bag of dry food. Many of the newer canned cat foods are very high in moisture – some as high as 85%, and this can make these diets much more expensive to feed than dry diets or lower moisture diets, which may be a consideration for some cat owners. – Cornell University, Dr. Bruce Kornreich

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RAW CAT FOOD

Feeding a properly balanced raw diet is the best species appropriate diet possible. Raw is the cheapest option per pound but requires the most planning. Kittens should be fed as much raw as they want twice a day till 1.5-2 years of age (Savannahs grow for a long time!). Adults consume 3%-6% of their body weight in raw but can eat more (Some cats simply burn more energy). If you are concerned your cat is not eating the correct amount please consult your veterinarian, a veterinarian should be able to do a physical exam to asses body condition.

Feline Nutrition Foundation Quote: “A balanced raw diet includes flesh, organs, a bone or ground bone and a small amount of vegetation. Most people try to feed meats that are close to what cats would naturally be eating, so meat such as beef, which can cause allergic reactions in some cats, lamb, and pork are used less often. Fish should be avoided except for occasional use for many reasons including heavy metal contamination, vitamin E depletion and the fact that cats get addicted to it because of its strong taste. Raw cat food diets try to balance the meat to bone ratio to match that of a wild diet, usually mouse or rabbit. This balances the calcium to phosphorus ratio. Cats cannot live on meat alone. Their calcium source is ideally from bone, not a supplement, as bone provides other minerals such as copper and zinc, along with collagen. Raw bone is highly digestible and provides calcium, minerals and enzymes. The marrow is nutrient rich. It is only cooked bone that is dangerous.”