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Cat food ingredients
Cat food is formulated to meet the nutritional requirements of cats in general.

Cats are by nature carnivorous and cat food ingredients in commercially available cat food usually consist of both plant and animal material fortified with vitamins, minerals and other necessary nutrients. One of the most important nutrients here is taurine, an amino acid derivative which is important as cats cannot synthesize the compound. For instance, cats that are fed a regular diet of dog food without taurine are known to gradually suffer from retinal degeneration and finally grow blind.

Dry cat food is made through what is known as extrusion cooking, which is cooking under high temperature and pressure. In order to increase palatability, fat is then sprayed on the food along with minor ingredients like certain kinds of vitamins whose nutrient value may be lost in the process of extrusion. Dry cat food ingredients often include ingredients that are grain based accompanied by animal protein by products and or animal digest.

The latter products are added to cut cost of production. However, there are higher end foods that offer premium, holistic or natural formulas and contain a higher percentage of animal protein and minimal amounts of grain. This is not to say that they do not contain carbohydrates, rather they do in the form of tapioca or potato. The kibble is able to hold the shape it is in due to the starch present in these ingredients. Cats though, do not particularly need to have carbohydrates in their diet. Wet cat food ingredients come in cans or foil pouches and are recommended by most veterinarians and pet owners due to their high water content. Canned, homemade or raw cat food contains more water and will be beneficial for one’s pet health wise. Wet cat food contains very minimal carbohydrates and fish is a major wet food ingredient. A lot of wet food is made primarily of fish and over consumption can lead to yellow fat disease as fish contains high levels of unsaturated fatty acids. Nevertheless, compared to dry food, wet cat food is known to significantly reduce the risk of diabetes, urinary tract disorders, chronic renal failure, obesity and constipation.

A lot of pet owners prefer to feed homemade cat diet. The diets usually consist of some form of raw or cooked meat, bone, vegetables, minimal amounts of carbohydrates, taurine supplements, and of course other multivitamin supplements.
  Submitted on May 7, 2010