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Cat nutritional requirements

Cat Nutritional Requirements 

A cat’s nutritional requirements depend on its age and also its weight.

Kittens (up to 8/9 months of age) require dry cat food or semi moist, canned food made especially for kittens. Adult cats (1-9 years) require the same but made especially for an adult cat. Cats above this age group need food that is designed with this age group in mind. Underweight or lean cats require 25 % more food than the usual amount, chubby cats require just the opposite while obese cats need their food intake deceased by 25 % to 40 %.

Cats are essentially carnivores and therefore meat must be a part of their meals.

Nutrition for cats must be formulated keeping their body needs in mind. A raw food diet is the best diet for a cat. Raw meat in particular raw bones are full of vitamins and minerals and can be easily digested by cats. Ensure that your cat’s food contains the following:-

  • Niacin: This is important as deficiencies of this lead to cat loss of appetite, wounds in the mouth and weight loss too.

    Cats get niacin from animal tissues.
  • Taurine: Do remember that cats require a great deal of taurine. Good sources of this are shellfish, fish, and muscle meats. Taurine deficiency leads to poor reproduction, heart muscle disease and blindness.
  • Essential Fatty Acids: Arachidonic acid is a fatty acid that is found only in animal tissue. Do include animal fat in your cat’s diet. Deficiencies of this include dermatitis and poor reproduction.
  • Vitamin A:  A lack of Vitamin A in a cat can lead to weight loss, poor growth, cell membrane damage and a lower immunity level. Cats are not able to convert the carotene found in plants to vitamin A and therefore must be given organ meats such as kidney and liver.
  • Protein: This is a critical for a cat health and a necessary component of its diet. The best sources are egg, fish, milk, beef, bone, chicken, turkey, corn and soybean.
  • Water: Cats need plenty of fresh, clean water every day.
Cats also require minerals like zinc, calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium chloride, phosphorous and iron. These help in improving the overall health of the cat. Water soluble vitamins such as pantothenic acid, biotin, folic acid, choline, vitamin C and B vitamins are passed out through the cats’ urine. Other vitamins for cats are A, K, D, and E. These are fat soluble and cannot be passed out this way. An excess could result in toxic poisoning.
  Submitted on June 2, 2010