Proper Diet and Nutrition for Your Cat
Proper cat diet and nutrition is critical to the overall health and wellness of your cat. Cats have unique nutritional needs as obligate carnivores. There are many different types and brands of cat food. Your veterinarian can help you navigate the landscape of cat nutrition in order to help you pick the best cat food for your pet.
In order to ensure a cat’s basic requirements are being met, cats must eat food that is complete and balanced for their particular lifestage according to the guidelines set forth by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). Cats must eat a meat-based diet in order to meet their higher protein requirements and specific nutrient requirements—such as taurine, certain fatty acids and vitamins— which are only present in foods of animal origin. Deficiencies of any of these essential nutrients may result in severe illness and even death in cats.
Cats with health issues may require a specialized cat diet. If your cat has a medical condition such as liver, kidney, bladder or heart disease, they often benefit from specific nutritional therapy to minimize the symptoms of their disease.
You should work with your veterinarian to determine the right amount of food to feed your cat. Obesity is a major health concern affecting over 50% of cats in the United States. Obesity is related to cat health problems such as pain and arthritis, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease and shortened life expectancy.
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