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Providing Optimal Nutrition for Cats – Proteins, Amino Acids & Hydration


Cats have unique nutritional requirements compared to other domestic pets. As obligate carnivores, they thrive best on meat-based diets high in quality proteins and amino acids. It’s important for cat owners to understand these specialized needs to provide optimal daily nutrition.

Cats lack sufficient capabilities to synthesize certain amino acids like taurine on their own, meaning these nutrients must be adequately supplemented through food. Taurine supports eye and cardiac health. Deficiencies can cause severe medical issues. When evaluating commercial cat foods, examining the guaranteed taurine levels is imperative. Brands should meet Association of American Feed Control Officials minimums.

Along with taurine, cats require abundant bioavailable protein from high-quality ingredient sources. Muscle meats like chicken, turkey and beef supply essential proteins and nutrients. By-products and meat meals offer lesser quality. Checking ingredients labels and focusing on real meat proteins optimizes nutritional value.

taurine supplement next to cat food

Since cats’ bodies are designed to metabolize proteins and fats over carbohydrates, grain ingredients like corn, wheat and soy should be minimized. These offer little nutritional value for felines and some cats may have difficulties digesting them. Choosing grain-free formulas supports easier digestion and better health.

Lastly, always providing fresh, clean drinking water is imperative to cats’ health. Dehydration risks increase with exclusively dry kibble feeding. Ensure multiple water sources are made easily available. Fountains can encourage intake by supplying flowing water cats tend to prefer. Consumption levels should be monitored, watching for increases that may signal medical issues.

By understanding the unique nutritional needs of cats and choosing quality food sources to meet protein, amino acid and hydration requirements, cat owners can support optimal health from kittenhood into senior years. Following feline-specific dietary guidelines provides the building blocks of good health.

senior cat drinking water

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