There are a number of generally accepted principles of nutrition for cats:A cat is a carnivore, i.e. an animal with high protein requirements. Therefore, the selection of a vegetarian diet is unacceptable for cats!
Cats have low carbohydrate tolerance, so excess can cause diarrhea.
Carnivores do not synthesize vitamins A and D, taurine (they must enter the body with food).
It is also important to take into account the peculiarities of feeding at different life stages (growth, pregnancy, lactation, after castration/sterilization, old age).
Let's analyze the necessary nutrients in the diet.
Protein is the main part of the diet that provides the body with amino acids that are involved in the process of growth and tissue repair.
Protein sources include:
proteins of animal origin (meat, fish, eggs, dairy and dairy products) - better digestibility by the body.
proteins of plant origin (cereals, vegetables, legumes) - lower digestibility by the body.
Protein deficiency leads to:
- slower growth and development;
- decreased immune function;
- skin and intestinal infections;
- loss of muscle mass;
- deterioration of the coat condition.
FAT/LIPIDS - substances that provide the body with energy in a concentrated form, also help the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. A source of essential fatty acids for the body.
Sources of fats are also divided into:
- fats of animal origin (solid and liquid) - example, fish oil, and
- vegetable fats (soft and liquid) - for example, linseed oil.
But fat deficiency can lead to:
- deterioration of skin and coat condition;
- pathology in the reproductive period.
It is important to know that dry food croquettes are processed with fats and vitamins E. When in contact with air, they are oxidized, do not use food sold by weight or open for a long time.
CARBohydrates are substances that provide the body with energy and are converted into fat. They include simple sugars (glucose) and complex molecules such as starch, cellulose, etc. There is no great need for consumption in cats, but they can be included in the diet in small quantities.
FIBER - is important for the proper functioning of the gastrointestinal tract. Insoluble fiber helps to improve peristalsis, soluble fiber, in turn, envelops the food lump and protects the intestinal walls. Fermented fiber is a substrate for microflora.
The main source of fiber for cats are vegetables. There are exceptions, namely bananas, boiled potatoes - these are carbohydrates.
AS FOR THE VITAMIN:
- Deficiency of fat-soluble vitamins causes poor skin and coat condition, decreased immunity;
- vitamin A and D - excess is toxic to the cat's body;
- B vitamins are destroyed in case of violation of storage conditions;
- and an excess of Omega-3 with vitamin E deficiency leads to inflammation of adipose tissue.
Home feeding has, of course, its advantages: you can choose the components of the diet, control the quality of the selected products. With the help of natural food for cats at home, you can remove or detect allergic reactions to foods, solve dietary problems - make it "tasty" and, sometimes, even more effective for a certain disease. If you also have problems with the diet or sleep, go through an online consultation, with a specialist it is much easier to determine the exact problem in the pet.