Why Cats Have Higher Protein Needs

By June 15 | See Comments

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Anybody who’s studied science in school knows how important protein is to the human body. Well, protein is important is necessary for most other animals as well, especially cats. In fact, cats require way more protein than their natural born enemies, dogs. In this blog, we’re going to look at why protein is necessary for your cat and what kind of diet would be ideal for him/her. But, before that, let’s recollect a few things about protein.

What’s Protein

Proteins are nutrients basically required to rebuild tissues and organs. In fact, they are commonly referred to as the building blocks of the human/animal body. Everything from hair to your blood is basically built on proteins. Other than that, proteins also serve as hormones, enzymes, and antibodies.On the whole, protein is necessary for nutrition, but, too much or too little can be very bad.In the case of cats, protein functions are no different. The cat’s body absorbs the amino acids that make up proteins and use them to aid other processes and also synthesize newer proteins. However, all this gets disturbed if there aren’t enough amino acids for the cat’s body to work with. In fact, one particular type of amino acid called taurine is very important for cats. A deficiency of taurine can lead to serious medical issues. So, as a cat owner, you need to make sure your cat is getting all the essential amino acids via a protein rich diet.Another thing is that cats come from the feline species that also includes lions and tigers. Therefore, they are genetically predisposed to needing more protein than dogs, which come from the canine family, which are relatively smaller and heavily domesticated. Cats’ bodies have also specifically evolved to consume more protein due to their carnivorous heritage. They even lack certain enzymes found in other omnivores.

Sources of Protein

It so happens that most of the commercially manufactured cat foods out there source proteins from vegetables and grains. Unfortunately, cats cannot process such proteins and therefore, require animal proteins almost exclusively. So, canned meats for cats would be a good option instead of anything that is dry. However, there are options out there that add animal proteins as supplements. So, some research might be required before you go shopping. Another thing is that dry cat foods are stored in damp or moist locations for months together which make them vulnerable to bacterial or fungal infestations. So, stick to canned food as they are far less susceptible to such infestations. Canned foods also have more protein content than their dry counterparts. To know more about protein requirements for your cat, talk to your veterinarian.

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