What Nutrients Does My Cat Need?

cat eating rawIt is very important that you cat receives the proper nutrients in order to consume a healthy diet. By ensuring that your cat has all the right nutrients, you are ensuring that your cat has a good source of energy, proper growth, and the reduction of diet-related deficiencies and illnesses.

Cats need 41 essential nutrients to include amino acids, fats, taurine, and arachidonic acid.

You want to make sure that your cat’s diet includes proteins, which are the building blocks for cells, tissues, organs, enzymes, hormones, and antibodies, all of which are important for growth, maintenance, and reproduction.

Common types of proteins include animal proteins, such as chicken, lamb, turkey, fish, and eggs, all of which have complete amino acid profiles.  Vegetables, cereals, and soy, also contain proteins that are valuable to your cat’s diet, but they are incomplete proteins, which is why it’s important to have a well-balanced mixture of proteins in your cat’s diet.

Essential amino acids include arginine, methionine, histidine, phenylalanine, isoleucine, threonine, leucine, tryptophan, lysine, valine and taurine.

Taurine is very important to your cat’s diet, which can be found in animal, poultry, fish, and by-products. Unlike dogs, cats cannot synthesize enough taurine to meet their body’s needs. It is required to prevent eye and heart disease.

Fats are important in your cat’s diet, as well, because they are a concentrated form of food energy, which provide your pet with twice the energy than proteins or carbohydrates. They are essential for cell structure, the production of certain hormones, and the absorption/utilization of fat-soluble vitamins. Fats provide the body with insulation and organ protection.

feeding kittensEssential fatty acids must be provided in a pet’s diet because cats cannot be synthesized fats in a sufficient amount. A deficiency of essential fatty acids may result in reduced growth or increased skin problems. Linoleic acid and arachidonic acid are both essential fatty acids for skin and coat maintenance, kidney functions, and reproduction.

Omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids play a vital role in healing inflammation, whether in the skin, joints, intestines, or even in the kidneys.

Your cat needs to consume carbohydrates, which can be found in plants like corn, rice, wheat, sorghum, barley and oats. They play a vital role in intestinal health, proper digestion and food movement. Fiber can also help supply energy to the brain and other critical organs.

Be careful for high fiber diets, especially for cats with high-energy requirements, such as kittens.