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What All Cats Need!
All cats need protein to provide amino acids, which are the building blocks of all body tissues. Protein also supplies enzymes, which support the bodys chemical reactions. Cats can manufacture some amino acids, but others cannot. The amino acid taurine deficiency causes heart disease and blindness. Cats also need fat, the most energy-dense nutrient, with more than twice as many calories per gram as protein. Animal fat contains essential fatty acids that a cat cannot manufacture from vegetable fat. Carbohydrates are not a natural source of energy for cats, although they are broken down to glucose and stored as the energy source glycogen in muscle. Water, the most mundane of them all nutrients, is also the most important. A cats body consist of 70% water, it may lose 50% of its muscle and fat and still survive, but no cat survive a 15% loss of its water weight.
In Our Hands!
Cats have unique nutritional requirements, quit unlike our own. Indoor cats depend on us to make the right decisions. Do not apply directly to your cat what you know to be nutritionally right for us. For example, fibre from wholegrains may be helping prevent build-up of the carcinogens that cause colonic cancer in people, but wholegrains have never been a natural part of the cats diet.
Foods To Limit!
Never give any food or nutrient in excess, avoid single-protein diets. For example, a diet restricted to tinned tuna may cause sever liver problems. Muscle meat alone, with out the naturally accompanying organs, bones, and fur is deficient in some essential nutrients and may lead to decalcification of the bones, chronic pain, and eventual death.
Milk is the staple of life. Kittens produce special enzymes in their intestines to digest the lactose sugar in it, but with age these enzymes naturally diminish. This can lead to milk causing diarrhoea in older cats. Avoid this problem by giving lactose-free milk to adults.
Many cats will starve rather than eat something they find unappetizing. Some become addicted to single ingredient foods. This can be quite dangerous if the chosen item is not nutritionally complete. Vary your cats diet to prevent food faddism.
TYPES OF FOOD!
*Ribs showing, no fat cover
*Severe abdominal tuck
*Bones at base of tail raised with no tissue between skin and bone
*No palpable abdominal fat.
*Ribs easily felt with minimal fat cover
*Waist obvious behind ribs
*Bones at base of tail raised, and covered in minimal fat
*Minimal abdominal fat
*Slight fat cover on ribs
*Waist can be seen behind ribs
*Bones at base of tail smooth, covered in thin layer of fat
*Minimal abdominal fat
*Ribs not easily felt, with moderate fat cover
*Waist hardly discernable
*Bones at base of tail felt under layer of fat
*Moderate abdominal fat
*Ribs not felt due to thick fat cover
*No waist, abdomen distended
*Bones at base of tail difficult to feel through fat