One of the most magnificent creatures on the planet cats/felines have been around for millions of years. Whether it be a large lion or the common house cats ; felines are what we call obligate carnivores. They are designed to hunt and consume whole prey. I would go as far as to say that it is instinct for them. Meaning that they only need meat to survive; as such they do not require grains or plant life in their diet. To maintain their healthy vision cats need an amino called taurine which is found in meat. It has actually been found that removing meat from their diet entirely can have adverse effects on a cats health. The effect’s of taking meat out of a cats diet has been covered in the media before , one of the most recent stories being of a kitten being forced to eat a vegan diet which almost became fatal ( You can view the story at http://www.huffingtonpost.com )
Specific Characteristics of Carnivores
- Short digestive systems
- Great sense of smell
- Forward facing eyes
- Strong predatory instincts such as chasing/pouncing
- Quick reflexes
- Acute sense of smell
There are many differing opinions on what is the best diet for the household cat. Lately there have been reports popping up that the best diet is a raw food diet. Which entails going with what mimics their natural diet in the wild of raw meats. There are also many alternatives if the raw food diet does not work for your situation. It is always easy to find high protein cat foods on the market whether it be dry or wet food. The only thing to keep in mind when feeding a dry food diet is that these tend to contain a high amount of carbohydrate which can in turn cause you to have a slightly obese feline, as they cannot process this. No matter what you determine with your veterinarian is appropriate for your cat the most important thing to remember is that they need meat and this is the last thing that should be cut from their diet.
Please note that I am in no way a trained professional. Please consult your veterinarian.
Photos by Crystal Gard @ http://www.collectivevoicemag.com