One of the most frequent questions I get is “what should I feed my pet”. This is a very important question to ask, especially if you own a cat. Cats are so different from dogs in terms of their nutritional needs, and understanding their dietary requirements is essential to optimal feline health.
Let me start by giving you some information about a cat’s dietary intake in the wild. The domestic housecat is thought to have originated in the Middle East. Cats are well adapted to an arid environment and their kidneys have excellent concentrating ability. They get most of their liquid from eating prey (a mouse, for example, is about 70% liquid), so they don’t tend to drink as much water. Cats are solitary hunters and therefore take on prey much smaller than themselves, necessitating several small kills per day. They are also obligate carnivores which means that they require animal protein in order to achieve good health. Unlike dogs who are able to manufacturer specific amino acids if not present in their diet, cats lack certain key metabolic enzymes which means that if they are not eating animal protein, they will be nutrient deficient.