By Leslie Berg
Did you know that a lack of water consumption can cause kidney disease and cystitis? And that a diet consisting of all dry food decreases water consumption considerably? You should know that canned food increases hydration and greatly improves the overall health of your beloved feline companion.
Here is the latest buzz on feline nutrition.
Recommendations for cat nutrition have changed dramatically over the last few years. For many years we have been told to feed our cats strictly dry food. Dry food is less expensive, dry food is better for their teeth and so on. However, we have learned that canned food is a much better choice for our feline companions.
1. Cats, unlike dogs are strictly carnivores by nature and have evolved to thrive on animal based protein. Plant based protein is more difficult for cats to metabolize due to their genetic makeup. Dry food tends to be higher in plant based protein while canned food is higher in animal based proteins. The quality of the protein source in canned food is a far better quality. Additionally, dry food is cooked at higher temperatures, which further degrades the value of its protein content.
2. The cat’s natural diet is high in protein and fat and low in carbohydrates. Dry food is high in carbs. Many cats have multiple health issues that are related to high-carb diets such as obesity and diabetes. Cats who are fed diets low in carbs tend to lose weight and the need for insulin decreases or becomes non existent. This does not mean that dry food causes diabetes, only that a high carb diet may be just one of many possible contributing factors.
3. A wet (or canned) diet for cats contains 75% water. Water consumption is very important for the health of the cat. A cat on a dry diet may only consume half the amount of water of a cat on a canned diet. There are two common illnesses in cats are closely associated with water consumption in felines; chronic kidney disease and cystitis. Chronic kidney disease is a leading cause of death in felines and is believed to be caused by the cat’s lifetime of possible insufficient consumption of water. Cystitis is a very common problem in cats and symptoms include the following: blood in the urine, straining to urinate and urinating in inappropriate areas in the house, often mistaken as a behavior issue. According to research, cats which are fed an all dry diet have a higher concentrated urine that may irritate the bladder resulting in cystitis. Studies have also shown when these cats are switched to an all canned diet, the urine becomes less concentrated and the chronic cystitis eventually ceases to exist
If your cat is overweight, having urinary problems, or you feel your cat may not be getting the nutrition that is most beneficial for him then please speak to your cat’s veterinarian for further information. If you are feeding strictly dry food and your cats seems healthy, switching to an all high protein, low-carb diet now may prevent a host of medical problems in the future. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Information in this article was taken from the original article written by Jennifer O’Connor, DVM a Veterinarian at Three Notch Veterinary Hospital.
Interlude Pet Resort & Spa in St. Leonard, MD cares greatly about your cat’s health. We highly recommend a diet that is high in protein for our feline guests. We suggest that if you are supplying food to please bring an ample supply of wet food. If our guests are to eat the house food then canned food will be supplied for them. Come in to take a tour of our cattery with our modern bird watching windows with strategically placed bird feeders for the cats to enjoy a day of bird watching while relaxing in their beds. Interlude offers a vast array of activities for our guest so take part in. We believe the more active and happy our guests are the better their overall experience will be.
Please contact Interlude Pet Resort & Spa at 410-586-1843 or by visiting their website at www.interludepetresort.com
Leslie Berg grew up in Columbia, MD and has always had a passion for all living creatures, including exotic ones. Before buying Interlude, Leslie worked at one kennel for nearly ten years and spent four years working in the medical field with small animals. During that time, she attended the Veterinary Continuing Education Expo in 1997 and has been certified by the American Dental Association for Veterinary Technicians in dental procedures. When she left the veterinary field to become a kennel operator, she was the head surgery technician, pre- and post-operative nurse, and assistant hospital manager. Leslie enjoys wildlife & animal photography, many genres of music (especially Van Morrison), reading a good book & a lot of short visits to NYC.