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An important thing to remember in pet nutrition is that their tastes and nutritional needs are very different from ours. What might gross a human out is a delectable dish to a feline! Not only is a mouse, for example tasty to a cat, is also nutritious. Much like escargot seems distasteful to Americans, the French see it as a completely normal food choice.
Many of the “dry” cat foods you feed your pet are made from rice, wheat, and/or corn. What we must realize is that about 60 different elements go into keeping your pet healthy. Some of these nutrients play a larger role than others but they all work together to keep your cat’s body functioning as it should.
Following is comprehensive list of necessary nutrients that must be included in your cat’s diet:
Protein: Cats naturally have high protein requirements — more than double the amount per pound of body weight than dogs or humans do. Kittens need even more — about quarter again as much to support their rapid growth into adults.
Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates include sugars and starches and are a source of energy, but not one that cats need in their diets to survive. When you’re buying cat food you should be aware that carbs are one of the least basic elements that a cat needs to survive so choosing products that have low sugars and starches is a good way to go.
Fats: Commercial cat foods have a fairly high percentage of fat, cats require high fat content to keep their bodies in shape, unlike humans!
Vitamins: Vitamins are divided into two categories — water-soluble and fat-soluble. Both are important to your cat's health, and the lack of any of them in your cat's diet can have dire effects. Water-soluble vitamins include the B vitamins, niacin, panthothenic acid, folic acid, biotin, choline, and vitamin C. Fat-soluble vitamins are vitamins A, D, E, and K.
Minerals: Your cat needs minerals, including potassium, magnesium, zinc, calcium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, chloride, and others. Like vitamins, they make up a small part of your cat's diet, but in the correct amounts, they're essential for good health.
** Water: Don't forget what is perhaps the most important part of your cats diet – water! Water is essential to nearly every process of your cat's body.
Always make sure to supply your cat with water and encourage her to drink by keeping the dish clean and the water fresh. Some cats prefer running water, and some owners oblige by opening taps to drip for their pets. Some manufacturers sell pet fountains that constantly recycle water to make it seem fresh to a finicky feline.
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