Mixing Cats with Carbohydrates - Should You?

I have come across many interesting items on cats and carbohydrates and as a result this page "Mixing Cats with Carbohydrates" was born.

Cats being carnivores as we learned earlier need to have a meat based diet rather than a plant based diet in order to survive and be healthy. A cat’s body cannot properly utilize plant protein.

Cats do not need carbohydrates. The carbohydrates in most dry food averages 30 – 50 % of the total nutritional value of the food. Even dry food that boasts of a high protein content does not contain it. In order for the food to be “dry” it has to be cooked for long periods of time and cooking with high heat destroys most of nutritional value.

Feeding your cat food that is basically high in carbohydrates is very detrimental to your kitty’s health. Too many carbohydrates create "fat cats" and fat cats are prome to diabetes.

A high quality canned cat food only contains 3 -5 % carbohydrates compared to the dry food.

Canned food also contains water.

Cats as a general rule are not water drinkers. They are not like dogs that will drink water at the drop of a bowl. As a result if your cat is completely on a dry food diet and does not drink sufficient water, kitty is a candidate for common kidney and bladder problems, along with possible diabetic problems.

Canned cat food contains nearly 75 -78 % water, which is close to the amount of water that would be in a mouse if your cat were out hunting for its dinner.

I also learned from several sources that even the “highly recommended cat foods” that our vets suggest are not as healthy for our cats as they should be. Some highly respected makers of cat food use preservatives that are detrimental to our cat’s health.

Learn to read pet food labels and watch out for such preservatives as BHA, BHT and ethoxyquin. Chicken by-product meal or chicken meal, foods that contain corn, wheat, soy or yeast all should be avoided.

As carbohydrates cause a rise in blood sugar many cats end up with diabetes. Kidney failure is caused by the lack of sufficient water in dry food. Even some prescription dry foods recommended for kidney problems are seriously lacking in water content and should be avoided. Cats like their human counterparts need water.

Obesity in cats is a common and serious problem. Overweight cats are more than likely to become candidates for diabetes.

Carbohydrates from dry food again are the culprit.

Dry food was proclaimed to be the saver of cat’s teeth. Supposedly chewing the dry food cleaned the teeth, unfortunately most cats swallow dry food whole, chewing very little of it and what does get chewed usually gets stuck between their teeth. There it ferments causing dental problems.

I found an interesting article (might possibly be biased) on the truth about dry food on www.felinefuture.com; it certainly game me "food for thought".

Nature designed your cat’s mouth and teeth for tearing and chewing raw meat (we are back to the mouse again.) It is a good idea to give your cat a piece of raw beef (cut small pieces of lean stew beef and see what kitty does.) It may take time to convince kitty that it is good for him/her. Some cats do not like raw meat others like slightly cooked chicken breast or beef.

My Boots and Smokey both enjoy raw beef daily and Miss Tiger prefers her chicken and beef slightly cooked with some garlic no less.

If you have a cat that is addicted to dry food it is a good idea to start slowly with a small amount of canned food, at least a little bit each day. Make the transition a slow but steady process.

There are some cats that get hooked on canned tuna fish that is packaged for humans. I agree that this is a good source of protein, but tuna canned for human consumption does not have all the vitamins and minerals a cat needs for good health. I give my cats some “human tuna” on occasion as a special treat, but do not recommend it as a daily food for any cat.

If in the course of these pages I seem to be downgrading the use of dry cat food, please believe me, I am not.

All I am trying to do is alert you to the fact that a diet of only dry food is not good for your cat.

Cats need water in their systems and cats are not great water drinkers (something I never realized.)

Good quality canned cat food and raw meat are excellent sources of water along with giving cats the proper nutrients that they need for good health.

I feed my cats raw beef along with Miss Tiger’s slightly cooked chicken and beef. I also feed them canned or foil packed cat food three times a day. The three times fits my work schedule as I am home for lunch. I also have a premium quality dry food in a bowl for those that want to eat some of it any time of day.

My main purpose in writing these pages was to inform you of some of the drawbacks in feeding only dry food to your cat.

Cats like people need variety in the foods they eat.

Knowing the importance of water in your cat’s diet and knowing that cats are not great water drinkers, hopefully has alerted you to the importance of canned food as a water source.

If you are having a problem with your cat’s diet or need advice concerning your cat’s health, contact your vet as soon as possible.

Independent Thought:

Cats not only need a good diet, but indoor cats love to be entertained and what better way than to put a "birdfeeder" outside their favorite window.

You can get your hummingbird feeder from stores dealing with bird feeders easily. These stores also keep a variety of bird cages and bird seed to choose from.