Low Carb Cat Food - Why Your Cat Doesn’t Need Carbs
- Why feed high protein, low carb food to your cat
- Benefits of a high protein, low carbohydrate cat food diet
- Does my cat need low carb cat food?
- Types of low carb cat food
- Should you feed low carb or no carb (zero carb)?
As cat owners, we are rather spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing cat food. With so many options in the market, the onus is on you to find the best and most wholesome food for your cat that provides sufficient nutrients, without much need for carbohydrates. This article will explain all about low carb cat food for your cat including its benefits and types.
Why feed high protein, low carb food to your cat
Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they need animal meat to survive and thrive. If cats are still in the wild, the food breakdown from what they have hunted would be:
- Protein: 52 - 63%
- Fat: 22 - 36%
- Carbohydrate: 2.8 - 12%
As you can see, cats only need a low amount of carbohydrates to survive and being domesticated does not change that. You may also need to ensure carbs are kept to the minimum if your cat is diabetic as carbs are detrimental to its health and insulin levels!
Some cat foods include carbohydrate ingredients like grains, potatoes, legumes and so on although it may not specifically be stated as ‘rice’. Read the label before purchasing and watch out for the above mentioned ingredients.
What is high protein low carb cat food?
High protein low carb cat food are cat meals made with, as the name suggests, a lot more protein than carbohydrates. In fact, most cats need less than 10% of carbs in their diet and cat food brands know that. Therefore, there are many cat food manufacturers who have taken that into account.
Benefits of a high protein, low carbohydrate cat food diet
Historically, cats hunt their prey to get the necessary and crucial nutrients from animals. Not much has evolved since then. They can only get certain vitamins and minerals from the food they eat such as taurine.
There are several benefits that come with a high protein, low carbohydrate cat food including:
- More energy
- Overall healthier
- Lower chance of diabetes, reduced cat’s blood sugar levels
- Reduced gastrointestinal distress
- Potentially longer life
- Lower risk of inflammatory bowel disease such as colitis in cats, chronic kidney disease and other illnesses
Does my cat need low carb cat food?
As low carb cat food is really one of the best foods for your cat, you may want to consider incorporating it into their diet. Other things to taking into consideration before feeding your cat a high protein, low carb diet include:
Cats require different nutrition at different stages of life. Kittens, for example, need higher protein during the weaning stage. Older cats do not need as many calories as an adult cat.
Obesity, yes even in cats, has increased in the past years. An overweight cat is likely to develop health issues such as joint pain, diabetes and liver problems. A major contributing factor to cat obesity is its diet.
Cats lack the salivary amylase and have trouble digesting carbohydrate which means any extra calories from carbs will be stored as fat. If you put your cat on a low carb diet, it will help your cat stay lean and lose the extra body weight.
3. Health problems
The leading cause of Type II diabetes in cats are obesity and old age. Other diseases such as pancreatitis and hyperthyroidism may also lead to diabetes. Chances are, if your cat loses weight due to it being on a low carb diet, your cat’s diabetes will become more manageable. In some cases, your cat’s diabetes even goes into remission!
Types of low carb cat food
The nutritional content in cat food is important to make sure your cat remains healthy. There are three types of low carb cat food that you can buy - wet cat food, semi-moist cat food and dry cat food.
Wet cat food is a good choice as it contains the necessary water content to ensure your cat stays hydrated. As cats do not really drink water by themselves, water content is essential. Typically, wet cat food is also low carb.
You can also feed your cat semi-moist low carb cat food. However, watch out for other ingredients such as grain byproducts, soybeans or cereals as some manufacturers include this.
Although dry cat food is more calorie dense compared to wet food and semi-moist food, it contains a lot of carbohydrates. Be aware and read the ingredient list on the label before buying.
Should you feed low carb or no carb (zero carb)?
Typically, the lower the carbohydrate content, the better. Cats can typically remain healthy even if their diet is made out of 10% carbs but it would be best to lower the carbohydrate content.