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Feeding Your Cat: Know the Basics of Feline Nutrition
作者:Lisa A. Pierson, DVM
We Are Feeding Cats Too Many Carbohydrates.
In their natural setting, cats—whose unique biology makes them true carnivores--would not consume the high level of carbohydrates (grains) that are in the dry foods that we routinely feed them.
You would never see a wild cat chasing down a herd of biscuits running across the plains of Africa or dehydrating her mouse and topping it off with corn meal gluten souffle.
In the wild, your cat would be eating a high protein, high-moisture content, meat-based diet, with a moderate level of fat and with only approximately 3-5 percent of her diet consisting of calories from carbohydrates.
The average dry food contains 35-50 percent carbohydrate calories. Some of the cheaper dry foods contain even higher levels.
This is NOT the diet that Mother Nature intended for your cat to eat.
A high quality canned food, on the other hand, contains approximately 3-5 percent carbohydrate calories.
Please note that not all canned foods are suitably low in carbohydrates. For instance, most of the Hill's Science Diet (over-the-counter) and the Hill's Prescription diets are very high in carbohydrates and are not foods that I would choose to feed.
Cats have a physiological decrease in the ability to utilize carbohydrates due to the lack of specific enzymatic pathways that are present in other mammals, and the lack a salivary enzyme called amylase.
Cats have no dietary need for carbohydrates and, more worrisome is the fact that a diet that is high in carbohydrates can be detrimental to their health as I explain below.
餵食肉動物吃肉口味的穀片就跟餵食草動物(馬/牛)吃肉一樣的不合理,對嗎? 所以,為什麼我們還持續用餵食草動物的方式餵我們的食肉動物? 為什麼我們會給他一個如此不適當的飲食?
With this in mind, it is as illogical to feed a carnivore a steady diet of meat-flavored cereals as it would be to feed meat to a vegetarian like a horse or a cow, right? So why are we continuing to feed our carnivores like herbivores? Why are we feeding such a species-inappropriate diet?
The answers are simple. Grains are cheap. Dry food is convenient. Affordability and convenience sells.
However, is a carbohydrate-laden, plant-based, water-depleted dry food the best diet for our cats? Absolutely not.
Obligate carnivores are designed to eat meat – not grains - and they need to consume water with their food as explained below.