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Feeding Your Cat: Know the Basics of Feline Nutrition
作者:Lisa A. Pierson, DVM
Cats Need Plenty of Water With Their Food
This is a very important section because it emphasizes why even the low-carb, grain-free dry foods are not optimal food sources for your cat.
Please see the Feline Urinary Tract Health page at catinfo.org to see how sweet Opie suffered tremendously and came close to losing his life after becoming blocked and almost rupturing his bladder.
Keep in mind that the cheapest canned food is better than any dry food on the market.
Water is an extremely important nutrient that contributes to overall health in every living creature. Couple this with the fact that cats do not have a very strong thirst drive when compared to other species and you will understand why it is critical for them to ingest a water-rich diet. The cat's lack of a strong thirst drive leads to
low-level, chronic dehydration when dry food makes up the bulk of their diet.
Cats are designed to obtain most of their water with their diet since their normal prey contains approximately 70 - 75 percent water. Dry foods only contain 7-10 percent water whereas canned foods contain approximately 78 percent water. Canned foods therefore more closely approximate the natural diet of the cat and are better suited to meet the cat’s water needs.
I hear the reader saying “….but I see my cat drinking water frequently so he must be getting enough!”
A cat consuming a predominantly dry-food diet does drink more water than a cat consuming a canned food diet, but in the end, when water from all sources is added together (what’s in their diet plus what they drink), the cat on dry food consumes approximately half the amount of water compared with a cat eating canned foods. This is a crucial point when one considers how common kidney and bladder problems are in the cat.
Please keep in mind that when your cat starts eating a more appropriately hydrated diet of canned food, his urine output will increase significantly – often doubling – which is a very good thing for bladder health. Think of canned food as ‘hosing out’ your cat’s bladder several times/day. Given this increase in urine output, litter boxes need to be scooped more frequently or more boxes need to be added to the home.
Please see The Litter Box From Your Cat’s Point of View webpage at catinfo.org for reasons why I strongly feel that clumping litter is the only sanitary choice of litter to use for cats. Non-clumping litters do not allow you to remove all of the urine and are not sanitary litters.