Feeding Your Cat: Know the Basics of Feline Nutrition
Net utilization, the amount of food that can be used by the cat in relation to the amount provided, equals digestibility times biological value, or about 59.5% for semi-moist and canned foods with large amounts of cereal grains, , and 48% for dry foods which contain more plant protein and carbohydrates.
To calculate the approximate carbohydrate content of cat food, we need to first convert the food to a dry matter basis, as illustrated above. Then it’s just a matter of simple math. The contents of a cat food must total 100%. Based on the examples above:
The top dry cat foods, supplied by cat owners whose vacationed at PurrInn Cats Hostelry, were evaluated by comparing the and "ingredients" to explore how dry cat foods meet a cat's urinary tract health, elderly , and . The dry cat foods list is organized based on the Main Ingredient Types with the Phosphorus, Protein, Fat, and Carbohydrate content percentages listed (Dry Matter Basis). Meat proteins were considered more digestible protein sources than plant products, meat-by-products, and meat meals, and a "less-likely-to contain- pollutants" protein source than fish. More and Feline nutrition information is available on line.Finding appropriate low carb wet foods in the UK can be a challenge as manufacturers keep switching up ingredients, some even including sugar! Please visit the Food Info section of the TR College of Knowledge (COK) to help assist you when calculating carbs based on dry matter for wet foods appropriate for diabetic cats. The downloadable Carb Calculation tool is available.
Wet cat food with a lower than 10% carbohydrate count based on dry matter (which is not indicated on the label) is best for cats with FD and is required when practicing TR. Avoid foods containing grains such as rice, wheat and corn, glutens, starches, sugars and syrups, gravies and those containing vegetables and fruits. Foods containing soy and/or ‘vegetable protein extract’ can raise the BG even if the percentage of calories from carbohydrates is below 10%. These species inappropriate ingredients can render the liver useless to do its job of protecting the brain in the event of low BG, potentially resulting in clinical hypo and are not at all recommended for cats when starting TR as explained in sticky.
Your vet may have prescribed Purina DM (Diabetes Management) prescription food. While lower in carbs than most tinned cat foods (a reformulation of the recipe has brought the dry matter carb content under 8%) it contains corn starch and is very expensive; it is an acceptable canned food for an FD cat on TR.
Before switching a cat already receiving insulin to an all wet low carb diet, it is very important to read the to make sure your cat is transitioned from both high carb wet food and /or dry kibble to low carb wet food safely, avoiding a potential clinical hypo. To save you the challenge of scrambling to identify low carb wet foods currently available in the UK, the following list is provided. Ingredients are always being changed by the manufacturers, so it is recommended to double check the dry matter carb content of foods periodically.
One of the concerns surrounding dry food is the carbohydrate content in the foods. Dry foods tend to have moderate to high levels of carbohydrates. Many sources on the internet will tell you that feeding dry foods that contain high levels of carbohydrates will cause your cat to develop diabetes. But is this true and what is the real relationship here?Feeding more (or only) canned food is another way–one that is often easier for people to deal with. Canned foods are higher in protein, and lower in carbohydrates, than dry foods. Their high water content increases the cat’s overall fluid intake, which keeps the kidneys and bladder healthy. Because the ingredients are more easily digested and utilized by the cat’s body, canned foods produce less solid waste in the litterbox.