The Best Protein for Cats - Pets
Your cat’s body knows she needs protein and, when she receives it, she feels full and stops eating. Unfortunately, her body does not process carbohydrates the same way. If her diet contains low amount of protein and high carbohydrates, she is more likely to overeat and become obese. Protein satisfies her hunger and, in turn, reduces the risk of obesity.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes in cats, and genetic and environmental factors play a role in the progression of this disease (). Obesity is one of the predominant factors. Indeed, obesity is related to insulin resistance and impaired glucose tolerance in many species. Thus, in obese insulin-resistant subjects, glucose tolerance is reduced, i.e., to control glycemia, the insulin secretion must be higher than in normal-weight and insulin-sensitive subjects and the insulin response to stimuli, i.e., the β cell response to glucose () or arginine is impaired (). Prevention of diabetes involves minimizing the rise in postprandial glucose concentration and insulin secretion by dietary manipulations, thus reducing the demand on the β cells to produce insulin. Several studies demonstrated that insulin sensitivity could benefit from high-protein, high-fat, and low-carbohydrate diets in mice () or in genetically type 2 diabetic mice (). In humans, low-carbohydrate diets improved diabetes (), whereas some studies showed no effect of high-protein diets (). The results of some studies suggest that a high-carbohydrate intake could increase glucose tolerance in humans (). In diabetic cats, a high protein diet might reduce their insulin requirement, but clear evidence is lacking ().
The overuse of some proteins in pet food and how feeding your dog the same proteins over a long period of time can increase the chances of your dog developing a food reaction or allergy. The same is true of cat food. Cats can develop allergies related to over-use the same as dogs. We believe it’s wise to rotate the protein sources for your pet not only to ward off allergies but to ensure they get all of the amino acids that they need in equivalent proportions.The digestive tracts of dogs and cats are much smaller than those of humans. Typical food transit time is 12-30 hours for dogs and 12-24 hours for cats, much lower than the 30 hours to 5 day transit times in humans. Shorter transit times mean that dogs and cats are not able to fully process many grains and other forms of carbohydrates. Pet foods that uses grains and vegetables as protein sources are not optimal for dogs and cats. As such, it is crucial that pet owners read their pet food labels carefully to identify foods that adequately supply the correct sources of protein.One of the best ways to evaluate your cat’s diet to see if you are meeting their protein nutritional needs is to observe them. Do they seem healthy and vital? Is their appetite good and do they eat enthusiastically? Is their coat healthy, shiny and free from dandruff or itchiness? Are their toilet habits regular and normal looking? Are they at a healthy weight and active and playful? All of these outward appearances you can readily observe are affected by your cat’s diet. If something seems off, their diet and protein levels is one place to look for an answer.After other potential causes of the skin eruptions, such as flea bites, are ruled out and a food allergy is identified as the probable cause of the clinical signs, the next challenge is to identify what precisely in the cat’s diet is responsible for the problem. This process will most effectively be carried out at home by the owner’s introduction of what is termed a “novel” diet, which is based on the fact that most feline food allergies are traceable to the protein or carbohydrate content of an affected animal’s normal fare.