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Study Confirms What Cats Really Want to Eat

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Study Confirms What Cats Really Want to Eat

According to its authors, the Geometric analysis of macronutrient selection in adult domestic cats, Felis Catus is the most extensive study of macronutrient regulation ever conducted on any carnivore.

The results of this study are extremely exciting, but not surprising to those of us who understand the importance of providing species-appropriate animal food to companion animals.

The study was conducted to determine if adult domesticated cats, given a choice, deliberately select food that is biologically appropriate for them (similar to the prey they would hunt and eat if they lived in the wild).

From the study:

Most domestic cats are fed commercial pet foods by their owners. Some of these products are moist and others are based on a dry formulation.

As well as differing in water content and texture, there are macronutritional differences between wet and dry commercial foods, notably a higher carbohydrate content of dry foods (required for their manufacture).

Our results show strong nutritional regulation, reinforcing the fact that macronutrient regulation is common across trophic levels [feeding positions in a food chain] and providing important information for the design of domestic cat nutritional regimes.

Fascinating Results

  • Given the option, the cats exclusively chose high-protein food over high-carb food even when there was less of the high-protein food available.
  • Cats offered a choice of three foods with variable amounts of protein, carbs and fat mixed them to achieve a daily intake as follows:
    • 100 calories or 52 percent from protein
    • 67 calories or 35 percent from fat
    • 24 calories or 12.5 percent from carbs
  • When the cats were restricted to a high-carbohydrate food, they did not eat enough of it to get the targeted amount of protein (52 percent).
  • Experienced cats eating dry food increased protein intake and ate less carbohydrates than naÔve cats offered the same choices. This indicates, given the option, cats learn to avoid eating excessive amounts of carbs.

Research Proves It: Cats and Carbs Donít Mix!

Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they have nutritional requirements that can only be met with a diet based on animal tissue. The macronutrient profile for cats is high in protein and fat, consistent with a meat-based diet.

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Dr. Mercola

Dr. Mercola has been passionate about health and technology for most of his life. As a doctor of osteopathic medicine, he treated many thousands of patients for over 20 years. In the mid 90ís he integrated his passion for natural health with modern technology via the internet and developed a website, Mercola.com to spread the word about natural ways to achieve optimal health.

144 comments

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4:29AM PDT on Jul 19, 2013

Interesting article but I have to say one thing.
Please people reserve tuna for a rare treat for cats. It is not very good for them and too much can cause several health problems.
Sorry but I don't have the details to hand but check online and with your vet.
I know they like it but that is not always the best guide!

9:48PM PDT on Oct 20, 2011

well duh

5:18PM PDT on Jul 29, 2011

I've tried to cook for my cats using Doctor's recipes and they don't like my cooking. I figured the best food is what they will eat, but I never stop trying.

1:55AM PDT on Jul 29, 2011

Marilyn; I totally agree with you! Keeping cats indoors is responsible 'parenting'. I become very upset when I see a sign tacked or taped to a post asking people to watch for 'tabby' who has been missing for days. WTF I say! It's only a matter of times before a cat goes missing when it is allowed outdoors. I've known of rare cases where a cat will not wander away from the house but, that is indeed not the norm. They are curious creatures and have a nose for getting into trouble. As you stated Marilyn, too many toxins and poisons, plus vehicles, makes for a deadly combination for kitty.

11:58PM PDT on Jul 28, 2011

Thank You

3:01AM PDT on Jul 20, 2011

yup, and giving better food means cutting down on litterbox ;P

5:26PM PDT on Jul 19, 2011

Thank you. God bless KITTIES! xo xo

1:25PM PDT on Jul 19, 2011

I read this to my cat. She gave me that look that says, "I could have told you that a long time ago." Then she attacked her catnip frog.

8:52AM PDT on Jul 19, 2011

The first thing that came to my mind while I was reading the article is that it's good for vegans. Some of them go so far that try to make their pets vegan as well.
We try to give our cat fresh raw chicken. He doesn't like it unfrozen (probably he knows that frozen food loses about 70% of its nutritional value:))
The article is great! Thank you so much for posting it! I'll share it with all my friends who have cats:)

7:43PM PDT on Jul 18, 2011

i'll never go back to feeding my animals cheap gluten laden bi-product filled crap - i read all labels now and i just suck it up when it comes to the wallet anxiety - my pets are much better off for it :)

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