According to study authors:
The carbohydrate ceiling explains many of the intake patterns seen in both dry and wet diet experiments and suggests that cats may only be able to process ingested carbohydrate up to a certain level.
The feline body is specifically designed for a low carb diet. Indicators your kitty isn’t equipped by nature to process a lot of carbohydrates include:
- No taste receptors for sweet flavors
- Low rates of glucose uptake in the intestine
- No salivary amylase to break down starches
- Reduced capacity of pancreatic amylase and intestinal disaccharidases
In other words, cats don’t produce the enzymes required to digest carbohydrates. The only carbs felines eat in the wild are pre-digested and are found in the stomachs of prey animals.
If your kitty’s body is incapable of digesting a heavy carbohydrate load and she’s eating a cat food with high carb content, she’s on track to develop digestive disease and other serious conditions like diabetes and pancreatits related to eating a diet unfit for her species. And certainly, too many carbohydrates aren’t the only problem with most processed pet foods.
What About Your Favorite Feline?
If you’re convinced it’s time to transition your carnivorous kitty to a more biologically-appropriate food, there are a few different ways to approach it.
My favorite, as regular readers of my newsletter know, is to learn how to prepare your pet’s meals at home with ingredients you select based on balanced recipes from an expert nutritional source.
If you don’t feel you have the time or resources right now to prepare homemade meals for your cat, the next best thing is to feed a commercially prepared, balanced, raw diet. These diets are usually found in the freezer section of small or upscale pet boutiques – not in the big box pet stores. You can also find a selection online. Unfortunately, this option is just too costly for many pet owners.
If neither of these choices works for you, try taking small steps up the pet food quality ladder. Take a look at my video 13 Pet Foods – Ranked From Great to Disastrous to find out where your pet’s food ranks, and how you can make gradual improvements to your beloved kitty’s diet over time.
I also recommend you read here for some great tips on how to decipher the labels on your cat’s pet food like a pro. (The article is about dog food labels, but the information provided can be applied to cat food just as easily.)