The role of animal-based protein diet for cats to live a long, healthy life

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Contrary to the popular opinion that cats love to eat fish, cats are in fact obligate carnivores–they eat meat that is comparable to their natural prey such as mice or birds out of biological necessity. 

A study conducted by the WALTHAM Center for Pet Nutrition found that 52% of a cat's calorie intake is from protein, which can be synthesized best through an animal-based protein diet.  Therefore, cats require quality protein sources to be included in their diet for sustenance. 

Dr. Cissy Ramos, a practitioner from Vets in Practice and a pet nutrition specialist said, “Cats are considered as strict carnivores and they’re still highly related to their ancestors. Their teeth and skull conformation are actually designed to hunt and kill prey efficiently.”

Dr. Cissy Ramos feeding stray cats in ETON Centris for a volunteer work

Animal-based protein can help cats maintain healthy muscle structures and provide them with natural forms of amino acids. Dr. Ramos noted, “Animal source proteins like chicken can greatly contribute to the quality of protein in their diet and they do get appropriate amounts of essential amino acids from it.” She also said, “Adding certain sources of protein especially, animal sources, cats can easily process it, break it down, and use it up in their body.”

In total, cats can internally produce 11 non-essential amino acids. ​However, the remaining 11 categories of essential amino acids can only be provided through a nutritious diet to meet their needs, “When you have good quality protein, the cat can receive a good amount of amino acids that are important for its health.” She added, “The protein from chicken contains multiple levels of essential amino acids, such as Lysine, Phenylalanine, Arginine, and Taurine.”

To help owners better maintain the health and development of their cats, IAMS has developed a line that is uniquely tailored for cats’ needs and has chicken as its number one ingredient. 

Dr. Ramos recommends the IAMS brand to cat owners like herself, “It is necessary for cat owners to choose a diet that is made by a trusted brand: palatable, complete, balanced, contains high quality protein, and enriched with amino acids. This will play a key role for the proper development and normal functioning of cats and enhance their wellness.”

The importance of considering the life stage of cats when feeding them is also crucial for cat’s nutrition. With this, IAMS’ food products offer different varieties of cat foods–dry or wet and for each life stage, “For each life stage, there are specific recommendations for the amount to feed and the levels of nutrients that they need.”

Having protein in your cat’s diet is vital for its overall health and long-term wellbeing! For more information about IAMS Cat visit IAMS Cats is available at all leading supermarkets and grocery stores nationwide. 

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