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The Benefits of Grain Free Cat Food:

Why are most dry cat foods not Grain Free ?

Grains like corn, wheat, and rice are the foundations for many cat foods. This is because they are cheap to produce and allow the food manufacturer to meet the carbohydrate requirements for their foods while saving some money.

Many scientists believe that a grain free cat food is more appropriate for cats because they are carnivores, and foods rich in proteins rather than grain-based carbohydrates more closely resemble their natural diet.

4 Benefits of Grain Free Cat Food

Just like their wild cousins, domestic cats (Felis catus) are obligate carnivores. Scientifically speaking, that means your pal thrives on a diet that is rich in animal protein. Granted, we know that the only hunting your kitty gets into is chasing after cotton swabs, but he still needs his daily dose of protein in the bowl.

“When choosing a nutritionally adequate cat food, protein content is the most important characteristic to consider,” says Jennifer Coates, DVM, author and veterinarian in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Dr. Coates emphasizes the importance of choosing a cat food that is high in animal protein. This provides the essential amino acids cats need, regardless of whether there are grains in the recipe or not.

So why make the switch to a grain-free cat food option, if protein is the key? Less guesswork! Grain-free cat foods are usually made with protein as the top ingredient in every recipe to ensure your pal’s protein needs are covered.

Cats are obligate carnivores, requiring up to twice as much protein as dogs of the same size. In the wild, you would find them hunting their prey, that is other animals for protein and little of anything else. Grains? Nope. They need protein for lean muscle, strength, and energy. optimized for lean muscle, strength and energy.

Low-carb diets are popular among people, but your kitty’s ancestors had been doing them for ages. While the natural diet of wild cats—like your kitty’s great, great, great grandparents—is varied, including small mammals and birds, cats evolved eating a diet solely based on whatever prey they could find. That means carbs were never the main course.

Dr. Coates recommends that carbohydrates—things like wheat, corn, barley, rice, corn and soy—make up only a small amount in any cat’s diet.

Note that carbs don’t stop at grains. Dr. Coates suggests minimizing other carbohydrate-rich ingredients like potatoes, peas and lentils, which technically are grain-free but not carb-free or low-carb. It seems, then, that grain-free cat foods that are also low in carbohydrates are among the best options for our feline foodies.

Another benefit of a grain-free diet for cats is that they can be used to help kitties who are experiencing food allergies or sensitives, which can appear as skin or digestive symptoms like excessive itchiness or loose stools.

“If your cat has a confirmed allergy to a particular grain, then you’ll want to avoid that ingredient in his food,” Dr. Coates says.

Grains like wheat are among the most common food allergens for cats, which means if your kitty seems to be sensitive to grains, it makes sense to opt for a grain-free cat food that’s also free of wheat. Even if your kitty hasn’t been diagnosed with a food allergy by a veterinarian, you may want to choose a grain-free cat food if you start seeing any of the symptoms associated with a food allergy.

If you suspect your cat has a grain food allergy, you can use a grain-free cat food as a DIY elimination diet. Basically, you start feeding a grain-free diet and see if the symptoms go away. It’s a simple, veterinarian-recommended way to test if your cat truly has an allergy to grains.

For a grain-free option, the Tiny Tiger wet cat food line exclusively offers grain-free diets for your little tiger. Flavors include Tiny Tiger turkey and giblets recipe, salmon recipe, and whitefish and tuna recipe.

While there may be a big difference between cats who roam the Serengeti versus those who roam your living room, their diet needs aren’t that different. High-protein cat food diets that also are low-carb can help keep cats fit, healthy and thriving. Grain-free options deliver on these nutritional must-haves and can benefit kitties who are allergic to grains.

Cats also lack certain enzyme pathways that allow other species to convert certain essential nutrients like taurine, Vitamin A, niacin, arginine and arachidonic acid. Hence, these nutrients all need to be provided in higher levels in feline diets to prevent the development of serious health issues.

I’ve personally noticed that my cats stay full longer, and keep a lean stature, even though they are indoor cats only. It seems this would be attributed to eating quality sources and higher amount of protein. In thinking about myself, I typically keep a steadier metabolism if I’m eating more protein than carbohydrates.

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