Can cats eat grain-free food?

In this brief discussion, we’ll answer the question,”can cats eat grain-free cat food?” We will also discuss how to select the best grain-free food to your cat.

Can cats eat grain-free food?

Yes, cats can eat grain-free food but it is not necessarily good for them. Grain-free cat food or food for kittens is food that has no grains at all. Some grains that are frequently found in dry cat food are Corn, Wheat, Oats, Barley, Rye and Rice

Many pet owners are unaware that grain-free does not necessarily equate to low-carb. In truth, there are several sources of carbohydrates besides grains, such as lentils, sweet potatoes, potatoes, cranberries and Tapioca.

A 2017 report published in the Journal of Feline Surgery and Medicine discovered that some cat meals without grains had higher carb levels than cat foods with grains. Additionally, some of the grain-free sources of carbohydrates in cat food, such as tapioca, are incredibly unnatural for cats to consume.

In other words, food that is free of grains can be a healthy option but it’s crucial to go past this designation and consider the specific product, its components, and nutrition information to see if it’s suitable for your cat. 

Being aware of your cat’s particular requirements, your veterinarian may also assist you in comparing meals and making wise decisions.

Do cats need grains in their diet?

No, cats don’t need grains to live happy, healthy lives. A diet resembling that of wild cats is sometimes suggested by veterinarians for house cats. Wild cats are obligate carnivores, therefore meat makes up at least 70% of their diet’s protein.

They frequently eat their prey whole as well. This also contains the stomach contents, bones, and muscles which frequently contain grains, fibre, and other nutrients.

As a result, a cat’s diet does not include a lot of grains or only meat. To maintain your cat’s health, look for pet food that is balanced.

More significant than the controversy over grain-free versus grain-based diets is the idea that a cat’s diet shouldn’t rely heavily on sources of carbs.

While looking for grain-free cat food make sure that lean meat-based proteins like chicken, turkey, or fish should come in first on the ingredient list, with carbohydrates coming in close behind.

How can I select grain-free food for my cat?

“Grain-free” doesn’t always equate to “healthy” or “filled with nutrients,” Here are three quick guidelines for selecting a higher-quality grain-free food for your cat:

Check to see if a veterinarian nutritionist helped create it

A corporation that makes this claim has obtained information on the nutritional worth of its product from a recognized professional. A nutritionist says each kind of food—wet, dehydrated, or dry—should have the right nutrients for cats of all ages.

Check the order of the ingredients by reading through them

Cats are primarily carnivores, as we have already established. That means meat or fish, such as whitefish, cod, chicken, or turkey, should be the first ingredient(s) on the list. Non-grain carbs like tapioca, sweet potatoes, and lentils should not be present or present in very low amounts.

Look for whole muscles and organ meat

Cats in the wild consume their prey whole, devouring flesh, bones, muscle, and organ meat to maintain a balanced diet. Look for full muscle and organ meats (kidneys, heart, liver, stomach, brains, etc.). In particular, organ meats are regarded as a “superfood” for cats. 

These ingredients will be combined to make the greatest grain-free cuisine. Avoid “meat meals” and byproducts, which often contain little meat and are sometimes prepared under high heat and pressure, reducing their nutritional value.

Can I give grain-free food to my cat with a sensitive stomach?

If the stomach of your cat appears to be sensitive or has an adverse reaction to eating its food, your first thought might be to stop using grains. 

However, gut sensitivity frequently has no dietary component. When it comes to stomach discomfort, protein sources are significantly more likely to cause adverse reactions than carbohydrate sources. 

The best source of information, however, is your cat’s veterinarian. Therefore, you should consult your vet before making any changes to your cat’s diet.

Are grain-free cat foods high in proteins?

Yes. Since protein serves as a cat’s main source of energy, unlike many other animals, protein is particularly crucial in cat food. 

While cats do need some of their protein to come from animals, many people are unaware that the bodies of cats are also quite adept at digesting and absorbing nutrients from high-quality, plant-based ingredients. 

Proteins, fats, and carbs from plants can be a great source of essential nutrients. Providing enough calories from carbohydrates prevents body proteins, including those in muscles, from being metabolized to provide energy.

Conclusion:

We answered the question,”can cats eat grain-free cat food?” We also discussed how to select the best grain-free food to your cat.

References:

https://www.hillspet.com/cat-care/nutrition-feeding/what-is-grain-free-cat-food

https://www.thehonestkitchen.com/blogs/pet-food-ingredients/is-a-grain-free-diet-best-for-cats-qa-with-dr-leilani-alvarez-dvm

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