Cat licking its lips

Basics of feeding cats

A cat is purely a carnivore and therefore, the diet needs to include plenty of meat. A cat needs more animal-based proteins and fat than for example a dog – for this reason, a cat should not be fed dog food and vice versa. Also, feeding only fish or meat may cause various deficiencies in a cat. 

Proteins

In addition to fats, animal-based proteins are the most important source of energy for cats, because cats are not really able to utilize plant-based proteins. Proteins act as important building material for muscles and tissue, and it is only from animal-based proteins that a cat can get amino acids, which are essential for vital functions and which the cat's body is not able to generate enough of or at all. These include, for example, arginine and taurine. Deficiencies of these can cause blindness, heart problems and even danger to life. 

Supply of protein also regulates a cat's sense of fullness, unlike many other mammals. Therefore, foods that contain a lot of plant-based proteins, which a cat can only utilize very poorly, often cause excess weight in cats, because a cat needs to eat a lot more of it to become full. 

Fats

After proteins, fats are the second most important energy source for a cat and an important nutrient for the organs. A cat's need for fat is relatively higher than for example humans' or dogs'. A cat also gets essential fatty acids from animal fats and salmon oil. These are important for the health of skin and fur as well as for kidney function. 

Carbohydrates and fiber

A cat's need for carbohydrates is low, because the digestive system is based on processing food high in protein and fat. As natural hunter, cats get fiber from the feathers, hairs and stomach content of their prey. Sugars are not a part of a cat's diet and may cause digestive problems or overweight for a cat. 

A cat needs fiber for the normal functioning of the digestive system and to ease the passing of fur balls in the intestines. Particularly important for a cat's digestion are fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) and mannan-oligosaccharides (MOS).  They act as nature's prebiotics by creating good conditions for digestive bacteria in the intestines. When added to cat food, FOS and MOS promote the passing and digesting of food in the intestines and strengthen the cat's immune defense system.

The PrimaCat cat food range is formulated with a carnivore's diet in mind. Therefore, the amount of carbohydrates has been limited and meat and fish are always the main ingredients in our foods. In addition, only easily digested sources of carbohydrates and fiber have been selected as sources of carbohydrates and fiber, never wheat or sugar. 

Water

Water is one of the most important elements of feeding a cat. Cats have a naturally low sense of thirst, because in the wild, they are used to getting all the hydration they need from their prey. About 70–80% of a mouse is water and therefore, a cat should be offered also wet food containing water in addition to dry food. 

Water has an important function in a cat's diet; it transfers other nutrients affecting also the elimination of waste products, acts as temperature regulator and lowers the acidity of the cat's urine, preventing the formation of urinary stones.

Remember to always make fresh water available for your cat, preferably in several places.