Why your cat needs a high-quality protein diet


Animal species are often classified according to their nutritional requirements. Herbivores rely on plants for carbohydrates as an energy source, whereas omnivores get energy from both plants and meat. Carnivores on the other hand, mainly get their energy from protein. 

Have you ever heard of the term ‘obligate carnivore’? Cats fall into this classification and describes their nutritional requirement to have a diet mainly based on animal flesh. Compared to dogs, a healthy diet for a cat should include a higher amount of protein. As a guideline, adult cats need around 26% protein in their diet, while adult dogs require 12% and humans as little as 8%. 

Essentially, that means that cats need food that is high in protein and fat to avoid a cat vitamin deficiency. If you think about your cat’s distant cousins in the wild, like the lion, cheetah, and tiger, copying a prey-based diet makes logical sense. 

Here are some reasons that a good source of protein is so important in your cat’s diet:

  • Cats are physiologically and metabolically adapted for high-protein diets.
  • Cats whose diets don’t provide enough protein will over-eat as compensation, often leading to obesity issues.
  • Research has shown that a lack of protein in a cat’s diet can affect their gut, which could lead to kidney problems and other illnesses. 
  • Cats need amino acids from animal proteins, specifically taurine and arginine.
  • Cats need protein as a source of energy.

Protein in cat food

Understanding that your cat requires protein as the main source of energy in their diet is not enough. Most cat food options contain protein, but there are different protein sources – each providing specific nutritional benefits:

Animal protein

Includes protein sources such as beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, and fish in these formats:

  • Meat meal: A term describing animal protein that has been ground into a powder-like substance, as water is also removed.
  • Meat by-products: Unlike meat meals, this includes organ meat.

Plant protein

Protein sourced from plants such as corn gluten meal, soybean meal, and wheat gluten.

  • Plant meal: Compared to animal protein, cats can’t digest plant meal protein as readily. This protein source also doesn’t contain taurine, which is an important nutritional requirement for cats. With this type of protein source, a cat’s diet still needs to be supplemented with animal protein.

Based on these nutritional requirements, Feline Cuisine has been scientifically formulated by a veterinarian and animal nutritionist using fresh meat as a source of protein. With 30% more meat, Feline Cuisine provides all the essential wellness benefits for cats, including immune-boosting cat vitamins and minerals as well as Omega oils and fatty acids for

joint function.

Best cat food for senior cats

Cat owners also need to understand that a cat’s protein diet requirements change, depending on their age. When cats get older, they need more high-quality protein in their diet because their bodies metabolise protein less effectively.

An effective solution to providing your cat with enough high-quality protein as they age is with Feline Cuisine’s Specialise Diet range for Joint Health. Made with real chicken, Feline Cuisine Joint Health has been specifically formulated and boosted with glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy joints. Includes omega 3 and 6 for joint health.

If your cat is 12 years old or older, a good guideline is to feed them a diet containing nearly 50% protein. However, a vet consultation is advisable first to determine whether they have kidney disease or not before this recommendation is followed.

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