Your Cat's Nutritional Needs - Fox 2 News Headlines

Your Cat's Nutritional Needs

  • Pet of the WeekMore>>

  • Pet Connect : Meet Noir

    Pet Connect : Meet Noir

    Monday, April 21 2014 11:48 AM EDT2014-04-21 15:48:25 GMT
    Meet Noir, she's a short-hair domestic cat that's up for adoption at the Michigan Humane Society.
    Meet Noir, she's a short-hair domestic cat that's up for adoption at the Michigan Humane Society.
  • Pet Connect: Meet Clover

    Pet Connect: Meet Clover

    Monday, March 17 2014 9:19 AM EDT2014-03-17 13:19:40 GMT
    Meet Clover, a six month old puppy, that's up for adoption at the Michigan Humane Society of Michigan.
    Meet Clover, a six month old puppy, that's up for adoption at the Michigan Humane Society of Michigan.
  • Pet of the Week

    Pet of the Week

    Monday, March 10 2014 9:30 AM EDT2014-03-10 13:30:29 GMT
    Meet Tulip, an 11-week old kitten.
    Meet Tulip, an 11-week old kitten.
  • From The Daily CatMore>>

  • Why doesn't my cat like catnip?

    Why doesn't my cat like catnip?

    Believe or not, some cats just aren’t drawn to catnip. Here’s why.

    Believe or not, some cats just aren’t drawn to catnip. Here’s why.

  • Houseplants vs. your cat

    Houseplants vs. your cat

    Before adding a touch of nature to your home with houseplants, it's important to know what types of plants may be harmful to your cat and which are safe.
    Before adding a touch of nature to your home with houseplants, it's important to know what types of plants may be harmful to your cat and which are safe. In fact, some plants are extremely poisonous to cats, and others can cause them to become very ill.
  • Keeping your cat happy when you're not at home

    Keeping your cat happy when you're not at home

    As much as I'd love to spend my days cuddling and playing with my cat, necessity dictates that I must, on occasion, leave my apartment.
    As much as I'd love to spend my days cuddling and playing with my cat, necessity dictates that I must, on occasion, leave my apartment.
By Ann Acker, Studio One Networks

Providing your cat with a healthy daily diet is one of the most important duties of any pet owner. But understanding the ingredients, and knowing which ones are best at fortifying your pet can be a challenge.

The best place to start is by learning about the building blocks of nutrition. Nutrients are divided into a few subcategories -- protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals, and water. Each nutrient benefits your cat in a variety of ways. Here's your easy-to-digest guide to the essentials of cat nutrition.

Protein
Common pet food protein sources include meat, poultry, fish and some plant ingredients like corn gluten and soybean meal.

Protein is best known for supplying amino acids, or protein subunits, to build hair, skin, nails, muscles, tendons, ligaments and cartilage. It also plays a main role in hormone production.

Cats, true carnivores, require essential amino acids such as taurine, that are not all found in single plant protein sources such as soybean meal.

Carbohydrates
Common carbohydrate sources are plants and grains. Carbohydrates, also categorized as starches (sugars) and fibers, provide energy and bulk, respectively.

Starches are made up of various types of sugar, such as glucose or fructose. Through digestion, cats (and dogs) can easily convert sugar into usable energy.

Fiber may or may not be fermented -- or broken down into short-chain fatty acids -- by bacteria in a cat's (or dog's) intestines. Highly fermentable fiber sources like vegetable gums provide high amounts of short-chain fatty acids. Moderately fermentable fibers, such as beet pulp, provide short-chain fatty acids and bulk for moving waste. Poorly fermentable fibers, such as cellulose, provide mainly bulk for moving waste through the digestive tract and only a few short-chain fatty acids.

Fats
Fats are found in meats, poultry, fish and plant oils, such as flax and vegetable oils. Fat, for all its bad press, fulfills many vital body functions. Animal cell membranes are made of fat. Fat also helps maintain body temperature, control inflammation and more. Fat is the primary form of stored energy in the body, providing twice as much energy as carbohydrates or proteins.

Fats also provide the important fat subunits, omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-6 fatty acids are essential for skin and coat maintenance and proper membrane structure. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to be important in blood clotting and decreasing inflammation.

Vitamins & Minerals
Vitamins are responsible for promoting bone growth, blood clotting, energy production and oxidant protection.

Vitamins A, D, E and K require fat for absorption into the body, while vitamins such as the B-complex vitamins and vitamin C need water to be absorbed into the body. Minerals provide skeletal support and aid in nerve transmission and muscle contractions.

Your cat needs proper nutritional support to keep it healthy inside and out. Building on these basics will ensure your cat a long and vital life for years to come.

Copyright (c) 2008 Studio One Networks. All rights reserved.

About The Author: Ann Acker is a freelance writer and editor on subjects ranging from cat care to feline fun.
*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
Powered by WorldNow

WJBK-TV | Fox 2
16550 West Nine Mile Rd.
Southfield, MI 48075

Main Station: (248) 557-2000
Newsroom: (248) 552-5103

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices