Cat Food: What is the protein requirement?

Cats require more protein than many other animals. If you own one of these adorable creatures, you must be knowing their dietary protein requirements. This protein is broken down by cats into amino acids, which they either burn for energy or use to produce new proteins.

Cats cannot produce all the 22 amino acids they require. Eleven of these (essential amino acids) need to be obtained through proper nutrition. This explains why they require animal protein-based diets. It caters to their required protein level, which might not be available in plant proteins.

Now, how do you know your cat is receiving the right amount of protein? Making things out may appear difficult at first, but here is a step-by-step guide that will help you decide the protein-rich meals for your pet.

Calculating your cat’s protein intake on a daily basis

In the first place, you need to find out the number of calories your cat consumes each day. As a thumb rule, you should know that cats require at least two grams of protein per pound of their healthy body weight. Therefore, you need to know how many grams of food your cat intakes on a daily basis, as well as the percentage of protein in the diet.

  • Step 1: Find out how much your cat weighs. Let’s consider she weighs ten pounds for the purpose of argument.
  • Step 2: Calculate how much food she took in her meals. Food in a can is measured in ounces, thus a 5.5-ounce can contain about 160 grams of food.
  • Step 3: Use the nutrition label on the can or bag, or the company’s website to determine the diet’s minimal protein content.

Converting cups to grams is difficult since measuring instruments measure volume rather than the weight of dry foods. The best approach to find out is to use a kitchen scale to weigh a day’s worth of meals. The number of grams of protein per cup may be indicated on the product container, or the manufacturer’s website. Alternatively, you may contact the company through email or phone. A cup of dry food weighs about 100 grams on average, but it might vary between 80 and 120 grams.

Do Cats need high-protein food?

There are six types of nutrients that an average cat diet can provide:

  • Water
  • Protein
  • Fats
  • Carbohydrates
  • Vitamins
  • Minerals

Protein, fat, and carbs are the three prime nutrients that can be used as energy sources.

What exactly should you consider in your cat’s food?

Proteins, lipids and oils, minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates, and water should all be included in your cat’s diet to ensure best health conditions. This basic nutritional balance should be available in any branded  cat food. You will also come across cat food tailored to special needs, considering whether a cat is pregnant, elderly, or a kitten.

The order of the components is, in general, just as significant as the type of ingredients. Look for foods with meat (protein) as the first component and a few ingredients, indicating minimum processing. Unless the cat is on a particular diet for medical or other reasons, the protein source should come first, followed by the remaining ingredients in order of their percentage of total weight.

Things to note as a cat owner

Cats are creatures of habit, so keep that in mind. It’s better to stick to a feeding plan and feed them in a calm spot every day at the same time.

If you have any doubts, consult a veterinarian. When choosing a diet for their feline companions, pet owners must consider a variety of things. Multiple sources of information can be overpowering, making decision-making even more daunting. Being a cat owner, it’s essential to understand the importance of protein when you design a diet for these carnivores.

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