July 13, 2019

Nutritional Needs

What is the nutritional requirement of the kitten? It is important to know that it varies according to your cat’s habits and life stages.

First of all, as a good carnivore, your cat loves meat in a particular way, while he does not appreciate foods of vegetable origin that are, however, essential for his physical well-being: in fact, offering him a diet of only meat or fish (he is very greedy!) is not correct, since these foods, if taken alone, do not provide him with all the nutrients he needs.

It is therefore important to get your kitten used to a healthy and balanced diet, even when she is a puppy. Foods, wet or dry, that we can easily find in pet shops or supermarkets, help us a lot in doing this: they are packaged products, complete and balanced, specially formulated to meet all the needs of cats.

The industrial foods contain, in the right proportions, all the nutritional principles essential for the feeding of the kitten, respecting its nutritional needs including proteins and fats of animal origin, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and water.

Useful proteins are contained in meat, fish, eggs and cheese. The right amount of animal proteins is essential for the good health of the cat: they ensure a balanced growth, keep the hair shiny, promote the regeneration of tissues. The percentage of proteins present in the diet of the cat must be about 8% in adult cats and 15% in kittens.

Moreover, cats and kittens need a fundamental amino acid, taurine, which they are not able to synthesize: it must be taken in high doses (1 g per kg of dry matter), with the diet. Taurine deficiency can cause blindness, heart failure, malformations in kittens and so on.

Fats are more energetic than other nutrients and more digestible. The cat can be given animal fats and oils (in meat and fish), vegetable oils (soy, sunflower, peanut). They are necessary for the good health of the cat, to promote the shine of the coat and good renal function. The ideal percentage of fat is around 40%. The maintenance diet of a healthy cat should contain 20-25%.

Carbohydrates (cereals, rice, pasta) provide ready-to-use energy and promote gastrointestinal function. Mineral salts (calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium) are important for bones, muscles, teeth. Vitamins (A, B, D, E) are contained in some foods (liver, eggs, milk, animal fats). They perform different functions, but their main task is to regulate the most varied physiological processes.

Water, finally, is the other element of vital importance for the cat: it must always be at its disposal, fresh and clean, regardless of what it eats.

All these elements, wisely combined, guarantee the cat to satisfy its daily nutritional needs: it will not always be the same, as it also varies according to the physiological state of the animal (kitten, adult cat, elderly cat). To calculate it, in addition to using the nutritional tables that show the energy values of the various foods, we can turn, to act safely, to your vet.