Did you know that you may be overlooking one of the most important aspects of your cat's health? Many people spend a lot of time and money on cat toys, vet visits, litter boxes and the like, but never stop to consider what they're feeding their cat. Your cat's food is a very important factor in his overall health and quality of life. Providing a diet that is high in carbohydrates, and with not enough protein, is not only an unhealthy choice, but could have dangerous consequences, as well.
To figure out what your cat needs most from his cat food, we can look at their wild counterparts. Wild cats eat mice, birds and other sources of protein, as well as drinking lots of water. This type of high protein diet is essential for your cat as well. And no, you don't need to start feeding mice to your cats - there are many quality cat foods that provide a sufficient amount of protein, as well as carbohydrates and fats, which are also necessary in your cat's diet.
Something very important to remember is that while carbohydrates are important in your cat's food, a high carbohydrate diet can actually cause serious health issues for him. Cats can become diabetic when given a high carb diet for a prolonged period of time. A constant intake of carbs can cause him to become insulin resistant, which in turn will interfere with his blood glucose levels, just like in humans.
Common signs of diabetes in a cat are drinking excessive amounts of water and eating considerably more than normal. A cat's back legs may also become weakened as diabetes progresses, causing him to wobble when he walks. The only way to rule out diabetes is with a blood test that your veterinarian can perform.
If your cat is diabetic, it is sometimes possible for the diabetes to go into remission by altering their diet. This means seriously limiting the amount of carbs your cat ingests, and increasing his protein intake. Increased protein helps to stabilize blood glucose levels.
When choosing a cat food, you should take some time to read labels, and even speak with your veterinarian to find the best choice for your cat. A high protein diet that has limited carbohydrates is the best choice for any domestic cat, just as it's the preferred diet of his wild counterparts.
For more information on cat nutrition and cat foods, read our article: Choosing the Healthiest Cat Food for Your Cat
The article provides a more detailed look at cats' nutritional needs as well as explaining what you should look for in choosing your cat's food.