Do Cats Eat What Do Cats Eat?

Are you a new cat owner, struggling to figure out what to feed your feline friend? Have you found yourself frantically searching the internet for answers? Well, fret not. As an expert in cat nutrition, I’m here to answer one of the most common questions that plague cat owners: “Do cats eat what do cats eat?”

Let’s start by debunking a common myth – not all cats are carnivores. While it’s true that they need high amounts of protein, some can benefit from plant-based nutrients as well. Moreover, their dietary requirements depend on factors like age, weight and any health conditions.

It’s essential to know what not to feed your cat too. Did you know that milk can lead to digestive problems in cats? Or that tuna, in large amounts, can cause mercury poisoning? These are just a few examples of foods that might harm your furry friend.

To keep your cat healthy and happy, it’s crucial to provide them with a balanced and nutritious diet. This means finding high-quality cat food that meets their unique needs and provides all necessary nutrients. By paying attention to their dietary requirements and feeding them accordingly, you can ensure that they receive optimal care.

So whether you’re an experienced cat owner or new parent looking for guidance – understanding what cats eat is vital for their wellbeing. Join me as we explore the ins and outs of feline nutrition together.

Cats as Obligate Carnivores

Unlike humans and dogs, cats can’t produce certain essential nutrients on their own, which is why it’s crucial to provide them with a balanced and nutritious diet that meets all of their nutritional needs.

In the wild, cats hunt small prey such as mice, birds, and lizards. These animals provide cats with the protein, fat, and other nutrients they need to survive. While domestic cats have left their hunting days behind, they still rely on their owners to provide them with food that meets these same nutritional requirements.

Commercial cat foods are formulated to meet the nutritional needs of cats, but not all cat foods are created equal. Cheaper brands may contain fillers or other ingredients that are not nutritionally beneficial for cats. It’s imperative for owners to choose a high-quality cat food brand that provides all of the necessary nutrients without any unnecessary fillers.

So what exactly does a balanced and nutritious diet for a cat look like? In general, cats need a diet that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates. Kittens require a more protein-rich diet than adult cats as they are still growing and developing, while senior cats may need a lower protein diet that is easier to digest. Overweight or inactive cats may benefit from a lower calorie diet, while active or outdoor cats may require a higher calorie diet to sustain their energy levels.

It’s important for cat owners to understand that some cats may have specific dietary needs due to medical conditions or allergies. Consulting with a veterinarian can help determine the best diet for your individual cat.

Some cat owners prefer to give their cats homemade diets or raw food diets. While these options can be beneficial if done correctly and with the guidance of a veterinarian or animal nutritionist, they can also pose health risks if not properly balanced with essential nutrients.

Dietary Requirements for Different Types of Cats

Cats are beloved pets that come in all shapes, sizes, and ages. As any cat owner knows, their dietary needs vary depending on these factors. Here are some more detailed explanations of the dietary requirements for different types of cats.

Kittens are rapidly growing and developing, so they require a diet that is high in protein, fat, and calories to support their needs. Kittens also need to be fed smaller meals more frequently throughout the day to keep their energy levels up. As kittens grow into adult cats, their dietary requirements change to a more balanced diet that includes protein, fat, and carbohydrates.

Adult cats require a diet that is lower in calories than kitten food but still high in protein. The amount of food they need depends on their weight and activity level. Overweight cats may need a specialized weight loss diet that is lower in calories and higher in fiber to help them lose weight.

Senior cats have slower metabolisms and may become less active as they age. They require a diet that is lower in calories but higher in protein to maintain muscle mass. Senior cats may also be prone to certain health issues like kidney disease or dental problems, so it’s important to choose a diet that addresses these concerns.

Indoor cats tend to be less active than outdoor cats, which means they may need fewer calories. Additionally, indoor cats may be more prone to obesity, so it’s important to choose a diet that is lower in calories and higher in protein. Indoor cats may also benefit from diets that include additional fiber to promote healthy digestion.

Outdoor cats are typically more active than indoor cats and require more calories to fuel their activities. They also need more water to stay hydrated, especially if they spend a lot of time outside in hot weather. Outdoor cats may benefit from diets that include additional vitamins and minerals to support their immune system.

Finally, some cats may require specialized diets due to health conditions. For example, cats with urinary tract problems may benefit from a diet that is low in magnesium and helps maintain a healthy urinary pH balance. Similarly, cats with allergies or sensitivities may require specialized diets that exclude certain ingredients.

Commercial Cat Food: The Most Convenient Option

Available in various forms such as dry kibble, wet canned food, and semi-moist food, commercial cat food is easily accessible in most pet stores and supermarkets. But why is it such a beloved option?

One of the major advantages of commercial cat food is its convenience. It’s easy to store and serve, making it a hassle-free choice for busy cat owners. Dry kibble is especially popular because it helps keep a cat’s teeth clean by reducing plaque and tartar buildup. Wet canned food is another popular option that provides much-needed moisture for cats who don’t drink enough water on their own. Meanwhile, semi-moist food offers the best of both worlds by combining the convenience of dry kibble with the moisture content of wet canned food.

Another reason why commercial cat food is a top choice for many cat owners is that it’s formulated to meet the nutritional needs of felines. These foods contain essential nutrients such as protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals that are important for maintaining optimal health in cats. Additionally, commercial cat food undergoes rigorous quality control measures to ensure that it meets safety standards.

Of course, there are critics who argue that some commercial cat foods may contain fillers and artificial ingredients that aren’t beneficial for cats. To avoid these types of products, it’s important for cat owners to read the ingredient list on the label before making a purchase. Look for high-quality sources of protein such as chicken or fish as the first ingredient listed on the label. Also, be sure to avoid cat foods that contain artificial preservatives and colors.

Homemade and Raw Food Diets for Cats

It’s important to note that making your own cat food requires careful attention to ensure that your cat is getting all the nutrients they need.

First and foremost, cats have specific nutritional needs that must be met to maintain optimal health. Nutrients such as taurine and arachidonic acid are essential for cats and are found naturally in animal-based protein sources. A lack of these nutrients can lead to serious health problems in cats. Therefore, it’s crucial to consult with a veterinarian or animal nutritionist to ensure that your homemade or raw food diet provides all the necessary nutrients for your cat’s well-being.

If you choose to feed your cat a raw food diet, it’s important to handle the food properly to avoid the risk of bacterial contamination. Raw meat can contain harmful bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli, which can cause serious illness in both cats and humans. To reduce this risk, it is recommended to freeze the raw food for at least 24 hours before feeding it to your cat. Additionally, proper handling techniques must be followed to avoid any contamination.

When preparing homemade or raw food diets for cats, using high-quality ingredients and following safe food handling practices are vital. Low-quality ingredients or improper handling can lead to health problems for your cat that may outweigh any potential benefits of these diets. It’s also important to note that supplementation may be necessary to provide your cat with additional vitamins and minerals.

While homemade and raw food diets for cats may have some benefits, it’s crucial to approach them with caution. Seeking guidance from a veterinarian or animal nutritionist is essential before making any dietary changes for your cat. Remember, a healthy and balanced diet is key to your cat’s overall well-being.

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Benefits of a High-Quality Cat Food Diet

When it comes to their diet, nothing less than high-quality cat food will do. Why? Because a balanced and nutrient-rich diet is essential for maintaining your cat’s health and wellbeing. Here are just a few of the many benefits of feeding your cat a high-quality diet:

  • Stronger immune system: A high-quality cat food diet provides your feline friend with all the necessary nutrients to maintain a healthy immune system. This means they’ll be better equipped to fight off infections and illnesses, leaving you with a happier and healthier kitty.
  • Healthy digestion: No one likes dealing with tummy troubles, especially not your cat. A high-quality cat food diet is easy to digest and contains beneficial prebiotics that promote healthy gut bacteria. This helps prevent gastrointestinal issues like constipation, diarrhea, and vomiting.
  • Weight management: Just like humans, cats need to maintain a healthy weight to avoid health problems like diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease. A high-quality cat food diet that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates can help them achieve this goal.
  • Healthy skin and coat: Cats are known for their fastidious grooming habits, but even the most self-sufficient feline needs help keeping their skin and coat healthy. A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce shedding and prevent skin irritations and infections.

Potential Risks of Homemade and Raw Diets

However, it’s crucial to recognize the potential risks that come with these diets.

Raw diets are particularly risky for both cats and their owners. Raw meat can carry dangerous bacteria such as Salmonella or E. coli that can cause serious infections. Even if your cat doesn’t get sick, they may not be receiving all the essential nutrients they need for optimal health.

Likewise, homemade diets can be problematic if not formulated correctly. Without proper guidance from a veterinary nutritionist, these diets may lack vital nutrients and lead to deficiencies that can result in severe health issues in the long run. Homemade diets can also be unbalanced in terms of macronutrients, leading to obesity or other health problems.

It’s worth noting that commercial cat food also comes with a degree of risk. Some brands have been linked to recalls due to contamination or incorrect ingredient labeling. However, reputable brands undergo rigorous testing and adhere to strict safety standards to ensure the safety and quality of their products.

Before making any significant changes to your cat’s diet, it’s imperative to consult with your veterinarian. Your vet can help determine whether a homemade or raw diet is appropriate for your cat and provide guidance on the best types of food and feeding practices based on factors such as age, health status, and lifestyle.

Nutritional Requirements for Kittens

One of the most crucial factors in achieving this is by providing a balanced and nutritious diet. Kittens require a higher amount of protein, fat, and calories than adult cats to support their rapid growth and developmental needs. Therefore, it’s essential to pay close attention to what you’re feeding your kitten.

Commercial kitten food is formulated to meet the specific nutritional requirements of kittens in appropriate amounts. When selecting kitten food, it’s important to choose high-quality options that contain animal-based protein as the primary ingredient. This will provide your kitten with the essential amino acids they need for healthy growth.

In addition to protein, kittens also require higher amounts of certain vitamins and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D for strong bones and teeth. Therefore, it’s important to choose kitten food that is fortified with these essential nutrients.

It’s crucial to note that feeding kittens a diet formulated for adult cats may not provide them with the necessary nutrients for their growth and development. So be sure to choose a diet that is specifically formulated for kittens.

As tempting as it may be to share some of your food with your kitten, it’s best to avoid doing so. Feeding them table scraps or human food may lead to obesity and other health problems.

Nutritional Requirements for Senior Cats

As our furry feline friends age, their nutritional requirements change. Senior cats need a diet that supports their health and energy levels, ensuring they continue to enjoy their golden years with vitality and happiness.

Firstly, protein is a critical nutrient for all cats, but it becomes even more important as they age. Senior cats may experience muscle loss, which means they need higher levels of protein to maintain muscle maintenance and repair. However, not all protein sources are the same, and it’s crucial to choose high-quality and easily digestible protein that won’t cause digestive issues for your senior cat.

Secondly, fat is another important nutrient in a senior cat’s diet. While seniors may be less active than younger cats, they still require some fat for skin and coat health, as well as for energy. However, it’s crucial to monitor their fat intake to ensure that they don’t become overweight or develop other health issues.

In addition to protein and fat, senior cats may also benefit from specific nutrients such as antioxidants. Antioxidants help support their immune systems and reduce inflammation. Supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin can also help maintain joint health.

As a responsible cat parent, you should seek guidance from your veterinarian to determine the appropriate diet for your senior cat based on their individual needs and health concerns. Providing them with a balanced and nutritious diet will help them stay healthy and happy in their golden years.


In conclusion, ensuring that your cat is consuming a healthy diet is crucial for their overall wellbeing. As an expert in feline nutrition, I have debunked the common misconception that all cats are solely carnivores and highlighted the importance of considering factors such as age, weight, and health conditions when selecting their food.

It’s essential to provide your furry friend with a balanced and nutritious diet by choosing high-quality cat food that meets their unique needs and provides all necessary nutrients. However, not all cat foods are created equal, and cheaper brands may contain fillers or other ingredients that are not nutritionally beneficial for cats. Therefore, it’s imperative for owners to opt for a premium brand that offers all the necessary nutrients without any unnecessary additives.

Although homemade and raw food diets may seem appealing, they can pose potential health risks if not appropriately balanced with essential nutrients. Seeking guidance from a veterinarian or animal nutritionist before making any dietary changes for your cat is highly recommended.

By providing your cat with a well-balanced and nutrient-rich diet, you can ensure they have stronger immunity, healthy digestion, proper weight management, and healthy skin and coat. For kittens and senior cats specifically, their nutritional requirements change based on their individual needs; thus consulting with your vet is vital to determine the appropriate diet plan.