Author Topic: The Dangers of Dry Food  (Read 5457 times)

Offline Tan

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The Dangers of Dry Food
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2013, 15:44:23 PM »

The problems with dry food:
-Too low in moisture
-Too high in carbo-hydrates
-Protein from plant rather than animal sources
-Causes cats to overeat
-Implicated in causing or contributing to diabetes, IBD and other diseases
-Does not clean teeth

It is very important to remove dry food from your cat’s diet. This one change alone is a big step forward in improving your cat’s health. Dry foods, whether premium,prescription or “natural” are mostly grain-based and have a carbohydrate content of about 25 to 50%. Cats have no nutritional requirement for carbohydrates and feeding them a diet of what is basically meat-flavored cereal can be detrimental to their health.

If you consider feline physiology and what the species has been eating for thousands of years – whole, raw prey - it makes sense that grains shouldn’t be part of the cat’s diet. Here are some of the problems with dry cat foods:

Low moisture content.
Dry cat food is less than 10% moisture. Consider that a cat’s natural prey, a mouse, is about 65 to 75% moisture. Because cats are designed to fulfill most of their water requirements by eating fresh raw food, they naturally have a low thirst drive. When all sources of fluid intake are added together, what’s in their food and what they drink, cats eating a dry food diet consume less than half the water of a cat on a canned or raw diet.
This chronic dehydration can cause their urine to become overly concentrated, which can lead to urinary tract problems.

Too high in carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates are usually thought of as energy foods, but felines utilize protein and fat for those needs, and have a limited ability to
digest carbohydrates. A cat’s natural diet - rodents, rabbits, insects and birds - is less than 2% carbohydrate. The excess carbohydrate
in dry food promotes obesity in cats, and is also implicated in feline diabetes.

Protein from plant rather than animal sources.

Complete proteins contain ample amounts of essential amino acids and are found in foods such as meat, poultry, fish and eggs. Incomplete proteins found in legumes, grains and vegetables don’t provide the essential amino acids that a cat needs - such as taurine - which come from animal sources.

Causes cats to overeat.

Cats have a unique system of satiety signals from the food they eat. Because the cat evolved in an environment rich in protein and fat, but deficient in carbohydrate, consumption of fat and protein evolved as the signal to the cat that it could stop eating. Consumption of carbohydrate doesn’t have this effect, and the end result is cats that overeat and become obese. Overeating carb-laden foods causes repeated surges of insulin in the cat’s body. For many cats, this unremitting stress on their metabolic system results in diabetes.

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The trend of feeding dried food (biscuit, kibble) is big a contributory factor for Obese cats. Dried food is energy dense. A small amount contains all the calories a cat needs. Unfortunately, this small amount is not filling. Although the cat has eaten enough calories, it continues to feel hungry because its stomach has only registered a small amount of food (the stomach has "stretch" receptors that detect bulk). So it begs for more or it goes scavenging or begging elsewhere in order to fill its stomach so it feels full.

The problem is that dried food is convenient for owners, but cats are not designed to eat dried food. They are designed to eat prey that is less energy dense than the convenient kibble provided by the owner. Canned food is much bulkier and the cat feels full much earlier.

Cats fed entirely on dried food are more likely to become overweight (and constipated!) than cats fed on a mix of canned and dried food. If you don't believe me, try spending a day living on candy or chocolate bars instead of balanced meals - even though you are consuming enough calories, your stomach craves more food. Just as a regular diet of energy dense junk food makes humans fat, an energy dense diet of biscuit can lead to fat cats. The only way to prevent this is to carefully measure out the quantity, avoid titbits and not let the cat outdoors where it might find food elsewhere - you will, however, have to put up with a cat that begs for food because its stomach is not satiated after it has finished its ration.

« Last Edit: March 24, 2013, 16:13:24 PM by Tan »


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