Cats…are Obligate CARNIVORES!
Obligate ‘True’ Carnivores: Depend solely on animal flesh and organs for their nutritional requirements. Example: Lions and domestic cats!
Carnivores: Derive their nutrition exclusively from animal tissue predation or scavenging.
Falcultative Carnivores: Also consume non-animal food.
Omnivores: Consume both animal and non-animal food.
A Cats System has: A very short intestinal system. Cats lack the physiology to break down (digest) cellulose plant matter. Cats may use plant material to induce vomiting (emetic) if something is not settling right in their stomach.
Please note: There are several short term studies on the synthesis of Taurine in cats, but it is incredibly difficult to find long term studies (studies lasting more that six (6) months). Every study is slightly different, using slightly different variables or controls.
Taurine: A SULFONIC ACID is one of the very few naturally occurring Sulfonic acids. Taurine is a derivative of cysteine, which is an amino acid that contains a sulfhydryl group. It is not a ‘True’ amino acid because it lacks a Carboxyl group. Taurine is called an Amino acid, even in scientific literature, but it’s True identity is: SULFONIC ACID. 1gm / 2.2 lbs. of food is generally agreed upon. Taurine is broken down by heat. Vegetables provide little to no Taurine. Taurine comes mainly from meat and seafood, but different different sources contain different amounts of Taurine. Excess Taurine is not stored by cats, it’s secreted in their urine, that makes it water soluble, not fat soluble.
Because we are able to produce synthetic forms of essential nutrients such as taurine in a lab, it has allowed pet food manufacturers to formulate food for domestic pets, as well as zoo animals, with varying amounts of plant material.
What does Taurine do?:Cats need Taurine for healthy eye vision, heart function, and reproductive performance.
Why do cats need Taurine?: Because they cannot synthesize enough of the Taurine compound on their own, the rate of synthesization is very slow. Cats need to get Taurine from their food.
Do dogs need Taurine?: Mammals and dogs can synthesize Taurine on their own.
Where does Taurine come from?: It’s an Organic compound distributed in animal tissues.
Cat Food Manufacturing “Rules”: A cat food manufacturer does not have to follow AAFCO guidelines. But if it states that it is ‘Complete and Balanced’ it must follow AAFCO guidelines, then it must include a minimum of .1% minimum of Taurine in dry food and .2% minimum of Taurine in wet food.
Food Dangers: Onions and garlic are ‘poison’ to cats. Since animals metabolize Theobromine (found in chocolate) more slowly than humans, it can be lethal. Since cats don’t have sweet taste receptors, they’re less likely to consume chocolate. Propylene glycol is a food additive to dog food (in the category of Animal Feed) and it’s also in human food, but not authorized in cat food. It can actually be lethal to dogs also in higher quantities. It’s allowed in dog food, but there are no long term studies to show aftereffects. Benzoic acid occurs naturally in plants and it’s used as a common food preservative, but cats are limited on the level that they can excrete it from their system.
Vitamins: Cats cannot convert carotene to Vitamin A (they lack the enzyme to convert it). Cats cannot manufacture Vitamin D.
Concerns: It is thought that feline hyperthyroidism is cased by canned cat food, but the cause is still unknown. A long-term study needs to be conducted.
What is indigestible fiber?: Fur, bone, cartilage, tendon, and ligaments. Even hair (fur) from grooming is fiber.
Please understand the difference between Survive and Thrive: Most studies require the animal to survive. Meaning, they cannot die during the study. Studies most often do not account for long periods of time and also do not notate if an animal is in poor or failed health acquired from consuming the food during the study…the only requirement is that they survive during the study.