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Dr. Geri Katz

Catkins – A New Diet for Cats?

Cats love their “crunchies” (dry food) but is this the ideal food for them?  In nature, cats are not carbohydrate eaters.  There is no part of their prey that contains corn or any other grain.  When eaten by a cat, the carbs are converted to fat.  However, most dry food is composed of carbohydrates since this ingredient is usually vital in the formation of a kibble.

What does this mean for our favorite felines?  A diet high in carbohydrates can contribute to weight gain in many cats.  Many veterinarians are seeing more and more diabetic cats, and a high carbohydrate diet can be a significant contributor.  In addition, since cats aren’t built to accept carbohydrates, their bodies can react negatively to the presence of grains and this can result in dermatologic and gastrointestinal disease conditions.

What should you look for in a cat food?  There are many wet foods that are marketed as grain free, but if not, you need to read the ingredients closely.  If it would work on your Atkins Diet, it is grain free.  And stay away from “lowfat” foods for cats.  Those foods compensate for low fat with a higher carbohydrate content, much like in human foods.

If your cat suffers from rashes or does a fair amount of vomiting, you may want to look at the ingredients in the food you are feeding them.  Even the grain in wet food can cause an allergic reaction.  Corn, wheat, rice, barley, and oats can potentially cause issues for your kitty. Simply removing the offending substance can in many cases, treat the problem.

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