Why is dry food not suitable for cat’s staple food?
It is believed that most cat parents give their cats dry feed as their staple food, because it is convenient, nutritious and concentrated. In addition, veterinarians or cat friends around me mostly recommend dry feed, which is considered to be good for the overall health and teeth of the cat. But forgive me to say that using dry food as a cat’s staple food is actually for the convenience of people, rather than for the health of the cat.
Dry food contains too much carbohydrates
Since cats are completely carnivorous, the main source of energy and nutrition should come from animal protein and animal fat, not carbohydrates. Strictly speaking, if cats have enough animal protein and fat in their daily diet, they do not need carbohydrates and can live healthy. Unfortunately, due to factors such as production process and cost control, dry food for cats usually contains a lot of grains, resulting in carbohydrate content as high as 35-40%.Cats are not good at handling large amounts of carbohydrates. If they eat foods containing a lot of carbohydrates for a long time, the probability of suffering from diabetes and obesity is greatly increased.
Eating only dry food for a long time can easily lead to Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease.Many pet owners are troubled by the same question: why buy top-quality natural cat food for cats to eat, they will eventually get feline lower urinary tract syndromes (including bladder stones, urethral stones, urethral obstruction and other symptoms)? The reason is: their cats have long used dry food as their main food.
It should be noted that the moisture content of dry food is only 8~11%. Although cats that take dry food as their staple food drink more water than cats that eat wet food, in contrast, they actually absorb half of the water compared to cats that eat wet food.
Cats fall into a state of chronic dehydration, which reduces the amount of urine and excessive concentration of urine, and is prone to urinary system (kidney, bladder, urethra) problems in the future.
Dry food also has a direct effect on the pH of the cat’s urine. In the past 10 years, more and more cats are suffering from urethral or bladder stones. If the cat’s urine is too alkaline (pH higher than 7.1), struvite is easy to form. On the contrary, if the cat’s urine can be kept slightly acidic (pH value not higher than 6.6), struvite is difficult to form. Scientists have confirmed that meat-based feral cats usually excrete urine with a slightly acid pH (6.0 to 7.0); the urine of plant-based animals is alkaline. It can be seen that plant foods (including grains and vegetables) will increase the pH value of urine (the higher the pH value = the more alkaline). Most of the dry food contains a lot of grains. If the cat eats dry food as the main food, the urine The pH may increase as a result, causing struvite formation.
In order to solve this problem, some prescription dry foods are specially added with chemical acidifiers, and the mineral content (also known as gray matter “Ash”) is also strictly limited, especially magnesium . However, the opposite is true. Cats who take this prescription dry food for a long time are likely to be over-acidified in their urine, leading to the formation of another type of stone-OxylQte Stone. In severe cases, kidney function may also be affected.
In fact, the most effective way to prevent and treat lower urinary tract syndromes in cats is to allow cats to eat naturally and allow them to eat the food they should eat (that is, meat foods with high protein and high water content). Therefore, for the sake of cats’ health, do not use dry food as their staple food. High-quality wet food (home-made or canned cat food) is the closest to the cat’s ideal diet.
Misunderstandings of canned wet food
The importance of moisture to cats, cats must consume high-water foods as their staple food so that their overall water intake will be sufficient. In addition to homemade cat food, commercially available canned cat food should be a good choice. However, I believe you have also heard many cat friends advise other cat parents not to feed wet food, thinking that in addition to harmful to the teeth, more preservatives and less nutrition! Wet grains with poor quality and heavy MSG certainly exist, but most of the above allegations against wet grains are misunderstood.