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Nutrition

02-05-2018

Why should cats eat wet foods?

Why should cats eat wet foods?

Cats, being strict carnivores and feeding on prey when in nature, have different nutritional needs than other animals such as dogs.


Since they ate living animals at their origin, they basically did not need to develop certain metabolic pathways (which probably were lost throughout their evolution), or certain noticeable habits such as drinking (prey contained a high percentage of water, so cats did not need to rehydrate as often).

This means two things:

  • Their daily diet must meet certain minimum requirements that are not essential in other animals (for example, taurine and vitamin A, among many other things).

 

  • The sole use of dry diets, such as croquettes, does not cover their daily water needs (unlike living prey), so it is key to encourage the habit of drinking and provide them wet foods for cats.

 

It is important to note that numerous studies already point out that the less a cat drinks, added to the abuse of certain dry diets, contributes to the high incidence of crystal formation in the urinary system (both in the kidneys and the bladder).

The incidence of crystals is higher in Persian, Exotic, Burmese, Habana Brown and Ragdoll cats, as well as in castrated males (dogs can also be victims of them and, in fact, it is relatively frequent in the miniature Schnauzer).

Crystals in the urinary system can:

  • Hinder urine elimination
  • Induce frequent urination or urination in inappropriate places
  • Make blood appear in urine
  • Increase bladder infections

Whenever we see any of these signs in our cat, along with a strange behavior, it is vital for us to take them quickly to the veterinarian, because this could lead to urinary obstruction (which leads to urea poisoning and death in a few hours).

Other factors that seem to have a negative impact, in addition to inadequate nutrition, are:

  1. Recurrent urine infections
  2. Lack of exercise and play
  3. Vitamin B6 deficiency
  4. An excess of sodium in the diet
  5. High blood calcium levels (associated with neoplasms, hyperparathyroidism or idiopathic, i.e. without known cause)
  6. A problem in the hepatic circulation (shunts).

Being aware of the importance of diet in cats, in Dingonatura we insist on the need to offer daily wet food to facilitate urination and have them hydrated. For this reason, in order to facilitate this extra contribution of water and, in the process, to pamper our cats, we have developed a series of wet recipes, following our ever-present philosophy of "cooking like at home": with love and with the best ingredients.

A simple way to balance their diet would be to offer what is known as mix-feeding (combining dry and wet foods throughout the day), but always making sure that both types of food are, if possible, carefully prepared recipes, with natural ingredients and bioavailable nutrients.

Finally, and to help you stimulate their drinking habit, here you have a series of useful tips:

  1. Use water containers that do not accumulate smells or flavors. If possible, glass, ceramic or stainless-steel containers (avoid plastic ones).
  2. Place the container very far away from the sandbox.
  3. Keep the containers of water and food separate, so that the water is not contaminated with croquettes or wet food that may fall.
  4. Place different bowls of water at home so they have it available in different locations. Use motorized water fountains (our favorite tip).

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