Cats are “true” carnivores. The natural diet of all cats is small mammals. Cats eat the WHOLE animal which is high in protein and low in fats and carbohydrates.
Protein is the main nutrient cats need. Thirty to forty-five percent of what a cat eats should be protein. Their bodies require 22 amino acids with 11 of them being essential. If a cat is deficient of a single amino acid, it can lead to serious health problems. Protein can come from animal tissue which is a “complete” protein, or it can come from plant matter which is and “incomplete” protein meaning its missing some amino acids. Animal protein comes from meat, poultry, fish, and eggs.
Fats are essential, but should only consist of ten to thirty percent of the diet. They provide a concentrated source of energy, help dissolve fat-soluble vitamins, supplies essential fatty acids, and helps the body systems to function properly. Fats and essential fatty acids can come from fish, tuna, salmon, safflower, sunflower, and flax seed oil.
Vitamins are also essential in a cat’s diet, because many vitamins have different, yet important roles. Vitamins included are A, C, D, E, K, and the B vitamins. Minerals are also needed as most of the minerals come from bone and meat meals. Minerals included are calcium, phosphorous, sodium, potassium, magnesium, iron, copper, zinc, and iodine.