Your Cat vs Dog Nutrition
Cat and dogs are different species and require food which is suited to their specific physiological and physical needs. The composition of the diet is very similar, but it is the moisture, protein, fat, fibre and ash level which can vary significantly between them. Cats are obligate carnivores; they cannot survive without a source of protein within their diet and have a higher requirement for:
- Essential amino acids
- Fatty acids
- Certain vitamins.
For these reasons it is important not to feed dog food to cats, as dog food does not contain the levels of protein, essential amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals which cats require to support everyday health and well-being.
Dogs and cats have evolved differently and have species specific nutritional requirements. The Dog is an omnivore which can adapt to having both protein and plant sources of energy. Dogs possess molars for helping to crush plant matter. The cat does not possess these teeth so you will find little plant matter within a feline diet. Cats have prominent incisors designed to tear their food and have fewer taste buds than dogs. The cat has a smaller intestine with a shorter transit so meat is very rapidly digested and utilised within the body. Cats are unable to cope with high levels of carbohydrates and will not survive without a supply of essential amino acids from the protein within their diet.
Cat vs Dog
Weaning Your kitten
Kittens require a food which has been specially developed for kittens; kitten food can be slowly introduced from weaning and fed until around 1 year, when they should be slowly transitioned to an adult food. Kitten food has a higher protein and fat content than an adult cat food and provides all of the nutrition necessary for the growth and energy requirements of growing cats.
A delicate balance of protein, oils and fats, carbohydrates and fibre are required to help optimise growth and development within this first critical year.
Introduction to a dry diet
A slow introduction of the new food and the transition from weaning (around 8 weeks) needs to be carefully managed.
As a young cat their digestive system is still very sensitive. Start by adding a few kibbles of the new dry food per day, gradually increasing to a full bowl over 2 to 3 weeks.
Always provide plenty of fresh clean water and try to limit supplementing the diet with treats or any other food for the first few weeks to let the digestive system adjust to the new food. If it is necessary, the dry food can also be moistened and softened with water.
Cats, particularly during the kitten phase can be extremely fussy eaters. Feed in a quiet place away from the litter tray, with regular and structured feeding times to help get your kitten into a regular routine. Clean the bowl after every meal and disregard any uneaten food. A flat bowl which doesn’t brush against the cats whiskers when they eat is advised
If your kitten becomes a fussy eater, remove the bowl of food after every meal time in order to encourage eating routinely. Try to avoid feeding the kitten until the next meal time.
The Science bit…………………………………………………………
Austonley Pet Food is produced in one of the most technically advanced extrusion plants in the world, making some of the finest super premium dry pet foods.
The Wenger TT3630 Thermal Twin extruder is unlike any other twin screw extruder in use today, in terms of design, capabilities and efficiency, it works in perfect harmony with the Wenger High Intensity Preconditioner (HIP).