The Cat is a Carnivore

For us, the thought of swallowing a single source of food seven days a week, three meals a day, would drive us to culinary distraction. For cats, it’s completely satisfying – if they are receiving the level of protein and other nutrients needed to meet their individual dietary requirements from their cat food.

Although humans have domesticated housecats, felines are born hunters.  We can look to the big cats still living in the wilds of the African savanna to reference instinctive cat behavior. They don’t eat the grasses out on the plains. They hunt for meat. The reason cats hunt for meat is largely due to the high-level of protein they can access from meat. Since their next meal is not a sure thing, they typically gorge themselves to get all they can at each feeding. Because of their habitat, these big cats must rely on their hunting skills to find, stalk and ultimately kill their protein to survive. Centuries of domestication has done nothing to breed the need for protein out of the cat. However, humans have become better at providing the levels of protein cats need through regularly fed commercially prepared cat food.

Cats have fewer taste buds than dogs — or humans, for that matter — so flavor isn’t much of an issue for them. Because a cat’s sense of taste is relatively weak, they don’t require variety in their diet. An owner’s fondness for cats can sometimes lead to poor nutritional choices on their cat’s behalf. Some foods considered treats by humans, may actually harm our feline companions. It’s essential to remember some very important facts about felines in order to foster healthy growth and development.

  • Cats have a weak sense of taste and don’t require variety in their diets.
  • Cats are often lactose intolerant, so milk is not a good treat for them.
  • Cats draw their energy from fat, but they can suffer from obesity, depending on various factors, like lifestyle and age.
  • The prevalence of overweight cats has increased more than 90 percent since 2007*. So it’s important to feed your adult cat for healthy weight maintenance.  If your veterinarian has recommended your cat lose weight, follow the doctor’s diet and   feeding instructions carefully.
  • Resist the temptation to introduce more variety into your cat’s diet. It’s more important to ensure you are consistently feeding your cat a healthy cat food with high-quality proteins and vitamins and minerals to support overall health based on your cat’s age and lifestyle.

*Banfield State of Pet Health, 2012

Learn more about Royal Canin’s dry cat food varieties and Royal Canin’s wet cat food varieties.

For More Information on Spaying and Neutering Your Cat:

Your cat needs a consistent diet prepared from high-quality proteins, formulated with vitamins and minerals to support overall health and vitality.
Your cat’s sense of taste is weak, so it doesn’t require dietary variety.
If your cat needs to lose weight, consult with your veterinarian and follow the doctor’s diet and feeding instructions carefully.