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Nutrition Center - Blogs

Protein Levels in Cat Foods May Be Too Low

Filed Under NutritionNuggets-Cats

A couple of weeks ago we talked about how, unlike many other species, cats need more protein when they enter their golden years (around 12 years of age). In the process of researching that article I came across some disturbing information. The...

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Senior Cats Need More Calories

Filed Under NutritionNuggets-Cats

Anybody out there have an old, skinny cat? Veterinarians see them on a daily basis. Sometimes we reach a causative diagnosis — kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, diabetes mellitus, cancer, and gastrointestinal disorders are all common culprits....

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Are Some Dry Cat Foods Better Than Canned?

Filed Under NutritionNuggets-Cats

I often hear owners and veterinarians (myself included) say that canned food is generally better than dry for cats because the former is higher in protein. Well… I was doing some research for a previous post on feline nutrition and stumbled...

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Chronic Kidney Disease in Cats – Monitoring Nutrition is Essential

Filed Under NutritionNuggets-Cats

The importance of diet in the management of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in cats is well established, but what is often overlooked is the fact that a cat’s nutritional needs will change as the disease progresses. Phosphorous restriction...

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Foods for Cats with Chronic Diarrhea

Filed Under NutritionNuggets-Cats

When I was a veterinary student, I was taught that dietary fat and gastrointestinal disorders were often a bad combination. The rationale behind this had to do with the fact that fats are often considered to be the nutrient class that is most...

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Figuring Out Carb Levels in Cat Foods

Filed Under NutritionNuggets-Cats

Given the controversy surrounding carbohydrates in the diets of cats, you’d think it would be relatively easy to determine how many carbs a particular food contains, but that’s not the case. Cat foods that adhere to the...

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Choosing Your Cat's Food Should Be Convenient

Filed Under NutritionNuggets-Cats

Dedicated cat owners are a heterogeneous group. I have met some whose lives are focused on their fur kids. Others still love their cats, but have additional interests and/or responsibilities that can distract from their cat’s care. I suspect...

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What Kind of Meat By-Products Are in Your Cat's Food?

Filed Under NutritionNuggets-Cats

I recently saw the results of a survey that asked 852 consumers what ingredients were legally permissible in the meat by-products that are included in many cat foods. The responses took me by surprise: 87% — Internal Organs 60%...

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Feeding Cats with Idiopathic Hypercalcemia

Filed Under NutritionNuggets-Cats

Idiopathic hypercalcemia in cats is a vexing condition. We don’t know what causes it (although theories abound), symptoms may not be present until cats are severely affected, and in many cases, treatment is not all that successful. To...

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Feed Your Cat More to Encourage Weight Loss

Filed Under NutritionNuggets-Cats

I cringe whenever I see an obese cat. Enabling feline obesity is almost like putting a gun to a cat’s head in a game of Russian roulette. Sure, he or she may dodge the diabetes or hepatic lipidosis “bullets,” but play the game...

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If Cat is Shedding a Lot, Try a Different Food

Filed Under NutritionNuggets-Cats

I just bought a new couch. It’s brown with tan and orange accents. One guess as to what color my cat is. She’s a calico – or for those of you unfamiliar with that term — brown, tan, and orange. If you think that was accidental,...

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Nutritional Supplements for Cats with Liver Disease

Filed Under NutritionNuggets-Cats

In the last Nutrition Nuggets for Cats, we talked about Feeding Cats with Liver Disease. Today, let’s touch on the use of nutritional supplements (nutraceuticals) to help manage liver disease. The North American Veterinary Nutraceutical...

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Feeding Cats with Liver Disease

Filed Under NutritionNuggets-Cats

Your veterinarian has just informed you that your cat has liver disease. You want to do what’s best for your feline friend so that he can live comfortably for as long as possible. Your vet may have recommended medications to treat the...

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What Makes Cats Carnivores?

Filed Under NutritionNuggets-Cats

Cats have unique behavioral, anatomical, and nutritional characteristics that demonstrate their carnivorous nature. Although cats are able to digest some plant products, their physiology is best supported by the nutrients found in animal tissue. A...

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Foods for Constipated Cats

Filed Under NutritionNuggets-Cats

Constipation is a troubling and common digestive tract problem for cats. It occurs when the stool is too large and/or too firm to be expelled. Constipation is the likely culprit when a cat is straining in the litter box and produces few or no...

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Need a Guide for Managing Your Pet's Weight? It's Here

Filed Under NutritionNuggets-Cats

The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) has recently released new weight management guidelines for dogs and cats. It is written with an audience of veterinarians in mind, but is also valuable reading for owners, particularly if you are...

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Why Cats are Finicky Eaters

Filed Under NutritionNuggets-Cats

I recently came across a research article that may help explain why cats are such finicky eaters. The scientists concluded that cats are genetically different from most mammals in that they lack the genes necessary for tasting sweet substances....

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Arthritis in Your Cat – The Best Treatment is Not (Always) Medicine

Filed Under NutritionNuggets-Cats

You may be surprised to learn that cats have a much higher incidence of arthritis than we ever knew. A recent study showed that up to 60-90 percent of all cats (young and old) exhibited radiographic changes consistent with osteoarthritis. The...

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Early Domestication of Cats Included Grain Rich Diets

Filed Under NutritionNuggets-Cats

We talk a lot about how important it is to have enough protein of animal origin in a cat’s diet. The National Research Council's recommended allowance for protein for an adult cat is 50 g/1,000 kcal metabolizable energy (ME), while...

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Can You Keep Your Cat Healthy On A Vegetarian Diet?

Filed Under NutritionNuggets-Cats

In response to my Can Cats be Vegetarians post, Ludmila Marshal commented that a study published in 2006 came to different conclusions than the one I referenced questioning the nutritional adequacy of vegan cat foods. The study Ms. Marshal...

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Can Obesity Be Beneficial for Some Diseases?

Filed Under NutritionNuggets-Cats

Human medical doctors and researchers have stumbled upon an interesting conundrum they call the obesity paradox. It goes something like this. Obesity is bad. It predisposes us to a wide range of health problems including diabetes and heart disease....

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Is There Enough Protein in Your Cat's Food?

Filed Under NutritionNuggets-Cats

We’ve spoken many times about the importance of including adequate amounts of protein in a cat’s diet, but all protein is not created equal. Unfortunately, it can be difficult for owners to determine whether the percent protein that...

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Diet Related Thiamine Deficiency in Cats More Common Than Thought

Filed Under NutritionNuggets-Cats

Say what you will about the pros and cons of commercially prepared pet foods, but one fact is indisputably true; they have all but eliminated the incidence of diseases related to nutritional deficiencies in dogs and cats who eat them. In my...

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Using Math to Compare Carbs in Canned Cat Food and Dry Food

Filed Under NutritionNuggets-Cats

Whenever the topic of feeding cats comes up, a few points always seem to arise. Cats should eat high protein, moderate fat, low carbohydrate foods. For some individuals (e.g., those prone to obesity, diabetes mellitus, and many disorders...

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How to Care for an Orphaned Kitten

Filed Under NutritionNuggets-Cats

"Hey Doc, someone just left a box of kittens outside the front door and drove away." That’s how one of my more memorable days in veterinary practice started. When the clinic’s receptionist uttered those fateful words,...

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nutrition Questions

  • Q: What is a meat meal?

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  • Q: Are grain-free cat foods better than foods that contain grains?

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  • Q: What quality control measures should pet food manufacturers use to assure the quality of their product?

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