Periodic Newsletter from The IAMS Company:
From: “Eukanuba Cat”
To: hart (at) petlvr.com
Subject: Making Sense of Ingredients // A Cat’s Territory Vs. Yours
Making Sense of Ingredients
Brought to You by Melody, Breed Expert
You know Eukanuba uses our highest quality ingredients in its cat foods. But have you ever wondered just what those ingredients were and why they’re used? Here are a few answers.
Common pet food protein sources include meat, fish, and some plant ingredients, such as corn gluten and soybean meal.
Protein has many functions in the body, but is best known for supplying amino acids, or protein subunits, to build hair, skin, nails, muscles, tendons, ligaments and cartilage. Protein also plays a main role in hormone production.
True carnivores like cats require essential amino acids, such as taurine, that are not all found in single plant protein sources such as soybean meal. Formulas like EukanubaÂ® Mature Care contain animal-based ingredients as their primary protein source.
Common carbohydrate sources are plants and grains. Carbohydrates, also categorized as starches (sugars) and fibers, provide energy and bulk, respectively.
Starches are made up of various types of sugar, such as glucose or fructose. Sugar can be easily converted by the cat through digestion into usable energy.
Fiber may or may not be fermented â€” or broken down into short-chain fatty acids â€” by bacteria in a dog or cat’s intestines. Highly fermentable fiber sources, such as vegetable gums, provide high amounts of short-chain fatty acids. Moderately fermentable fibers, such as beet pulp, provide short-chain fatty acids and bulk for moving waste. Slightly fermentable fibers, such as cellulose, provide mainly bulk for moving waste through the digestive tract and only a few short-chain fatty acids.
Fats are found in meats, fish and plant oils, such as flax and vegetable oils.
Fat, for all its bad press, fulfills many vital body functions. Animal cell membranes are made of fat. Fat is also responsible for helping maintain body temperature, controlling inflammation and more. Fat is the primary form of stored energy in the body â€” providing twice as much energy as carbohydrates or proteins.
Fats also provide the important fat subunits, omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. omega-6 fatty acids are essential for maintenance of skin and coat and proper membrane structure. omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to be important in blood clotting and decreasing inflammation.
Vitamins & Minerals
Vitamins are responsible for aiding functions such as bone growth, blood clotting, energy production and oxidant protection.
Vitamins A, D, E and K require fat for absorption into the body, while vitamins such as the B-complex vitamins and vitamin C, need water to be absorbed into the body.
Minerals provide skeletal support and aid in nerve transmission and muscle contractions.
Keep the Fat Out of Cat
We all know being overweight isn’t healthy, but what does it mean for your cat?
Over weight cats can have deterioration in athletic ability, an increased risk of developing diabetes and poor candidates for surgery and anesthesia.
Over weight results when an animal consistently takes in more calories than needed. Some contributing factors include overfeeding, inactivity, reproductive status, environment, body type, age and genetic predisposition.
Visit The Veterinarian
Weight problems are one of the leading issues veterinarians deal with on a daily basis. If you suspect that your cat is either overweight or obese, a complete evaluation by a veterinarian is recommended. For one, it’s important to rule out any medical conditions that may be contributing to your cat’s over weight , before you proceed with any weight management program.
Your veterinarian may suggest that you reduce the amount you feed your cat first. If so, consult with your veterinarian on the reduction of daily portion recommended. Your cat should be monitored every 2-3 weeks targeting a 1% weight loss. This means that if your cat weighs 15 pounds, a 1% loss would be 2 1/2 ounces.
Be sure to measure your cat’s food and try dividing the daily ration into multiple small meals.
Your veterinarian may suggest you change your cat’s diet to one specifically designed for weight loss. Consider EukanubaÂ® Adult Weight Control. Portion control will still be necessary. However, your cat will most likely be able to eat more than if it was consuming her regular diet.
A diet based in replacement of some fat with highly digestible carbohydrates is a good low-calorie alternative. Digestible carbohydrates contain less than one-half the calories of equal quantities of fat and do not have the disadvantages of indigestible fiber. High-fiber foods may reduce the digestibility and absorption of many nutrients.
Proceed slowly. Begin by mixing a daily portion that includes 25% new food with 75% of the old. The next day increase the amount of the new food by 50% and decrease the amount of the old to 50% of the daily portion. Continue increasing the proportions during the next few days until the daily portion consists entirely of the new diet.
Another way to help your cat lose weight is to increase your cat’s activity level. One way is to use your cat’s natural hunting instinct to help it lose weight. Hide several small portions of its daily food ration around the house. But be cautious. Don’t let a fat cat become exhausted, overheated or out of breath.
Obesity is easier to prevent than to manage. However, it is never too late to return your cat to a healthier weight , though it requires long-term patience and commitment. Weight reduction in cats is a slow process. If food intake is too severely restricted, the cat risks other health problems.
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