Protein plays an important role in kittens’ nutrition. We take a look at this essential nutrient and explore the difference between animal and plant-based proteins. Finally, we discuss what to look for when choosing your cat’s food.
So What’s the Big Deal About Protein Anyway?
Protein is responsible for many functions in a cat’s body. Protein is made up of important amino acids. Cat’s naturally make approximately half of the amino acids they need on their own. These are referred to as non-essential amino acids. However, the rest depends on ingredients found in their daily diet. These are referred to as essential amino acids. Providing the right combination of ingredients to produce these amino acids is the best way to avoid deficiencies, leading to many health problems.
Not All Protein Sources Are Created Equal
Protein can come from animal sources, plant sources, or a combination of both. But it’s important to understand that not all protein sources are equal. High-quality meat-based protein, like chicken, contains all of the amino acids your cat needs to thrive. This means that a diet relying heavily on plant-based sources could be deficient in essential amino acids. Cats must be fed a diet made up of animal-based protein. This is not to say that plant-based ingredients are “bad.” For example, peas are an excellent source of dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. However, animal-based ingredients are far superior when it comes to proper protein.
Choosing the Right Diet Is Important!
Be sure your cat’s formula includes the right amount of high-quality meat-based protein. It’s not enough to find the listed protein percentage found under the Guaranteed Analysis. Understand what ingredients are making up that percentage. Each ingredient is listed in order by inclusion level. Meaning, the highest inclusion ingredient is listed first. Compare the number of animal-based ingredients to the number of plant-based ingredients. Pay special attention to the top ten ingredients. All TLC Whole Life Pet Food formulas include animal-based protein sources in the top ten ingredients. Remember, formulas that pack their top ten ingredients with plant-based proteins may not deliver the essential amino acids your pet requires to thrive.