is grain free food bad for cats

There is no evidence that grain-free diets pose a risk to your feline friend. Studies suggest a link between grain-free dog food and canine heart disease, but no such connection has been established in cats.

What do cats need in a balanced diet?

Cats need protein, regardless of whether they are on a conventional or gourmet diet. Dogs are viewed as omnivores (they eat both plants and meat), whereas cats are classified as carnivores (meat eaters). More protein is required by cats in their diet than by dogs. Like most mammals, cats use the majority of the protein they eat for body maintenance and growth, but they also use it as a source of energy. For this reason, kittens require 1. Adult cats require two to three times as much protein as adult dogs, and they require five times as much as puppies.

Cats require particular amino acids, which are found in protein, not just any old protein. For instance, cats require a specific quantity of the amino acid taurine to be healthy, in contrast to dogs. Animal muscle, especially the heart and liver, contains taurine. Since plants lack taurine, cats consume less greenery and grains than their omnivorous canine companions.

Cats who don’t get enough taurine are more likely to develop dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), a heart condition. This is a dangerous condition that weakens and enlarges the heart muscle. DCM can be lethal and is linked to congestive heart failure. Taurine is added to reputable commercial cat foods that have AAFCO approval in order to prevent deficiencies. When making their own diets, cat owners should make sure their food has enough taurine. Deficiencies may arise even with sufficient taurine if there is an issue with its bioavailability or if it interacts with other ingredients. The FDA and researchers are keeping an eye on the ongoing studies into this dangerous illness.

Although cats’ needs for protein are different from those of other mammals, they can still benefit from eating foods high in carbohydrates, roughage, vitamins, and minerals.

Is All Grain-Free Cat Food Also Gluten-Free?

Since gluten is a protein found in grains, all grain-free cat food is also naturally gluten-free.

Note that while there is a lot of discussion in human nutrition about allergies and sensitivities to gluten, cats hardly ever get these allergies, and allergies to any food are rare as well.

Consequently, cat food labeled as gluten- or grain-free is not inherently healthier or superior. On the other hand, the inclusion of gluten, grains, or their byproducts in cat food does not always indicate the caliber of that diet.

Are Grain-Free Diets Dangerous for Cats?

There is no health risk associated with grain-free diets for cats or their owners. While there may be a connection between canine heart disease and grain-free dog food, there doesn’t seem to be one for cats.

FAQ

Why do vets not like grain free cat food?

Grains contain important amino acids, such as Taurine, that dogs and cats need to have a healthy heart. By excluding grains in food, dogs and cats eating a grain-free diet can develop a Taurine deficiency which contributes to the development of heart disease.

Is it better to feed cats grain free food?

Iron, thiamine, calcium, riboflavin, folate, and niacin are all in grain. Grain free diets may result in a deficiency of these essential nutrients. Plus, these carbohydrate sources cost more. Depending on your cat’s health status and specific nutritional needs, a diet with grain may be better than one without.

What is the healthiest cat food for indoor cats?

Our top picks include Purina One +Plus Indoor Advantage, a wet food for adult cats that includes extra fiber for healthy digestion, and Royal Canin Indoor Adult dry food, which contains fish oil to support skin and coat health.

Is grain free food better for pets?

Many people assume grain free means low carb, but that’s not the case. In fact, some dog foods without grains are higher in alternative carbohydrate sources like potatoes and peas. This could result in unintentional weight gain. That’s why it’s so important to work with your veterinarian.