Do cats need cereals?
Many cat foods include cereals, sometimes even as the main ingredient. How does this meet the physiological needs of the predator? Does the cat need cereals?
Any cat is an obligate predator. This means that she needs a diet based on animal protein (up to 90%). A cat physiologically cannot stay healthy if there are too many components from plant foods in its diet. However, a certain proportion of carbohydrates should still be, and that’s why.Carbohydrates perform the function of rapidly receiving energy, which a cat needs to break down animal protein. In other words, a small proportion of carbohydrates ensures the normal digestion of animal protein, from which the cat receives energy and building material for the whole organism.
In nature, cats (like other predators) make up for the need for fast carbohydrates through the contents of the stomachs of prey (rodents and birds eating cereals and plant foods). The most common cat prey in nature – the mouse – just feeds on cereals and plant foods. A mouse is a source of animal protein for a cat, but by eating it, the cat also receives a small portion of the grain of their rodent digestive tract.
When a person chooses a cat food, it must be taken into account that:
1. The grains (which the cat receives from the stomach of the prey) are NOT included in the feed (fermented). Therefore, processed carbohydrates from grain with a destroyed shell are added to the feed. They are more bioavailable to the predator.
2. The grain should occupy the minimum volume in the feed. The basis of cat food should always be animal protein.
3. The grain that is part of the feed in the form of flour should be DIFFERENT. Because each type of cereal has its own glycemic index. In simple terms, the splitting of each type of cereal requires a different time, with the release of different energy
Do cats need cereals?
Cereals with a high index lead to fermentation, which means they can cause a pet a lot of trouble with gas formation. Too low glycemic index indicates low activity, low level of fermentation. This means that the reaction inside the body may not be enough to break down the carbohydrate and the pet will not receive enough energy to digest the animal protein.
That is why advanced high-quality feeds use a small amount of carbohydrates compared to animal protein sources, and these carbohydrates are always different. In the composition you can see references to different cereals, as well as one plant in a different form. For example, rice grain and rice flour will have a different glycemic index, so they are considered as different carbohydrate ingredients in the composition.
If the composition uses one type of grain, then manufacturers choose those carbohydrates that have an average glycemic index.
This is basic information on the role of cereals in the digestion of cats. If you have any doubts about the pet’s diet, do not experiment, but consult your veterinarian.