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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Sheffield, UK
    Thanked 207 Times in 195 Posts

    Some recent research

    This is a 2-year study carried out at the Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition in Leics, UK. It shows that healthy domestic cats have the ability to regulate their nutrient intake to mimic what they would eat in the wild. They have a 'carbohydrate ceiling' and are not able to process large quantities of carbs, such as are found in a lot of commercial pet foods.

    According to lead study author Dr. Adrian Hewson-Hughes:

    “This is a fascinating discovery and we are intrigued to know more about why cats have the ability to do this. It is particularly remarkable that, even after thousands of years of domestication, cats still select a diet nutritionally similar to their natural prey.”

    Geometric analysis of macronutrient selection in the adult domestic cat, Felis catus

    The following comments on the study are from:

    Cats prefer their natural diet of raw meaty bones

    "The carbohydrate ceiling explains many of the intake patterns seen in both dry and wet diet experiments and suggests that cats may only be able to process ingested carbohydrate up to a certain level.

    The feline body is specifically designed for a very low carbohydrate diet:
    They have no taste receptors for sweet flavours.
    Low rates of glucose uptake in the intestine.
    No salivary amylase to break down starches
    And a reduced capacity of pancreatic amylase and intestinal disaccharidases.

    In other words, cats don’t produce the enzymes required to digest carbohydrates. The only carbohydrates felines eat in the wild are pre-digested and are found in the stomachs of prey animals.

    Pet Food Industry Response:
    To answer research findings on the appropriate way to feed carnivorous pets, and in response to growing consumer demand, an increasing number of pet food manufacturers are introducing grain free formulas that are higher in protein content.

    Unfortunately, the type of protein used in most affordable pet foods is of poor quality. Whole food protein sources (animal meats) aren’t cheap, after all. Much of commercial pet food protein is derived not from human-grade meats, but from crude, rendered or non-meat sources. The digestibility and absorbability of low grade protein sources is questionable at best. This means your pet’s body won’t get optimal nutritional benefit from the protein in the majority of commercially available pet foods.

    As more protein is added by pet food industry giants, the quality will decrease proportionately to insure the products remain affordable for consumers and profitable for pet food companies. Even more concerning is that while science is proving cats need more protein and manufacturers are beginning to deliver high protein products, they are still not biologically correct.

    High protein diets that are dehydrated or extruded (made into kibble) do not contain adequate moisture content. Cats were designed to get most of the moisture their bodies need from the water found in fresh prey (which is about 70 percent water). When cats eat dry food, their organ systems become stressed and they can end up with kidney, liver and digestive stress".




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