More than any other pet, what you feed your cat shows on the outside. Cats need proteins, fats, carbs, water, vitamins and minerals in their diet.

Read on to learn the nutritional fundamentals for keeping your feline friend healthy.

  • Protein: Just as protein is important to your own healthy diet, it’s essential for cats too, and should be the biggest part of your cat’s diet. It supplies essential substances for growth and repair of body tissue, and also produces the energy your cat needs to run, prowl, and play.
  • Taurine: Taurine is a very important amino acid for your cat, and deficiency can contribute to a variety of serious health problems, like blindness, heart disease, and developmental abnormalities. Maintaining healthy levels is a particular challenge because cats have a limited ability to create taurine and it is easily lost in digestive waste.
  • Fat: While consuming too much fat can lead to obesity, it is required to absorb vitamins and as a source of fatty acids, which are important for wound healing, reproductive performance, and for a healthy skin and coat. Fat is also a main source of energy, since cats are unable to convert carbohydrates into energy.
  • Water: Water is one of the most important nutrients in your cat’s diet. If your cat eats canned or wet cat food, that can contribute to her daily water intake, but she should also have access to a water fountain with clean fresh water at all times to increase hydration.
  • Carbohydrates: Cats are not able to utilize carbohydrates as an energy source. However, some veterinary prescription diets include high-fiber foods for weight loss or other benefits.

There may be other nutritional factors to consider, depending on your cat’s age. Kittens, adults, and senior cats all have different needs that must be taken into account.

A high-quality, well-balanced diet not only nourishes your cat, it also helps maintain overall wellness and prevents future ailments. To keep your feline companion energetic and healthy for years to come, make sure she’s getting the best food possible that meets all of his specific needs.