The Feline Nutrition Center (FNC) (previously Feline Nutrition Awareness Effort, fnae.org) was founded to educate pet caretakers about the unequivocal science backing a high-protein, moderate-fat, low-carbohydrate, grain-free canned or raw food species-appropriate diet for our carnivorous domestic cats. Evidence that a wet, high-meat-protein diet plays a critical role in the overall well-being and health of obligate carnivores, such as cats (both big and small), is now coming to the forefront of veterinary science and into our kitchens. Many feline diseases such as Diabetes, Obesity, Urinary Tract Disorders, Chronic Renal Disease, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome can be directly attributed to low moisture, low-protein, and high-carbohydrate levels that plague today’s commercially prepared dry cat foods.
Why Not Dry?
Dry food is missing the most important nutrient, water. Many cats can and will live a long life on a dry or dry/canned diet, however, we don’t know which cats they are. Cats have a low thirst drive due to their desert adaptation and do not ingest enough free water to compensate for the lack of water in their diet, and are therefore, chronically dehydrated.
Why Meat and Not Carbs?
Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they require certain nutrients that they cannot synthesize which are only found in meat. Cats, both large and small, wild and domestic need to eat meat as their main source of nutrients. Cats are missing some key enzymes such as salivary amylase to begin the break down of carbohydrates in the mouth and certain hepatic (liver) enzymes that adjust to the amount of protein ingested and therefore do not have the ability to regulate protein metabolism, that is, conserve nitrogen when fed a low-protein diet. Their bodies are always craving more proteins to make up for the deficiency.
Utilizing this Site
Please read the sections under Topics in Nutrition: The Basics and Diseases. These two sections will give you a solid background to begin considering a diet change for your dry-fed feline. Then, check out the page on Commercially Prepared Canned and Raw Food formulas where you can learn to make good commercial choices by successfully interpreting pet food labels and making some simple calculations. If homestyle preparation of a raw diet is more your style, check out the page on Homemade Raw Diets. If you decide to Make the Switch, please view that page for helpful transitioning tips. Switching cats from dry to wet food may prove to be very challenging but it is well worth the benefits.
Use our Online Calculators to easily determine dry matter basis, carbohydrates & calories, and your cat’s approximate age. You can quickly plug in the nutrient percentages while shopping to determine the DMB, carbohydrates and calories in commercial foods.
There are also a number of Articles about nutrition, health, safety and news related to cats.
Information on this site is for general information purposes only and is provided without warranty or guarantee of any kind. This site is not intended to replace professional advice from your own veterinarian and nothing on this site is intended as a medical diagnosis or treatment. Any questions about your animal’s health or diet should be directed to your veterinarian.