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What to Feed the Cat

Food choice decisions can affect the health and well-being of our feline family members. Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they are especially adapted to a diet that consists of only meat, thus cats have no dietary requirements for carbohydrates. They have evolved to obtain water from their diet. A typical prey food such as a mouse contains about 70 percent water and a high level of protein.   


The convenience of dry kibble diets has zapped the moisture out of food and has too high of a carbohydrate level that cats do not need. Dry, high carbohydrate kibble diets for our felines has been linked to diabetes, obesity, urinary issues, kidney disease and possibly pancreatitis.   


There are many biologically-appropriate diet options to choose from for felines. The easiest is a high-quality canned food. Canned food typically has 70 percent or higher moisture content and higher protein levels than can be found in kibble. The first two-to-three ingredients on the can should include protein which will be labeled as meat or meal.  


Another option is a healthy, balanced, nutritionist-formulated raw diet, which provides the cat with its biologically appropriate diet. There are many convenient, commercial and nutritionally-balanced raw cat diets that are now available to the public.  



Sarah Urban, DVM, provides office visits, therapy and rehabilitation at Always Helpful Veterinary Services, located at 305 Nottingham Rd., Nottingham. For more information, call 717-529-0526 or visit 

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