The cat is a carnivore
To the difference of man who is an omnivore, the cat is a strict carnivore with a body perfectly adapted to this diet. Feeding him with a Health Nutrition food suited to his age, his size, his lifestyle, his specific sensitivities and even to his breed means contributing to preserving his health.
With his jaws designed to cut, not to chew, his 30 sharp-cutting teeth, his saliva which contains no digestive enzymes, a stomach designed to digest quickly swallowed "preys," the cat distinguishes himself by a very specific dietary behavior. Indeed, this nibbler can have 12 to 18 meals a day, for an overall length of less than 30 minutes spread over a 24-hour period, ingesting only a few grams every time. Food reaches his stomach in large chunks.
Therefore, meeting the cat’s nutritional requirements implies a specific diet that takes into account criteria relating to his lifestyle or his age, but also to his health, his sexual status, his specific breed features, his particular sensitivities, digestive or cutaneous for instance, so as to accompany him well throughout his life.
Outdoor cat or indoor cat?
A cat that does not go out spends little energy. The normal intake of a 3.5-kg inactive cat, with no excess weight, is put at about 50 g of kibbles a day, with a dry food containing around 350 kcal/100 g.
For some cats with a tendency to eat to keep themselves busy, it is essential to set the quantity to be served every day. At the same time, choosing a Health Nutrition food with a moderate energy density is crucial to preventing excess weight, all the more so as an indoors life often goes together with sterilization. But reducing the secretion of sexual hormones results in the fact that the cat’s appetite is stimulated. His weight may register a 30% increase within the months following sterilization.
A cat that goes out regularly has higher energy requirements, approximately 70 kcal/kg/day. This need increases according to the time spent outdoors, to the extent of the territory available to him, and to the range of climatic variations throughout the year. However, a cat’s diet is not set once for ever: many so-called "outdoors" cats become true "indoors" cats when winter comes!
An adult indoors cat spends about 30% of his waking time licking his coat. The hairs he ingests are then eliminated via the intestine, but this grooming activity represents a major risk of hairball formation in the digestive tract. The natural elimination of these hairs may be facilitated by stimulating intestinal transit with a Health Nutrition food enriched with non-fermentable fiber.
According to his breed
Even though pedigree cats are more readily kept indoors, their requirements are as different as their constitutions and their appearances are. Between a 10-kg Maine Coon with medium-length hair and strong jaws, an active, all-muscle short-haired Siamese, a long-haired brachycephalic Persian, and a hairless Sphinx, the nutritional requirements do not imply the same Health Nutrition answer.
Thus, for instance, the Sphinx will require a high energy diet to maintain his shape weight, while the Persian must be given food whose shape is suited to his jaws and nutrients contributing to the good health of his hair.
According to his age
The cat’s average longevity is 14 years, but cats over 20 years of age are not something rare. Better care and an adequate Health Nutrition diet may contribute to the quality and lengthening of the cat’s life expectancy.
For ageing comes with a decline of the immune defense system and of assimilation abilities, and with a loss of appetite. Chewing becomes more difficult. The body may then be supported by a Health Nutrition answer suited to the aged cat. Among other features, it will have a softer texture, an enriched vitamin content and reinforced palatability.
70% of cats over 3 years of age suffer from dental affections. These diseases often go unnoticed while the pains they cause may have serious consequences upon the cat’s behavior and general health. The diet may contribute to maintaining good dental health.
Indeed, using kibbles whose size and texture encourage the cat to crunch makes it possible to perform mechanical brushing of dental surfaces and to slow down plaque development.