Not sure what to feed your cat for optimal health? You’re not alone. The vast number of cat food choices can be very overwhelming. Still, cat nutrition is possibly the most important factor in keeping your cat healthy and happy. Not all cat foods are created equal.

 Cat Nutrition 101

Cat Nutrtion Manna with my food

Sorry, Manna, that’s not kitty food.

The first thing any cat owner needs to know about cat nutrition is that cats are obligate carnivores. This means that a cat’s nutritional needs can only be met by ingesting animal proteins. Carbohydrates are very difficult for a cat’s body to use. Important nutrients for cats such as Taurine can only be found in meat. With this being the case, you should always make sure that the first ingredient listed on your cat’s food label is a high quality, highly digestible protein. Nutritional labels are very confusing – please check out my post Pet Food Labels Explained Part 1 for detailed information.

How Nutrition Can Change Health

Cat Nutrition Cinco standing on the chair

Cinco says “Did somebody say food?”

Cat nutrition is really important! Your cat literally is what it eats. Everyday a certain number of old cells in your cat’s body die off and new cells are created. The food that goes into your cat’s body is the building blocks of the new cells that will be added to your cat’s body. It also gives the body the energy it needs to perform all of the tasks that it performs every day. High quality food equals a high quality body.

A cat’s nutritional needs change with their body’s needs. There really isn’t a one-size-fits-all method for cat nutrition. As a cat’s body changes due to things like age, illness, or injury, the body may have trouble in a particular area. Feeding the right nutrition to the cat’s body can speed healing or slow deterioration. Science has even shown that the correct nutrition can affect the way a cat’s genes work. There are nutritional solutions for obesity, diabetes, urinary tract issues, hairballs, oral problems, and more. Talk to your veterinarian about what your cat’s specific health needs are and how cat nutrition can be used to solve them. Be sure to take a look at this article to learn how to properly transition your cat from one food to the next.

Helpful Cat Nutrition Products

Cat Nutriton Save $10 on Hills Button

Hill’s Science Diet is helping you #GetHealthyHappy

Hills Science Diet offers a range of products that cater to a cat’s life stages and common health needs. Each of these formulas comes in both wet and dry versions. I always recommend wet food for cats because it is lower in carbohydrates and higher in moisture. A few of their specific nutrition formulas for cats are (wet versions are on their sidebar):

Win $100 Toward A Vet Visit

Talking to your veterinarian about your cat’s nutrition is important! If you haven’t already entered, click here or the image below to enter to win $100 toward a visit to your veterinarian.

Cat Nutrition SweepsImage

Click this image to enter to win!

Have you ever used nutrition to solve one of your cat’s health issues?

This post is sponsored by Hill’s. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Hill’s® Science Diet® Healthier Pets. Happier Lives.™, but Playful Kitty only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.