Why Your Cat Needs a High-Quality Protein Diet Title

Manna loves her Weruva Paw Lickin Chicken.

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As cat owners, we all want our cats to live long, healthy lives. In fact, we don’t just want them to live, we want them to thrive! A diet full of high-quality protein is a big step in that direction. Some of the cat foods on the market are pretty scary! Thankfully there are some excellent cat food choices, like Weruva, available to help us reach our goal.

The Importance of Animal Protein in a Cat’s Diet

All cats are obligate carnivores whether domestic or wild. This means that their bodies require animal proteins and can process only a small amount of plant-based proteins.

All proteins whether plant or animal are made up of amino acids. Unlike humans, cats can not take the amino acids from plant-based proteins and piece them together to create the amino acids they need. Eleven of the 22 amino acids can not be synthesized by a cat’s body. These amino acids, including taurine and arginine, are known as essential amino acids.

What is a high-quality protein?

Cinco and Manna inspecting the goodies

CInco (right) and Manna inspecting the goodies Weruva sent us.

Not all proteins are equal. Some are very easy for the body to digest and to use while others are not. This concept is known as bioavailability. In general, to be a high-quality protein a food must be as close as possible to its natural state including the water it naturally contains. Processing and dehydrating meats moves them lower on the bioavailability scale.

High-quality protein is very important for your cat – especially if your cat is getting older or suffering from an illness. These proteins process easily through the cat’s body and become the building blocks of your cat’s cells. They also provide the energy necessary for performing all of the life function of the cat’s body. After a long time of having to process low-quality proteins, the functioning of the cat’s kidneys and liver may begin to suffer.

Defining Protein in Pet Food

Here in the US, the regulatory body over pet food is known as AAFCO. They regulate how pet foods are labeled and what standards pet food makers are held to.  Here are a few important AAFCO definitions you need to know when you are looking at a pet food label. Click on the link next to the definition for further clarification straight from the source.

Meat

“The clean flesh derived from slaughtered mammals and limited to that part of the striate muscle which is skeletal or that part which is found in the tongue, in the diaphragm, in the heart or in the esophagus; with or without the accompanying and overlying fat and portions of the skin, sinew, nerve and blood vessels which normally accompany the flesh. It shall be suitable for animal food. If it bears a name descriptive of its kind, it must correspond thereto.” (Source)

Cinco and Manna enjoying Weruva with Goat Milk

Cinco and Manna enjoying Weruva’s Paw Lickin’ Chicken with some goat’s milk (which I added).

Meat Meal

“Rendered product from mammal tissues, exclusive of any added blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents except in such amounts as may occur unavoidably in good processing practices. It shall not contain extraneous materials not provided for by this definition.  The Calcium (Ca) level shall not exceed the actual level of the Phosphorus by more than 2.2 times. It shall not contain more than 12% Pepsin indigestible residue and not more than 9% of the crude protein in the product shall be Pepsin indigestible.  The label shall include guarantees for minimum crude protein, minimum crude fat, maximum crude fiber, minimum Phosphorus (P) and minimum and maximum Calcium (Ca).  If the product bears a name descriptive of its kind, composition or origin it must correspond thereto.” (Source)

Meat By-Products

“The non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals. It includes, but is not limited to, lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, livers, blood, bone, partially defatted low-temperature fatty tissue, and stomachs and intestines freed of their contents. It does not include hair, horns, teeth and hooves. It shall be suitable for animal food. If it bears a name descriptive of its kind, it must correspond thereto.” (source)

Use of Diseased Animals or Animals Found Dead

“Meat and meat byproducts not directly suitable for animal food that are designated as 4-D (dead, dying, diseased or disabled). These are considered adulterated—unless processed in a manner that rids them of disease-causing microorganisms prior to becoming animal feed. This is most often done by rendering, which subjects the materials to heat and pressure to eliminate harmful bacteria. (Most commercial pet food is heat-treated during ingredient processing or manufacturing to kill any potential disease-causing organisms.)” (Source)

Natural
Manna and BFF

I couldn’t believe it when Cinco and Manna actually ate Weruva’s BFF Tuna and Shrimp Sweethearts Recipe (blue can)! They usually won’t eat anything but chicken.

“A feed or feed ingredient derived solely from plant, animal or mined sources, either in its unprocessed state or having been subject to physical processing, heat processing, rendering, purification, extraction, hydrolysis, enzymolysis or fermentation, but not having been produced by or subject to a chemically synthetic process and not containing any additives or processing aids that are chemically synthetic except in amounts as might occur in good manufacturing practices.” (Source)

Organic

“Produced through approved methods that integrate cultural, biological and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance and conserve biodiversity. Synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation and genetic engineering may not be used.” (Source)

Premium, Human-Grade, Human Quality

There are no legal definitions of these. They can be used anytime the manufacturer sees fit. (Source)

Weruva: High-Quality Protein with Style

Weruva's Product Line

Just a small portion of what Weruva has to offer.

Weruva produces cat and dog foods with the highest quality proteins available. They believe that our pets should eat as well as we do. All of their foods are made from the same meats (and cuts of meats) that will be used for human foods. These foods are also manufactured in plants that produce human foods with the same standards that human foods require. All of the chicken, beef and fish used are made from top quality muscle meat.

When you receive a can of Weruva cat food, there is no doubt that it is full of high-quality protein. There is a ton of moisture and it looks and smells just like the meats that you would cook for yourself! No more mystery meat! They have a ton of different flavors and recipes – even the pickiest can will find one to fall in love with.

Weruva is a family owned company that is very proud of the quality of the food they provide. All of the ingredients are listed on their website so that you can see what’s inside before you buy. Don’t know where to start? Try the Paw Lickin’ Chicken. A lot of cats love it and it is Cinco and Manna’s favorite. Check out Weruva’s rap video below for more information on their products.

Have your cats ever tried Weruva’s cat food?

More Sources:

Protein: The Nutrient Your Pet Needs More Of As They Age – Dr. Karen Becker

The Importance of Animal Proteins Versus Plant Proteins  – Catinfo.org

Nutrients Your Cat Needs  – ASPCA