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RE: Question about feeding dof food to cats

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Posted by: Deerhounds at Tue Aug 2 03:06:03 2005  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by Deerhounds ]  
   

>>Now, I'm sure there are probably some other nutritional requirements that I'm not thinking of. Could someone please tell me what they are and in what quantities, so that I can just add supplimants to the cats' food?

This is a very complicated question and one that really can't be answered because pet food manufacturers dont' reveal their exact recipes. It might be possible to take a specific dog food and "guesstimate" what it needs added to it in order to buff it up to cat food levels, but most likely you'd end up spending much more on supplements than the potential savings would provide.

The National Research Council recently published its updated "Nutrient Requirements of the Dog and Cat," but it's not yet available in anything other than the obscenely expensive "prepublication" print version... books.nap.edu/catalog/10668.html. This one is the "bible" of canine and feline nutrition.

Taurine is obviously crucial, and cats require it in far larger amounts per pound of body weight than dogs do. Dogs can make their own taurine (usually), cats require a dietary source. And even foods that are abundant in taurine can be "taurine-deficient" as fed, due to nutrient interactions in the gut. Of course, taurine is one of the less expensive supplements.

More importantly is the fat and protein requirement of the cat. This is why cat food tends to be more expensive than dog food, although as you point out, dog foods sometimes come with the minimum fat and protein levels "required" by the cat. But this is somewhat deceptive. Those tend to be the most costly dog foods, and since neither dogs NOR cats have any dietary requirement for carbohydrate at all, I would hesitate to feed anything, labeled for either species, that was toward the cat's minimum fat and protein requirement.

Another consideration is that vegetable protein is somewhat assimilable by dogs, not at all by cats, and it there is no way to know from the label how much of the protein the food contains is from animal sources and how much from vegetable sources. That to me is probably a deal killer.

Of course, I make all my food from scratch so have to deal with these issues too ... I never have really found the perfect homemade or commercial cat diet. Cats are harder to feed than dogs, they have more specific nutritional needs than dogs, and overall, their diet is something I'd want to be more precise with than with any other commonly kept pet.
-----
Christie Keith
Caber Feidh Scottish Deerhounds
Holistic Husbandry since 1986
Meet the Felines!


   

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