Cats and Nutrition
I realize this is a site related to Ridgebacks, and dogs; but I find many homes who have dogs also have cats as well. The majority of information on the previous page applies to cats as well. Commercial pet foods contain fillers, sugar, carbohydrates, and grains. NONE of these are needed to sustain life in a carnivore.
Cats, like dogs, should be fed a premium grain free diet. Cats are a bit different from dogs however... they are obligate carnivores and cannot use carbohydrates or grains in food. This comes out in the form of waste.
Obligate Carnivore: excerpted from Wikipedia:
All felids including the domestic cat are obligate carnivores requiring a diet of primarily animal flesh and organs.
Bottom line.... do not feed your cat any food with grains in it. There are many quality grain free foods out there to feed your cat. The ones I have either tried or suggest are below:
Acana, Prarie Feast
Before Grain, Chicken Formula
Before Grain, Salmon Formula
Before Grain, Tuna Formula
Nature's Variety, Instinct Grain Free Chicken
Taste of the Wild, Canyon River with Trout and Smoked Salmon
My cat Macaroni, eats a completely raw diet. Macaroni was on kibble his first year of life, and developed a urinary blockage due to the lack of water that kibble provides. These blockages are linked to dry kibble, because the cat is not taking in enough water; low ph levels, due to not enough protein; and stress. Bacteria in the urine is also an issue (linked to lack of water intake). Increasing the ph comes from protein, so therefore feeding a raw meat diet can help reduce or completely eliminate the incidence of crystals in the urine. Since cats do not have a thirst mechanism, a canned or raw diet is essential for health.
A word on prescription diets: These so called "prescription diets" are nothing but an advertizing scheme. They are not tested, and there is no requirement to have any specific food labeled as "prescription". For example the Royal Canin SO Urinary food has added salt to make the animal drink more water. That is not a solution to the problem, and in the long run will cause more problems.
If you can't feed raw, it is much better to feed a high quality, premium grain-free canned or wet food. This way the cat can take in the appropriate amount of water that their system requires, without the extra garbage of a kibble food.