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Re: [FH] cat food for heart/chf

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  • savionna@aol.com
    Hi JoAnn, In a message dated 6/25/04 2:03:35 PM, mainecoonsusa@aol.com writes: The sodium content of
    Message 1 of 7 , Jun 26, 2004
      Hi JoAnn,

      In a message dated 6/25/04 2:03:35 PM, mainecoonsusa@... writes:

      << I was wondering if anyone knows of a good low salt >>

      The sodium content of many commercial and Rx food products are listed here:
      webpages.charter.net/katkarma.

      << premium >>

      "Premium" has no meaning as a nutritional term, but as a marketing one, altho
      the term is not defined or regulated. The foods that are generally considered
      to contain less noxious ingredients than others incl: Wellness,
      www.oldmotherhubbard.com; Nature's Variety, www.naturesvariety.com; PetGuard,
      www.petguard.com; Felidae, www.canidae.com; Natural Balance, www.naturalbalanceinc.com;
      Innova, www.naturapet.com; and Eagle Pack, www.eaglepack.com. All contain grains,
      altho some contain less potentially problematic grains (eg rice or barley
      instead of corn or wheat) than others...and some have a lower carbohydrate load
      than others. See websites for ingredients. The macronutrient content of many
      foods are listed here: www.sugarcats.net/sites/jmpeerson.

      << that is good to feed a cat in chf? >>

      If by "good" you mean of high quality (quality in the nutritional sense) for
      a cat, there aren't any. All dry food products are low in nutritional value
      relative to a cat's nutritional requirements...in part b/c all dry food products
      must be made with a high proportion of grains to be manufactured by extrusion
      (the most common mfr method). Grains are a source of carbohydrate, which
      results in most dry cat foods containing between 25-50% calories from
      carbohydrate. Cats have no dietary requirement for carbohdyrate (or plant-based nutrients,
      for that matter), eat about 5% calories from carbohydrate in the wild, and
      have limited ability to process plant matter efficiently, due in large measure
      to their evolutionary history as *obligate carnivores*, which means they *must*
      consume certain nutrients found only in animal flesh. The potential
      consequences of feeding an obligate carnivore with no dietary requirement for and no
      history of eating plant-based nutrients can include not only malnutrition but
      also obesity, diabetes, chronic urinary disorders, digestive issues, "allergy"
      issues, and dental issues.

      Further...of particular interest to cardiac cats, for whom water balance and
      weight are important issues...all dry food contains about 10% moisture, so
      part of the biological response to dry food is dehydration. Typical prey animals
      in the cat diet contain about 60-80% moisture, so cats have evolved to derive
      the moisture they need from their food. Not only are cats unable to ever drink
      enough water to compensate for the lack of moisture in dry food, but the high
      carbohydrate load affects water balance in the body, contributing to bloat.


      << what dry cat food do you feed your HCM kitties? >>

      What dry do we feed? None.

      For information on the nutritional requirements of cats and some of the
      consequences of not meeting those requirements, see:

      1. www.maxshouse.com/feline_nutrition.htm
      2. http://home.earthlink.net/~jacm2/id1.html
      3. http://rocquoone.com/diet_and_health.htm
      4. www.speedyvet.com/nutrition
      5. www.homevet.com/petcare/feedingyourcat.html
      6. www.drsfostersmith.com/general.cfm?siteid=0&gid=74&ref=2066&subref=AN

      // Rosemary
    • mainecoonsusa@aol.com
      Wow. Thanks for the great, informative post. Yesterday, I went to the website for Innova and I thought the food looked pretty good. But, I found it kind of
      Message 2 of 7 , Jun 26, 2004
        Wow. Thanks for the great, informative post. Yesterday, I went to the
        website for Innova and I thought the food looked pretty good. But, I found it
        kind of odd that they boasted about having the 5 food groups in their food. It
        seemed a bit odd to me!

        As for premium versus commericial -- I guess I just always considered premium
        to be higher priced and better quality food found at specialty stores.
        Commercial food is cheaper, less nutritional and found in grocery and discount
        stores. Yup... the markeeting of those terms worked on me!

        I am going to research the sites you sent, and hopefully be prepared to
        discuss diet with the cardiologist on Wednesday. Thanks again!

        JoAnn


        JoAnn & Connor

        1/2 30 mg Diltiazem 2x a day
        1/2 of 2.5 mg Enalalpril daily
        12.5 mg Lasix daily
        low dose enteric coated Aspirin 2x a week for HCM

        1 puff AM, 1 puff PM 110 Flovent for Asthma


        In a message dated 6/26/2004 8:02:53 AM Eastern Standard Time, Savionna
        writes:
        In a message dated 6/25/04 2:03:35 PM, mainecoonsusa@... writes:

        << I was wondering if anyone knows of a good low salt >>

        The sodium content of many commercial and Rx food products are listed here:
        webpages.charter.net/katkarma.

        << premium >>

        "Premium" has no meaning as a nutritional term, but as a marketing one, altho
        the term is not defined or regulated. The foods that are generally considered
        to contain less noxious ingredients than others incl: Wellness,
        www.oldmotherhubbard.com; Nature's Variety, www.naturesvariety.com; PetGuard,
        www.petguard.com; Felidae, www.canidae.com; Natural Balance, www.naturalbalanceinc.com;
        Innova, www.naturapet.com; and Eagle Pack, www.eaglepack.com. All contain grains,
        altho some contain less potentially problematic grains (eg rice or barley
        instead of corn or wheat) than others...and some have a lower carbohydrate load
        than others. See websites for ingredients. The macronutrient content of many
        foods are listed here: www.sugarcats.net/sites/jmpeerson.





        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • savionna@aol.com
        Hi JoAnn, In a message dated 6/26/04 8:40:58 AM, MaineCoonsUSA writes: You re very welcome.
        Message 3 of 7 , Jun 26, 2004
          Hi JoAnn,

          In a message dated 6/26/04 8:40:58 AM, MaineCoonsUSA writes:

          << Wow. Thanks for the great, informative post. >>

          You're very welcome.

          << Yesterday, I went to the website for Innova and I thought the food looked
          pretty good. But, I found it kind of odd that they boasted about having the
          5 food groups in their food. It seemed a bit odd to me! >>

          Yes, it is odd. The knock against Innova (whose parent company also makes
          Calif. Natural and other brands) is that it incl too many ingredients that are
          unnecessary for cats, whose nutritional requirements are actually rather simple
          and readily fulfilled by a somehwat narrow range of small prey animals. This
          is in part a holdover from Innova's early days of being one of the first
          "natural" animal foods and trying to capture the health-conscious consumer by
          modeling the animal products on human foods (other products still locked in this
          trap incl Wysong and Flint River). The only reason I keep Innova on the list of
          less-noxious foods is b/c, being an "older" product, it is often better
          distributed and more available to consumers in locations where other, newer products
          haven't yet penetrated. Products such as Wellness and Nature's Variety have
          superseded Innova, but they are often not as available, depending on location.


          << As for premium versus commericial -- I guess I just always considered
          premium to be higher priced and better quality food found at specialty stores. >>

          "Premium" may mean higher prices, but it does not necessarily mean higher
          nutritional quality. "Nature's Best" is the "premium" line from Science Diet. It
          contains basically the same low-quality ingredients as other Hill's products,
          except in a diff. bag.

          The way to evaluate nutritional quality is to look at the *ingredients*...and
          understand the *nutritional composition* of those ingredients in relation to
          the *nutritional requirements* of cats. Some landmarks to look for incl:

          1. muscle meat from a named species (as opposed to "byproducts," "poultry,"
          or "meal") as the first ingredient;
          2. organ meat from a named species (as opposed to "liver" or "poultry liver")
          somewhere in the second to fifth ingredient positions, preferably from the
          same species as the muscle meat;
          3. muscle and/or organ meats in at least three of the first five ingredient
          positions;
          4. limited to no fish;
          5. limited to no carbohydrate sources, preferably from low-glycemic
          vegetables, such as squash, or whole, hypoallergenic grains, such as oats and barley
          (as opposed to corn, wheat, and grain fractions, such as "rice bran");
          6. no plant-protein "boosters" (such as "soy protein isolate" or "corn gluten
          meal")
          7. no nonnutritive fillers (such as "powdered cellulose" and "grain sorghum")
          8. no synthetic preservatives (such as BHT, BHA, and ethoxyquin), colorings
          (such as Red Dye #40 and titanium dioxide), or flavorings.

          << Commercial food is cheaper, less nutritional and found in grocery and
          discount stores. >>

          "Commercial" applies to *all* manufactured animals food sold over the counter
          (as opposed to "prescription" or "therapeutic" foods sold only at vets).


          << I am going to research the sites you sent >>

          Great. The more we know, particularly about species-appropriate nutrition,
          the better for the cats.

          << hopefully be prepared to discuss diet with the cardiologist on Wednesday.
          >>

          It may be useful to take the JAVMA article by Debra L. Zoran, DVM, PhD,
          DACVIM at http://home.earthlink.net/~jacm2/id1.html, as it provides an excellent
          comprehensive overview of the nutritional requirements of obligate carnivores.
          // Rosemary
        • Linda Fischbach
          I juat want to comment that Noreen s food pages (katkarma) are based on DRY MATTER. Since canned cat food is 75% to 80% moisture, the dry matter is only 20%
          Message 4 of 7 , Jun 26, 2004
            I juat want to comment that Noreen's food pages (katkarma) are based on DRY
            MATTER. Since canned cat food is 75% to 80% moisture, the dry matter is
            only 20% to 25%. So a 155 gram can (5 1/2 ounce) has, say, 38 grams of dry
            matter. So if a food has 0.5% sodium, that's about 190mg of sodium --- 38
            grams times 1000 equal 38000mgs. And then tims 0.005 (0.5%) gives 190.

            Linda

            ----- Original Message -----
            From: <savionna@...>
            To: <MaineCoonsUSA@...>; <feline-heart@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Saturday, June 26, 2004 8:02 AM
            Subject: Re: [FH] cat food for heart/chf


            > Hi JoAnn,
            >
            > In a message dated 6/25/04 2:03:35 PM, mainecoonsusa@... writes:
            >
            > << I was wondering if anyone knows of a good low salt >>
            >
            > The sodium content of many commercial and Rx food products are listed
            here:
            > webpages.charter.net/katkarma.
          • turkishangoraathumanesociety
            I fail to see what the problem would be with California Natural. The ingredients (in it s entirety) are listed below. As for fruits and veggies added to
            Message 5 of 7 , Jun 30, 2004
              I fail to see what the problem would be with California Natural. The
              ingredients (in it's entirety) are listed below. As for fruits and
              veggies added to Innova...I would rather see THAT used as FILLERS
              than the other options for dry food. Their main ingredients are still
              real chicken. I haven't found a better choice for dry food, and I
              also use their canned foods. My vets were astounded when they saw
              how good these foods are, and I am interested to see what you feel is
              a better food (other than taurine added homemade.)

              California Natural Chicken & Rice
              Ingredient Name
              1. Chicken
              2. Chicken Meal
              3. Ground Brown Rice
              4. Chicken Fat
              5. Sunflower Oil
              6. Flaxseed
              7. Vitamins/Minerals
              8. Taurine
              --------------------------------
              --- In feline-heart@yahoogroups.com, savionna@a... wrote:
              The knock against Innova (whose parent company also makes
              > Calif. Natural and other brands) is that it incl too many
              ingredients that are
              > unnecessary for cats, whose nutritional requirements are actually
              rather simple
              > and readily fulfilled by a somehwat narrow range of small prey
              animals. This
              > is in part a holdover from Innova's early days of being one of the
              first
              > "natural" animal foods and trying to capture the health-conscious
              consumer by
              > modeling the animal products on human foods (other products still
              locked in this
              > trap incl Wysong and Flint River). The only reason I keep Innova on
              the list of
              > less-noxious foods is b/c, being an "older" product, it is often
              better
              > distributed and more available to consumers in locations where
              other, newer products
              > haven't yet penetrated. Products such as Wellness and Nature's
              Variety have
              > superseded Innova, but they are often not as available, depending
              on location.
            • savionna@aol.com
              Hi (I m sorry I don t know your name), In a message dated 6/30/04 5:08:59 PM, turkishangoraathumanesociety@yahoo.com writes:
              Message 6 of 7 , Jul 2, 2004
                Hi (I'm sorry I don't know your name),

                In a message dated 6/30/04 5:08:59 PM, turkishangoraathumanesociety@...
                writes:

                << I fail to see what the problem would be with California Natural. >>

                Forgive my being dense, but where does the post you cited mention a problem
                with Calif. Natural?

                The statement ("The knock against Innova (whose parent company also makes
                Calif. Natural and other brands) is that it incl too many ingredients....") was
                in response to a comment about Innova and refers specifically to the Innova
                brand. It also identifies Innova's manufacturer, NaturaPet, as a company that
                makes other brands, incl Calif. Natural.

                << As for fruits and

                veggies added to Innova...I would rather see THAT used as FILLERS

                than the other options for dry food. >>

                When making comparisons, it's useful to pick an appropriate standard of
                reference. Compared with, say, the corn and soy in Meow Mix, then yes, the potatoes
                and barley in Innova are potentially less noxious. Compared with the
                "ingredients" of a cat's natural diet, however, the plant matter accounts for the food
                being both unbalanced and unable to efficiently meet the dietary needs of an
                obligate carnivore.

                << Their main ingredients are still

                real chicken. >>

                Leaving aside how the stock animals are raised and processed, and which parts
                are used, it is real chicken that has been dehydrated, pulverized in a mill,
                mixed into a grain-based dough, steamed, pushed thru an extruder at high
                temperature, and shaped thru a die into a pellet.

                << I haven't found a better choice for dry food, and I

                also use their canned foods. >>

                Which is entirely your decision as caregiver.

                << I am interested to see what you feel is

                a better food (other than taurine added homemade.) >>

                The important issue is what *you* feel is a better food for your cat. If
                needed, here is some information that may be useful in thinking about that
                decision.

                In nutrition, "good" is always evaluated in relation to the nutritional
                requirements of the consumer. Eg, for a koala bear, eucalyptus leaves are a
                "better" food than, say, tuna. But eucalyptus leaves would not meet the nutritional
                needs of, say, a hummingbird, for whom plant nectar is a "better" food.

                Like koalas and hummingbirds, cats (and other small felids) have unique and
                specific nutritional requirements that are met by a relatively narrow range of
                foods. For a cat, a "good" food is a small prey animal (eg mouse, bird,
                rabbit, squirrel, snake, cricket). These foods share the same general
                characteristics, incl that they are: high in quality animal proteins ("quality" in regard to
                protein refers to the amino acid composition and balance in relation to the
                consumer's needs); moderate in animal fat; extremely low in carbohydrate (about
                0-5%); and rich in moisture (about 60-80%). For a cat, such a diet fulfills
                all the nutritional landmarks: it is 1) digestible (the cat's entire digestive
                system, from the mouth onward, is designed to break down animal tissue into
                nutrients); 2) usable (the cat's metabolism is designed to produce energy from
                animal proteins and fats); 3) high in nutritional "quality" or "value" in that
                it provides all the essential nutrients (eg taurine, arginine, pre-formed
                Vitamin A, arachidonic acid) and nonessential nutrients that a cat needs in a form
                a cat can process; and 4) low in potential for negative biological response
                (otherwise, evolution would have been a failure).

                What are the general characteristics of dry food? It is low in quality animal
                proteins, low to moderate in animal fats, high in carbohdyrate (up to 50%
                calories from carbohydrate), and low in moisture (about 10%). As for its
                nutritional profile:

                1) Digestibility: Dry food, which contains a large proportion of plant matter
                and thus a high percentage of carbohydrate, is less digestible for a cat than
                meat, in part b/c the cat lacks 1) grinding teeth (cat teeth are meant for
                tearing flesh and breaking fine bone, not grinding plants, as do a cow's); 2)
                salivary amylase (which starts breaking down carbohydrate in the mouth); 3) a
                sufficiently long digestive tract to process plant matter (compare, again, to a
                cow's digestive tract); and 4) certain enzymes (eg glucokinase) needed to
                process carbohydrate efficiently. This means, in part, that nutrients are less
                available and also that a larger amount of undigested "residue" reaches the large
                intestine for excretion.

                2) Usability: Even tho cats have evolved to derive energy from certain amino
                acids and fats, they can produce energy from carbohydrate (altho not as
                efficiently as can a cow). But the high carbohydrate load of dry food results in a
                rapid surge of glucose, which demands that the pancreas release a large load of
                insulin to keep blood glucose stable (whereby the usual trigger for insulin
                in cats is arginine, which is an amino acid found in animal tissue); this is as
                opposed to the slow, steady release of glucose from proteins and fats. This
                is part of the reason that dry food is a contributing factor to the epidemic of
                feline diabetes. Further, cats have limited mechanisms to stop "using" pro
                tein for energy, even if it's deficient in the diet, which contributes to
                malnutrition. Also, b/c cats preferentially use proteins and fats for energy, excess
                carbohydrate is stored as fat, which is a contributing factor to obesity.

                3) Nutritional value: Dry food has lower nutritional value primarily b/c
                plants (such as the corn and wheat often used in dry foods) have lower "quality"
                proteins (again refering to their amino acid composition and balance in
                relation to the consumer's needs) than does animal flesh...and when limited
                digestibility is factored in, the net availability of nutrients becomes even lower.
                Plant proteins may register favorably in the typical chemical analysis (conducted
                in a laboratory) that food manufacturers put on their labels...but all
                proteins are not created equal and are not equally digestible and available in the
                body. If they were, we would all be eating hair, which is 80% protein...but we
                don't, b/c the proteins in hair are in a form that can't be digested and used,
                so is of no nutritional value. Further, all the known essential nutrients for
                cats (see above) are found *only* in animal tissue, not in plants (except for
                taurine, which is also found in algae).

                4) Biological response: Dry food has a higher potential for negative
                biological response thruout the body...b/c, broadly stated, it is so "foreign" to a
                cat's 30-million-yr-old evolutionary diet and its body. Some examples incl:
                plant-based foods are alkalinizing, which is a contributing factor to struvite
                crystals in the urine. The low moisture content of dry food contributes to
                dehydration, which is implicated in chronic renal failure, and to a relatively
                concentrated urine, which is implicated in urinary crystals and sterile cystitis. A
                number of ingredients common in dry food (eg as corn, wheat) are known to
                trigger to an "allergic" response primarily in the gut, which is a contributing
                factor to inflammatory bowel disease (and its sequels, such as
                triaditis)...altho the response can also manifest in the skin/coat, ears, and/or respiratory
                tract. Dry food, which is energy dense but nutrient poor (which is basically
                the concept of "empty calories," as with table sugar), is a contributing factor
                to obesity...for various reasons, incl the high levels of insulin produced by
                the carbohydrate load, but also b/c cats often gorge beyond caloric needs in
                an attempt to get necessary nutrients, and carbohydrate contributes to fat
                storage and bloat.

                For information about the nutritional requirements of cats...and also some
                common issues that can arise from not meeting those needs, some sites incl:

                1. www.maxshouse.com/feline_nutrition.htm
                2. http://home.earthlink.net/~jacm2/id1.html
                3. http://rocquoone.com/diet_and_health.htm
                4. www.speedyvet.com/nutrition
                5. www.homevet.com/petcare/feedingyourcat.html
                6. www.drsfostersmith.com/general.cfm?siteid=0&gid=74&ref=2066&subref=AN

                // Rosemary
              • turkishangoraathumanesociety
                Without all of the cut & paste references, I was asking what DRY FOOD you feel is better than Innova or California Natural. In a perfect world, meat only
                Message 7 of 7 , Jul 2, 2004
                  Without all of the cut & paste references, I was asking what DRY FOOD
                  you feel is better than Innova or California Natural. In a perfect
                  world, meat only supplemented with taurine would be great, but that
                  wasn't the question. I've read all of the material and research on
                  my own, previously, and these brands are the very best in DRY
                  food...Don't you think?


                  --- In feline-heart@yahoogroups.com, savionna@a... wrote:
                  > Hi (I'm sorry I don't know your name),
                  >
                  > In a message dated 6/30/04 5:08:59 PM,
                  turkishangoraathumanesociety@y...
                  > writes:
                  >
                  > << I fail to see what the problem would be with California Natural.
                  >>
                  >
                  > Forgive my being dense, but where does the post you cited mention a
                  problem
                  > with Calif. Natural?
                  >
                  > The statement ("The knock against Innova (whose parent company also
                  makes
                  > Calif. Natural and other brands) is that it incl too many
                  ingredients....") was
                  > in response to a comment about Innova and refers specifically to
                  the Innova
                  > brand. It also identifies Innova's manufacturer, NaturaPet, as a
                  company that
                  > makes other brands, incl Calif. Natural.
                  >
                  > << As for fruits and
                  >
                  > veggies added to Innova...I would rather see THAT used as FILLERS
                  >
                  > than the other options for dry food. >>
                  >
                  > When making comparisons, it's useful to pick an appropriate
                  standard of
                  > reference. Compared with, say, the corn and soy in Meow Mix, then
                  yes, the potatoes
                  > and barley in Innova are potentially less noxious. Compared with
                  the
                  > "ingredients" of a cat's natural diet, however, the plant matter
                  accounts for the food
                  > being both unbalanced and unable to efficiently meet the dietary
                  needs of an
                  > obligate carnivore.
                  >
                  > << Their main ingredients are still
                  >
                  > real chicken. >>
                  >
                  > Leaving aside how the stock animals are raised and processed, and
                  which parts
                  > are used, it is real chicken that has been dehydrated, pulverized
                  in a mill,
                  > mixed into a grain-based dough, steamed, pushed thru an extruder at
                  high
                  > temperature, and shaped thru a die into a pellet.
                  >
                  > << I haven't found a better choice for dry food, and I
                  >
                  > also use their canned foods. >>
                  >
                  > Which is entirely your decision as caregiver.
                  >
                  > << I am interested to see what you feel is
                  >
                  > a better food (other than taurine added homemade.) >>
                  >
                  > The important issue is what *you* feel is a better food for your
                  cat. If
                  > needed, here is some information that may be useful in thinking
                  about that
                  > decision.
                  >
                  > In nutrition, "good" is always evaluated in relation to the
                  nutritional
                  > requirements of the consumer. Eg, for a koala bear, eucalyptus
                  leaves are a
                  > "better" food than, say, tuna. But eucalyptus leaves would not meet
                  the nutritional
                  > needs of, say, a hummingbird, for whom plant nectar is a "better"
                  food.
                  >
                  > Like koalas and hummingbirds, cats (and other small felids) have
                  unique and
                  > specific nutritional requirements that are met by a relatively
                  narrow range of
                  > foods. For a cat, a "good" food is a small prey animal (eg mouse,
                  bird,
                  > rabbit, squirrel, snake, cricket). These foods share the same
                  general
                  > characteristics, incl that they are: high in quality animal
                  proteins ("quality" in regard to
                  > protein refers to the amino acid composition and balance in
                  relation to the
                  > consumer's needs); moderate in animal fat; extremely low in
                  carbohydrate (about
                  > 0-5%); and rich in moisture (about 60-80%). For a cat, such a diet
                  fulfills
                  > all the nutritional landmarks: it is 1) digestible (the cat's
                  entire digestive
                  > system, from the mouth onward, is designed to break down animal
                  tissue into
                  > nutrients); 2) usable (the cat's metabolism is designed to produce
                  energy from
                  > animal proteins and fats); 3) high in nutritional "quality"
                  or "value" in that
                  > it provides all the essential nutrients (eg taurine, arginine, pre-
                  formed
                  > Vitamin A, arachidonic acid) and nonessential nutrients that a cat
                  needs in a form
                  > a cat can process; and 4) low in potential for negative biological
                  response
                  > (otherwise, evolution would have been a failure).
                  >
                  > What are the general characteristics of dry food? It is low in
                  quality animal
                  > proteins, low to moderate in animal fats, high in carbohdyrate (up
                  to 50%
                  > calories from carbohydrate), and low in moisture (about 10%). As
                  for its
                  > nutritional profile:
                  >
                  > 1) Digestibility: Dry food, which contains a large proportion of
                  plant matter
                  > and thus a high percentage of carbohydrate, is less digestible for
                  a cat than
                  > meat, in part b/c the cat lacks 1) grinding teeth (cat teeth are
                  meant for
                  > tearing flesh and breaking fine bone, not grinding plants, as do a
                  cow's); 2)
                  > salivary amylase (which starts breaking down carbohydrate in the
                  mouth); 3) a
                  > sufficiently long digestive tract to process plant matter (compare,
                  again, to a
                  > cow's digestive tract); and 4) certain enzymes (eg glucokinase)
                  needed to
                  > process carbohydrate efficiently. This means, in part, that
                  nutrients are less
                  > available and also that a larger amount of undigested "residue"
                  reaches the large
                  > intestine for excretion.
                  >
                  > 2) Usability: Even tho cats have evolved to derive energy from
                  certain amino
                  > acids and fats, they can produce energy from carbohydrate (altho
                  not as
                  > efficiently as can a cow). But the high carbohydrate load of dry
                  food results in a
                  > rapid surge of glucose, which demands that the pancreas release a
                  large load of
                  > insulin to keep blood glucose stable (whereby the usual trigger for
                  insulin
                  > in cats is arginine, which is an amino acid found in animal
                  tissue); this is as
                  > opposed to the slow, steady release of glucose from proteins and
                  fats. This
                  > is part of the reason that dry food is a contributing factor to the
                  epidemic of
                  > feline diabetes. Further, cats have limited mechanisms to
                  stop "using" pro
                  > tein for energy, even if it's deficient in the diet, which
                  contributes to
                  > malnutrition. Also, b/c cats preferentially use proteins and fats
                  for energy, excess
                  > carbohydrate is stored as fat, which is a contributing factor to
                  obesity.
                  >
                  > 3) Nutritional value: Dry food has lower nutritional value
                  primarily b/c
                  > plants (such as the corn and wheat often used in dry foods) have
                  lower "quality"
                  > proteins (again refering to their amino acid composition and
                  balance in
                  > relation to the consumer's needs) than does animal flesh...and when
                  limited
                  > digestibility is factored in, the net availability of nutrients
                  becomes even lower.
                  > Plant proteins may register favorably in the typical chemical
                  analysis (conducted
                  > in a laboratory) that food manufacturers put on their labels...but
                  all
                  > proteins are not created equal and are not equally digestible and
                  available in the
                  > body. If they were, we would all be eating hair, which is 80%
                  protein...but we
                  > don't, b/c the proteins in hair are in a form that can't be
                  digested and used,
                  > so is of no nutritional value. Further, all the known essential
                  nutrients for
                  > cats (see above) are found *only* in animal tissue, not in plants
                  (except for
                  > taurine, which is also found in algae).
                  >
                  > 4) Biological response: Dry food has a higher potential for
                  negative
                  > biological response thruout the body...b/c, broadly stated, it is
                  so "foreign" to a
                  > cat's 30-million-yr-old evolutionary diet and its body. Some
                  examples incl:
                  > plant-based foods are alkalinizing, which is a contributing factor
                  to struvite
                  > crystals in the urine. The low moisture content of dry food
                  contributes to
                  > dehydration, which is implicated in chronic renal failure, and to a
                  relatively
                  > concentrated urine, which is implicated in urinary crystals and
                  sterile cystitis. A
                  > number of ingredients common in dry food (eg as corn, wheat) are
                  known to
                  > trigger to an "allergic" response primarily in the gut, which is a
                  contributing
                  > factor to inflammatory bowel disease (and its sequels, such as
                  > triaditis)...altho the response can also manifest in the skin/coat,
                  ears, and/or respiratory
                  > tract. Dry food, which is energy dense but nutrient poor (which is
                  basically
                  > the concept of "empty calories," as with table sugar), is a
                  contributing factor
                  > to obesity...for various reasons, incl the high levels of insulin
                  produced by
                  > the carbohydrate load, but also b/c cats often gorge beyond caloric
                  needs in
                  > an attempt to get necessary nutrients, and carbohydrate contributes
                  to fat
                  > storage and bloat.
                  >
                  > For information about the nutritional requirements of cats...and
                  also some
                  > common issues that can arise from not meeting those needs, some
                  sites incl:
                  >
                  > 1. www.maxshouse.com/feline_nutrition.htm
                  > 2. http://home.earthlink.net/~jacm2/id1.html
                  > 3. http://rocquoone.com/diet_and_health.htm
                  > 4. www.speedyvet.com/nutrition
                  > 5. www.homevet.com/petcare/feedingyourcat.html
                  > 6. www.drsfostersmith.com/general.cfm?
                  siteid=0&gid=74&ref=2066&subref=AN
                  >
                  > // Rosemary
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