Copyright 1999-2018 by crazyforKITTIES (SM)
A cat's protein requirements:
Cats need a lot of protein, between 25 and 30 percent of
the dry content per serving must be protein.
A diet with less than 19 percent protein can cause a deficiency in
amino acids (the structural units of protein) and sickness.
A diet with between 19 and 25 percent protein may cause over eating as
the cat tries to obtain the necessary nutrition. This can
result in unhealthy weight gain.
Some amino acids can be made by the body, but others must be obtained
Arginine is one such amino acid. It is used to eliminate the
by-products of protein digestion that the body does not need. It is
very important in the cat's diet because of the high-protein needs of the
An inadequate amount of arginine can lead to acute ammonia toxicity and
death; it must account for 1 percent of dry content
in the cat's diet.
Lysine is an amino acid that is important for growth.
Taurine is another amino acid essential for growth. Cats need more
taurine than other animals.
A diet without enough taurine can cause a cat to develop irreverisble
degeneration of the retina and eventual blindness.
Cats that do not receive enough taurine can also develop a form of
heart disease called dilated cardiomyopathy.
Plants are poor sources of taurine; meat and fish contain high levels
Dog food does not contain sufficient amounts of taurine and should not
be given to cats.
Source: The Reader's Digest Illustrated Book of
Cats, The Reader's Digest Association (Canada) Ltd.,
Montreal, 1992, pp.157-158.