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cat food
wet cat food
excess carbohydrates
carbohydrate intake
small birds
cat owner
dry food
Calculating Carbohydrates In Cat Food
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Calculating Carbohydrates In Cat Food

Determining the amount of carbohydrates you are feeding your cat will solve a lot of the overweight issues around the cat owner community. And the best part is you do not have to buy special weight loss cat food that is probably twice as expensive as normal cat food. A lot of cat owners feed their cats food and over time they gain weight. Why? One answer is because there are too many carbohydrates in the food.

Carbohydrates are used as an energy source for the cat, along with protein and fat. Carbohydrates are the most common energy source in cat foods and are easily converted to glucose, which is why I’m singling out carbohydrates. Glucose can be stored as fat. Therefore, excess carbohydrates in a cat's diet is stored as fat. That is how they gain weight.

A cat in the wild feeds off of animals such as mice and small birds. These animal sources do not provide a lot of carbohydrates. The carbohydrate source in these small animals is approximately 3%. In commercial dry and wet cat food, these carb percentages skyrocket. This can be okay. There is no estimated dietary requirement of carbohydrates for cats. The key is to determine the percentage of carbohydrates in cat food so you have a baseline to compare with.

For example, I am currently feeding my cat dry food that is 40% carbohydrates. Over time I realize that my cat is gaining weight, now she is overweight. Knowing the carb percentage will allow me to adjust the levels accordingly. I know that 40% is too high, so I can buy a food that is lower in carbohydrates, and high in protein. Perhaps I switch to a wet food that is only 10% carbs. So then over time my cat starts losing weight. Problem solved. I adjusted the carb level without having to go on special weight loss cat food.

If you are feeding a combination of dry food and wet food, then it isn’t as simple as reading the label and determining the carbohydrate intake. Because one food is mostly dry matter and the other is not, you have to put them both in a dry matter state, so you can make a fair comparison.

When determining the estimated carbohydrate levels in wet cat food, and comparing it to other wet cat food brands, it is important to also convert the cat food to a dry matter state. That way you’ll get the most accurate count you can get, based on the chart on the cat food label.

Calculating carbohydrates in cat food does take time and practice. However, in the long run it is well worth it. Knowing the estimated percentages that your cat is digesting is important. This will allow you to play with the percentages until you find the right food that maintains your cat’s weight. This isn’t the be all and end all of maintaining a cat’s weight, but it is a good start.


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