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cat food
vitamin absorption
high fiber diet
essential nutrients
essential minerals
feces
stools
two kinds
enzymes
High Fiber Cat Food: Bad Fiber
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High Fiber Cat Food: Bad Fiber

Fiber is needed in a cat’s diet. Many experts will have you believe otherwise. However, the truth is that cats are able to digest small amounts of fiber their own way. They do not have the actual enzymes present to break down the fiber. They do, however, have bacteria present that can break down the fiber into small chains that can be used by the cat. This is done via a process known as fermentation.

However, the reason people believe that fiber is bad for a cat is because there are fiber sources available in cat food that are not good for the cat. There are two kinds of fiber sources: fermentable (good) and non-fermentable (bad).

In high amounts the non-fermentable fiber can do more damage than good. Let’s look at some of the concerns with high fiber cat food:

The build up of non-fermentable fiber within the digestive tract can pose issues, of course. A major issue is the fact that this fiber can interfere with the absorption of proteins, fat, and other carbohydrates. This robs the cat of essential nutrients that it needs in order for the body to function normally.

In the same context, high levels of fiber can block the absorption of essential minerals and vitamins. Fiber is known to block mineral and vitamin absorption to a certain degree. If the cat is constantly eating a poor high fiber diet, it is essentially being robbed of these nutrients. These nutrients, for the most part, bypass all the absorption stages and get transported straight to the feces for elimination.

Low levels of the good fiber can lead to constipation. Also, high levels of the bad fiber can also do this. The bad fiber is not fermentable; therefore it doesn’t have lubricating properties. It remains bulky. This can lead to constipation because the stools are dry and difficult to pass. Another cause of constipation is hair within the digestive tract. The good fiber eliminates this hair. The bad fiber does not. Therefore, it essentially aids in the buildup of hair. This can lead to constipation.

As you can see, it is very important to do research and determine what food is good quality high fiber cat food. Cat food labelled as high-fiber, and has a lot of non-fermentable fiber, may lead to these problems. The key is to acquire a cat food that has just enough of the fermentable fiber to promote well-being. That isn’t to say that non-fermentable fiber, in small amounts, isn’t a terrible thing. It can work. There has to be a healthy balance between the two sources. High fiber cat food can definitely be beneficial for your cat; it just takes a little research and knowledge.


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