Cats have a unique metabolism and have special nutrient requirements. We know high-quality protein is an important element of a complete and balanced diet for cats. Protein is necessary for the growth and maintenance of almost all body tissues, including muscle, hair, bone and organs. When protein is not being used for these functions it is being utilised as an energy source.
We understand a cat’s unique requirements for protein begins with understanding that protein is the proper balance of amino acids, often described as the building blocks of protein. Once consumed, proteins are broken down into component amino acids and then they are absorbed by the bloodstream into body cells which then rebuild the amino acids into protein.
Cats, unlike dogs, require a sufficient level of the amino acid taurine. Cat actually cannot manufacture enough taurine to meet their metabolic needs, which is why they require a diet high in protein. A taurine deficiency in a cat’s diet can result in degeneration of the retina and, ultimately, blindness. Lack of sufficient taurine can also contribute to cardiomyopathy in certain cats. An appropriate level of taurine is contained in high quality nutritionally complete and balanced cat foods. Signs of protein deficiency include depressed appetite, poor growth, loss of weight, rough and dull hair coat.
About the Purina PetCare Advice Centre
The Purina PetCare Advice Centre brings together a team with in-depth knowledge, experience and special interests with the skills to advise about health and nutrition, behaviour, training, socialisation, as well as basic first aid for your cat or dog. Our team of dedicated pet lovers can also provide information about Purina products and services to help you give your pet the best possible care. If you've got a question about any aspect of pet care, then ask the Purina PetCare Advice team.