Are there breed-specific commercial diets for cats?
There are no breed-specific commercial diets for cats, but there are specially formulated cat foods for various life stages or health issues, such as kidney or heart challenges or arthritis.
Keep in mind, also, that certain breeds are more prone to certain issues: Asthma tends to be more common among the Siamese or Himalayan breeds. The Ragdoll, while a very hearty and hale breed, might be prone to urinary tract infections but, then again, most cats are. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a fairly common heart condition in cats, but it may be genetically inherited in the Maine Coon.
Make sure you have this discussion with your vet.
Generally, cats need a well-balanced diet with the following essential nutrients:
• Water is the most important nutrient. Water accounts for between 60 to 70 percent of an adult pet’s body weight.
• Proteins are the basic building blocks for cells, tissues, organs, enzymes, hormones and antibodies, and are essential for growth, maintenance, reproduction and repair.
• Taurine, an essential amino acid, is required for the prevention of eye and heart disease, as well as reproduction, fetal growth and survival. This essential amino acid is only found in foods of animal origin, such as meat and fish.
• Fats are essential in the structure of cells and are needed for the production of some hormones.
• Carbohydrates provide energy for the body’s tissues, play a vital role in the health of the intestine, and are likely to be important for reproduction.
• Vitamins are catalysts for enzyme reactions. Tiny amounts of vitamins are essential to cats for normal metabolic functioning. Most vitamins cannot be synthesized in the body, and therefore are essential in the diet.
• Minerals are inorganic compounds that are not metabolized and yield no energy. These nutrients cannot be synthesized by animals and must be provided in the diet. In general, minerals are most important as structural constituents of bones and teeth, for maintaining fluid balance and for their involvement in many metabolic reactions.