What are examples of poor carbohydrates for cats?
Stay away from products with corn, wheat gluten, meal, by-products and cheap fillers.
You also need to know that, besides being a potential allergen, corn and wheat can also grow deadly molds and fungus.
Carbohydrates are the most common energy source and they are easily converted to glucose; yet, they can lead to medical problems. Carbohydrates cause a rise in blood sugar so many cats end up with diabetes. Obesity is another problem, because some experts claim that cats, since they cannot digest carbohydrates, merely store the excess as fat, causing numerous obesity-related chronic illnesses, astronomical veterinary bills and a potential reduction of life of 2.5 percent.
While carbohydrates are necessary as an energy source, cats don’t need them. In fact, cats lack enzymes in both the digestive tract and saliva to digest them properly. However, some cats do tolerate carbohydrates better than others; for instance, one cat might be able to eat a commercial brand of cat food with no problem, but another will get immediately get sick from just a little.
The cat’s ancestor in the wild had to rely on its prey—usually mice and birds—for it to eat. The composition of a mouse is three percent carbohydrate, 40 percent protein and 50 percent fat and, while you certainly don’t want your cat to eat mice for dinner, you should try to mimic, as much as possible, that particular dietary formula. About 20 to 30 percent of an adult cat’s daily caloric intake should come from meat, poultry or fish. Another 15 to 20 percent should come from fat.
Lactose (milk sugar) intolerance is another common problem. Kittens have the enzyme lactase, which breaks down the sugar in milk called lactose but, as they age, they stop producing lactase. When that animal consumes milk products, the lactose is not digested and the symptoms of gastrointestinal distress occur.