Your Cat is Probably an Expert in Feline Nutrition
Conscientious cat owners will always be keen to provide a healthy diet for their feline friends. They will also be anxious to please their pets as cats can be extremely picky and will reject the food that they dislike. It is tempting to think that flavour is everything when it comes to pleasing cats but new research suggests that this isn’t the case. You could be convinced that your cat favours a particular flavour of Gourmet Gold cat food but it might not be the flavour that your cat is interested in.
What Do Cats Prefer – Gourmet Gold Cat Food or Oranges?
This sounds like a ridiculous question doesn’t it? But it isn’t. Mars Petcare have published the results of a study which has revealed that whilst flavour is important to start with, cats then learn to choose their food based on nutrition. Over a period of time cats can actually detect the fat and protein content of the food they are given and regulate their own intake to balance their diet. Who would have thought it?
Fat and Protein
The study took place at the Waltham Centre of Pet Nutrition at the University of Sydney, Australia. Scientists offered the cats different foods with various levels of fat and protein. The foods were flavoured with fish, rabbit or orange. The orange flavour was included as cats wouldn’t be attracted to this food on the basis of flavour. The cats in the study initially make their choices based on flavour but then began selecting foods for their nutritional content. In other words they would eat the orange flavoured food if it had the right nutrients and the fish flavoured food did not.
The study’s results are extremely interesting. Perhaps your cat is has a preference for the tuna flavoured Gourmet Gold because it contains the nutrition that it needs. Cats can sometimes mysteriously stop eating a food that they had previously seemed to enjoy. This research could partly explain this behaviour although cat owners will know that some of their pet’s behaviour is manipulative!
The Future of Cat Food
Mars Petcare commissioned the study in order to help them evolve cat foods which cats will continue to eat over a lengthy period of time. They were looking for a formula which would keep cats interested and it turns out that the winning formula was a balanced diet. Mars Petcare produce several leading brands including Whiskas, Sheba and Dreamies.
So cats are not so much fussy eaters or epicureans as health freaks! If only humans possessed the same innate abilities! The world would then be a much healthier and slimmer place!