A gluten-free diet has become increasingly popular in the recent past. Most of the gluten-free diet enthusiasts are people with celiac disease or those who are sensitive to gluten.
Even so, it is not just humans who are benefiting from gluten-free diets. You can also adopt a gluten-free diet for your feline friend. Among other things, a gluten diet can lead to severe digestive problems in cats.
So what is gluten? Why is it bad for your cat? And should you or should you not feed your cat with a gluten-free diet? Well, read along and learn more.
What is Gluten?
Before we look at the effects of gluten-free diets for your cat, it is crucial we first let you know what gluten is.
In simple terms, gluten refers to a type of protein that is commonly found in barley, wheat, and rye. While gluten might seem like a good thing, it is less valuable to your feline friend since it is derived from plants.
Apart from having low nutritional content, gluten is known to cause allergies in pets. While not all cats will experience allergies when they eat gluten, those that do will exhibit various symptoms, including:
- Stomach upset
- Skin issues
What’s more, compared to other proteins, gluten is not easily digestible. Animal protein has more nutritional value compared to plant protein. So the next time you are shopping cat food, ensure to check the source of protein contained in the cat food.
So, Should You Feed Your Cat Gluten Free Food?
It is your duty as a pet parent to ensure that your cat is well-fed. Apart from ensuring that your cat gets enough food, you should also ensure that they contain the right nutrients. You cannot achieve this if you don’t put your personal preference aside. Ideally, you should consider your cat’s nutritional needs before buying cat food.
Even if you are following a plant-based diet yourself, we would advise you not to opt for the same food for your feline friend.
According to pets nutritional experts, while whole-grain foods contain some protein, they are not enough for cats. Remember, cats are meat-eaters, and as such, they will need protein from animal sources.
What’s more, just like other carnivores, cats don’t have the bacteria required to break down plant foods effectively. To that end, it is evident that plant food, whether gluten-free or not, is not ideal for cats.
Solid Gold Indigo Moon gluten-free cat food is a nutritious grain-free cat food you may want to feed your cat. Apart from offering high-quality protein to your feline friend, Solid Gold Indigo cat food has high fat, making it ideal for cats of all stages. It also contains fresh chicken, chicken meal, ocean whitefish meals. Always ensure that the food you choose for your canine friend is easily digestible and delicious. Also, make sure to get it from a reputed source like PetCareRx.com to avoid expired or counterfeit products.
Gluten-Free Diet Vs. Grain-free Diet
As earlier stated in this post, gluten is not just found in wheat; it is found in rye and barley as well. As such, if your cat is allergic to gluten, it is advisable to consider grain-free cat food. Ideally, since gluten is found in some grains, a grain-free diet will not contain any gluten protein.
Even so, you can still get gluten-free diets that contain grain without gluten, for instance, rice, quinoa, millets, oats, etc. However, ensure that these grains are easily digestible.
As you can see, there’s a very thin line between gluten-free cats and grain-free cat food. Compared to traditional kibble, both diets have fewer carbohydrates. Most kibble foods, especially those from inexpensive brands, includes many carbohydrates sources.
Since cats are carnivores, they are likely to digest animal products more quickly compared to plant products. Ideally, your cat will have problems digesting a diet with a higher carbohydrate content. As such, your cat will still have nutritional deficiencies as he won’t be able to extract the nutrients available from the carbohydrate diet.
How to Choose the Best Gluten-Free Cat Food
When shopping for cat food, ensure that the food you choose includes animal proteins and fats. When it comes to gluten-free cat food, you should look carefully at the cat food label. Ideally, it would help if you looked at the guaranteed analysis to get an idea of the minimum values of protein, fat, and moisture content.
As a rule of thumb, ensure that the cat food you choose for your cat has a higher protein content and low in fiber. The primary protein for your cat’s diet should be from an animal source. You should also ensure that it has the right amounts of healthy fat.