Cats are carnivores by nature. Although their prey may have dined on grains and vegetables, these elements are only present in small amounts within the animal’s digestive system. Some cats enjoy chomping on plants every once in a while to get roughage or fibre. Along these same lines, cats chew on and eat grass in order to throw something up, like a hair ball that’s caught in their throat.
If cats do not eat herbs or vegetables in the wild. So, why do pet food manufacturers add grains such as brown rice, vegetables, herbs, and even fruit to cat food? The answer? To appease the owners, who may have been adding whole grains, vegetables, herbs, and fruit to their own diet. These owners think cat needs to eat likewise.
Cats get certain key nutrients from meat. They need nutrients such as taurine, arachidonic acid, vitamin A and vitamin B12 which cannot be obtained from herbs or vegetables. Without a steady supply of these nutrients, cats can suffer from liver and heart problems, not to mention skin irritation and hearing loss. Taurine is one of the most important nutrients present in meat but it is missing from plants. Taurine deficiency will cause blindness and heart problems in cats.
A diet high in plant material can make cat’s urine too alkaline. This can cause very painful stones to form in the urinary tract. The fiber in plant matter can cause diarrhea or gas and interfere with your cat’s ability to digest both the offensive plant and other, healthier foods. If you wish to give your cat grains and vegetables, it should comprise no more than 25 percent of his diet. Compared with 30 percent protein and 40 percent fat derived from chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, or fish.
Be particularly skeptical of any pet cookbook that advocates giving your cat considerable quantities of grains or other plant material. Especially books whose ingredient lists include garlic, which is toxic to cats.