The Benefits Of Protein In Cat Food

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If you watch a cat in the wild, they’re not eating vegetables or even corn. With one look at their teeth alone, it’s easy to see they’re created to eat meat.

Whether it’s a domesticated cat or a wild cat, they’re obligate carnivores and cannot thrive on a diet that’s high in carbohydrates. They also can’t process starches and vegetables. The essential nutrients that a cat needs to thrive come from eating protein.

Protein is important when it comes to the development and health of your cat. Unlike dogs, cats need a lot more protein. When they don’t get enough protein, it could lead to health issues, which we would like to avoid and provide our kitties the best life possible.

© Charlie Nunn Photography |

Protein consists of amino acids, which are organic compounds that play a vital role in the number of essential bodily processes. In other words, they’re the building blocks for a cat’s organs and tissues: From tendons and cartilage to their fur, skin, muscles, and finally, their heart. A high-protein diet favors your cat’s natural ability to digest meat and all the health benefits that come from that meat.

When your cat eats a high-protein diet such as Essence, for example, it can bring a wide variety of health benefits. From reducing the risk of getting obesity to reducing diabetes. The Essence Ocean & Freshwater recipe, for example, has 86% fish protein ingredients in the dry recipe and 96% fish protein ingredients in the wet formula, the highest available on the market today.

© Charlie Nunn Photography |

Cats can also benefit from a food that offers more than one protein source, such as combining different types of fish. The Essence Ocean & Freshwater recipe offers more than one protein source containing salmon, herring, sardines, and mackerel. This means your cat is getting health benefits from more than one protein source! Salmon, for example, is very high in protein. It also contains omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. The omega-3 fatty acids alone can help to boost your cat’s immune system and promote the brain health of your cat. It can also help in minimizing arthritis issues and high cholesterol.

“Animal proteins are typically excellent sources of proteins for pet diets,” said Dr. Quest, DVM. “Since each dietary protein has different amino acids that combine to make that specific protein, it can be good to combine different proteins in a diet to make sure your cat is getting what it needs nutritionally.”

Read the nutritional labels on your cat food bag or can to make sure the food you’re feeding him contains a high amount of protein. Feeding your cat a high-protein diet can help aid in the health and wellness of your cat for many years to come.

About The Author

Latasha With Scotty and Elvis

Latasha Ball is the Marketing Coordinator for Pets Global, the founders of pet food brands Zignature, Fussie Cat, Essence Pet Foods, and Inception Pet Foods. She has more than 10 years of experience in marketing and public relations, in which she enjoys being able to combine her professional background with her passion for animals.

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5 thoughts on “The Benefits Of Protein In Cat Food”

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  1. Rebecca

    Protein is an essential part of a cat’s diet and I get concerned by those who think a healthy diet for a cat should have no animal protein.
    Plus a good quality commercial cat food will have all the nutrients that a cat needs to be healthy. Nice to include some fresh protein too from time to time.

  2. Shirley Symons

    I have been told by my vet because my cat is 11years old she should be eating seniour cat food as normal cat food has to much protein in it.apparently it’s bad for her kidneys to much protein.

    1. Mallory Crusta

      Hi Shirley,

      You’ve just touched upon one of the most challenging questions in feline nutrition—should cats cut back on protein when they enter their senior years?

      I’m not a veterinarian, but based on my research, the answer is no. In fact, senior cats need more protein than they did when they were younger. Your veterinarian is right when they say that excessive protein can contribute to the burden on the kidneys. Protein digestion produces waste. It’s the kidneys’ job to filter out that waste. If the kidneys aren’t working well, the waste doesn’t leave your cat’s body and instead remains in the bloodstream.

      That’s why cats with kidney disease may benefit from a low-protein diet. But that reduced strain on the kidneys comes at a price. That price is lost muscle mass. Muscle wasting is a real problem among senior cats, especially those with kidney disease. Unless your cat is suffering so much that sacrificing muscle mass is worth the reduced strain on the kidneys, there doesn’t appear to be any good reason to cut back on this vital nutrient.

      Instead, I would focus on protein quality. Feed your cat the most digestible, biologically-available protein you can find. Ideally, your senior’s food should contain fresh, clearly-named cuts of meat like chicken, lamb, eggs, and turkey liver. Since they are likely less biologically available, animal by-products and plant proteins should be on your list of ingredients to avoid.

      You can learn more about the best cat food for senior cats here:

      Hope this helps you to make a decision about the right food for your cat!



  3. Christy Wilson

    Protein is an vital part of a cat ‘s diet, and I’m worried about those who think that a cat’s balanced diet should have no animal protein.

    Plus, all the foods a cat requires to be balanced would have all the high quality commercial cat food. Nice, from time to time, to have some fresh protein too.

  4. Tim Wilson

    Protein is an vital part of a cat ‘s diet, and I’m worried about those who think that a cat’s balanced diet should have no animal protein.
    Plus, all the foods a cat requires to be balanced would have all the high quality commercial cat food. Nice, from time to time, to have some fresh protein too.