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Cats are Obligate Carnivores: Understanding Your Cat’s Nutritional Needs

Cats’ dietary requirements are the same as their wild ancestors. Learn what this means for your cat! 

Your cat is more than just your fur baby. They are a majestic mini-panther, a pint-sized puma
prowling your living room. In fact, despite their adorable purrs and cozy naps, your cat has a lot
in common with its wild ancestors — like their nutritional needs.

For millions of years, cats thrived on hunting. They met their nutritional needs naturally
through a prey diet. When cats transitioned to domestic life, their core dietary requirements
did not change. They remain very much the same today. As a devoted cat parent, it’s essential
that you understand these needs so that you can nourish your little predator properly and
ensure their health and happiness.

  1. They need animal-based protein to survive.
    Cats require essential amino acids such as taurine, arginine, lysine, and methionine that only
    animal-based protein can provide. These nutrients are essential for growth, neurological,
    cardiac, and immune function. Plant-based protein lacks these nutrients. Plus, cats cannot
    effectively digest plants.
  2. Cats need extra hydration.
    Cats have a naturally low thirst drive. In the wild, they gained most of their hydration from the
    prey they ate, so they did not often seek out additional water. Today’s cats are not getting
    enough water in their diets, especially those that eat dry food exclusively. Proper hydration is
    essential for maintaining healthy kidney function, digestion, endocrine health, and overall
    vitality. Pairing wet toppers with dry food and feeding wet meals and treats allows cats to
    obtain extra hydration through their food, just like their wild ancestors.
  3. Cats need very low carbohydrates.
    Cats cannot effectively convert carbohydrates and starches into energy. They have a unique
    digestive system that lacks the enzymes to process large amounts of carbohydrates. Cats’
    hunger is only satisfied when their protein demands are met. If their food is packed with carbs,
    they will keep eating and eating until they get the protein they need, likely taking in too many
    carbs and calories. This can lead to obesity, diabetes, and other health issues.
  4. Cats thrive on nutritional variety.
    As natural born hunters, wild cats would eat whatever prey they caught, which would vary from day to day. They benefited from the balance of amino acids, vitamins, and minerals that each animal provided. Today’s cats still enjoy eating different proteins at each meal with their variety of nutrients and flavors.

Let’s recap. We now know that cats naturally are:

  • ✓ Obligate carnivores
  • ✓ With low thirst drives
  • ✓ That cannot metabolize carbs.

As obligate carnivores, the optimal nutrition for cats is a diet that is high in animal-based
protein and moisture with moderate fat and very few carbohydrates. In other words, a prey-like

The ideal diet for cats should have the same composition as prey.
Tiki Cat strives to mimic the prey diet to best fulfill cats’ natural nutritional needs.

Tiki Cat gives cats exactly their bodies need:

High Protein: Tiki Cat foods offer up to 95%* protein in wet diets and 44% protein in dry.
Healthy Hydration: Tiki Cat wet food, meal toppers, and treats deliver high moisture to help support hydration.
Nutritional Variety: Tiki Cat offers 50+ different flavors and textures that please even the pickiest cat.

Your cat may enjoy the comforts of home, but their nutritional needs are still driven by their
inner hunter. By understanding and fulfilling these needs, you can help your fur baby lead a
healthier, happier life. Feed your cat the carnivore diet they’re born to eat!

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