When reading about food products, you must have often come across something called ‘fiber’. It is nothing but another nutrient for our body, a form of carbohydrate that doesn’t get completely digested but actually helps you digest other food constituents and is quite vital for your excretory functions. Without fibers, our diet will be problematic and we’ll have trouble digesting the simplest of foods. That’s why one of the most essential nutrients that we consume daily is fibers.
But what about cats? Does the same apply to them? Cats primarily are meat-eaters, i.e. carnivores, and don’t have much requirement of fibers, which majorly come from plants. However, there are special cases where including small amounts of it in your feline friend’s diet can actually prove beneficial and assist your cat considerably. According to mainecoonhawaii.com, a cat can struggle with weight and health issues related to excess carb intake and fibers can help them digest that.
There are many varieties of foods for cats available and it can get confusing to choose the exact type of food to give them that will provide fibers. More importantly, there is the question of does your cat really need fiber in his/her diet or can they stay just fine without it? Even if they do, what’s a good fiber diet type for them? High fiber food or low fiber food? These are crucial questions that you need to consider before there is any inclusion of fiber in your cat’s diet. Also, we strongly advise asking your vet first if your cat has a requirement of fibers or not and only do so when they give the green signal.
We’ll help you answer all the above questions in the best way possible and tell you exactly the fiber diet that you should prefer when feeding your feline friend. Read on till the end of the article to ensure you don’t miss out on anything important.
What are high fiber and low fiber cat food?
Though you must have guessed it by now, high fiber foods actually have a lot more fiber than it’s low-fiber counterparts. This type of food has all the ingredients in equal amounts to provide a balanced diet. These fibrous foods come mostly from pumpkin seed and squash in tiny amounts. The percentage of fiber included in this ranges from 4% to 7% and anything higher than that is actually detrimental for your cat’s health.
On the other hand, low fiber cat food is, as the name suggests, lower in fiber percentage than its high-fiber counterpart. This is used for cats that have very delicate and fragile stomachs and thus their use is more specialized rather than generalized. The fiber content mostly does not come from grains but instead from vegetables like peas. The fiber percentage in low-fiber cat foods ranges from 0% (which is also called zero-fiber food) to 3%, anything more and it counts as high fiber cat food.
When should you feed your cat high-fiber cat food?
Our daily life is littered with instances where giving your feline friend some quality high-fiber food actually makes sense.
The cat is way past normal weight and has an overeating problem.
The primary and perhaps the most significant use made of the extra-fibrous cat foods is by overweight cats. These cats tend to keep eating and eating and before you know it, they are fat. The extra-fibrous cat food can solve this by giving your cat an experience that his/her stomach is full. The fiber in these cat foods slows down the digestion process in your feline friend so they feel they are full.
High-fiber cat food fixes your cat’s digestive imbalance.
It can be really rough on your cat if he/she has constant constipation or diarrhea. In such cases, vets fix the bacterial disparity inside the inner lining of your cat’s intestines and stomach (which is often the cause of constipation and diarrhea) by recommending you such foods that are high in fiber and promote the bacterial growth in your cat’s stomach so he/she can start digesting properly again.
Your cat is diagnosed with diabetes.
When cats eat beyond limits, it can often lead to diabetes if you don’t do anything about their weight. This is where extra-fibrous cat foods truly shine. The high quantity fiber in these foods gradually decreases the speed at which your cat digests nutrients, including the sugar in their body, which allows them to absorb sugar at a more stable rate, which in turn balances their sugar levels.
Since diabetes often roots from obesity, fibers become all the more a better option since the slow nutrient absorption makes your cat feel full and eat in limited quantities as discussed before.
Do note that while all these are valid reasons to give extra-fibrous foods, you should always check with your vet first if it’s okay. If your vet does say that your cat can go on a high fiber diet, then they will often keep a plan or schedule to track if the food is working.
When should you feed your cat low-fiber cat food?
Unlike the foods with high quantities of fiber, low-fiber cat foods are less talked about because they are very rarely used. Vets only recommend less-fibrous foods if the stomach of your cat is extremely delicate which is unable to handle eating anything else, or the chance that your cat might have inflammatory bowel disease. The intestines of the cats who have this disease become very prone to inflammation due to which cats can stop eating altogether.
In such cases, less-fibrous cat foods help your feline friends out a lot by providing very soft food that’s easy on the stomach too. Regardless, like it’s extra fibrous counterpart, we don’t recommend you diagnose your cat’s health condition yourself and bring low fiber cat food to feed him/her. Always go to a vet first no matter what if your cat is sick or having eating problems.
There is often lots of confusion when cats and fibers come together. We hope this article helped to elevate some of that confusion away, and if it did, please consider following our website for regular updates as it will help us out immensely.