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What You Should Know About Changing Your Cat’s Diet

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Kitten Basics: Important Facts About Protein

Every kitten food has protein, but here are some important facts about the different types of protein to help you choose the right food for your kitten. It is impor¬tant to remember that the source of protein is vitally important to kittens because one of the principle nutritional philosophies is that kittens are best fed as carnivores.
 

Some pertinent facts when listening to the claims and advertising of various manufacturers:


1. Recommended kitten food protein levels are established by nutrition experts from around the world and published as NRCs (Nutrient Reference Charts). These protein requirement levels are determined by meeting the animal’s need for essential amino acids, the building blocks of protein; and by monitoring/calculating the nitrogen balance (a comparison between the intake of nitrogen in the diet and the losses through urine, feces, and evaporation from the skin and mouth). Nitrogen balance has been the recognized method of determining protein requirements for many decades. Variations in levels from what has been established for many years should be validated by convincing research. If the change in level isn’t backed by sup¬porting evidence of a tangible benefit, then there may be hazards. Studies in several species have found a link between diets with high protein levels (greater than 40% protein), bone loss, and urinary tract stones.


2. Protein from plant sources may elevate the amount of protein, but may not be as beneficial as animal-based sources of protein in kitten food because of lower digestibility, effects on muscle-to-fat body composi¬tion ratio, and the range of amino acids they provide.


3. There are only three sources of energy in any kitten food diet–fat, protein, and carbohydrate (starch). If the amount of one element is raised, the amount of one or two of the others must be lowered to maintain a proper energy level in the food for your kitten’s life stage and life¬style. A balance of nutrients is important to your kitten because each of the nutrient groups supplies something very specific for the kitten’s body. Excess protein above your kitten’s actual needs cannot be stored for future use and will be converted into fat.

  • The Cat Personality Awards: The Unique Temperaments of Popular Cat Breeds
    The Cat Personality Awards: The Unique Temperaments of Popular Cat Breeds

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    The Cat Personality Awards: The Unique Temperaments of Popular Cat Breeds

    This article is part of a series on how to spot signs of a healthy cat. You can learn more about the key signs here.
     

    Cats don’t lack personality; that’s for sure. They can be shy, outgoing, snuggly, independent, energetic, relaxed and everything in between. Yet some breeds tend to exhibit certain traits more strongly than others. Here are our picks for what we’re calling the Cat Personality Awards.

     

     

    The friendliest cat breed:


    Maine coon

    This larger cat has a big heart to match. They’re often very social and happy to chat with you, whether they’re curled up on your lap or following you around the house. They make excellent family pets because more family members means more people to snuggle and play with.
    Also outgoing: Ragdoll, Siamese, Burmese

     

     

    The most laid-back cat breed:


    Ragdoll

    Gentle and calm, this soft and silky-furred feline is friendly without being demanding. Ragdolls are usually totally cool sharing a house with other pets and kids. They don’t stress much about routine changes or even being carried around. Their motto? It’s all good.
    Other cool kitties: Scottish fold, Birman, British shorthair

     

     

    The most playful cat breed:


    Domestic shorthair

    Making up around 90% of cats in the U.S., with more than 80 colors and patterns, domestic shorthairs are a melting pot of different breeds. They were originally working cats used to hunt mice and other critters on farms. They still love to stalk, hunt and pounce on toys and play games with their owners — so expect to spend lots of energetic playtime together.

    Also ready to play: Siamese, Maine coon, Manx

     

     

    The most independent cat breed:


    Persian

    This popular breed has been around humans since the 1600s, but is satisfied doing its own thing. Gentle, docile and quiet, Persian cats don’t insist on a lot of attention. They’re just as content sitting on your lap or observing what’s going on by themselves from a sunny perch across the room. They can be discerning in who they give their affection to, but you’ll be on their good side once you earn their trust.

    Also fine on their own: Russian blue, American shorthair, Norwegian Forest cat

     

     

    The most trainable cat breed:


    Abyssinian

    The idea of training a cat may seem hilarious, but the curiosity and intelligence of Abyssinians make them highly trainable. Some can even be taught tricks or to walk on a leash and harness. Training and playing games are perfect ways to direct their affectionate energy.
    Also eager to learn: Bengal, Siamese, American shorthair

     

     

    The cleanest cat breed:


    Sphynx

    Owning this affectionate, hairless breed means you can spend more time cuddling and less time lint-rolling your clothes. They do require regular baths, but that just means more time to hang out together.

    Other neat freaks: Siamese, Russian blue

     

     

    The best cat for first-time owners:


    it’s a toss-up!

    Thinking of getting your first kitty? It’s hard to pick just one breed, so we’ve got three:
     

    • Maine coons are super friendly and charming, and adapt well in a variety of living situations.
    • Siamese are clean, love to talk and are very loyal.
    • American shorthairs are smart, playful and independent.
       

    Remember, most cats — especially those found in shelters — are a mix of breeds, which just means they often combine the best of all cat personality traits! Whatever personality you’re looking for in a cat, you’ll know it when you find your fuzzy soulmate.

    The Cat Personality Awards: The Unique Temperaments of Popular Cat Breeds
    Maine coon
    Ragdoll Cat
    domestic  shorthair
    Persian Cat
    Abyssinian Cat
    Sphynx Cat
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