Long before the pet food recalls of 2007, many of the 38 million Americans who have cats found themselves questioning the nutritional benefits of store-bought cat food. Worries regarding where the food came from and whether or not it contained the nutrients required to ensure a long life left many turning to natural, organic, homemade and raw diets.
“There are ample studies that demonstrate prolonged longevity, prevention of multiple chronic diseases and maintenance of overall health when complete and balanced nutrition is provided to our pets,” says Iveta Becvarova, DVM, a board-certified veterinary nutritionist and clinical assistant professor of veterinary nutrition at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in Blacksburg, Va. “In order to get those benefits it is important to pay attention not only to what you feed, but also to how you feed the food. For example, a complete and balanced diet, if not fed in a measured amount, may lead to feline obesity and predispose the cat to diabetes mellitus. Therefore, it is important that cat owners educate themselves about optimal feeding management to get all the benefits.”