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Protein Sources For Cats: Vet Feeding Guide

Cats thrive on a diet rich in protein. Nevertheless, this does not always indicate that a high-protein meal is excellent for your cat; the source of the protein is what important. So, what are the greatest protein sources for cats?

Prior to answering this question, it is necessary to assess a cat's natural diet, which defines the best protein sources for the animal.

Like with their wild relatives, domestic cats are obligate (true) carnivores, meaning they receive all the nutrition they need from animal meat.

Because dogs are not obligate carnivores, they may consume plant-based diets without negative repercussions. Yet, cats lack the physiology required to digest plant material.

Thus, animal meat is the finest protein source for cats.

Whether you are purchasing commercial cat food or producing food for your cat at home, verify that it is based on meat.

Thus, "Protein Sources for Cats: %year% Vet Feeding Guide" by BestForPets (bestforpets.org) includes the following as the greatest sources of animal-based protein for cats:

The 5 Best Protein Sources for Cats

1. Poultry

The highest-quality high-protein cat meals contain chicken, turkey, or duck. This is because a wild or feral cat’s primary food source is birds. In fact, cats’ appetite for bird meat has led to the extinction of certain bird species. Consequently, chicken is a failsafe option.

2. Beef

Because to its cost, beef is an ideal alternative for individuals who create cat food at home. Choose ground beef since it is simple to prepare and gentle on your cat’s digestive tract.

3. Pork

Pork is beneficial for cats. Due to their high salt content, pig products such as ham and bacon should not be fed to your cat.

4. Lamb and Veal

Both lamb and veal are great protein sources for cats. Unfortunately, these meats are more expensive than other sources of protein.

5. Fish

Fish may be consumed by cats, but unlike the protein sources listed above, it should not form the basis of your cat’s diet. Feed fish treats sparingly. We advise cooking the fish, but omitting the herbs and seasonings. Due to its high salt content, canned fish should be given rarely.

How to Choose Commercial Cat Food With the Best Protein Source

If you create cat food at home, you cannot go wrong with the suppliers listed above. But, while purchasing commercial cat food, you must ensure you are purchasing the highest-quality high-protein cat food.

Be vigilant, as commercial cat feeds can include unneeded and potentially hazardous substances.

So, it is essential to understand how to read and interpret cat food labels. First and foremost, the label should disclose the protein’s source.

Avoid goods that list “poultry meal,” “fish meal,” or “meat byproducts” as their source of protein. This is because they do not specify the precise origin of their protein. This means that any component of the animal, including feathers, bones, and hooves, might be used to prepare the meal.

Hence, you should look for a cat food that specifies its protein sources, such as chicken or turkey. This indicates that the protein has not been combined or processed with any other substances.

Cat food labels, like human food labels, list components in order of volume, with the top five ingredients being the majority of the food. So, you want your cat’s diet to have the aforementioned proteins first.


With the information mentioned in “Protein Sources for Cats: Vet Feeding Guide” by BestForPets (bestforpets.org), hopefully you can finally choose the most delicious and healthy food for your cat.

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Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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