Fiber For Cats And It's Importance
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High fibre cat food has become a mainstay for many cats with gastrointestinal problems. But why is fibre so crucial for cats?
Fibre is a type of carbohydrate that isn't digested by a cat's gastrointestinal tract. It is important for cat health because it provides bulk to move food through. Some types of fibre can be fermented (broken down by bacteria) in the system. This process creates short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), which are an important energy source for the cells lining the intestinal tract.
Thus, understanding the various types of fibre and when to include fibre in a cat's nutrition plan is crucial. High-fibre cat food often contains a combination of soluble and insoluble fibres that aid gastrointestinal health and improve stool quality. Some of these fibre elements are also known as prebiotics, which are nutrients (mostly fermentable fibres) that help the good bacteria in the intestines grow.
Soluble fibre for cats, such as gums and pectins, are the best at absorbing water. These fibres are typically highly fermentable and provide the required energy source. Adding such soluble fibres to your cat’s diet can help it maintain a healthy colonic mucosa and boost immune function in the lower intestine.
Insoluble fibres, such as lignin or cellulose, have a variety of therapeutic properties and can be utilised in your cat’s meal to promote its gastrointestinal health.
What's Good For You May Not Be Good For Your Cat
Today, people are more aware of fibre and its role in their diet. Studies showing the beneficial effects of higher fibre levels in humans influence the way many people think about their own food and that of their pets. Some manufacturers now apply the recommendations of human nutritionists and make high-fibre diets for cats, but cats have a much shorter digestive tract than we do. And unlike humans, cats are carnivorous, so their nutritional needs are better satisfied with meat rather than plant matter. Therefore, cats have different dietary needs than humans. For more than 60 years, companion animal nutritionists at IAMS™ have been studying diets to meet the special nutritional needs of cats.
What Is Microbiome In Cats?
- A microbiome is the microbial population (fungi, bacteria, viruses, and other microscopic organisms) that resides in the digestive systems of cats. This biological habitat is necessary for proper digestion. The bacteria in cat intestines aid in the digestion of indigestible materials and the production of useful substances such as vitamins.
How Does The Gut Microbiome React With Fibrous Food?
- Some high-fibre cat foods aid in the nourishing of good bacteria and the maintenance of a healthy microbiome.
Furthermore, fibre-rich cat food benefit cats suffering from GI illnesses of the large intestine. Fibrous food can assist in preserving their GI motility and water balance. This is turn helps prevent constipation and diarrhea in cats.
Fibre Levels And Fermentability
IAMS Company research shows the optimal crude fibre level for healthy cat’s ranges from 1.4% to 3.5%. At these levels, nutrient breakdown is maximised. In unique situations, such as hairballs, higher fibre levels may be beneficial.
An important characteristic of fibre is its fermentability, or how well it can be broken down by bacteria in the intestine. This breakdown produces short-chain fatty acids, which provide energy to the intestines. Fibre varies in fermentability. Fibre sources used in pet foods include cellulose, which is poorly fermentable; beet pulp, which is moderately fermentable; and gums and pectin, which can be highly fermentable. Research has shown that moderate levels of moderately fermentable fibre, such as beet pulp, provide the benefits of energy for the intestinal lining and bulk, without the negative effects of excessive stool or gas and, therefore, are beneficial in cat diets.
Some Advantages Of High Fibrous Food
High moisture, protein, and minimum carbohydrate matter are all key ingredients in high-fibre cat diets. Here are some benefits of high-fibrous food for your cat:
- Improves gastric activities in the gut - Soluble fibre in cat food for a cat helps in breaking down water and gastric juices in the gut.
- Keeps your cat satiated - Some soluble fibre dissolves in water and forms a gel that helps in storing water and makes your feline friend feel full
- Promotes bowel consistency - Insoluble fibre helps with stool consistency and gives more volume to your cat’s ingested meal.
How Does High-Fibrous Help Cats With Diabetes Or Other Medical Conditions?
Cats with medical issues can also greatly benefit from high-fibre foods. For instance, high-fibre wet cat food might help overweight cats in reducing overeating and lowering their risk of obesity. What’s more is, adding fibrous food to your cat’s meal will also help your pet eliminate more nitrogen through their stool, thus sparing the kidneys. In fact, many dietary fibres inhibit nutrient absorption qualities, which help to lessen the rate at which the GI tract assimilates glucose, thereby keeping the blood sugar levels stable.
High Fibre And Weight Loss
High levels of poorly fermentable fibre are used in some weight-reduction pet foods to dilute the calories in a serving. IAMS Company research shows that high fibre in cat food can make it harder to digest other nutrients in the meal and, in turn, reduce the nutritional quality of a feline’s diet. Your cat making more trips to the litter box can be a result.
When Should You Give Low Fibrous Food To Your Cat?
Low-fibrous food contains nutrients such as electrolytes and B-vitamins that aid recuperation in cats. This type of food is usually recommended by veterinarians for cats who are prone to having a quick onset of GI disturbance. Therefore, when choosing a meal for your cat, always visit a veterinarian. If your cat is on a high-fibre diet, their veterinarian should keep an eye on them to ensure that their fibre-responsive symptoms are under control.
Fibre And IAMS Cat Foods
When choosing a pet food, fibre is an important consideration, but remember that the needs of cats are not the same as those of humans. A moderate level of moderately fermentable fibre, such as beet pulp, provides proven nutritional benefits for cats. Cat diets containing high levels of poorly fermentable fibre dilute calories and deprive cats of the nutrients they need.
All IAMS products are made with levels of moderately fermentable fibre needed to promote intestinal health. And all IAMS foods, such as IAMS ProActive Health™ Adult Original with Chicken, contain the moderately fermentable fibre system, which is the exclusive property of IAMS Company and is protected by U.S. Patent No. 5,616,569 for Pet Food Products Containing Fermentable Fibres and Process for Treating Gastrointestinal Disorders.
- How Can I Add Fibre To My Cat's Diet?
- What Is Good Fibre For Cats?
- What Cat Food Has The Most Fibre?
- Is High Fibre Food Good For Cats?
- Does Cat Food Have Fibre?
You can add fibre to your cat’s diet in the form of purified cellulose or wheat bran (for insoluble fibre), different over-the-counter human fibre supplements like inulin (for soluble fibre), or supplements that include a combination of both.
The short answer is soluble fibre. These fibres dissolves in gastric fluids when they reach the cat’s intestines. The gel that is formed effectively traps water, resulting in wetter stools that are easier to pass without difficulties.
There are plenty of cat foods that contain fibre. Make sure you choose one that helps them with weight issues, constipation problems, controlling hairball and other issues.
Yes! Fibre is usually included in cat foods to aid digestion and improve stool quality. Without fibre, cats can possibly develop digestive issues. Cats with constipation, diarrhea, diabetes, and even obesity may benefit from high-fibre meals.
Fibre is included in a lot of cat foods to ease out your pet’s digestive process.