Three Protein Choices: Chicken, Fish, and ?

Supermarkets and pet stores alike sell so many different brands of cat food. Delving into this topic further rendered various opinions. According to specialists, at least three types of meat provide optimal nutrition for your cat: chicken, fish and lamb. These three meats serve as high-quality protein sources when they are blended into well-balanced commercial cat foods, and they can satisfy your kitty on several counts. I’m not sure how my cat fits in but I will introduce her to lamb and a dry food high in protein this year.

Although cats are notoriously finicky, most felines find the mild flavor of chicken appealing. Fish, on the other hand, may be a good choice for a cat that hasn’t been eating well, advises Tracy R. Dewhirst, DVM, who writes a pet advice column for the Knoxville News Sentinel. The stronger flavor and aroma of a fish-based cat food may tempt your cat to eat. Lamb isn’t a familiar taste for many cats, so introducing the flavor to your kitty may pique its interest. If you offer your cat a taste test involving one of the three proteins, make sure you dish up wet food at the right temperature. “Most cats prefer a freshly opened can at room temperature,” says Dr. Dewhirst.

  • These protein sources, combined with the amino acid L-carnitine, can help your cat build lean muscle while burning fat to maintain a healthy weight. Fish, such as tuna and salmon, provide omega-3 fatty acids.
  • If your feline is in good health and consumes a cat food with high-quality chicken, fish or lamb, your kitty should have proper muscle tone, a trim physique, bright eyes, healthy gums and a plush, shiny coat.
  • For cats that develop food allergies, lamb can be a viable protein alternative. “For many cats, it’s a novel protein that the animal has likely never been exposed to,” explains Dr. Dewhirst. Introducing a new protein source, such as lamb, is therefore useful if other proteins trigger allergies.

Chicken, fish and lamb are great protein sources, but specialists caution that table scraps or meals you prepare specifically for your kitty don’t match your cat’s nutritional needs. Most notably, commercial cat foods contain taurine, an essential amino acid that prevents blindness and heart failure in cats. So, the option to make homemade catfood is off the table. Remain committed to find the right (palitable) protein source for your loved one.