Secret #4: Good fats vs. bad
Cats don’t get heart disease related to a high-fat diet the way that humans do, but there are some types of fat that are better for cats than others. Cats require both Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids in their diet in order to maintain proper skin and coat health. Cats specifically require an Omega 6 fatty acid called Arachidonic acid. The good news is that Omega-6 fatty acids including Arachidonic are found in meat products, so most cats don’t require Omega-6 supplements as they should get all they need from a meat-based diet. Omega-3 fats, however, are found in plant oils and fish oil such as salmon, flax, canola, and soybean oil, so it is recommended to add Omega-3s to your cat’s diet as they don’t get enough otherwise. The recommended daily dose of Omega-3 fat is 175 mg/kg body weight. For the average cat (4-6 kg) this would be about 700-1050 mg which is approximately 1-2 fish oil capsules per day.
You may read or hear that feeding too much fat is bad for cats, which, of course, is true for cats as it is for all animals. So what is too much? Typical cat diets should contain between 20 to 22 percent fat with a portion of that being Omega-3 fat, usually from flax oil or fish oil. Once cats mature in age they tend to have more of an issue with weight. It is important that we keep our cats a healthy weight and avoiding high fat diets can help keep our cats lean and healthy.
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