High Fiber Cat Food
Cat food which is high in fiber can provide certain health benefits, such as slowing down the rate of sugar being absorbed into the bloodstream, preventing glucose level from rising too fast. It can also aid in moving food through the digestive system, preventing both constipation and diarrhea.
Fiber is a carbohydrate that cannot be easily digested. Fiber is present in all plants, including fruits, grains, legumes, nuts, seeds and vegetables. A form of fiber known as chitin can also be found in the shells of crustaceans such as crabs, lobsters and shrimps.
One thing you need to take note of fiber is the fermentability rate. This rate refers to how long it takes for a particular fiber to be broken down by bacteria in the intestines and how quickly it moves through your cat’s digestive system.
Fibers can be broken down into 2 different types:
Soluble fiber - These are fibers with higher fermentability rate, which means they can be broken down in the digestive system, allowing the nutrients to be absorbed into the gastrointestinal tract. These fibers can help to lower both blood cholesterol and glucose levels.
Insoluble fiber - These fibers have low fermentability rate and thus cannot be broken down easily in the digestive system. Insoluble fibers are good for helping to move food through the digestive system.
In the wild, cats may occasionally consume some plant materials to aid in digestion. However, for domestic cats, fiber are usually introduced to their diets by their owners. This is especially important since cats really do need fiber, be it in small amount or bigger quantity. This will depend on the dietary needs, as well as the health condition of your cat.
Is high fiber good for cats?
While cats are obligated carnivores, a certain amount of fiber in their diet can be good for them. Even if your cat is not suffering from some health issues which may require fiber to be introduced into its diet, providing some high fiber cat food into their cat’s diet is always welcome.
Why feed your cat high fiber diet?
There are many reasons why cat owners feed their pets a high fiber diet; most are specific to health related issues. Below is a list of the most common reasons why some cat owners need to introduce high fiber food into their cats’ diets.
Constipation - Fiber is known to help in moving food via the digestive system. Since fiber can’t be digested, it helps to relieve cats suffering from constipation issues. Sometimes, fiber may not even be required. It may be due to a lack of water in the diet.
Diabetes - Fiber is known to slow down the rate of which sugar is being absorbed into the bloodstream, helping to maintain glucose level, preventing it from rising too fast. Cats which are suffering from diabetes should have fiber in their diets to control this condition.
Gland Disease - If the glands around the anus get infected, it is going to be very painful for your cat. If you see your cat dragging its butt on the floor, it is most likely a case of gland disease. Providing fiber will help to ease the pain somehow. It is best to consult a vet if you suspect your cat of having gland disease.
Hairballs - Hairball problems usually arise as a result of excessive swallowed hair, gastrointestinal issues and not having enough water. A high fiber diet will helps to get rid of hairball problems such as too much excessive hair being swallowed. If it is gastrointestinal related, it is best to consult a vet.
Weigh Loss - Since fiber is known to help dogs and people lose weight, cat owners naturally assume that fiber does the same for their beloved pets. Fiber can make one feel full, thus making one eat less than usual, which helps to keep weight down in the process. However, this is not really the case for cats as cats have a shorter digestive system than dogs and humans. This case of shorter digestive system is true for all carnivores. However, some cat owners reported successes with getting their cats to lose weight with a high fiber diet.
What cat food has the most fiber?
All dry cat food contains some fiber and carbohydrates. For those cats which need a bit of fiber, and if their normal diets already consist of dry food, there is no need to change anything. Otherwise, you may need to switch to a high fiber cat food instead.
How can I add fiber to my cat’s food?
If your cat is suffering frequently from constipation, adding fiber into its diet is a must. However, if you do not like to introduce dry food into your kitty’s diet, you may consider giving your cat a high quality wet cat food instead.
A cat’s natural diet in reality consist of high protein, low carbohydrate and low fiber foods. By feeding your cat wet cat food, you are introducing more water into its diet, providing more hydration which will help to soften the feces. This will ensure your cat will not suffer from constipation again.
Problems with high fiber cat food
As mentioned previously, cats are obligated carnivores, which means they get their nutrients, including fiber from the meat they eat. In the wild, the meat refers to the whole animals with bones, fur and ligaments intact. At times, they may consume some plant based materials that are present in the stomach of the meat they consumed. Other times, they may ingest some grains or plant based materials to fuel their fiber needs.
If you are not aware, fiber in most high fiber cat food is plant based. Plant based fibers are not really good for cats and this becomes a problem as it is not feasible to feed your cat its natural diet.
Best High Fiber Cat Food
There is a lot of high fiber cat food on the market. Below is a list of the some of best cat food containing high fiber ingredients which you can get for your pet.
- IAMS Proactive Health Adult Indoor Weight & Hairball Control Dry Cat Food
- IAMS Proactive Health Kitten Dry Food
- Rachael Ray Nutrish Superfood Blends Dry Cat Food
- Purina Cat Chow Gentle Adult Dry Cat Food
- Hill's Science Diet Dry Cat Food, Adult 7+ for Senior Cats, Indoor, Chicken Recipe
- Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Fiber Response Dry Cat Food
- Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Indoor Hairball Control Dry Cat Food, Chicken
- WholeHearted Weight Control Chicken and Pea Recipe Dry Cat Food
- WELLNESS CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Cat Food, Original Turkey & Chicken
- Halo Grain Free Natural Dry Cat Food, Indoor Healthy Weight Chicken & Chicken Liver Recipe
As you can see, sometimes high fiber cat food is not really required. Unless absolutely necessary due to health related issues, there is no need to convert your cat’s existing diet to a high fiber one. It is also better to consult your vet before changing your cat’s diet.