According to research carried out in collaboration with Professor Steve Simpson at the School of Biological Sciences, University of Sydney, Australia, and Professor David Raubenheimer at the Institute of Natural Sciences, Massey University, New Zealand, healthy pet cats regulate their protein, fat and carbohydrate intake to mimic the types of food they would eat in the wild.
The research, carried out over a two-year period at the Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition, demonstrated that cats have an intake target that equates to approximately 52% of their daily calorie intake from protein, 36% from fat and 12% from carbohydrate. “This is a fascinating discovery and we are intrigued to know more about why cats have the ability to do this,” said lead study author Dr. Adrian Hewson-Hughes. “It is particularly remarkable that, even after thousands of years of domestication, cats still select a diet nutritionally similar to their natural prey.”
Waltham intends to pursue further research in this area and will now focus on the selection of these key nutrients in other cat lifestages including gestation, lactation and growth, as well as in dogs.