The Pet Food Institute (PFI), whose members make 98 percent of all U.S. pet food and treats, recently launched a new series of interactive infographics showing the ways that key nutrients found in a complete and balanced cat food recipe help our pets. The new web resource, “Nutrition from Whisker to Paw,” provides fast facts about the essential nutrition that fuels our cats’ growth and supports their body systems, as well as non-essential nutrients that can also serve important functions.

This is the second resource examining the unique nutritional needs of pets that PFI has released. In 2017, PFI released a tool called “Nutrition from Nose to Tail” that demonstrates the value of complete and balanced nutrition for dogs and how it supports their well-being.

“U.S. pet food makers work to ensure every meal has the nutrition that your cat needs,” said Dana Brooks, president and CEO of PFI. “The new ‘Nutrition from Whisker to Paw’ resource highlights the science behind a pet’s diet and why their nutrition matters.”

A “complete and balanced” pet food recipe contains more than 40 nutrients that are identified by veterinary researchers and nutritionists as essential to supporting a healthy pet, specifically: vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and protein and amino acids. The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) sets the nutritional profiles for dogs and cats, which serves as the basis for “complete and balanced.”

“Nutrition from Whisker to Paw” shows some of the key functions of the essential nutrients in a cat’s diet. For example, supporting healthy vision, providing energy, and promoting muscle development and maintenance. This new resource also examines other important non-essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates.

“This new resource will help pet lovers see the nutrition in a pet food recipe in action,” Brooks said. “Whether you are feeding a growing kitten or a playful adult cat, their diet plays a key role in supporting a long and healthy life.” To learn more about the essential nutrients included in a complete and balanced cat food recipe and how they help your pet, visit www.petfoodinstitute.org/whiskertopaw. To learn more about essential nutrients for dogs via “Nose to Tail,” visit www.petfoodinstitute.org/nosetotail.