High fiber cat food has become a mainstay for many cats with gastrointestinal problems. But why is fiber so crucial for cats?
Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that isn't digested by a cat's gastrointestinal tract. It is important for cat health because it provides bulk to move food through. Some types of fiber can be fermented (broken down by bacteria) in the system. This process creates short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), which are an important energy source for the cells lining the intestinal tract.
Thus, understanding the various types of fiber and when to include fiber in a cat's nutrition plan is crucial. High-fiber cat food often contains a combination of soluble and insoluble fibers that aid gastrointestinal health and improve stool quality. Some of these fiber elements are also known as prebiotics, which are nutrients (mostly fermentable fibers) that help the good bacteria in the intestines grow.
Soluble fiber for cats, such as gums and pectins, are the best at absorbing water. These fibers are typically highly fermentable and provide the required energy source. Adding such soluble fibers to your cat’s diet can help it maintain a healthy colonic mucosa and boost immune function in the lower intestine.
Insoluble fibers, such as lignin or cellulose, have a variety of therapeutic properties and can be utilised in your cat’s meal to promote its gastrointestinal health.
Today, people are more aware of fiber and its role in their diet. Studies showing the beneficial effects of higher fiber levels in humans influence the way many people think about their own food and that of their pets. Some manufacturers now apply the recommendations of human nutritionists and make high-fiber diets for cats, but cats have a much shorter digestive tract than we do. And unlike humans, cats are carnivorous, so their nutritional needs are better satisfied with meat rather than plant matter. Therefore, cats have different dietary needs than humans. For more than 60 years, companion animal nutritionists at IAMS™ have been studying diets to meet the special nutritional needs of cats.
Furthermore, fiber-rich cat food benefit cats suffering from GI illnesses of the large intestine. Fiberous food can assist in preserving their GI motility and water balance. This is turn helps prevent constipation and diarrhea in cats.
IAMS Company research shows the optimal crude fiber level for healthy cat’s ranges from 1.4% to 3.5%. At these levels, nutrient breakdown is maximized. In unique situations, such as hairballs, higher fiber levels may be beneficial.
An important characteristic of fiber is its fermentability, or how well it can be broken down by bacteria in the intestine. This breakdown produces short-chain fatty acids, which provide energy to the intestines. Fiber varies in fermentability. Fiber sources used in pet foods include cellulose, which is poorly fermentable; beet pulp, which is moderately fermentable; and gums and pectin, which can be highly fermentable. Research has shown that moderate levels of moderately fermentable fiber, such as beet pulp, provide the benefits of energy for the intestinal lining and bulk, without the negative effects of excessive stool or gas and, therefore, are beneficial in cat diets.
High moisture, protein, and minimum carbohydrate matter are all key ingredients in high fiber cat diets. Here are some benefits of high-fibrous food for your cat:
Cats with medical issues can also greatly benefit from high-fiber foods. For instance, high-fiber wet cat food might help overweight cats in reducing overeating and lowering their risk of obesity. What’s more is, adding fibrous food to your cat’s meal will also help your pet eliminate more nitrogen through their stool, thus sparing the kidneys. In fact, many dietary fibers inhibit nutrient absorption qualities, which help to lessen the rate at which the GI tract assimilates glucose, thereby keeping the blood sugar levels stable.
High levels of poorly fermentable fiber are used in some weight-reduction pet foods to dilute the calories in a serving. IAMS Company research shows that high fiber levels can make it harder to digest other nutrients in the food and, in turn, reduce the nutritional quality of a cat's diet. Your cat making more trips to the litter box can be a result.
Low fibrous food contains nutrients such as electrolytes and B-vitamins that aid recuperation in cats. This type of food is usually recommended by veterinarians for cats who are prone to having a quick onset of GI disturbance. Therefore, when choosing a meal for your cat, always visit a veterinarian. If your cat is on a high-fiber diet, their veterinarian should keep an eye on them to ensure that their fiber-responsive symptoms are under control.
When choosing a pet food, fiber is an important consideration, but remember that the needs of cats are not the same as those of humans. A moderate level of moderately fermentable fiber, such as beet pulp, provides proven nutritional benefits for cats. Cat diets containing high levels of poorly fermentable fiber dilute calories and deprive cats of the nutrients they need.
All IAMS products are made with levels of moderately fermentable fiber needed to promote intestinal health. And all IAMS foods, such as IAMS ProActive Health™ Adult Original with Chicken, contain the moderately fermentable fiber system, which is the exclusive property of IAMS Company and is protected by U.S. Patent No. 5,616,569 for Pet Food Products Containing Fermentable Fibers and Process for Treating Gastrointestinal Disorders.
You can add fiber to your cat’s diet in the form of purified cellulose or wheat bran (for insoluble fiber), different over-the-counter human fiber supplements like inulin (for soluble fiber), or supplements that include a combination of both.
The short answer is soluble fiber. These fibers dissolves in gastric fluids when they reach the cat’s intestines. The gel that is formed effectively traps water, resulting in wetter stools that are easier to pass without difficulties.
There are plenty of cat foods that contain fiber. Make sure you choose one that helps them with weight issues, constipation problems, controlling hairball and other issues.
Yes! Fiber is usually included in cat foods to aid digestion and improve stool quality. Without fiber, cats can possibly develop digestive issues. Cats with constipation, diarrhea, diabetes, and even obesity may benefit from high-fiber meals.
Fiber is included in a lot of cat foods to ease out your pet’s digestive process.