High-Protein Diet May Be Unhealthy For Kittens

the daily dish More on PawNation: Cats, Kittens, Newborns, Nutrition
Feline nutrition guidelines stress that cat owners feed their pets a good amount of protein to go along with the animal's carnivorous nature. According to Mother Nature Network, new research shows high-protein diets may not be the best way to start off newborns.

kitten eating

A study comparing kittens fed a high-protein, low-carb diet, and those fed a balanced diet found that those eating high-protein food had less helpful bacteria in their guts. These findings go against the claims of many cat food brands that promote the high protein levels in their products.

"There are a lot of diets now, all natural, that have high protein and fat and not much dietary fiber or carbohydrates," said study co-author and University of Illinois researcher Kelly Swanson in a press release.

The study was conducted by raising eight kittens on each diet and then breeding those felines in each group. The offspring were then fed the same diets as their parents and tested. Results showed that kittens coming from moms with a balanced diet of carbs and proteins had more of the beneficial bacteria known as bifidobacterium. Low levels of bifidobacterium can cause issues like irritable bowel syndrome. Kittens on a balanced diet also had higher levels of bacteria that assist in controlling cholesterol and regulating appetite.

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