Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A rough summary of the NRC requirements can be found at "Your Cat's Nutritional Needs" or at the National Acadamy Press site at the "download free" button.

Friday, March 23, 2007


There are no clear guidelines for water consumption, therefore it tends to be a far more subjective concept to list, here.

While the NRC book, and others point out that cats can concentrate urine, and that individual cats have individual needs based upon canned or dry diets, and activity levels, there are some clear guidelines such as the following, as quoted from the UCDavis site, "Dogs and cats should always have fresh water available. Bowls should be emptied and cleaned daily. Milk should not be a substitute for water and can cause diarrhea in many animals. Lack of water or only offering stale water can lead to dehydration and diseases associated with the kidneys or urinary system. "

In the latest book, Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats, on Page 249, it is stated that, "As fundamentally desert animals, cats have developed adaptations to accommodate periods of water unavailability". Later the book clarifies that, depending upon activity levels and environmental temperature, cats need 0.6 to 0.7 in relation to one gram of dry matter consumed, thereby excluding the water provided by the food, dry or canned. For cats living outdoors, the ratio was increased to 0.9:1. There are studies relating to these differences in requirements, listed at PubMed

Personally, our recommendation is to leave water out near travel paths taken by your cat in the house, as cats like to 'graze' on water as much as they do catching bugs, lizards, and whatever else happens across their path. If your cat changes habits and starts drinking from a toilet, bathtub, or sink, then possibly it is looking for fresher sources of water and needs the water being provided to be changed more frequently. We use honey buckets, (2 pound bucket) (see in the background of first photo), to keep the water at a higher level for more comfortable consumption, and the larger volume remains cool longer. Moving water from a cat fountain may also be useful, but as you can see from the 'honey bucket' photo linked above, we had one out at that point in time and it was ignored over the ability to sit and drink, rather than have to bend low to the ground, so the honey bucket won.  The last link here shows Pepper halfway down the page having a gay old time splashing the water all over the kitchen floor, so you may find you need to use those draining mats for dirty boots as protection, or something similar.

The exception to this would be if you were trying to use fluids to flush out kidneys, or reduce crystals, which is all too common a concern these days. Here, the recommendation by the NRC is that possibly using canned food will cause natural diuresis, with alternate suggestions of high protein and increased mineral content, "hence the total solute load, and subsequent need for water may be reduced", (Thrall, B.E. and L. G. Miller, 1976. Water turnover in cats fed dry rations. Fel Pract. 6:10-17)

Monday, March 19, 2007


Measurements in grams unless otherwise indicated.
Total Protein Minimal Requirement - 3.97; Recommended Daily Allowance - 4.96
Amino Acids:
Arginine Adequate Intake - 0.19; Recommended Daily Allowance - 0.19
Histadine Adequate Intake -0.064; Recommended Daily Allowance - 0.064
Isoleucine Adequate Intake -0.11; Recommended Daily Allowance - 0.11
Leucine Adequate Intake -0.25; Recommended Daily Allowance - 0.25
Lysine Minimum Requirement - 0.067; Recommended Daily Allowance - 0.084
Methionine Minimum Requirement - 0.033; Recommended Daily Allowance - 0.042
Methionine-cystine Minimum Requirement - 0.067; Recommended Daily Allowance - 0.084
Phenylalanine Adequate Intake - 0.099; Recommended Daily Allowance - 0.099
Phenylalanine-tyrosine Adequate Intake - 0.38; Recommended Daily Allowance - 0.38
Taurine Minimum Requirement - 0.0079; Recommended Daily Allowance - 0.0099
Threonine Adequate Intake -0.13; Recommended Daily Allowance - 0.13
Tryptophan Adequate Intake -0.032; Recommended Daily Allowance - 0.032
Valine Adequate Intake -0.13; Recommended Daily Allowance - 0.13


Measurements in grams unless otherwise indicated.
Total Fat - Adequate Intake - 2.2; Recommended Daily Allowance - 2.2; Safe Upper Limit - 8.2
Fatty Acids:
Linoleic Acid (Alpha Linolenic Acid) Omega 3 Adequate Intake - 0.14; Recommended Daily
Allowance - 0.14; Safe Upper Limit - 1.4
Arachidonic Acid Omega 6 Adequate Intake 0.0005; Recommended Daily Allowance - 0.0015; Safe Upper Limit - 0.049
Eicosapentaenoic & Docosahexaenoic Acid Adequate Intake - 0.0025; Recommended Daily Allowance - 0.0025


Measurements in grams unless otherwise indicated.
µg = micrograms 1µg = 40 IU
Vitamin A, (µg retinol) µg Adequate Intake - 19.8; Recommended Daily Allowance - 24.7;
Safe Upper Limit - 2,469 (IU)
Vitamin D3, (Cholecalciferol) µg Adequate Intake - 0.14; Recommended Daily Allowance - 0.17; Safe Upper Limit - 19
Vitamin E, (alpha tocopheral), mg Adequate Intake - 0.74; Recommended Daily
Allowance - 0.94
Vitamin K, (menadione) mg Adequate Intake - 0.025; Recommended Daily Allowance - 0.025
Thiamin, mg Adequate Intake - 0.11; Recommended Daily Allowance - 0.14
Riboflavin, mg Adequate Intake - 0.079; Recommended Daily Allowance - 0.099
Pyridoxine, (B6) mg Minimum Requirement - 0.05; Recommended Daily Allowance - 0.06
Niacin, (B3) mg Adequate Intake - 0.79; Recommended Daily Allowance - 0.99
Pantothenic Acid, (B5) mg Minimum Requirement - 0.11; Recommended Daily Allowance - 0.14
Folic Acid, (B9) µg Minimum Requirement - 15; Recommended Daily Allowance19
Biotin, (B7) aka, Vitamin H, µg Adequate Intake - 1.5; Recommended Daily Allowance - 1.9
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamine) µg Adequate Intake - 0.44; Recommended Daily Allowance - 0.56
Choline mg Minimum Requirement - 60; Recommended Daily Allowance - 63

Vitamin C
, (ascorbic acid) The liver of cats has the key enzyme L-gulono-Y-lactone oxidase, (EC 1.1. 3.8), which is able to synthesize the needed ascorbic acid from glucose. The NRC warns against high intake of ascorbic acid, stating the following: "High intake of ascorbic acid may act as a prooxidant and induce lipid peroxidation." This includes Fenton's reaction, which will enhance iron absorption and cause a resulting overdose of this mineral. This reaction is reduced with an increase in Vitamin E levels in the diet. (page 234). There is also a suspicion that increased ascorbic acid intake may predispose a cat to oxalate urolithiasis, however there is no data to sustain this theory.

Friday, March 16, 2007


Measurements in grams unless otherwise indicated.
Calcium Minimum Requirement - 0.040; Recommended Daily Allowance - 0.071
Phosphorus Minumum Requirement - 0.035; Recommended Daily Allowance - 0.063
Potassium Adequate Intake - 0.13; Recommended Daily Allowance - 0.13
Sodium(mg) Adequate Intake - 16.0; Recommended Daily Allowance - 16.7
Chloride(mg) Adequate Intake - 23.7; Recommended Daily Allowance - 23.7
Magnesium(mg) Minimum Requirement - 4.9; Recommended Daily Allowance - 9.5
Iron(mg) Adequate Intake - 1.98; Recommended Daily Allowance - 1.98
Copper(mg) Adequate Intake - 0.119; Recommended Daily Allowance - 0.119
Iodine(µg) Minimum Requirement - 31.6; Recommended Daily Allowance - 35
Zinc (mg)Adequate Intake - 1.9; Recommended Daily Allowance - 1.9
Manganese(mg) Adequate Intake - 0.119; Recommended Daily Allowance - 0.119
Selenium(µg)Adequate Intake - 6.95; Recommended Daily Allowance - 6.95