Nutritional Nutrition And Dietary Preferences

850 Words Mar 7th, 2016 4 Pages
Other than veterinary bills, food is the largest expense for pet owners, leading to the growth of a billion dollar industry that produces over 10 million tons of pet food annually (Grum, 2016). A great deal of money goes into research to examine feline nutrition and dietary preferences. In an article published on the Forbes website, John McQuaid (2015) a journalist and book author, proposed that cats’ ability to taste bitterness, and inability to taste sweetness explains “why cats are such picky eaters.” With the growing pet population in the U.S., insight into feline diet requirements and preferences helps both pet food companies and pet owners provide more nutritious, balanced food options for domestic cats.
Vitamin A, arachidonic acid, taurine, and arginine cannot be synthesized by cats and must be obtained from the diet. Arachidonic acid is a fatty acid, without it, felines may experience reproductive failure and difficulty clotting blood, making it difficult to heal wounds(Zaghini & Biagi, 2005). Taurine is an amino acid found as a free compound in animal tissues. A taurine deficiency in cats can lead to blindness as the retina degenerates (Zaghini & Biagi, 2005). Arginine is also an amino acid, and plays a role in releasing hormones and healing wounds (without sufficient arginine, cell cells have trouble dividing, which becomes a problem when damaged cells need to be replaced or repaired). Arginine is required in cats throughout their lifetime, as opposed to humans,…
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