Nutrition is a functional aspect of health and the connection between diet and health has must to be considered vital for our pets.
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” – Hippocrates
TCM considers foods to have specific Qi functions, heat or cool, stimulating or sedating. Disease is the result of not living in accord with natural laws, including that which is obtained through diet either in excess or not enough of.
This is the most common problem of our domestic animals. Too often we forgot their physiology, anatomy and their origin.
Cats, as an examples, are the worst fed pets as we forget that they are strictly carnivorous and we feed them with cereals based food. If you learn how to read a label (an article about will be available soon) on the packaging food that you purchase you can realize which are the real compounds of a commercial food.
Cats are considered true or obligate carnivorous because of the physiology and the anatomy they have evolved: enlarged canine teeth for grabbing and holding prey, specialized carnassial teeth for sharing meat, nocturnal vision, independent ears moving, long whiskers and sharp, retractable claws allowing them to grab and hold prey down. According to this anatomical characteristics cats need an animals-based, high protein diet in order to maintain a proper health. Compared to omnivores and herbivores, carnivores have short, highly acidic digestive tracts, meaning a decreased time that raw meat is in the gut avoiding putrefaction of meat products due to bacterial contamination.
Cats do not possess certain digestive enzymes in adequate amounts. For example, amylase in the saliva of humans and is used to break down starches in the mouth. Feline saliva does not contain enzymes and is only used as a lubricant for swallowing large pieces of food. One could conclude that there was no need for felines to develop the ability to produce salivary amylase due to lack of dietary starch.