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Healthy cat nutrition in nature: prey mouse


The mouse as a typical prey for cats provides all the nutrients that the fluffy hunters need. Cats are carnivores by nature and, above all, need high-quality proteins for appropriate cat nutrition. How can mice be used in this context as a model for the healthy feeding of our fur noses? "Got you!": Young cat hunting mice - Shutterstock / Andrey Stratilatov

Inferior quality cat food has hardly anything in common with the prey mouse. Often there are far too many carbohydrates and too little moisture in it - especially with dry food. Read a few tips on healthy cat nutrition and what to look for in cat food.

What's in the prey mouse?

A mouse consists of up to 75 percent liquid and 25 percent dry matter. The most important are high-quality animal proteins in cat nutrition, of which mice have around 60 percent. Another 23 percent are animal fats and only around 7 percent are carbohydrates and vegetable raw fibers. In contrast to the predator cat, the prey mouse is a herbivore and the small amount of carbohydrates and plant fibers can be found in the stomach contents of the small rodents.

Around ten percent of a mouse consists of so-called raw ash. This is a theoretical value that is used in animal feed production. This calculates how much ash would be left if the organic residues - the skeleton, skin and fur, as well as the teeth of the prey - were burned. These organic components are also important for cats because they contain vital minerals, vitamins and other trace elements. For example, mice are rich in taurine, which is essential for our fur noses.

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What can you conclude from this for cat nutrition?

If you want to design cat nutrition based on the model of the mouse, you should above all attach importance to a high protein content, sufficient moisture in the feed and enough taurine as well as high-quality, best animal fats. In return, herbal ingredients, especially cereals and other carbohydrates, are ideally only contained to a small extent. In addition, the velvet paws need calcium for strong bones and teeth. What the cuddly tigers cannot use, however, are sugar and chemical additives such as artificial flavors, colors or flavor enhancers.

Dry food has little to do with the prey mouse

Dry food usually contains too many carbohydrates and too little liquid. While cats can compensate for part of the lack of fluids by drinking water, this is very difficult or almost impossible with pure dry food nutrition. In addition, dry food is said to deposit on the teeth when eating and to promote toothache and other dental problems. It should therefore only be fed, if at all, in exceptional cases and should in no way be the main component of cat nutrition.

Wet food or barf: what is more like the mouse?

Barf stands for "biologically appropriate raw feeding" and can come very close to the prey mouse if the meals are carefully composed. The main component of this type of cat nutrition is raw meat, bones, mineral feed, animal oils and fats and grated egg shells are also allowed. Mineral feed contains all the important trace elements, vitamins and minerals for cats and must be added to the bass to avoid deficiency symptoms. Even with barf, whole mice or other prey animals are not fed, but offal, slaughterhouse waste, pieces of meat and fish, which must always be fresh. Be sure to get support from your veterinarian or an animal nutritionist on this point so that you don't go wrong when cooking yourself.

Wet food is not necessarily worse than home-cooked raw food, it can be composed similarly to the prey mouse and provide your cat with all the nutrients it needs. A look at the list of ingredients provides information on whether it is high-quality, suitable cat food or not, if you pay attention to the aspects mentioned above. You can find such cat food at the manufacturer "Terra Faelis", for example. Veterinarian Hanna Stephan explains in a press release: "Cat food with a mouse taste is not possible, but cat food that is developed using the prey mouse as a role model is." A high proportion of meat and the absence of grain made this possible, she says.