The most common sources of starch, cereals, may contain gluten, sometimes causing food intolerance reactions, in humans. Gluten is a type of plant protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. The gluten protein acts as a binder and in some foods a stabilizing agent.
To leave grains that are not essential to their diet in favor of other ingredients more respecting their nature and their needs, that is the promise of the "gluten free" food. If a few years ago, this market could be considered as a niche, it now represents an important part of the animal feed sector and continues to grow.
These figures prove that it is no longer a simple trend, that it is a growing market and a thriving need.
Gluten free, a flourishing market
Increasing demand and satisfaction for the pet owners who call on better digestion and better health for their feline companion, convinced the brands to conquer each in turn and in their own way this promising market. However, "gluten-free" does not necessarily mean that it is adequate for a protein diet that meets the needs of cats, strict carnivores.
Why do a gluten-free diet for my cat?
The advantage of gluten free cat food lies in the fact that, ideally, the energy intake they represent is replaced by a greater presence of animal proteins that are more suitable for the carnivorous diet of our felines as well as less starch.
In cat food, it's not really the grains themselves that are the problem but rather the carbohydrates, whether it is a food with or without grain, it is important to consider the quantity and type of carbohydrates present. Starch is a carbohydrate.
What is interesting in a kibble is not that it is without cereals since it has been said, these are not a problem for animals, but it is poor in starch to respect the carnivorous nature of your feline.
Are all gluten free products the same?
As seductive and reassuring as this name is, the answer to this question is no. Starch is always present, sometimes as in kibble; this food is far from the natural diet of the cat. Most cat food, contain a very high carbohydrate content, which can lead to many health problems such as overweight, diabetes and insulin resistance.
By studying many gluten-free foods, we find that 60% were in fact not rich in protein, yet this is what a cat owner must look for if he wants a diet that really meets the needs of his animal.
How to choose the right gluten free diet?
What you need to look at above all in gluten free cat food is its animal protein content, keeping in mind that to be suitable for a carnivore like a cat, it must be 40%. Be careful however if the ash content is 10% or above these proteins are bad qualities and will not be digestible for the animal, also insisting on the presence of omega-3 fatty acids, essential in the nutrition of cats.
Be aware of all the ingredients in the cat food whether it is gluten free cat food or not, as many pet food manufacturers use fillers to add bulk to their products.