Superfoods aren't just for humans! These foods are jam-packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Their exceptional nutrient density is assumed to give optimum health benefits. In cats, these foods can boost their intake of essential nutrients and make an excellent supplement for a premium quality diet. Most superfoods for cats are plant-based, but they can also include fish and eggs which are equally nutrient-dense.
Take note, however, that superfoods are not a substitute to a completely balanced diet. They should be viewed only as a healthy supplement to a cat’s diet.
Benefits of superfoods to cats
- Most types of superfoods are rich in antioxidants and other plant-based compounds that have been shown to have anti-cancer and/or anti-inflammatory properties and alleviate symptoms associated with bone and joint problems (such as arthritis) and feline cognitive dysfunction (dementia). These nutrients can also help promote urinary tract health and function and keep vital senses in check.
- The high vitamin and mineral content of superfoods can help boost the immune system, healing, and repair of damaged body tissues, and promote optimum body function.
- Superfoods also contain electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals which play an important role in various physiological functions of the body.
- Another important benefit is their high essential fatty acid (EFAs) content. EFAs such as omega-3 and omega-6 contain DHA and EPA that give various health benefits for cats. EFAs help boost immune system function and integrity, prevent and fight inflammatory, keep skin and coat healthy, and promote healthy skin and bones. They are also good for the heart.
Superfoods for Cats
Berries are low in calories but loaded with antioxidants, phytoflavinoids, potassium, vitamin C and E, manganese, and fiber. They are an excellent way to add more antioxidants to your cat's diet. These substances possess anti-inflammatory properties and can lower the risk of cancer and heart disease. Other potential benefits of blueberries include the following:
- Lessen muscle damage after intense physical activity
- Help fight urinary tract infections
- Beneficial effects on insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism (anti-diabetes effects)
- Help maintain brain function
Berries are usually added to natural cat treats to enhance the flavor and nutritional benefits. A popular product is Natural Kitty’s Creamy Treats Superfood Blend- Tuna, Salmon & Blueberry
According to PetMD, plain pumpkin is a great source of fiber for felines. They serve as an easy fix for mild cases of constipation in cats. The high soluble fiber in pumpkins can help with your pet's upset stomach and help relieve vomiting, constipation or diarrhoea. It can also help overweight cats lose extra pounds. They are rich in carotenoids, potassium, and vitamin C as well.
Pumpkins are good for cats. They can be fed to cats raw, cooked, or canned. They contain less protein so it is recommended that it should be used sparingly in cats as they require a high-protein diet. If your cat has been diagnosed with any chronic illness such as kidney disease or diabetes, you should consult your veterinarian before feeding pumpkin to your cat. Solid Gold's Indigo Moon Chicken & Egg Dry Cat Food combines a unique blend of 20 superfoods, including carrots, pumpkin, and apple.
Widely marketed as a superfood, the coconut needs little to no introduction in our sunny island -- we use them for almost everything! From our favourite nonya kuehs and curries to refreshing coconut water drinks and pandan jams, coconuts are ubiquitous in our daily lives and have even made their way into pet foods too.
Coconuts are usually processed into coconut oil for pet consumption or topical applications, which primarily keep your cat's coat shiny and healthy whilst keeping the skin underneath yeast and fungal infection-free. With a healthier coat, coconuts can indirectly reduce the frequency of hairballs popping up around your house too! In addition, the lauric acid in coconuts contains anti-fungal and anti-viral properties that help to fight off diseases and infections, while their medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) aids in digestion by preventing undue strain on your cat's digestive tract.
With so many health benefits under its belt, it is no wonder that the coconut has earned the 'superfood' label! For a taste of this amazingly multi-faceted superfood, try adding a teaspoon of Absolute Plus Coconut Oil to your cat's foods, or try the Solid Gold Indigo Moon Chicken Liver & Coconut Oil can foods for a 'coconutty' super meal!
Carrots aren't just for bunnies! Carrots are for cats, too! Low calorie and high fiber, they make a nutritious snack even for pets on the weight-watch. They can provide your cat with carotenoids, fiber, vitamin C, and potassium. Also, they are loaded with magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus. The liver converts beta-carotene in carrots to vitamin A, which then combines with the protein opsin forming rhodopsin, a substance that enhances night and color vision. Vitamin A also supports immune system function. Carrots are low in calories but high in fiber, thus it is often combined with a high-protein ingredient to meet a cat’s needs for protein. Vitakraft's ReaLife Superfoods Dry Food guarantees 10% of fruits and botanicals in their formulas, including carrots, spinach, and blueberries.
5. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are loaded with valuable nutrition to boost your cat's health, energy, and endurance. Unlike flaxseed, Chia seeds do not need to be ground to access their nutrients. Their nutritional benefits include fibre, antioxidants, protein (14%), vitamins A, B, E, and D, calcium, protein, and essential minerals. The high protein content has a reducing effect on the appetite which can be great for cats trying to lose weight. Highly absorbent, they can help hydrate the body as well. Chia is also an excellent source of α-linolenic acid, a type of omega-3 fatty acid. It helps promote heart health, efficient digestion, and bone strength, as well as help repair cell and tissue damage.
Cats can eat chia seeds whole or ground. You can also soak them in liquid before offering them to your pet. Soaking chia seeds enhances the release of nutrients and promote better digestion of the seed. When soaked, it becomes gel-like consistency. Upon ingestion of liquid-soaked chia, the expansion of the stomach helps slow down the absorption of food. The fiber content helps keep the digestive tract clean while absorbing toxins and promoting the peristaltic movement. Chia seeds are also great for constipation in cats. Meow's freeze-dried cat food and treats all contain chia seeds, as well as other natural ingredients such as manuka honey and green-lipped mussels.
Cranberries are rich in antioxidants which are beneficial in helping the body prevent and fight off cancer. Proanthocyanidins are substances that are responsible for the vibrant color of cranberries. They also contribute to their potent antioxidant levels. Also, they are beneficial for the treatment and prevention of kidney and urinary tract infections. According to Animal Wellness, cranberries contain dietary fiber, copper, manganese, potassium, iron, magnesium, and vitamin K, C, and E. Vitamin C helps boost the function of the immune system, and manganese is an essential element in the function of the nervous system as well as bone and joint cartilage formation. Cranberries also contain tannins that help prevent bacteria from adhering to the walls of the urinary tract and causing infection.
It is not advisable to give raw cranberries to your pet. Although there are tablets or soft chews that are available, a very easy way to give your pet some cranberries is to find food or treat that has this nutrient-packed fruit as one of the ingredients. There are also canned cat foods such as Nurture Pro's Longevity that combine cranberries with a meat-based formula for a more enhanced flavor and nutrient-packed diet.
7. Goji Berries
Can cats eat goji berries? The answer is, yes! Goji berries are rich in phytonutrients, trace minerals, and vitamins. They are also rich in amino acids and antioxidants. Their extracts may reduce blood glucose, lower cholesterol levels, and prevent the growth of cancer cells.
Some cat parents may have second thoughts about giving goji berries to their pet cats because they look like raisins, but they are not the same, and goji berries are generally safe for cats. Check out cat food and treats that contain berries or you can offer a couple of berries to your pet. To make them more digestible, soak the berries in water. Here’s a refreshing and nutritious tuna and goji berries blend for your kitty by Aatas Cat.
Japanese article : 【猫の食べ物】猫ににんじんや南瓜は与えてもいい？