Cats need protein. Lots of it.
Protein is an essential macronutrient that cats get through the consumption of meat. Protein powers your cat's body—from cellular function, to building bones and muscles, to fueling a playful pounce.
What is protein?
Protein itself is made up of over twenty amino acids, some of which are especially important to cat health. It helps to think of proteins as a ball of yarn (although, balls of yarn are not appropriate toys for cats... but that's another story). The larger ball is composed one long piece of yarn, gathered and wrapped around itself, and made up of individual strings; amino acids link and weave together to build protein.
Taurine, and amino acids
Different species have different nutritional requirements, and these requirements are dietary needs to support functions we can not perform independently. These requirements lay in the building blocks of proteins themselves: amino acids.
Taurine is an amino acid found only in meat protein, and critical to cat health. In cats, taurine is essential for immune health, digestion, heart function, muscle health, vision, maintaining normal pregnancy and fetal development.
The other essential amino acids for cats include: arginine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.
Because cats are obligate carnivores, they process protein quickly and efficiently.
Why do cats need protein?
Protein is essential to the formation of tissues and organs, and provides structural protection of cell walls. Not only does protein make up the cells in your cat's body, it's essential for cats to eat protein-rich food. Protein provides energy to maintain your cat's immune system and powering their 3a zoomies.
How much protein do cats need?
Protein is important, but how much should your cat be eating? The bad news is that reading cat food labels does in fact need its own break down, however the good news is that right now, we'll cut to the point.
Cats need high-quality protein from meat. In nature, wildcats hunt small animals like rodents, but their domestic counterpart depends on their humans to put fresh, natural food in their bowls. The average adult cat needs 12.5g of protein a day, and guess what: Smalls Human-grade Fresh recipes are packed with single-source meat proteins.
Quality protein for cats
When it comes to your cat, we know you want to give them the best. However, in the world of pet food, not all ingredients meet the right nutritional needs of your cat.
For example, Smalls Human-grade Fresh Bird contains chicken thigh, breast, and liver. On the other paw, most other pet food options simply have "chicken meal" listed on their ingredients. Smalls ingredients were specifically chosen because they are rich in protein and other essential nutrients for cats; "meal" is a catch-all term to describe "rendered product from mammal tissues". Meal isn't necessarily the most nutritious parts of an animal, and when it comes to what goes in our cat's bowls, we're not fans of vague descriptions.