Which Protein is Best for your Cat? Ask an Iams Expert Here!

What protein is best for your cat

Do you wonder what protein is best for your cat?

Food trends come and go. Many humans like to mix up their diets by trying a variety of  foods and flavors.  My mom is a foodie. She has developed award winning specialty food products  and even now that she is a zoologist  she still likes to  learn about interesting new ingredients  and innovative foods.  Just ask my dad, you probably never want to go to the grocery store with her.  She really likes to  stalk the shelves for what’s new.  But we cats, well we aren’t concerned with pink himalayan sea salt or agnolotti with celery-root puree. We just want protein.

Cats are obligate carnivores and we need to eat protein that contains 10 specific amino acids that we can’t make on our own. These essential amino acids are known as the building blocks for important biologically active compounds and proteins. If we become deficient even of just one essential amino acid, it can lead to serious health problems. Your cat’s menu should be made up almost entirely of protein sources from meat.  This is why we cats are always on the prowl for the amino acids in protein.

Do you have questions about cat food ingredients?

Even though you understand that your cats need protein, do you wonder which protein is best for your cat? Should you choose fish, chicken or beef?  Do you wonder what the ingredient label means on  your cat’s food?  Would you like to ask an expert?  Now is your chance to ask any question that concerns you about your cat’s food and Dr. Melody Raasch will do her best to answer your questions right here on our The Tiniest Tiger’s Conservation Cub Club.

Dr. Raasch received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 1993 and a MS in Food Safety in 2011 both through

Dr. Melody Raasch

Dr. Melody Raasch

Michigan State University. She joined the Iams Company in 1998 and is currently a Manager of Scientific Communications. She is currently a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Miami Valley Veterinary Medical Association.  Outside of the office, Dr. Raasch enjoys travel, reading, and watching movies.  She is married and has two wonderful children as well as five pets.  “Willie-Moe” is a grey Domestic Short Hair, “Butch” is a seal point Siamese, “Alex” or affectionately called “A-bomb” is a tiger Domestic Short Hair, “Bert” is an African Grey parrot, and she also has a cockatiel who we have never really named but her daughter calls her “Belle.”

Ask Dr. Raasch your questions in the comments below this post.

Just leave your question about cat food ingredients, proteins or any other concerns you might have about your cat’s nutritional requirements.  Your questions will be answered in a personalized video just for members of our community.

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  1. What is the best food to feed two cats in one home who are 16years and 3years? They eat from the same dish. They are both heavy but the 3year old is much heavier so I put them on a weight reducing diet, with vets input. The 16year old has lost some weight but his coat is not as pretty as it has been. He is supplemented with a wet food daily, which includes a teaspoon of plain pumpkin twice a day for added fiber for hairball management. It is working well, and he likes it. The 3year old is still heavy. They were both rescues. The 3year old from an extremely abusive situation where she was in liver failure. The 16year old was abandoned.

    • Jaymee, you ask a great question. Many friends are sharing their homes with more than one cat. I think the answer to your question will be of interest to many.

      • I agree, Jaymee! I will be interested to hear what the vet says about this since my two babies (Colby and Chloe, see my post below) are, shall we say, quite different in terms of “huskiness,” yet don’t seen to eat well if I try to feed them separately. And bless your heart for opening your home and caring for these special kitties! I am sure they are so thankful for their second chance and are thriving under your care. You all are very lucky to have one another! 🙂

  2. My 6-year old domestic shorthair cat was diagnosed (by biopsy) last year with Inflammatory Bowel Disease and the vet recommended a limited-ingredient, novel protein Rx food for her. Can you explain why a “novel” protein is necessary to help keep the inflammation at bay, and is a prescription food really necessary? Since her diagnosis I have been feeding her and her brother a very similar, non-Rx food (both canned and dry) with almost identical ingredients – i.e., made from green peas and duck or venison as the meat protein source – but they are organic and do NOT include by-products, as the Rx food did. She has been doing extremely well (knock on wood) in terms of gaining weight and not vomiting. So what is the deal with novel proteins, and secondly, how do you feel about the quality of protein from the ubiquitous meat by-products compared with that from whole meats? Sorry for the multi-part question, but I am just so thankful to have someone other than my regular vet to ask about this! Thank you so much for your time!

  3. I have one cat that tends to be plump, and another that’s very lean. I worry about him getting too thin (and he’s even fixed!). What can I give him as a cat-appropriate high calorie snack? He likes dry food, treats, and meat from our food, but doesn’t care for wet cat foid.

  4. We would love to know more about protein types for cats. We have heard that in AZ, it’s better to stay away from “hot”proteins such as beef, and stay with “cool” proteins such as fish. Have you ever heard of this?

  5. Is it ok to feed my adult cats the Iams Kitten food? They seem to like it the best.

  6. Pet News and Views says

    While I agree that protein is essential, I still hear from the occasional vegan/vegetarian about animal-free diets for cats. I know it is dangerous. So, I thank you for the reminder.
    As far as questions for Dr. Raasch, what type of treats does she recommend? And how often should treats be given to a cat? Personally, my cat, Earl Gray, doesn’t eat treats.