Do cats need meat?
CATS CANNOT PRODUCE THEIR OWN NUTRIENTS:
Cats are obligate carnivores, i.e they are specially adapted to a diet consisting they meet their nutritional needs by consuming other animals and have a higher protein requirement than many other mammals. With the passage of time and evolution, cats have lost the ability to synthesize amino acids and vitamins like that of a herbivore and omnivore. They also need specific amino acids and vitamins such as taurine, arginine, niacin, arachidonic acid, Vitamin A and Vitamin B12 which are found only in meat to function efficiently. Without a steady supply they can suffer from multi-organ dysfunction including liver and heart problems, skin irritation and hearing loss. Taurine, an amino acid responsible for the metabolic rate and biological function, supports a cat’s vision, nerve functioning, immune system, and cardiac motility.
Most omnivores get glucose from breaking down carbohydrates while cats yield their energy through gluconeogenesis, which means they use non-carbohydrate sources to meet their glucose requirement.
FROM A DIGESTIVE POINT:
The digestive tract of cats is substantially shorter than that of animals that eat plants. Plants are digested by fermentative bacteria and yield a high amount of fiber, thereby requiring a longer digestive tract. The short digestive tracts of cats enables them to digest raw meat more rapidly.
Cats have 4 canine teeth at the front of their mouths to help them tear into meat. They also have razor-sharp carnassial teeth on the upper and lower jaws to help them deliver a final blow to small prey, assisting them with their flesh-eating habits.