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Rule 2: Amount of Protein

2 min read

Baseline for Protein Content #

The baseline for protein content in dry cat food is set at 50% of dry matter protein. This is based on the fact that cats are obligate carnivores, and their natural diet in the wild consists primarily of animal prey, which contains approximately 50% dry matter protein.

Points Deduction for Protein Content Below the Baseline #

For every 1% of dry matter protein below the 50% baseline, 1 point is deducted from the food’s score. The calculation is as follows:

Points deducted = 50 – (Dry matter protein %)

For example, if a dry cat food contains 36% dry matter protein, the points deducted would be:

50 – 36 = 14 points deducted

Importance of High Protein Content for Obligate Carnivores #

As obligate carnivores, cats have specific nutritional requirements that are best met by a diet high in animal-based proteins. A diet rich in high-quality protein is essential for cats for several reasons:

  1. Body Maintenance and Repair: Proteins are the building blocks for muscles, enzymes, hormones, and other vital body components. Cats require a constant supply of high-quality protein to maintain and repair their body tissues.
  2. Energy Source: In addition to being the primary source of amino acids, protein is also an important source of energy for cats. When carbohydrates and fats are insufficient or unavailable, proteins can be metabolized to provide energy.
  3. Amino Acid Requirements: Cats have specific amino acid requirements that can only be met through the consumption of animal-based proteins. Plant-based proteins often lack certain essential amino acids or have an imbalanced amino acid profile, making them an incomplete source of protein for cats.
  4. Lean Body Mass: A high-protein diet helps cats maintain lean body mass and prevents muscle wasting, which is particularly important for active or senior cats.
  5. Satiety and Weight Management: Protein is more satiating than carbohydrates or fats, which can help cats feel fuller for longer and support healthy weight management.

By ensuring a high protein content in dry cat food, preferably from animal-based sources, cat owners can provide their feline companions with the essential nutrients they need to thrive and maintain optimal health and well-being.

Updated on June 12, 2024
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How the score is calculated?

The actual calculation of the score is based on sophisticated and advanced algorithm that takes into account multiple parameters.

To simplify the explanation, the calculation is based on three main criteria:

(1) Amount of protein (more is better)

(2) Amount of carbohydrates (less is better)

(3) Quality and source of ingredients.

Based on that 3 main criteria, 9 score calculation rules are used to compare the different foods.

One major assumption is that the closer an ingredient is to the top of the ingredient list, the greater its relative weight and contribution to the food.

In general, cat food is composed of protein, fats, carbohydrates, fibers, vitamins, and minerals.

Protein is the most important component in a cat’s diet, and cats primarily get their protein from animal meat.

Fat is a primary source of energy and essential fatty acids.

Carbohydrates are controversial in a cat’s diet, as cats are obligate carnivores and typically consume very few carbohydrates.

Fibers play an important role in digestion and food absorption, and vitamins and minerals are essential for different organism functions.

Dry matter values are used to compare the amount of nutrients in different cat foods.
This means that moisture is excluded from the equation to provide a more accurate comparison.

Putting all of these and more into a formula results in a product score.

The maximum score a cat food can receive is 100.
Points are added or removed based on the score calculation rules.