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Introduction to the Digestive System of Cats

Cats are obligate carnivores. That means that their digestive system is designed exclusively for quick processing of high protein prey meals. One or two mice at a time.cat_digestive_system

Key Features of Cats' Digestive System

The following components are all part of a cat's digestive system:

  • Sharp teeth meant to shear and tear prey
  • Amylase is missing in cats' saliva, since they do not tend to eat high carb diets naturally
  • Starch processing enzymes are scarce in cats' pancreas' since they do not require high carbohydrate processing capacity
  • Cats' taste buds don't particularly react much to sweet tastes; no “sweet tooth” like people and dogs
  • Short length of the gut and fast transit time means little weight in the guts for an active predator
  • Cats' livers do not tend to store carbohydrates, and fatty liver disease can happen quickly if the normal dietary intake is disturbed
  • Metabolism control is mostly under control of protein intake since a cat's pancreas uses amino acid triggers for insulin release rather than glucose as is the case in people and dogs
  • Cats are not scavengers like dogs can be, so they do not tolerate or enjoy anything less than super fresh food
  • Cats are finicky—this is thought to be due to their natural pickiness for fresh food combined with an amazingly acute sense of smell that allows them to choose only the best
  • Cats' stool often carries scent markers deposited on the outside for marking territory—this scenting of their feces comes from the anal glands, located at the exit point of the anus

Aren't cats interesting?

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