It’s not uncommon to see an adventurous cat crawling across the grass to pounce on a small mouse or anything else they consider “prey”. Also don’t see an indoor cat catch mice or even rats based on his instincts.
What is the difference between indoor cat food and outdoor cat food?
Do environmental factors play a role when it comes to what cats choose to eat and what they might turn their nose up at?
Let’s explore this interesting topic further.
Outdoor Cats and What They Choose to Eat
Outdoor cats naturally have access to prey that indoor cats cannot, such as birds, reptiles, and small mammals such as mice, squirrels, and rabbits.
Outdoor cats will also prey on small animals for fun, not necessarily to kill them, but for “exercise”.
Having said that, cats will use the prey they catch to supplement what they are not getting in their daily diet. But in general, food preference depends on the cat’s taste.
“Some outdoor cats may prefer wild game they catch to commercial kibble, but other cats may like the ease of not having to ‘catch’ their food,” says DVM veterinarian Bradley Quest, MD.
“This is because it doesn’t have to expend more energy to eat than the cat’s taste preference for the food it eats.”
The difference between indoor and outdoor cat food
Aside from the obvious difference that outdoor cats can run freely outdoors while indoor cats can hang out around the house and sleep in beds, there are other differences between indoor and outdoor cats, but are there differences between their nutritional needs?
“Even outdoor cats, it’s a good idea to provide them with a commercial feline diet, as they may not get all the vitamins and minerals they need to thrive from wild-caught game alone,” said Dr. Quest. .”
“Commercial cat food for outdoor cats also needs to be very tasty so they eat enough to get all the nutrients they need to be healthy; outdoor cats may prefer wet food, which may be more texture and moisture like outdoor cats Wild prey of habit.”
Indoor Cat Food vs. Outdoor Cat Food
In other words, a high-protein diet can benefit both indoor and outdoor cats. A good example of a high-quality high-protein diet is the Essentials Diet for Cats.
It contains at least 86% animal or fish protein content and also contains healthy vitamins and minerals.
For those outdoor cats looking for a wet pot formula, Essence Recipes in wet pot formula contains 96% animal or fish protein ingredients.
A great example is the Essence Ocean & Freshwater Recipe. “Recent studies have shown that, given the choice, cats will choose a high-protein diet over a high-carbohydrate diet,” Dr. Quest said.
“This may be because cats are not as good at digesting and utilizing carbohydrates as humans or even dogs.”
Can outdoor cats eat indoor cat food?
Indoor and outdoor cats have the same nutritional needs; however, they may choose different foods at different times due to circumstances, personal preferences, natural instincts, and behavior.
Wet food can help provide the cat with the moisture it needs in its diet, and it’s also a good idea to mix dry and wet food. For more information on the nutritional needs of your indoor or outdoor cat, it is best to consult your veterinarian.
This is a sponsored post by Pets Global.
I am broadly interested in how human activities influence the ability of wildlife to persist in the modified environments that we create.
Specifically, my research investigates how the configuration and composition of landscapes influence the movement and population dynamics of forest birds. Both natural and human-derived fragmenting of habitat can influence where birds settle, how they access the resources they need to survive and reproduce, and these factors in turn affect population demographics. Most recently, I have been studying the ability of individuals to move through and utilize forested areas which have been modified through timber harvest as they seek out resources for the breeding and postfledging phases. As well I am working in collaboration with Parks Canada scientists to examine in the influence of high density moose populations on forest bird communities in Gros Morne National Park. Many of my projects are conducted in collaboration or consultation with representatives of industry and government agencies, seeking to improve the management and sustainability of natural resource extraction.