The nutritional value of any particular food is different for different species and individuals, depending on the animal's nutritional requirements and the ability of the animal's digestive system to utilize the nutrients in that food.
No matter how sweet and cuddly your cat may be, she is much like her cousin the tiger. Her teeth are perfectly designed to grasp prey and to shear off hunks of meat, but they are not very good at chewing up vegetable matter.
Her digestive tract processes meat proteins efficiently but cannot break down the tough cellulose walls of vegetable matter as can grazing and browsing animals. In short, your cat is a carnivore, a meat eater.
Does that mean that she does not need vegetables? No, not at all. But she needs her veggie broken down for her so that her digestive system can make use of their nutrients. In the wild, cats eat the stomachs and intestines of their prey, including the partially digested contents.
Your domestic cat needs the bulk of her vegetable matter cooked. She may also enjoy fresh greens, although their nutritional value is minimal. Knowing the basic principles of feline nutrition is a helpful step toward keeping your cat healthy throughout her life.
Remember, though, that your cat is an individual, and her needs may be slightly different from those of another cat. The best clues to how well your cat's diet suits her are her health and physical appearance.
You can expect some changes to occur to her body as she ages, but she should have a reasonable layer of flesh between her skin and her bones. Her skin and coat should appear to be healthy, and although she may sleep more as she ages, when she is awake she should be reasonably active; if not, ask your veterinarian whether a change in diet might help.
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