Are Grain-Free Diets Safe for Cats?

July 3, 2019

Tabby Cat

The FDA warning about grain-free diets and a possible link to heart disease in dogs does not extend to cats. At this time, the association between grain-free diets and canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is unknown, and veterinary nutritionists are working diligently to identify the link. With cats, it is important to remember that an ideal diet contains primarily meat, is high in moisture, and low in all forms of carbohydrates (grains, legumes, and starch). A grain-free diet is not necessarily healthier or lower in carbohydrates than a diet with a grain (wheat, corn, barley, rice). While it is ok to feed your cat a grain-free diet based on what we know right now, the focus should be on feeding a good-quality, meat protein-based, moist diet, and never feed your cat dog food.

For more information about grain-free food for cats, check out Petfoodology, or read Research Update: New insight into grain-free cat diets from their website written by Dr. Cailin Heinze, a board-certified veterinary nutritionist.