A recent study was done that suggests the limited diet of cats. But lets face it you came here to read what we have to say about the Savannah Cat and their diet!
We know that cats in general are carnivores but the study of Savannah Cats exerts a uniquely powerful influence about their DNA!
Evolutionary gene alterations in Savannah Cats have reduced their ability to digest carbohydrates and increased their muscle strength and agility, making them better hunters like their Serval ancestors!
In a previous wild cat genome study, scientists learned that genes involved in vision and sense of smell are evolving rapidly!
The common house cat shares over 95 percent of his or her genes with the Siberian tiger.
And depending on your generation of Savannah cat, you may have a Serval/Siberian Tiger mini mix! haha!
As obligate carnivores, Savannah cats require animal meat to survive. They have several additional unique dietary requirements that can only be met with a meat-based diet.
Over tens of millions of years, your wild kitty has evolved to adapt, as obligate carnivores, to digest and live solely on a diet of animal meat.
Savannah Cats must eat animal meat and organs to meet their nutritional needs, and plant-based proteins (grains and vegetables) are no substitute.
Cats lack the specific enzymes necessary to use plant proteins as efficiently as animal proteins. The proteins derived from animal tissue contain a complete amino acid profile. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein.
Plant-based proteins do not contain all the amino acids critical for the health of an obligate carnivore.
Humans, who are omnivores, have the physiological ability to turn plant proteins into the missing pieces needed for a complete amino acid profile. To a very limited extent dogs can do this as well, but a cat's body isn't equipped for it whatsoever.
Why Your Spotted Friend Needs so Much Animal Meat
Savannah Kittens require 1.5 times more protein than puppies.
Adult Savannah Cats need two to three times the amount adult dogs require!
This is because while other mammal species use most of the protein they consume for growth and body maintenance, cats use it for those purposes and also as a source of energy.
When other animals are fed a low-protein diet, their bodies conserve amino acids to manage the deficit.
But a cat's body must continue to use protein even when there's not enough in the diet.
In addition to their increased need for protein, Savannah Cats also have a higher requirement for certain specific amino acids found naturally in animal tissue.
One of the amino acids missing in plants is taurine, which is found in animal muscle meat, particularly found in the heart and liver. Taurine deficiency causes serious health problems in cats, including cardiovascular disease and blindness.
Savannah Cats Also Have Distinct Dietary Vitamin Requirements
All Cats including the Savannah Cat have a special requirement for vitamin A, which is available naturally only in animal tissue. They lack the intestinal enzymes necessary to convert beta-carotene in plants to the active form of vitamin A, which is essential for vision, bone growth, muscle growth, reproduction and the health of epithelial tissues.
They also require five times more dietary thiamine (vitamin B1) than dogs. A thiamine deficiency can result in a poor-quality coat, loss of appetite, hunched posture, neurologic problems including seizures and even death.
Since vitamin B1 isn't stable in commercial pet foods and levels drop significantly the longer the food is stored. The issue is if using a supplement.. most B vitamins come from China.
They must also consume vitamin D in their diet because they cannot synthesize it through their skin! The liver and fatty tissues of prey animals are rich in vitamin D. Kitties must also get arachidonic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid, from their diet.
Your Savannah Needs a Moisture-Rich Diet
One more distinctive biological feature of your beautiful bundle of spotted joy, is their need to get most of their water intake from the food they eat. Cat's are not as responsive as other animals to sensations of thirst or dehydration. Unlike dogs, who drink frequently from their water bowls, cats fed an only dry diet aren't compelled to search for another source of water to make up the difference between what their bodies require and their diet provides.
This can result in chronic mild dehydration, a condition that will ultimately result in disease, especially of the lower urinary tract and kidneys.