Just in case you thought you didn’t have enough in common with your kitty already, a new study has found that cats love carbs. Although you probably don’t want to feed your feline spaghetti, you’ll be happy to know that your furry friend enjoys digging into a bowl full of carb-laden cat food just as much as you love devouring some homemade pasta.
The May 2018 study published in the Journal of Experimental Biology analyzed the dietary habits of 27 cats and 17 dogs after giving them the options of four types of food: high-fat, high-carb, high-protein, and balanced food. Over the course of 28 days, researchers studied the precious pets to see which foods they picked. Interestingly enough, all four types of food were designed to taste equally good, that way the cats and dogs could make unbiased decisions based on what they felt like they needed.
The results found that the dogs tended to favor high-fat food. But researchers reported that the cats were most likely to “pounce on carbohydrates with even greater enthusiasm.” (Raise your hand if you can relate 100 percent to that finding!) On average, kitties chose to get 43 percent of their calorie intake from carbs and 30 percent from protein. Meanwhile, the doggos opted to get 41 percent of their calories from fat and 36 percent from carbs.
The findings surprised the researchers, especially since many animal experts have thought that cats wanted and needed a very high-protein diet. “The numbers were much different than what traditional thinking would have expected,” said study author Jean Hall, PhD, in a press release. “Some experts have thought cats need diets that are 40 or 50 percent protein. Our findings are quite different than the numbers used in marketing and are going to really challenge the pet food industry.”
We’ll have to wait and see if new dietary recommendations come out for cats and dogs. But in the meantime, we can all take a moment to appreciate that our cats truly do have the best taste — and we would know!
Next, see some adorably sleepy cats who remind us of ourselves in the morning: