There are 2 types of dietary fiber:
Having both fermentable and non-fermentable fibers helps regulate the digestive tract and maintain the functional environment for healthy digestive health within the large intestine. At Vetdiet®, we use a combination of ingredients to balance the fiber types.
An increased level of non-fermentable fiber in cat food has been shown to help ingested hair pass through the digestive tract, thereby reducing the occurrence of hairball symptoms.
The appropriate balance of non-fermentable fiber in pet food can help avoid undesirable stools. This is because non-fermentable fiber absorbs water from the intestines, which can help ease defecation.
Non-fermentable fiber also helps ensure the efficient absorption of dietary nutrients in the small intestine by normalizing intestinal transit time. Food moving too quickly through the intestines can result in diarrhea and poor nutrient absorption, and food travelling too slowly can lead to constipation.
Large quantities of beneficial bacteria called microflora live in the large intestine and feed off of undigested food. Bacterial digestion of fermentable fiber (i.e., soluble fiber) produces short-chain fatty acids that are absorbed by the large intestine and utilized as energy by the body.
A healthy population of “good” bacteria in the colon can also decrease susceptibility to infection by reducing the likelihood of harmful bacteria invading the hospitable environment of the large intestine.
Natural sources of dietary fiber, including chicory root, tomato pomace, alfalfa and pumpkin, are commonly used in Vetdiet® natural cat food. Although fiber is not considered an essential nutrient, it is beneficial to cats by promoting digestive health, just like in humans.
Many myths have circulated about the nutritional benefits of fiber sources and their value as viable ingredients in cat food.
For example, some fiber sources have been labeled controversial, being used as “fillers,” because they are not fully digestible, such as tomato pomace and alfalfa. This is not true.
Natural sources of fiber are important in maintaining good digestive health, promoting a healthy digestive tract environment and helping cats feel full after a meal. Natural fiber sources are generally considered to contain an optimal balance of fermentable and non-fermentable fiber, which helps support your cat’s digestive and overall health.
Provides optimal levels of protein and fat for sustained energy.
Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids from salmon, vegetable oil and fish oil help maintain skin and coat health.
Added prebiotics help support digestive health.