Grains are truly not a part of a cat's evolutionary diet and can often lead to health problems. Historically, cats were the guardians of granaries - they would eat the mice and rats and leave the grain. Many companies add grains as a carbohydrate source "for needed energy". Protein actually provides a more even and sustained source of energy. Also, cats produce only a limited quantity of enzymes that digest carbohydrates (sugars).
For example, a cat's pancreas is not designed to sustain production of the enzyme amylase. Eating grains tends to stress the pancreas and can lead to digestive problems. It has been suggested that this is a possible cause of pancreatitis in cats, especially if they are overweight. Also, there is a link between the high carbohydrate intake and diabetes in cats. The pancreas not only has to work harder to produce enzymes but also releases more insulin to counteract rising blood sugar levels.
When cats are allowed to graze throughout the day on high carbohydrate foods, their blood glucose levels spike, then drop, and repeat that cycle over and over, which is unhealthy - for anyone - cats and humans. For cats, high dietary protein is key to keep moderate insulin levels. It is digested more slowly and provides a sense of satiety for a longer period of time.
Grains also play a major role in many allergic reactions we see in cats. Dermatitis is a common problem seen in both cats and dogs and these conditions are often improved when grains are removed from the diet. Often, irritable and inflammatory bowel conditions can be linked to grains and diets that aren't easily digestible. When the digestive system is compromised, nutrients aren't optimally absorbed. Also, allergic responses to grains cause a low level of inflammation in the body, which can strongly tax the immune system, making it "work overtime". The result can be a general overall immune deficiency, which can leave cats open to contracting other forms of disease, including viruses and infections. This is the very same response that is seen in humans, as well.
There is a considerable amount of rhetoric about "predigested" grains resembling the stomach contents of prey and that the stomach is an organ that cats will eat. Ultimately, cats are opportunistic - especially in the wild. If they see a ready nutrition source, they will take advantage of it. In the reality of our back yard carnivores, the stomach and its contents are rarely consumed, if at all. Domestic feline hunters will consume the head, heart, liver, and flesh with some bone. What is typically left over is the digestive system (including the stomach), urinary, and reproductive systems. If the stomach is consumed, the amount of seed and possible grain (do birds and mice really eat oats and barley?) is about a quarter of the size of a dime, at best - not a significant percentage of a meal.
Today's domestic felines have been proven to be ancestors of African wild cats, who are desert dwellers. When considering evolutionary diets, fish typically aren't included. However, our feline friends are opportunistic hunters and if water is all that stands between them and starving, they will fish! Most cats like the taste of fish simply because of its pungency, but it's not the best protein source on a regular basis. Fish may be fine as an occasional treat, but we, at Rad Cat, don't agree that it's something they should be eating daily.
We, at Rad Cat, are proud to provide a high protein, low carbohydrate, grain free product that provides optimal nutrition and high moisture content for the happiest, healthiest cats possible. Every cat deserves to be a Rad Cat!