The Importance of Fish Oil in Kitten Food
There are several reasons why fish oil is an important ingredient in IAMS® dry kitten food. The following article discusses fish oil meal, what it does, how it can help your kitten, and why it is part of all IAMS dry kitten foods.
What Is Fish Oil?
Fish oil is extracted from fish and is composed of special types of fats. Fish oil meal, which is used in IAMS dry kitten foods, is a good source of natural fish oil.
The Nutritional Benefits of Fish Oil
Fish oil from deep, cold-water fish contains omega-3 fatty acids. Fatty acids are a smaller component of fat, and omega-3 fatty acids are one kind of fatty acid with important nutritional value. Fish oil has a unique fatty acid composition with high concentrations of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
The fatty acids in a kitten’s diet are incorporated into the body’s tissues and are critical for many body functions. For instance, animal cell membranes, including those in the skin, contain fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are responsible for the production of substances that promote healthy skin conditions, especially when balanced with omega-6 fatty acids (found in common ingredients such as chicken fat and corn oil) in a ratio between 5:1 and 10:1.
The Effects on Skin and Coat
Studies conducted by nutritionists at The IAMS Company found significant improvements in skin and coat when dogs1 and cats2 were fed a diet that contained omega-3 fatty acids in a balanced ratio with omega-6 fatty acids versus the same diet without the balanced ratio.
What Does This Mean to Kittens?
Feeding a complete and balanced diet with a balanced ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids is proven to promote healthy skin and a shiny coat.
When fed fish oil, cats showed:
- Decreased shedding
- A more uniform coat
- Increased shine
- Increased coat density
- Richer color
- A softer coat
Fish Oil and IAMS Dry Kitten Foods
All IAMS dry kitten foods contain fish oil as a high-quality source of omega-3 fatty acids.
1 Davenport GM, Reinhart GA. Overview: The Impact of Nutrition on Skin and Coat Health. In: Recent Advances in Canine and Feline Nutrition, Volume III: 2000 IAMS Nutrition Symposium Proceedings. Reinhart GA, Carey DP (eds). Wilmington, OH: Orange Frazier Press. 2000: 3-21
2 Data on File, The IAMS Company, 2000.