Further reading - Kitten microbiota

How do cats digest food?

Cats are often referred to as fussy when it comes to their food -  did you know they develop their preferences for certain textures early in life as kittens? Taste is also not a primary driver for your cat or kitten, and cats relatively have very few taste buds! Rather the texture of the diet and the smell are important in keeping your cat interested in their meal. Beyond their palate, their digestive system is imperative in ensuring they receive the vital nutrients from their food.

After your cat has swallowed their food, it passes through their oesophagus into their stomach. Digestive enzymes are immediately released which begin to break down the food, as it then passes into the small intestine. The small intestine might be called ‘small’, but it provides a large surface area to allow the nutrients from the food to be absorbed by the body. The small intestine is also associated with a rich network of blood vessels, that help transport these nutrients to various parts of the body to be used. Finally, the large intestine absorbs water from the ingested food, and transports the remaining waste to its final destination, back to the outside world.  Did you know, it can take your cat’s food around 12-24 hours to travel through their entire digestive system?

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