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It’s not just dogs, but cats can be your furry friends too. If you got one, understand how to maintain their nutritional requirements to ensure a healthy lifestyle for cats, say experts. Lack of proper knowledge about the essential nutrients required for cat diet can be detrimental to the cat’s health and growth.

Gaurav Kwatra, Director, PURINA PetCare India, that has recently launched PURINA FRISKIES, a premium cat food brand in India, and veterinarian Hitesh Swali have shared some key points to keep in mind while selecting the right food for cats:


* Cats have unique nutritional needs: Nutrients such as taurine should be included in their diet as they are unable to produce sufficient amounts naturally. A deficiency in taurine can result in a number of conditions in which their heart and eye health can severely suffer.


Cats are obligate carnivores, hence it is impossible to meet their requirements with a vegetarian diet. Pixabay

* Cats need more protein: Adult cats require approximately 44 per cent more protein than adult dogs. If protein intake is inadequate, the cat will start to break down its own body protein to meet its energy requirements. This high protein must also be accompanied by essential amino acids, essential fatty acids and vitamins such as A and D.

* Cats are picky eaters: It is necessary to provide cats with an exciting mealtime experience. While complete nutrition is extremely important for cats, it is equally important to delight their senses through differently shaped kibbles and delicious aromas.

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* Cats enjoy small meals: Unlike dogs, cats are nibblers and enjoy many small meals throughout the day. Hence, it is important that the food is nutritionally balanced and provides the right nutrients in adequate amounts.

* Cats cannot survive on a vegetarian diet: Cats are obligate carnivores, hence it is impossible to meet their requirements with a vegetarian diet. Cats also have different nutritional requirements and different ways in which their body assimilates nutrients hence cat food formulated by nutritionists addresses these unique needs. (IANS)


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Milky Way galaxy as seen from Chitkul Valley

NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has for the first time spotted signs of a planet transiting a star outside of the Milky Way galaxy, opening up a new avenue to search for exoplanets at greater distances than ever before.

The possible exoplanet -- or planets outside of our Solar System -- candidate is located in the spiral galaxy Messier 51 (M51), also called the Whirlpool Galaxy because of its distinctive profile, NASA said in a statement.

Astronomers have, so far, found all other known exoplanets and exoplanet candidates in the Milky Way galaxy, almost all of them less than about 3,000 light-years from Earth.

An exoplanet in M51 would be about 28 million light-years away, meaning it would be thousands of times farther away than those in the Milky Way, NASA said.

"We are trying to open up a whole new arena for finding other worlds by searching for planet candidates at X-ray wavelengths, a strategy that makes it possible to discover them in other galaxies," said Rosanne Di Stefano of the Center for Astrophysics at Harvard and Smithsonian (CfA) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who led the study.

The findings are published in the journal Nature Astronomy.

The exoplanet candidate was spotted in a binary system called M51-ULS-1, located in M51. This binary system contains a black hole or neutron star orbiting a companion star with a mass about 20 times that of the Sun. The X-ray transit they found using Chandra data lasted about three hours, during which the X-ray emission decreased to zero.

Based on this and other information, the team estimates the exoplanet candidate in M51-ULS-1 would be roughly the size of Saturn and orbit the neutron star or black hole at about twice the distance of Saturn from the Sun.

The team looked for X-ray transits in three galaxies beyond the Milky Way galaxy, using both Chandra and the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton. Their search covered 55 systems in M51, 64 systems in Messier 101 (the "Pinwheel" galaxy), and 119 systems in Messier 104 (the "Sombrero" galaxy).

However, more data would be needed to verify the interpretation as an extragalactic exoplanet. One challenge is that the planet candidate's large orbit means it would not cross in front of its binary partner again for about 70 years, thwarting any attempts for a confirming observation for decades, NASA said.

Named in honor of the late Indian-American Nobel laureate, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, the Chandra X-ray Observatory is the world's most powerful X-ray telescope. It has eight times greater resolution and is able to detect sources more than 20-times fainter than any previous X-ray telescope.

Known to the world as Chandra (which means "moon" or "luminous" in Sanskrit), Chandrasekhar was widely regarded as one of the foremost astrophysicists of the twentieth century. (IANS/JB)


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