Cats are poetry in motion; every movement deliberate and graceful. Sleek apex predators, they are intent and indolent by turns and rule those around them with the twitch of a whisker and the flick of a tail. To keep our mini tigers at the top of their game, we must feed them what nature so beautifully designed them to thrive upon: the tissues, organs and bones of other animals.
Whole prey – Nature’s package! – is best, but any balanced raw diet will do. Ground, prey model or whole prey, the choice is yours. All of these diets, properly balanced, are leaps ahead of anything that comes in a can (and forget about kibble).
Since the 2007 pet food poisoning, cat owners have been educating themselves on the nutritional needs of their feline family members in ever increasing numbers, and a slow, vast shift away from the over-processed foods that fill pet store shelves has begun. Several pet food manufacturers have responded by creating raw prepackaged ground foods to fit the growing consumer demand for healthier choices. Between commercial and home-prepared, raw feeders have increasingly more selections to choose from, so no matter what your time, financial or logistical resources, there’s a raw food option that will fit your lifestyle.
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There are two ways to feed a raw diet, commercial and home-prepared, and each has pros and cons. Commercial foods are very convenient and no more expensive than standard commercial diets, but they are still commercially manufactured and run some quality control risks related to the meat/bone/organ percentages. They are also available in ground mixes only. Home-made diets come in three forms – ground, frankenprey and whole prey – and require a bit more preparation and serving time, but are typically less expensive than any other option. In addition, home-preparing your cat’s food provides complete control over the ingredient mix and quality.
Standard Commercial Diets
The organizations and policies that govern the commercial pet food industry.
>>>>> Regulations and Policies
Because the very nature of cooking changes the proteins and fats that cats depend upon for their energy and health, no canned product can ever approach a balanced raw diet in the quality of nutrition it provides and for that reason, this site is strongly pro-raw. However, we understand that even among those who acknowledge that balanced raw diets are the most natural, nutritious and beneficial for our cats’ health, not everyone is able to embrace the concept at this time. For them, canned food products are the next best option.
Kibble, on the other hand, is likely the single largest underlying cause of many of the diseases and other illnesses sweeping in epidemic proportions across our domestic cat populations. Obesity, diabetes, urinary tract issues, inflammatory bowel disease (often a precursor for intestinal cancer, or lymphoma), kidney disease, allergies, vomiting and diarrhea are just a few of the ailments that have been traced back to kibble-laden diets. Our beloved cats – like birds of prey, sharks and snakes – have exceptionally specialized gastrointestinal systems built to process a very specific diet of animal parts, not highly-processed, synthetically supplemented dry cereal bits. Read on for more information…
From The Experts
Dr. Elizabeth Hodgkins, author of YourDiabeticCat.com, in her book, Your Cat: Simple New Secrets to a Longer, Stronger Life
“I have never seen a single case of serious obesity, diabetes, urinary tract disease, or IBD in a cat fed meat instead of commercial dry foods. Many other people have seen the same results. Further, I do not see nutritional deficiencies in cats fed properly balanced raw-meat diets. I want to emphasize a point here. The incidence of these problems has not just declined on a raw-meat diet, they have entirely disappeared. These results are too dramatic to ignore.”
“The weight of practical experience by owners, breeders, and the holistic veterinary community, is on the side of natural diets. Very few problems have arisen; compared to the legion of allergies, skin disease, dental disease, obesity, bladder infections, diabetes, and other health problems encountered by animals on commercial diets.
The most impressive evidence for homemade diets is the testimony of dozens of pet guardians, breeders, and veterinarians. Not only have I personally seen the improved health and well-being of pets on good homemade diets, but I have received dozens of first-hand reports from pet guardians citing increased health and vitality, as well as rapid disappearance of medical problems, from itchy ears to seizures.”
Dr. Will Falconer, Certified Veterinary Homeopath, The Cats are Talking… About Chronic Disease
“Interestingly enough, the diseases that are quite common in cats now were virtually unknown in the late 70’s when I was in veterinary school. We had two donated diabetic beagle siblings who lived in the hospital and taught us about this strange disease. It was something we never saw in cats, and it was pretty uncommon in dogs for that matter. We learned of hypothyroidism from several canine cases, but cats didn’t have thyroid problems, and hyperthyroidism was not in the books or the exam rooms. We saw horrible skin allergies in dogs, with crusts and scabs and red feet and unending itchiness, but we didn’t see cats with this disease, either.
Well, if you’ve been observant in recent years, you know that these chronic diseases are fairly commonplace now in the feline population. As are heartworm (again, a dog disease originally), asthma, kidney failure, inflammatory bowel disease, dental calculus and decay, heart disease, and cancer. Why? Could it be that the cat is now following the same road that the dog has gone down? I think so, and what’s more, I think we need to redefine what is the best way to raise a healthy animal.”
Dr. Andrea Tasi, a frequent lecturer and feline-exclusive veterinarian since 1991, Feeding raw: a veterinarian’s view
“I have seen diabetes, asthma, lower urinary tract (bladder) problems, chronic vomiting and/or diarrhea (inflammatory bowel disease-type symptoms), skin and ear problems and other health issues either markedly improve or completely resolve when raw diets were introduced. Every cat will respond in their own way, but I now view real, fresh, raw food as the “best medicine” for many of my patients.”
Dr. Karen Becker, Raw Meat Diet for Dogs and Cats
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Updated 16 September 2015.