Allen striking a pose.Overview

Despite the thousands of years cats have survived and thrived on their natural diet of whole prey animals, today’s cat owners, veterinarians and other experts find the raw feeding concept scary and difficult to accept. Since its first boom in the late 1950s / early 1960s, the Pet Food Industry has dumped billions of dollars into marketing initiatives focused on convincing pet owners and veterinarians alike that they are the sole keepers of the keys to pet nutrition. And they have been remarkably successful; an entire generation devoutly and unquestioningly accepts that feeding a life-time of highly processed, synthetically-supplemented kibbles and mush day after day is not only healthy, it’s the only “right” way to care for our beloved family pets.

Of course, no doctor would believe or would be able to sell such a concept in regards to feeding our children, but even owners who get the common sense logic of feeding their cats whole, fresh, species-appropriate foods have difficulty putting their belief into practice. The tripod of hurdles to full acceptance are fear of bones, fear of pathogens, and fear of nutrient deficiencies.

The following studies, analyses, reviews and publications are provided to help you overcome those fears and finally make the switch from bags and cans to whole fresh meats, bones and organs – the foods upon which your cat’s body is so beautifully and elegantly designed to thrive.

Scientific Studies / Meta-Studies, Analyses and Reports / Useful Publications

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Scientific Studies


Apparent total tract energy and macronutrient digestibility and fecal fermentative end-product concentrations of domestic cats fed extruded, raw beef-based, and cooked beef-based diets, K. R. Kerr, et. al., Journal of Animal Science, October 2011 (Full Study)

More Evidence Real Meat is the Right Food for Your Cat, Karen Becker,, March 2012 (Study Review)

Quote: “Apparent total tract DM, OM, CP, fat, and GE digestibilities were greater (P ≤ 0.05) in cats fed RB and CB than those fed EX.”

Note: DM = dry matter, OM = organic matter, CP = crude protein, RB = raw beef-based diet, CB = cooked beef-based diet, and EX = high-protein extruded diet.


Effects of Dietary Protein Content on Renal Parameters in Normal Cats, Brianna Backlund,, Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, October 2011 (Full Study)

Quote: “The differences were significant for those analytes measured at each time interval (UN, creatinine, phosphorous, albumin, ALT and USG), which supports the importance of diet on laboratory results. However, it is important to note that these values were still within the normal reference interval and the difference between the values obtained with the two diets was not clinically significant, with the possible exception of UN.”


Effect of water content in a canned food on voluntary food intake and body weight in cats., Alfreda Wei, et. al., Department of Molecular Biosciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616, American Journal of Veterinary Research, July 2011 (Abstract)

Quote: “Bulk water in the WW (with-water) diet stimulated decreases in EI (energy intake) and BW (body weight) in cats. The impact of water content on energy density and food consumption may help promote weight loss in cats.”


Hypercarnivory and the brain: protein requirements of cats reconsidered., Eisert R., Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Edgewater, USA, Journal of Comparative Physiology B, January 2011 (Full Study).

Quote: “While obligatory gluconeogenesis releases hypercarnivores from any dependence on dietary carbohydrate, a potential disadvantage is that it reduces metabolic flexibility and renders the animal incapable of adapting to diets low in protein. However, cats evolved to consume a highly digestible diet containing 30% or more of ME as protein and less than 5% of ME as carbohydrate (Table 2). On such a diet, the risks associated with a transiently negative nitrogen balance as a result of obligatory gluconeogenesis are small relative to the acute threat of impaired function of the brain and other organ systems due to hypoglycaemia. It follows that for a hypercarnivore, not only there is no adaptive advantage in developing a tolerance for low-protein diets, but also there is a need to maintain the capacity for high rates of protein-based gluconeogenesis.”


Urethral obstruction in cats: Predisposing factors, clinical, clinicopathological characteristics and prognosis, Gilad Segev, et. al., Koret School of Veterinary Medicine, October 2010, published Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, International Society of Feline Medicine, December 2010 (Full Study)

Feline Urethral Obstruction, Winn Feline Foundation Cat Health News, September 2011. (Study Review)

Quote: “In summary, several risk factors for UO were found in this study including age (ie, young adult cats), increased body weight, and consumption of dry food.”


Influence of feeding raw or extruded feline diets on nutrient digestibility and nitrogen metabolism of African wildcats (Felis lybica), BM Vestor, et. al., Zoo Biology, November – December 2010 (Abstract)

Quote: “Protein digestibility was higher (P<0.05) when cats were fed the raw meat diet versus the kibble.”


Geometric analysis of macronutrient selection in the adult domestic cat, Felis catus, Adrian K. Hewson-Hughes, et. al., WALTHAM® Centre for Pet Nutrition, et. al., November 2010. (Full Study)

Quote: “Our analysis indicates that cats have a ceiling for carbohydrate intake, which limits ingestion and constrains them to deficits in protein and fat intake (relative to their target) on high-carbohydrate foods.”


Human Salmonella Infections Linked to Contaminated Dry Dog and Cat Food, Casey Barton Behravesh, et. al., Pediatrics, September 2010. (Full Study)

Quote: “This investigation resulted in identification of the first documented outbreak of human illness linked to household use of dry dog and cat food, which included multiple brands produced at a single plant.”


Comparison of clonal relatedness and antimicrobial susceptibility of fecal Escherichia coli from healthy dogs and their owners, Katherine A. Stenske, et. al., Am J Vet Res 2009;70:1108–1116, September 2009. (Full study)

Quote: “Our results concur with the findings of Sannes et. al. and Skurnik et. al. that MDR E coli is more likely to be transferred from owner to dog than from dog to owner.”


Protein Intake during Weight Loss Influences the Energy Required for Weight Loss and Maintenance in Cats, Ricardo S. Vasconcellos, et. al., J. Nutr. vol. 139 no. 5 855-860, May 2009 (Full Study)

Quote: “The present study confirmed that increased protein intake favors the maintenance of body lean mass during weight loss in obese cats. The results also suggest that protein may reduce the energy restriction needed for weight loss. Protein intake also seems to act on a long-term basis, resulting in greater energy requirements during the subsequent phase of weight maintenance. These aspects are important for successful weight loss and maintenance in cats and deserve further study.”


Compositional analysis and apparent macronutrient digestibility of four raw meat diets in domestic cats, Katherine R Kerr, et. al., The Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, April 2009 (Abstract)

Quote: “Although dietary macronutrient composition was highly variable and statistical differences were noted, all diets were highly digestible.”


Nutrient digestibility and fecal characteristics are different among captive exotic felids fed a beef-based raw diet, BM Vestor, et. al., Zoo Biology, March 2008 (Abstract)

Quote: “The beef-based raw diet was highly digestible; however, differences in fat and digestible energy suggest that species should be considered when determining caloric needs of exotic felids.”


How many potential prey species account for the bulk of the diet of mammalian predators? Implications for stable isotope paleodietary analyses, J. A. Pérez-Claros and P. Palmqvist, Journal of Zoology, February 2008 (Abstract)

Big Predatory Mammals Such As Felines Need Between 5 And 7 Different Types Of Prey To Meet Their Dietary Needs, Science Daily, July 2008 (Study Review)

Quote: “However, five to seven prey species account for the bulk of the diet of most stalking felids and also for those omnivorous canids that are not pack hunters.” ‘The novelty of the study lies in the confirmation that the large felines, such as lions and leopards, need “from 5 to 7 preys to fulfill their nutritional requirements,” the researcher points out.’


Medical-Grade Honey Kills Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria In Vitro and Eradicates Skin Colonization, Oxford Journals, January 2008 (Full Study) Added February 2013!

Quote: “In summary, we showed that Revamil medical-grade honey has batch-to-batch reproducible and broad-spectrum bactericidal activity and is a good disinfectant for human skin. Thus, this honey has excellent potential as an anti-infective agent for topical prophylaxis or for topical treatment of skin infections caused by antibiotic-susceptible or -resistant bacteria.”


Insulin sensitivity, fat distribution and adipocytokine response to different diets in lean, and obese cats before and after weight loss, Margarethe Hoenig, et. el., American Physiological Society, August 2006 (Full Study)

Quote: “One can conclude that, contrary to popular believe, lean cats are capable to adapt to varying macronutrients; however, a high protein diet is preferred for lean cats because it increases heat production. It has additional beneficial effects: it maintains normal insulin sensitivity of fat metabolism which aids in increasing fat loss during calorie restriction, and it preserves lean body mass. As is seen in many species, weight loss completely normalized insulin sensitivity.”


The Evolutionary Basis for the Feeding Behavior of Domestic Dogs and Cats, John W. S. Bradshaw, Department of Molecular Biosciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, September 2005. (Full Study)

Quote: “Although in the wild much of their food selection behavior must focus on what to hunt, rather than what to eat, cats do modify their food preferences based on experience. For example, the “monotony effect” reduces the perceived palatability of foods that have recently formed a large proportion of the diet, in favor of foods with contrasting sensory characteristics, thereby tending to compensate for any incipient nutritional deficiencies.”


Evaluation of meat meal, chicken meal, and corn gluten meal as dietary sources of protein in dry cat food, Masayuki Funaba, et. al., The Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research, 2005;69:299–304, March 2005. (Full Study)

Quote: “From the point of view of digestibility and N utilization, MM is superior to CGM, and CM is better than or equivalent to CGM as a protein source of dry foods for adult cats. However, when CM is used as a dietary protein source, some manipulation of dietary base excess may be needed to control urinary acid-base balance, because CM contains higher calcium and phosphorus.”

Note: MM = Meat Meal; CM = Chicken Meal; CGM = Corn Gluten Meal.


Canine and Feline Diabetes Mellitus: Nature or Nurture?, Jacquie S. Rand, et. al., The Journal of Nutrition, August 2004 (Full Study)

Quote: “High-carbohydrate diets increase blood glucose and insulin levels and may predispose cats to obesity and diabetes. Low-carbohydrate, high-protein diets may help prevent diabetes in cats at risk such as obese cats or lean cats with underlying low insulin sensitivity.”


Evaluation of effects of dietary carbohydrate on formation of struvite crystals in urine and macromineral balance in clinically normal cats, M. Funaba, et. al., Am J Vet Res, February 2004, (Abstract)

Quote: “Starch and fiber in diets potentially stimulate formation of struvite crystals. Hence, reducing dietary carbohydrate is desirable to prevent struvite urolith formation. In addition, a net loss of body calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium during feeding of the fiber diet suggests that dietary inclusion of insoluble fiber could increase macromineral requirements of cats.”


Effects of a high-protein diet versus dietary supplementation with ammonium chloride on struvite crystal formation in urine of clinically normal cats, M. Funaba, et. al., Am J Vet Res, August 2003 (Abstract)

Quote: “Our results indicate that compared with dietary supplementation with NH4Cl, the high-protein diet is preferable as a urine acidifier for the prevention of struvite crystal formation in clinically normal cats.”


Taurine Concentrations in Animal Feed Ingredients; Cooking Influences Taurine Content, A.R. Spitze, et. al., Department of Molecular Biosciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, January 2003. (Full Study)

Quote: “All plant products tested in our laboratory contained undetectable levels of taurine.” “It was also not unexpected that all fruits, grains, legumes, nuts, seeds and vegetables tested contained no detectable taurine.” “In particular, liver samples, animals found dead, animal meals and animal digests had broad ranges with respect to taurine concentrations.” “Animal carcasses found along the road also contained a wide range of taurine concentrations. This was most likely due to secondary bacterial contamination. Bacteria destroy taurine, so the longer the animal has been dead, the lower the taurine content of the sample.”

Note: This study includes a seven-page table comparing taurine concentrations in dozens of products in various states, including raw, steamed, fried and boiled.


Comparison of corn gluten meal and meat meal as a protein source in dry foods formulated for cats, Masayuki Funaba, et. al., Laboratory of Nutrition, School of Veterinary Medicine, Azabu University, 1-17-71 Fuchinobe, Sagamihara 229-8501, Japan, American Journal of Veterinary Research, Vol. 63, No. 9, September 2002 (Abstract)

Quote: “Meat meal was superior to CGM as a protein source in dry foods formulated for cats, because dry-matter digestibility and N utilization were higher for the MM diet. In addition, net loss of body calcium and magnesium for the CGM diet suggests that mineral requirements increase when CGM is used as a protein source.”

Note: CGM = Corn Gluten Meal; MM = Meat Meal


Animal sources of salmonellosis in humans, Susan Sanchez, et. al., Vet Med Today: Zoonosis Update, JAVMA, Vol 221, No. 4, August 2002. (Full Study)

Quote: “Many animals, both domestic and wild, are colonized by Salmonella spp, usually harboring the bacteria in their gastrointestinal tracts with no apparent signs of illness.”


Dietary Rice Bran Decreases Plasma and Whole-Blood Taurine in Cats, Meri Stratton-Phelps, et. al., The Journal of Nutrition, June 2002. (Full Study)

Quote: “Despite the routine supplementation of commercial feline diets with taurine, cats continue to be diagnosed with taurine deficiency.” “Critically low levels of plasma and whole-blood taurine were measured in the RB group cats by wk 6 and wk 22, respectively.” “Although rice bran or whole rice products are included in commercial cat foods at levels between 5 and 20% diet (DM), this study shows that feline diets containing these materials may need a higher content of taurine than that in similar products without them.”


Fish Meal vs. Corn Gluten Meal as a Protein Source for Dry Cat Food, Masayuki Funaba, et. al., Laboratory of Nutrition, Azabu University School of Veterinary Medicine, Journal of Veterinary Medical Science, Vol. 63 (2001) No. 12 P 1355-1357, August 2001 (Full Study)

Quote: “These results suggest that CGM is comparable with FM in respect to nutritional value and the urine acidifying effect, but FM may be preferable to CGM for the prevention of constipation and struvite urolithiasis in cats.”

Note: CGM = Corn Gluten Meal; FM = Fish Meal


Faecal microbial populations of growing kittens fed high- or moderate-protein diets., B.M. Vestor, Animal Nutrition, January 2001 (Abstract)

Quote: “Kittens fed HP had lower (p=0.02) Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus counts than MP-fed kittens. E. coli was lower (p=0.02) in HP-fed kittens and tended to be affected by age (p=0.09).”


Utilization of Nitrogen and Macro-Minerals in Response to Nutritional Status in Clinically Normal Adult Cats, Masayuki Funaba, et. al., Experimental Animals Vol. 47 (1998) No. 3 P 143-149, Department of Nutrition, School of Veterinary Medicine, Azabu University, January 1998. (Full Study)

Quote: “These findings suggested that restriction of diet had a serious effect on nitrogen balance, and the impaired protein nutrition might not be easily recovered by subsequent nutritional repletion.”


Use of a raw meat-based diet or a dry kibble diet for sand cats (Felis margarita), Susan D. Crissey, et. al., Journal of Animal Science, March 1997 (Full Study)

Quote: “The kibble and raw meat-based diet met or exceeded the requirements of domestic felids (NRC, 1986; Dzanis, 1994). However, the raw meat-based diet was almost 15% more digestible than the kibble diet.”


Effects of a high-protein diet on mineral metabolism and struvite activity product in clinically normal cats, M. Funaba, et. al., Am J Vet Res, December 1996 (Abstract)

Quote: “As a consequence of the increase in urine volume and urine acidification, high-protein diets have potential ability to increase solubility of struvite crystals.”


Effect of Processing on Fate of Dietary Taurine in Cats, Mary A. Hickman, et. al., Department of Physiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, February 1990. (Full Study)

Quote: “The very low levels of CO2 produced by the cats fed the frozen-preserved commercial diet, in comparison to the cats fed the purified diet, may indicate that fresh food promotes a very low level and/or an inhibition of bacterial degradation of taurine.” “The heat-processed commercial diet had previously failed to maintain adequate taurine concentrations although the frozen-preserved diet maintained adequate levels.”

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Meta-Studies, Analyses and Reports


Estimation of the dietary nutrient profile of free-roaming feral cats: possible implications for nutrition of domestic cats., E.A. Plantinga, et. al., Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, British Journal of Nutrition, October 2011 (Full study)

Quote: “The results show that feral cats are obligatory carnivores, with their daily energy intake from crude protein being 52 %, from crude fat 46 % and from N-free extract only 2 %. Minerals and trace elements are consumed in relatively high concentrations compared with recommended allowances determined using empirical methods. The calculated nutrient profile may be considered the nutrient intake to which the cat’s metabolic system has adapted.”


Effects of nutrition choices and lifestyle changes on the well-being of cats, a carnivore that has moved indoors., Debra L. Zoran and C. A. Tony Buffington, JAVMA, Vol 239, No. 5, September 2011 (Full study)

Quote: Although a simple change in diet may not solve all of the problems of our feline patients, it is reasonable to believe that their lives are influenced by the foods humans feed them in a variety of ways. History has indicated this to be true with respect to the many positive advances through appropriate nutritional management of many diseases. Although all may not agree on the mechanism, few question that nutrition and environment have been associated with the development of obesity and likely play some role in such complex diseases as lower urinary tract disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and type 2 diabetes mellitus in cats.


Analysis of Toxic Trace Metals in Pet Foods Using Cryogenic Grinding and Quantitation by ICP-MS Part 1 and Part 2, Spex CertiPrep, Spectroscopy Magazine, January & February 2011

Analysis of Pet Food for Inorganic Contaminants, Spex CertiPrep, February, 2011

Quote: “For this investigation 58 cat and dog foods were bought from local stores or donated by the authors and other pet owners. The samples consisted of 31 dry food and 27 wet food varieties. Of the 31 dry foods, 18 were dog food and 13 were cat food samples. The wet foods comprised 13 dog food and 14 cat food samples, representing pet food contained in cans and pouches.” “The analysis of all the pet food samples showed that the highest concentrations of toxic elements were found in the dry foods of both cats and dogs. Out of the elements studied, dry food had the highest elemental content for 13 of the 15 elements examined. Dog food had the highest result for nine of the 15 toxic elements and cat food had the highest concentration for six of the 15 elements.”

Note: Shockingly enough, there are no FDA guidelines or toxic levels established for the presence of heavy metals in pet foods.


A review of fatty acid profiles and antioxidant content in grass-fed and grain-fed beef, Cynthia A. Daley, et. al., Nutrition Journal, September 2010. (Full Study)

Quote: “Research spanning three decades supports the argument that grass-fed beef (on a g/g fat basis), has a more desirable SFA lipid profile (more C18:0 cholesterol neutral SFA and less C14:0 & C16:0 cholesterol elevating SFAs) as compared to grain-fed beef. Grass-finished beef is also higher in total CLA (C18:2) isomers, TVA (C18:1 t11) and n-3 FAs on a g/g fat basis. This results in a better n-6:n-3 ratio that is preferred by the nutritional community.”


Discovering the reasons underlying difficult-to-control diabetes in cats, Audrey K. Cook, Veterinary Medicine, March 2010

Quote: “In addition, the calorie source within a feline diabetic’s diet has a profound influence on its insulin requirements, and cats eating high protein diets require less insulin.”


Mycotoxins – A risk for companion animals?, Karin Nährer, Biomin, 2010

Quote: “Mycotoxins certainly represent a potential health threat to companion animals. According to a recently published mycotoxin survey, raw materials that are used in commercial pet foods are frequently contaminated with mycotoxins (Rodrigues, 2009). Dry pet food is of particular concern because of its high cereal content.”


Nutrition of the Exotic Felid, Brittany M. Vester, et. al., FeedStuffs Weekly Magazine, September 2009

Quote: “Although details regarding nutrient metabolism by exotic felids are still sparse, their close evolutionary relationship to domestic cats suggests that basic nutritional requirements may be determined using this model. Furthermore, exotic felids share many of the same nutrition-related maladies reported in domestic cats, including renal disease, hyperlipidemia, food allergies and obesity. The increasing rate of captive exotic felid obesity mirrors that of domestic cats, and is likely caused by similar mechanisms.”


Influence of Diet Consistency on Periodontal Disease in Captive Carnivores, David A. Fagan, and Mark S. Edwards, Zoological Society of San Diego, Dept. of Veterinarian Services, June 2009.

Also see David A. Fagan, D.D.S., Diet Consistency and Periodontal Disease in Exotic Carnivores, October 1980

Quote: “What is also very well known but not widely accepted is that: 1. The consistency and / or texture of food has a direct affect upon the composition of, and the rate of formation of dental plaque. 2. Soft diets tend to produce more bacterial plaque than do firm diets. 3. Excessively course, granular diets can produce periodontal disease through the action of abrasive overuse of, and by direct traumatic injury to the supporting tissues of the oral cavity. 4. Foods of firm consistency will increase the number, distribution, and tone of the capillaries in the gingival tissue; which improves the metabolism and vitality of all of the supporting and surrounding structures of the oral cavity.”


Protein quality of various raw and rendered by-product meals commonly incorporated into companion animal diets, K. R. Cramer, et. al., J ANIM SCI 2007, 85:3285-3293, doi: 10.2527/jas.2006-225, originally published online, July 2007 (Full Study)

Quote: “Rendered animal meals generally had lower protein quality than raw animal meals, with lamb meal consistently having the poorest protein quality and pork livers having the greatest protein quality.”


Health Benefits from the Use of Probiotics in Companion Animals., Z.V. Marshall-Jones, WALTHAM® Centre for Pet Nutrition, July 2007. (Full Study)

Quote: “L. acidophilus DSM13241 may be beneficial in: treatment of disease caused by imbalance in the gut microflora, treatment of Clostridium difficile and Campylobacter infections, and anticipation of stress or immunosuppression.”


The Near Eastern Origin of Cat Domestication, Carlos A. Driscoll, et. al., Science Express, June 2007. (Full Study)

The Evolution of House Cats, Carlos A. Driscoll, Scientific American, June 2009 (Study Review)

Quote: “In fact, genetically, F. s. lybica wildcats collected in remote deserts of Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia were virtually indistinguishable from domestic cats.”


Mycotoxins in Pet Food:  A Review on Worldwide Prevalence and Preventative Strategies, Department of Animal and Poultry Science, Maxwell C. K. Leung, et. al., University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada, December 2006

Quote: “Because cereal grains and nuts are often used as ingredients in commercial pet food, companion animals such as cats, dogs, birds, rabbits, and guinea pigs are often exposed to the effects of mycotoxins. Cereal byproducts, furthermore, may be diverted to animal feed even though they may contain concentrated levels of mycotoxins compared to raw cereals.”


Deconstructing the Regulatory Façade: Why Confused Consumers Feed their Pets Ring Dings and Krispy Kremes, J. S. Patrick, Harvard Law, April 2006

Quote: “Countless other diseases can result from commercial pet foods that have excess levels of sodium[242] (used to increase palatability), or deficient levels of essential nutrients such as taurine.[243] Feline urological syndrome (FUS) is caused by excessive amounts of ash, phosphorus and magnesium in pet foods.[244] … Other diseases linked to commercial pet foods include gum disease, arthritis, eye and ear problems, dry and dull coats, heart disease, diabetes and cancer to name a few.”


Increased Dietary Protein Promotes Fat Loss and Reduces Loss of Lean Body Mass During Weight Loss in Cats, Dorothy P. Laflamme, et. al., The International Journal of Applied Research in Veterinary Medicine, April 2005 (Full Study)

Quote: “In this study, cats fed the higher-protein diet lost more body fat while reducing their loss of lean body mass by 50%.”


Update on the Etiology of Tooth Resorption in Domestic Cats, Alexander M. Reiter, et. al., Veterinarian Clinic Small Animal Practice, March 2005 (Full Study)

Quote: “Although FORL may have occurred more than 800 years ago, retrospective studies of zoologic collections of feline skulls showed a low prevalence of FORL before the 1960s.” “Some commercial cat foods contain vitamin D concentrations in excess of current maximal allowances.” “Cats with FORL have significantly higher serum concentrations of 25OHD compared with cats without FORL, indicating that cats with FORL must have ingested higher concentrations of dietary vitamin D.” “Clinical and experimental studies have shown that excess administration of vitamin D or vitamin D metabolites can lead to soft tissue mineralization and various degrees of renal disease.”


Relationship Between the Domestic Dogs’ Well-Being and Life Expectancy Statistical Analysis, Gérard Lippert, and Bruno Sapy, Brussels, Belgium, August 2003

Quote: “The essential nutritional needs must be covered in terms of quantity and quality. The analysis shows clearly (1.7 chances out of 10.000 to be wrong, with a significativity bottom line of 95%) that, the animals who receives varying home made food, will have the benefit of a longer life expectancy. This ¡s probably a consequence of the basic quality of the food, and its better absorption as natural nutritional food.”


The carnivore connection to nutrition in cats, Debra L. Zoran,, originally published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), December 2002

Quote: “High-protein, low-(carbohydrates) diets and low—fiber diets are highly beneficial in the management of cats with diabetes, resulting in a reduction of > 50% in the amount of insulin required in 8 of 9 cats in 1 study. In another study, complete cessation of insulin administration was reported for one-third of the cats.”


Idiosyncratic nutrient requirements of cats appear to be diet-induced evolutionary adaptations, James G. Morris, Nutrition Research Reviews, 2002

Quote: “The limited ability of cats to control the aminotransferases and urea cycle enzymes explains the high protein requirement of cats.”


The Effect of Diet on Lower Urinary Tract Diseases in Cats, Peter J. Markwell, et. al., Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition, Journal of Nutrition, December 1998 (Full Study)

Quote: “Recent observations suggest that recurrence rates of signs in cats classified as having idiopathic lower urinary tract disease may be more than halved if affected animals are maintained on high, rather than low moisture content diets.”


ORIJEN_White_Paper, The Biologically Appropriate Food Concept and the Dietary Needs of Dogs and Cats, University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Purina Nutrition Forum, 1998

Quote: “Evidence that high protein diets enhance renal function in normal dogs has led to confusion among veterinarians who have been told for decades that low protein diets may be beneficial for kidney function”.

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Useful Publications

USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. (Most current release.)

State of Pet Health 2012 Report, Banfield Pet Hospital, May 2012.

State of Pet Health 2011 Report, Vol 1, Banfield Pet Hospital, April 2011.

Tissue Percentage of Some Common Prey of the Cat, Christine M. Ruessheim, originally published on The Abyssinian Homepage, June 2002

Nutrient Composition of Whole Vertebrate Prey (Excluding Fish) Fed in Zoos, United States Agricultural Department, May 2002

Handling Frozen/Thawed Meat and Prey Items Fed to Captive Exotic Animals, United States Agricultural Department, May 2001

Manufacture and Labeling of Raw Meat Foods for Companion and Captive Noncompanion Carnivores and Omnivores, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration, Center for Veterinary Medicine, May 2004, Revised November 2004


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Created 09/19/2011; Updated 08/11/14