We feed a raw diet consisting of meat, bones, and nutrient-rich organs – the diet that felines evolved to eat and have thrived on for thousands of years.
“Isn’t Raw Feeding Just a Trend? Up until the last few decades, nearly all cats were mousers, subsisting on prey and occasional meat scraps. But things started changing when pet food became commercialized and cats started living indoors. We have altered their appearance through selective breeding, but Fluffy’s physiology and dietary requirements are basically the same as a wild bobcat.
“What About Bacteria?” Unprocessed prey is what cats are built to eat. Due to their unique digestive systems, they are much better able to cope with bacteria than us. In fact, cooking the meat destroys the amino acids they require. My own vet feeds raw and says that it would be extremely rare for a cat to get food poisoning as long as the meat is fresh.
“Why not Kibble?” While some cats do fine on kibble all their lives, the fact is that dry food is made for our convenience and to make profit off the by-products of the human food industry. Over time, an all-dry diet may increase the risk of health problems in pets like diabetes, obesity, urinary tract issues, and gum disease (contrary to popular belief, kibble doesn’t clean teeth!) Many kibbles are loaded with additives and fillers that just come out the other end, or worse, trigger digestive upsets.
“Why is a Raw Diet So Good?” You will be amazed at how luxurious their coats can really get on a less-processed diet (among many other benefits – see the resources below). The best part is that poop is small and odorless – I can tell you from experience!
“Isn’t it Difficult and Expensive to Feed Raw?” Commercially-available pre-made raw food is a good place to start, but can be pricy for the long-term. If you make your own food like we do, it is inexpensive – per pound it can be cheaper than mid-tier dry brands and nearly all canned food. Raw food needs to contain certain percentages of meat, bone, and organs/liver to be nutritionally-balanced and should include sardines or fish oil for Omega-3s, and sometimes other supplements too. It’s not as simple as throwing down some kibble day after day, but in our opinion the benefits of feeding raw are worth the extra preparation!
“How Can I Learn More?” With so many commercial raw diets on the market, from freeze-dried to frozen, it’s easier than ever to feed your indoor carnivore a balanced species-appropriate diet. Check out the resources below and the documentary “Pet Fooled” on Netflix, which provides a look into the unscrupulous side of the pet food industry.
The most in-depth article ever about feeding your cats