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.
“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 and have no trouble at all as long as the meat is not spoiled, of course. Cooking the meat destroys the amino acids they require, which is why store-bought cat food has to have many additives and manmade vitamins added.
“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. Cats don’t have a strong thirst drive like people or dogs, and if fed a dry diet it can mess with their systems (even though cats will drink water, it’s better if they also get water from their food!) Over time, an all-dry diet may increase the risk of health problems in pets like diabetes, obesity, urinary tract issues, and gum disease (kibble doesn’t clean teeth!) Many kibbles are loaded with carbs (grains), poor quality meat by-products or protein from plants or legumes, and fillers that just come out the other end.
“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! Trust me, if we feed our cats store-bought wet food for a few days in a row, the poops definitely start smelling!
“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. It’s not as simple as throwing down kibble day after day, but in our opinion the benefits of feeding raw are worth the extra preparation! We order pre-ground meats (chicken, beef, rabbit) from Hare Today and this makes it super easy to mix up a batch every few weeks and freeze in small portions. All we do is add some chicken thigh meat, eggs, and unsalted canned sardines.
“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