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A Guide To Raw Feeding Your Cat

 by michelle on 27 Jun 2014 |
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The Raw Truth


What other felines, besides domesticated cats, consume their prey cooked? Most likely, you're drawing a blank because the answer is none! Cats by nature are carnivores - more specifically they are obligate carnivores, meaning in order for cats to thrive they require nutrition from the meat, organs, and bones of animals. In other words, cats are meant to consume and digest the entire carcass of their prey.


As you can imagine, most domesticated cats are not being served an entire rabbit for dinner. Instead, they are eating over-processed kibble and canned food that contain an unnecessary amount of carbohydrates and additives. This, along with the frequent pet food recalls, has inspired many cat owners to feed their pet an all natural diet, aka, a raw one.




There are two ways to go about feeding your cat a raw diet. You can either purchase pre-made raw food or you can make it yourself. There are multiple brands including Bravo or Feline's Pride that have already done the dirty work for you. However, if you prefer to make it yourself, here are some tips:


1. Start off slow and be patient. It's easy to get overwhelmed quickly by the amount of work that goes into prepping your cat's raw food. The best way to start is to buy some chicken thighs and cut them up into small pieces. A younger cat may go for it right away, whereas an older cat used to the taste of canned food may take some time to transition. Eventually they will get used to the taste of raw meat, and their carnivorous instincts will kick in.


2. Buy a grinder and supplements. After a week or two of testing the waters, a grinder is the next step in getting serious about a raw diet. Supplements such as Vitamins A, D, E, B-Complex, and Fish Oil are added to make up for the fact that the cat isn't actually eating the entire carcus, so they aren't able to get all the same nutrients as they would from prey in the wild. To make it easier, there are companies that sell these vitamins already mixed for this purpose.


3. There are multiple recipes for success. There are several recommended raw recipes to choose from but they all have the same essential ingredients of meat (both muscle and organ), bones, and supplements. Here's one in particular that is well illustrated.


4. Food should be fresh and warm. Most cats cannot tolerate cold food so make sure to defrost their meal in time. It's recommended that you defrost or warm the meaty bones by placing them in a ziploc bag, and then in warm water for 10 minutes. The water should never be hot enough that it will cook the meat, nor should you ever use your microwave as a method of defrosting.




There are several benefits to raw feeding your cat, and many of them will become apparent soon after you make the switch. Cats on raw diets have a healthy skin and coat, clean teeth, and increased energy. The volume and odor of their feces changes (for the better), and allergies tend to clear up. It's also a great way to control your cat's weight, which should be monitored closely when making the switch to a raw diet.




If you're considering raw feeding your cat, it's important to know that not all veterinarians recommend it. Their main concern is the chance of animal to human disease transmission, contagions, and other food safety issues during the meal prep.

The ultimate goal of raw feeding is to give your cat the food nature intended him to eat. Deciding to raw feed your cat is both a big decision and responsibility. Do as much research as possible to make sure it's right for you and your cat. As long as you can be responsible and follow food safety guidelines, raw feeding could help your cat be the best cat he can be.



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