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7 Ways Raw Cat Food Has Transformed My Cats’ Health

When my first cat, and even my second one, came into my life, raw cat food was not even on my radar. It was a foreign concept to me. Pet food comes out of a bag, or a can right?

This way of thinking is very prevalent among cat guardians. We weren’t around before the boom of the pet food industry, which was right after the great depression. We grew up associating pet health with kibble, or stinky brown mush that comes from a can.

Marketing campaigns from giant pet food companies have influenced our perspective. They have convinced us that we can’t possibly know what’s best for our pets. We leave that to the “professionals.” After all, this is the way it has been done for as long as we can remember.

Luckily, there is a movement that is happening among pet parents. With knowledge becoming more readily available through the internet, the truth is spreading like wildfire.

People are discovering that dry kibble, and canned mush is not actually what’s best for their cats!

We are tracing cats back to their roots, and studying what their bodies are designed to consume.

Most veterinarians barely have any training in nutrition. But as this raw food movement gains traction, they are beginning to see the amazing positive impact these diets are having on cats that are brought in for checkups. This is causing many vets to hop on board, and advocate for a healthy, balanced raw diet!

A Very Short Briefing on the Commercial Pet Food Fallacy

image of dry cat food in bags.

As cat guardians, we want what’s best for our feline children.

Highly Processed & Nutritionally Inadequate

We have bought into the idea (marketing again) that when we purchase commercial cat food, what we are getting is nutritionally complete. Unfortunately, this is a false comfort.

Commercial pet foods are cooked at incredibly high temperatures for long periods of time. This process cooks out most of the nutrients the food originally contained.

Synthetic supplements are then sprayed on. Since these supplements are synthetic, they are registered in the body as chemicals, and they generally have low bioavailability.

*Bioavailability is how much of the nutrient the body is able to utilize.*

Poor bioavailability can lead to nutrient deficiencies, and malnutrition.

Check out: Do Our Pets Get Much Nutrition From Their Food?

Studies have even found many batches of cat food from massive brands to be inconsistent with the ingredients and nutrient content on their labels. Learn more about this here: Study Shows Pet Food Lacks Consistency

Too Many Carbs

In order for kibble to stay together, it must have something to bind it. So, pet food companies use excessive amounts of carbohydrates, such as corn, rice, and wheat to act as a binding agent. These ingredients also act as fillers to make the food cheaper, and they use them to boost the protein content on the label.

In reality, cats are unable to utilize this form of protein, because it is incomplete. Humans can synthesize proteins from different sources to make them complete. Cats, being obligate carnivores, lack this ability.

*This goes for most recipes that are grain-free as well! Most of these recipes substitute grain for another plant-based filler, such as pea protein.

Cats’ systems are designed for minimal carbohydrate intake. They produce very small amounts of the enzymes required to break down carbs. The only carbs a cat would naturally ingest would be from the stomachs of their prey, and from eating small amounts of grass.

Such high carbohydrate content causes serious health issues in cats, such as dental disease, diabetes, and obesity.

This tasteless overcooked mush that comes from huge factories is completely bio-inappropriate for cats. It is so far from what a cat would naturally eat, that they add in natural and/or artificial flavors in order to make it palatable. A lot of cat food companies also add dyes in order to make it appealing to the human eye. And of course, there are the preservatives.

Check out this article: Top 10 Myths About Pet Food and Nutrition for some more really great information.

I know this is a lot to take in. It can feel overwhelming especially in the beginning.

But there is a simple solution! Just stop buying it! Switch your beloved felines to a bio-appropriate diet that will support their health throughout every stage of their life. Make the switch to raw! I made the decision to switch about 6 months ago, and I’m beyond glad that I did!

Why Raw Cat Food?

image depicting ingredients in raw cat food

Okay, so you’re convinced to stop buying crappy cat food. But why does food need to be raw?

When we look at a cat in the wild, they get their sustenance from freshly killed prey. I know this can be a hard pill to swallow for some people, because our society has become very detached from this process. But it’s how a lot of animals on the planet survive.

Cats’ dietary needs have not evolved past that of their ancestors. Domestic house cats, and wildcats have the same biological needs.

Studies even show that raw meat is easier for cats to digest than cooked meat.

Bones are also amazing for cat health due to their calcium, glucosamine, and chondroitin content (all of which are extremely bioavailable in this natural form!) And bones are only digestible when they are raw.

The idea behind raw cat food is to replicate a cat’s natural diet as closely as we can. This means fresh raw meat, organs, bone, a very small amount of carbs and fiber, and just a few supplements to ensure they get everything they need.

*Regarding salmonella: There are food safety guidelines that need to be followed when preparing any food, including raw. As long as the food is handled and prepared carefully, and properly there is no reason to worry about salmonella.

7 Ways Raw Cat Food Has Transformed My Cats’ Health in 6 Months

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My three cats have been eating a raw diet for around 6 months. In this short amount of time, I have noticed some huge changes with their health and wellbeing!

1. Softer, thicker fur.

This is especially noticeable in my cat, Doja. When I first took him in, his fur was thin and relatively coarse to the touch. Today, his fur (along with my cats Ellie and Nia) is thick, and very soft.

2. No more urinary tract trouble!

Both Ellie Mae, and Doja were suffering from recurring urinary tract infections. They kept coming back, even with antibiotics, and veterinary advice. Both of them were constantly experiencing pain, and discomfort. They would visit the litter box continuously, and strain for a minute or so, only for a few trickles to come out. Poor Doja even had blood. These issues have completely disappeared since they started eating raw cat food! They went away within a few days, and have not returned since!

3.More Energy

Ellie and Nia both have quite a bit more energy, especially Nia. I didn’t even consider them to be lethargic until I switched them to raw cat food. It was only then that I realized the energy potential. They are more alert, active, and playful. (Doja is only a little over a year, so his energy level was so high to begin with that it makes it hard to tell if there is a difference in this area.)

4. They are hydrated.

In the wild, cats get the vast majority of their hydration from eating whole prey. This is why cats don’t tend to drink much plain water. Feeding dry food causes cats to become chronically dehydrated. (If you don’t know much about cats’ hydration needs, this is a good article to check out: How Much Water Does an Adult Cat Need to Drink?)

The telltale sign that my cats are now hydrated is the fact that their pee doesn’t smell like straight ammonia anymore. It’s also no longer dark yellow, and they go more than they ever have. (Dehydration can cause kidney problems, struvite crystals, and UTIs. It also contributes to many other health issues.)

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5. When they use the litter box, it doesn’t smell at all!

I know this isn’t something people generally like to think about. But we are forced to think about it every time our cat steps into the litter box to poop, and the smell wafts around the house. Now, I don’t have that reminder! Seriously, it kind of blows my mind. Even in enclosed rooms with a litter box in it, I can’t smell it. It’s pretty great.

6. No more vomiting

Ellie used to vomit fairly regularly. Not super often, but often enough. She has vomited from certain foods, and she has vomited up yellow foam. There is no vomit anymore!

7. Almost no hairballs!

Ellie is a long-haired cat. She has always had super nasty, smelly, huge hairballs. This is another unpleasant occurrence that’s now a thing of the past! Since she’s been eating raw food, she has had one hairball. I didn’t even realize that’s what it was until I was cleaning it, because it was such a tiny amount of hair. Nothing even close to what she used to get. Nia and Doja haven’t had any hairballs whatsoever.

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The Best Raw Cat Food Options

Okay, so how do you get these same results for your fur babies? Here are my top 3 recommendations:

  • Homemade Raw Cat Food
  • Better in the Raw
    • This is a mix of supplements that you add to raw meat. If you want to go the homemade route, but don’t have much extra time to spend making it then this is the perfect solution. Just cut up the meat, add this supplement powder and some water, and voila! (Feeding plain raw meat without any supplements is not sustainable. Feeding a little pain meat as a snack is one thing, but it cannot make up their entire diet. Since they would not be getting all parts of the prey, such as organs, supplements must be added in.)

  • Stella & Chewy Freeze-Dried Raw Dinner Morsels for Cats
    • This pre-made cat food is freeze dried, so you don’t need to clean out your freezer in order to make extra room. It’s really easy to feed, and to store. All you do is add water to it. So, if you’re a busy bee who is usually super pressed for time, but still wants to feed your cats raw, this is an amazing option.

Our cats are a part of our family. Choosing the best diet to support them in living a long, healthy life can feel daunting and confusing. But it really doesn’t have to. Once you try out a raw, balanced, whole food diet and experience all the benefits, I highly doubt you’ll ever look back!

Have any questions about feeding your cat a raw diet? Ask me in the comments!

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1 year ago

what raw foods do I start with? Thank you.

Alicia L. Milliken
Alicia L. Milliken
1 year ago

My cat has been prescribed a hydrolyzed diet. She used to receive cooked meat at our meals. She doesn’t like the dry hydrolyzed cat food. Her health is much improved, but I believe she is agitated from not eating anything satisfying.. will raw eating help her without causing allergies?

Alicia L. Milliken
Alicia L. Milliken
Reply to  Lauren
1 year ago

Thank you so much

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