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When it comes to our picky felines, we might scratch our heads trying to figure out what to best feed them. It may not help that there are also many forms of cat food – from raw, to gently cooked, to kibble. Knowing that our cats are natural carnivores is a good starting point. Our cats rely heavily on protein from their diets to keep them strong and healthy.
How do we then choose what kinds of meat to feed our cats? For those who have always wanted to try out the raw meat diet for your cat, but have always been wary of the risks involved, feeding gently cooked cat food is a good alternative. On the other hand, using gently cooked cat food also serves as a good way to help transition your cat from kibble to a raw food diet.
What exactly is ‘gently cooked’ cat food? How is it different from just simply ‘cooked’ cat food? It all boils down to one thing – being cooked at the right temperature. Gently cooked foods are cooked at a controlled temperature to ensure that necessary proteins and nutrients do not get destroyed in the cooking process as they would be if they were cooked under a high temperature.
Is my cat suitable for gently cooked cat food?
Whatever you feed your cat, it depends on both your personal preference as well as the health and age of your cat. As cats get older, they may face difficulties digesting fats, proteins and energy. Gently cooked cat food can be better suited for such cats as meat that has been lightly cooked is easier for your cat to break down while still absorbing the nutrients that it needs from its cat food. Each cat is unique and while one with a healthy digestive system can effectively absorb all the nutrients it needs, having cat food that is of high digestibility and strong nutrient compositions do nothing but benefit your feline. In fact, it directly contributes to the health of your cat’s digestive system and in turn, their whole bodily functions.
As natural carnivores, cats have a high protein requirement – more than dogs and humans. The protein is needed to regenerate cells in their body, including helping to maintain healthy claws, antibodies and coats.
Should I cook my own cat food?
While it is possible to have homemade cat food, chances are if you decide to cook such food, it will take a lot of effort to ensure that your cat food is not overcooked.
Cooking meat just as how we would for humans may prove to be a disservice for your feline considering some nutrients are more heat-sensitive than others and can be easily destroyed. One example of this is Thiamine, one of the most heat-sensitive B vitamins that can be reduced up to 70% in cooked meat.
Not only that, cooking meat at high heat such as grilling, frying or roasting to over 154.5°C can create cancerous compounds. This is why if you do not want to feed your cat raw food but also do not want to feed kibble, commercially produced gently or lightly cooked cat food could be your solution. This is because commercial players are able to have the suitable equipment to cook your cat’s food at a controlled temperature to retain all the nutrients your cat needs while at the same time, tailoring it to be a well-balanced meal if they are AAFCO certified.
One good example of this is PetCube’s Gently Cooked Cat Food that is high in protein, contains appropriate amounts of fats, low in carbohydrates and does not contain any preservatives, fillers or additives. It even contains small amounts of fruits, vegetables, and mushrooms that are specifically chosen for their antioxidants and health-supporting compounds that have been proven beneficial for long-term health in cats. You would also be glad to know that they add botanicals in therapeutic concentrations to support your cat's gut health!
At the end of the day, it is always important to closely monitor your cat’s health, eating habits and seek veterinary feedback whenever in doubt.
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