Raw Feeding Guide For Cats

In this article, we will share all about raw feeding cats and how it can be your cat’s healthy diet plan.

What is raw cat food?

Cats on a raw diet are fed uncooked ingredients. Muscle meat, organ meat, and bones are all included in this diet.

Raw feeding is based on the idea of duplicating what a cat's diet would be if they lived in the wild. Rodents, birds, fish, insects, and even reptiles are common prey for tiny wild cats. A raw diet replicates this diet with similar meat or appropriate substitutes.

As their digestive tract is short and acidic, a healthy cat may readily absorb raw meals. As a result, cats seldom have health issues with this diet.

However, if your cat has an immunological illness or any medical condition, see your veterinarian before converting from its current diet to a raw food diet.

Types of raw cat food

Raw cat food comes in different versions. You can choose any of the following diets as each cat will have its preference for food.

Homemade raw cat food

Some pet parents prefer to make their raw cat food at home as it gives them more control over what their cat eats or what goes into their diets. However, a common misconception many have with raw feeding is that it only consists of meat.

Feeding only raw meat in homemade meals is not sufficient. In order to ensure your cat reaps the benefits of a raw diet, you have to find the right balance of nutrients by including different kinds of muscle and organ meats as well as a small amount of vegetation to ensure all vitamin and mineral requirements are met.

Hence, due to the difficulty in getting the correct amount of nutrients in a raw meal, making this meal at home can be complicated.

Pre-prepared raw cat food

As explained above, homemade raw cat meals are hard to make. So, many prefer to purchase pre-prepared raw food for their feline.

Usually, these meals are professionally made and frozen for pet owners to provide a raw diet to their cats. It’s super easy to make; you just need to thaw and serve. Getting the right raw cat food brand will ensure all the nutrients your cat needs are included in the diet.

With that being said, you can try out PetCubes’ Raw Cat Food. We have an assortment of selections you can choose from, such as chicken or venison. Our meals are also made with the best ingredients to ensure your cat gets all it needs from its diet.

Raw food diet for cats: pros and cons

Like every other diet plan, a raw food diet has its advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a look at what they are:

Raw diet for cats benefits

Here are some of the benefits of feeding your cat raw food:

1. Improves skin and coat health

Putting your cat on a raw diet, consisting of human-grade raw meat, is good for your pet’s skin and coat health. This is because it is abundant in fatty acids, protein, zinc, and amino acids.

Since cats can’t get these nutrients from plant-based diets, feeding them a raw diet will be a wiser choice to decrease the risk of getting dry skin or hair loss.

2. Better and stronger bones and joints

A raw diet contains an adequate calcium and phosphorus ratio. This is excellent for strong bones and joints. In addition, calcium from raw bone is considerably more digestible than calcium from other sources.

Moreover, if you feed your cat a raw meal that consists of salmon, which is rich in omega-three fatty acids, it will aid in managing and preventing joint diseases.

3. Keeps cat hydrated

Water is necessary for your cat's survival. It aids in the maintenance of good health and the replacement of fluids lost through urine and faeces.

Since raw cat food has a greater water concentration, it's one of the simplest methods to improve your cat's daily water consumption.

To boost the quantity of water your cat consumes, you can add a little freshwater or diluted broth to the raw food.

4. Improvement in digestion

Cats must consume meat since they are obligate carnivores.

Their digestive systems are built to handle a meat-based diet. Hence, this makes it easier for felines to consume natural cat food as it is easier to digest than a plant-based diet.

5. Better oral health

If your cat is on a raw food diet, the right amount of calcium will help build teeth and bones. The food's consistency will also help in eliminating plaque.

Their teeth will be cleaned when they rip and chew on the raw bones included in the diet.

Raw diet for cats disadvantages

While raw cat diets provide good nourishment for cats, they are not without disadvantages.

In comparison to other pet meals, raw pet foods have a risk of contamination with possible pathogens, including Salmonella, Listeria, and E. Coli - if not prepared properly.

Besides that, handling contaminated foods or coming into touch with germs in the cat's excrement can expose the cat owners and the household to these infections.

Contaminated raw foods offer the highest risk to people and cats who are very young, extremely elderly or have weakened immune systems.

However, this problem is easily fixable. You just have to learn how to properly manage raw meat when preparing this meal for your cat.

When handling raw meat, thoroughly wash your hands and clean any surfaces that might have come in contact with the meat.

Furthermore, you should always ensure your raw meat is frozen in the freezer until you feed your cat. Don’t leave the meat on the countertop or in the sink to thaw unless you are prepared to feed your cat immediately. Do note that you should not rinse the raw meat as bacteria from the juices can splash and contaminate other food items.

How to choose the best raw diet for my cat?

There are many raw diets available for your cat. The diet you choose to follow should ensure your pet receives all the nutrients it needs to grow healthily. You can discuss with your veterinarian to find the most appropriate raw diet for your cat.

Nonetheless, here are some examples of raw diets for your cat.

BARF diet

A BARF diet stands for “Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods” A real BARF diet for cats comprises a lot of muscular meat, bones, and organs, much like a wild cat would eat.

Raw meat is abundant in protein and moisture, and essential nutrients like taurine, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals, however meat alone is not nutritionally complete.

A BARF diet tries to mimic a natural diet as closely as possible in order to offer all of these crucial elements to cats.

Some of the ingredients included in this diet are:

  • Raw meat of your choice
  • Organs
  • Fat (normally attached to the meat)
  • Bone
  • Liver
  • Vegetation
  • Supplements if needed

Prey Model Raw (PMR)

PMR is meant to give a fresh diet that mimics a wild feline without needing the pet to hunt and kill wild animals.

To attain an ideal balance and exclude all processed foods and grains, a complete PMR diet for cats will consist of 84 percent muscle meat, 6 percent raw edible bone, 5 percent liver, and 5 percent other organs (heart does not count as an organ but rather as muscle meat).

How much raw food is good for my cat?

There are a few factors that influence the amount of raw food that is good for your cat. Those factors include size, weight, activity level, breed, and other factors.

Adult cats

As cats grow, their metabolism decreases, and they are less active compared to kittens. Hence, their feeding schedule will differ. Nevertheless, here’s a general guide on how much you should feed your pet:

  • For cats at their optimal weight; 2% to 2.5% of their current body weight/per day
  • For less active, overweight cats or senior cats; 1.5% of their current body weight/per day
  • For active, underweight cats; 3% of their current body weight/per day

Kittens

Kittens require more food than adult cats as they are more active. Because kittens can't eat as much as adult cats at once, you might want to feed them smaller meals more frequently rather than giving them big meals.

Here’s a standard guide for how much raw food you should feed your kitten:

  • For 2 to 3 months, 10%-13% of their current body weight/ per day
  • For 4 to 8 months, 6%-10% of their current body weight/ per day
  • For 8 to 14 months, 3%-6% of their current body weight/ per day

Where to buy raw cat food?

You can get raw cat food at your local supermarkets. Just make sure to get human-grade raw meat as it is safer for your cat to consume and is less likely to be contaminated.

Try PetCubes Raw Cat Food, which is carefully curated to ensure all raw ingredients used in the meals are fresh and safe for preparation.

Conclusion

As discussed throughout this article, a raw diet for your cat is highly beneficial for its health. Talk to your vet to find which raw meal will work best for your pet before starting anything new.

Reviewed by: 

Dr Francis is one of the top wildlife nutritionists in Asia. Originating from Montreal, Canada, he left at 21 to pursue his Masters and subsequently a PhD in wildlife nutrition at Oxford Brookes University. Instead of taking the path of common animal science to learn about farm animals, or through the veterinarian space and taking a certificate in nutrition, he took the road less travelled to dive deep into the world of animal ecology, metabolism and nutrition.

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