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Raw feeding has become a popular diet for cat parents. The diet of raw meat, organs, bone, vegetables, and fruits is said to have various benefits to a feline’s health. In this article, let’s look at raw cat food and why it is the healthier diet plan for your cat.
Cats are carnivorous animals, which also means that vegetables and carbs are not required in a cat’s diet.
This is why cats thrive on high-protein, high-moisture diets rich in compounds found exclusively in raw diets. A raw cat meal consists of essential amino acids and fatty acids, and other vitamins and minerals, which are helpful in keeping your feline’s body healthy.
Moreover, most of the ingredients used in a raw diet are natural. So you won’t have to worry if your cat is consuming food that contains substances that can be detrimental to its health.
Yes, as a matter of fact, there are many benefits of feeding your cat raw food. They are:
Every day, the average healthy cat requires around 30ml of water per pound of body weight. So, if your cat weighs eight pounds, they need about 1 cup of water each day.
Some cats don’t drink enough water, resulting in concentrated urine and the development of urinary crystals. So, cats have to get their daily water intake from their food.
Since raw meals have high moisture content, you are killing two birds with one stone by ensuring your cat is well hydrated and gets all the nutrients it needs with one diet plan.
It's a well-known fact that cats on a raw diet defecate less. This is attributed mainly to the meal being easier to digest. They digest more of the food that goes in, resulting in less food coming out. Poos from pets on a raw beef diet are often tiny, dry, crumbly, and odourless.
As explained earlier, cats have a low thirst drive, so they should get their water intake from the food they consume. Unfortunately, most commercial cat diets such as kibble, are deficient in animal protein and lack moisture, both of which can contribute to your cat getting a urinary tract infection (UTI).
Since raw diets have high moisture content and are rich in protein, it will help your cat reduce the risk of getting UTIs, or if it already has one, this meal can help soothe its pain.
Raw cat food can help your feline's oral health substantially. Utilising raw, meaty bones as part of a raw food diet is critical for a cat's good dental health.
Natural enzymes found in bones break down plaque, preventing food from sticking to the teeth and hardening. Raw diets tend to be very low in carbohydrates which also preempts any new plaque from building up.
This is good for your cat as plaque hardens into tartar and causes gum disease if not removed regularly.
When feeding raw cat food, the risk of contracting germs such as Salmonella and E.coli are serious concerns for pet parents. However, you don’t have to worry about this that much as cats are less vulnerable to these risks due to their shorter gastrointestinal tract systems
As a result, many viruses will pass through a cat unharmed. The majority of cats can eat raw food.
Nevertheless, one thing you should keep an eye out for when feeding raw is cross-contamination. You and other people in your household may be exposed to hazardous germs if you feed your cat raw food. Pathogens may be found on cutting boards, food dishes, cat faeces, and even on your cat.
However, this problem can be easily fixed. You just have to learn how to handle raw cat food properly. Here are some tips:
There are many options of foods you can choose from to include in your cat’s raw meal. However, the meat should be ideally of human-grade to limit the possibility of getting raw meat that is contaminated as these products usually adhere to safety guidelines.
Here are a few examples of the best raw food for cats:
If you're switching to a completely raw diet, take it slowly. When you introduce raw food to your cat’s diet, it might cause stomach distress.
Don’t be stressed when this happens as this just indicates that your cat’s body is detoxing itself from the previous diet. However, if the problem persists, do visit the vet.
Start by introducing a tiny quantity of raw food and gradually increasing the amount over one to four weeks. You might speed up the process if your cat is adapting well to the new diet.
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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