I must admit that we never really planned or spent much thoughts on our cats´ nutrition. And honestly - shame on us! Or particularly shame on me, because I am a large promoter of natural nutrition, filled with key ingredients for strong health and longevity for all animals.
In our family´s house, cats have been fed cat kibble of various qualities, and in tough financial times, shared even high energy dog food with our huskies.
But one day I knew it was enough of this wrong approach and malnutrition and we switched our kitties to raw meat.
When it comes to our dogs and numbers of dogs of my customers over the years, whose feeding programs have been improved and changed, I have noticed positive changes in several spheres:
- Health and Condition
Here are the BENEFITS and CHANGES we started seeing within only three (!) weeks:
- Ronja and Pippi finally gained weight. They´ve been rather hard to keep weight on, when fed commercial dry food.
- Mio, our neutered boy, lost some weight! He was hopelessly overweight despite all our efforts, exercise and long periods of time spent outdoors.
- Their coats grew thicker, fluffier, soften and shinier
- They started to look less hungry and calmed down in some of their behavior. As if a certain balance has been restored.
- They´ve never been sick since then (ok, this wasn´t observed within the first three weeks of switching to raw meat, but generally since we changed their diet
- All three of them started to look generally more content and happy.
- They started to be less prone to parasites (worms).
There are also many practical benefits to this change, for example the cost of this feeding is lower, the medical care for our cats is cheaper and the feeding is also very practical - we just take a chunk of raw, minced meat (we use different kinds) and put it in the dish. The kitties then have more fun and spend more time properly chewing on the meat.
Why would there be such a large difference and positive impact on the cats when switching from the so called complete, balanced commercial dry food to just chunks of raw meat?
It´s really simple:
#1 Cats are carnivores (meat eaters), which means they need meat based protein, and lots of it, of a good quality. They also need a larger amount of amino acid called taurine, which can be found only in meat and eggs. Read more about taurine and its sources here.
Commercial cat foods, even the best ones that contain higher levels of protein have too much carbohydrates and still not enough animal (meat) based protein. So the total protein levels that the cat can actually utilize are much lower than you may think.
Many commercial cat foods contain very little taurine or even none.
#2 Cats have tendency to drink little. Therefore many cats, if not fed properly, suffer from urinary tract illnesses and related health issues.
That is why commercial food manufacturers advice to add canned food to the kibble, to add moist. But aside from being expensive, majority of the cat "wet" food contains loads of chemicals, preservatives and very little high quality meat protein.
Feeding raw meat, or at least adding it to the cat´s existing diet, provides not only all the benefits mentioned in point #1, but also water.
#3 One of the most ignored and forgotten importances is the essential need of enzymes. Dogs, cats, humans, everybody needs these key elements to keep our immune systems strong, our bodies healthy and able to fight off any disease, to recover faster from injuries, surgeries, illness, etc., and for living longer, vital lives.
To cat or dog, enzymes are available only in raw meat. They get destroyed by heat and therefore are not present in commercial pet food (except for a very few brands with special production technologies, which are, most unfortunately, not available on the European market at all.
Over the years, I have seen so many dogs improving their health remarkably and relatively quickly, when enzymes were added to their diet.
At our kennel´s feeding program, raw meat is the main ingredient and dietary enzymes are added on top of that to every dog recovering from injury, surgery or occasional illness, as well as during and after conventional therapy, where antibiotics or steroids (cortisone) were used, although those are luckily very rare cases as we do all we can to assure holistic or at least more natural treatments.
>> High quality meat based protein
>> Dietary enzymes
And finally, here is our Kipp d´Amundsen CAT FEEDING PROGRAM as a showcase for you, if you would like to start your kitties on natural diet as well:
- RAW MEAT (ground) - blend of chicken with bones, beef muscle, tripe and organs, salmon, trout. We don´t feed always just one kind of meat.
- OMEGA 3 (fish) OIL - only when the weather gets colder or when we feed extra lean meat.
Yup, that´s it. Really.
We never feed it cold and sometimes add some leftover warm meat soup from the dogs.
Our kitties had no issues with changes of the taste, the source or consistency of their nutrition, either.
Here is a nicely written article on cat raw feeding, that supports my experience and also our cat feeding program, also with a few tips on getting your cat used to the new kind of food.
Contrary to some belief, cat´s have absolutely no problems with chewing bigger
pieces of their food. Also, notice how shiny Ronja and Pippi´s coats are.
All this thank to an all NATURAL, raw diet.