How To Prepare A Raw Diet For Your Cat
It is essential that you find an expert to help you develop a complete and balanced diet that will truly benefit your cat. Your vet may also recommend special supplements to ensure your cat gets the nutrients needed to stay healthy.
Ingredients used in a raw food diet may include the following:
- Raw meat from muscles and organs
- Raw bones, ground
Raw Food Diets Are Helpful For Allergies
Allergies can cause a variety of issues including tummy troubles, itching, dry and flaky coat, and more. Raw diets can be beneficial for cats with allergies as they contain quality ingredients and natural oils to support healthy skin and a shiny coat. Stella & Chewys also offers many single source protein recipes as well as novel protein options such as rabbit.
Ingredients To Avoid In Cat Food
Before you let the chef that resides in you arise while making meals for your beloved cat, you should know what foods are harmful to cats. You must know what human food can cats eat and what to avoid. As many common human foods are toxic to our feline companions. Here is a list of food items that cats should avoid:
- Chocolate: It include methylxanthines . Chocolate is poisonous to cats and can result in vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, seizures, and death.
- Citrus fruits: These include citric acid and essential oils that might cause difficulties in cats, such as lemons, limes, oranges, clementine, and grapefruits.
- Dairy: Because many cats are lactose intolerant, feeding your cat dairy products might cause intestinal issues.
- Raw Eggs: Salmonella bacterium can be found in raw eggs. Vomiting, diarrhea, and fever are all symptoms of illness that can occur if your cat consumes raw eggs. Avidin, an enzyme found in raw eggs, prevents cats from absorbing biotin, a vitamin essential for skin and fur health.
- Raw or Undercooked Meat: Raw or undercooked meat carries Salmonella and E. coli germs. When pets ingest raw meat-based diets, they are at a high risk of contracting diarrhea and other gastrointestinal diseases.
- Salt: Salt can induce vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, convulsions, and death in dogs when consumed in large amounts.
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Delicious Homemade Raw Cat Food Recipe
It is without a doubt that cats benefit from a raw diet and many pet owners actually choose to make cat food themselves. However, if you are a newbie at preparing cat food, it may be a bit intimidating as you would only want the best for your cat and do not want any nutritional imbalances.
There are probably many questions that plague your mind regarding raw cat food recipes and this article aims to address these concerns.
What To Know About Feeding Your Cat
Whether your cat is a picky eater or a little on the pudgy side, they probably let you know how they feel about what you put in their bowl.
Cats are very opinionated about food, and a lot of their food preferences are formed in the first year, says Julie A. Churchill, DVM, PhD, associate professor of nutrition at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine in St. Paul. So if your cat is a kitten, now is the time to get them used to different types of food — wet, dry, and semidry.
But even if your pet is older, there are still ways to make sure they are getting all the nutrients they need to be healthy. Start by learning more about what youre buying and what your cat needs.
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Complete And Balanced Raw Food Diets
One of the biggest mistakes owners make with raw food diets is not making sure the diet is complete and balanced. Some people just feed “all meat and bones” or a wide variety of meats without actually paying attention to the calorie, fat, protein, and nutrient content. Do not assume your cat is getting everything needed for good health by simply feeding “as much meat as desired.” Over time, an incomplete diet can lead to serious health problems for your cat.
You may think that random raw meat is healthy because feral cats and strays can subsist on this, but it’s important to remember that wild animals have shorter life expectancies than domesticated pets. Part of this is due to diet. That’s why it’s important to follow a vet-approved recipe that is complete and balanced.
When developing your cat’s raw diet, consult with your veterinarian about recipes that offer complete and balanced nutrition for your cat. Know that many vets will not recommend raw diets due to the risks involved. If you feel strongly about trying a raw diet and your vet is not flexible at all about raw diets, seek out a veterinarian who is experienced with raw diets. Better yet, find a veterinary nutritionist with raw diet experience.
A Cooked Diet: The Risks And Rewards
Little scientific evidence exists either for or against a cooked diet for cats.
Some, like Cornell Universitys College of Veterinary Medicine, warn against making raw or cooked cat food at home because of the importance of getting the right quantity and proportions of nutrients.
Remillard says she has talked to many cat owners eager to switch to homemade cat food in the wake of melamine poisoning in commercial cat foods. And although she doesnt push homemade cat food diets, she says they can work — as long as cat owners consult a veterinarian-nutritionist to formulate one.
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Should You Feed Your Cat A Raw Diet 11 Questions To Ask First
Recent years have seen tremendous growth in raw food diets for cats and dogs. As obligate carnivores, cats can especially thrive on a complete, balanced and safely prepared raw diet. However, feeding your cat a raw diet is a significant responsibility and its one that many experts advise against. Read on for the details.
Should You Be Including Fruits And Vegetables
As mentioned above, cats are obligate carnivores, which means that they do not need any fruits and vegetables in their diet. They also have a difficult time digesting them, so you should really try to avoid feeding these as much as possible.
However, if your cat has taken a particular liking to a fruit or vegetable, this will not do any harm when fed on occasion, as long as you have checked that that particular food is safe to feed to cats.
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What Is A Raw Food Diet
A raw diet consists of uncooked, unprocessed food. Typically, commercial raw diets, like Stella & Chewys, are formulated to mirror a cats ancestral diet with 98% meat, organs, and bone. These diets are packed with protein and nutrients that support healthy teeth and gums, optimal digestion, vibrant skin and coat, and stamina. Raw diets also contain a high moisture content that helps keep your cat hydrated.
You may have concerns about the potential dangers of raw foods for your cat but there are safe ways to feed raw. Learn more about safe raw feeding and Stella & Chewys food safety.
Why Not Just Get Ground Meat From The Store
When you grind raw meat, you increase the surface area for germs to land on and in the meat. If this ground meat is not put in a freezer immediately, it increases the chances of contamination.
Grocery store ground meat is intended to be thoroughly cooked. Thus, the meat is not frozen immediately.
On the other hand, commercial raw cat food makers maintain very high standards. The meat is immediately frozen after grinding to keep bacteria from multiplying.
Ground store meats also dont contain the mix of organs and bone as suggested for homemade cat food. So, youll still need to do some grinding at home.
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Tip No : Premium May Just Mean Pricey
Buyer Beware: The FDA says cat foods flaunting terms such as “premium” or “ultra-premium” are not required to be made of any better or healthier ingredients than a regular complete and balanced cat food.
The words may, however, mean that the product contains food sources that are more digestible.
This may or may not be a good thing for your cat. Ask your veterinarian if your cat needs more or less volume in the diet before choosing a premium food.
What Should I Feed My Cat
Cats are obligate or true carnivores, meaning that they need a source of animal protein to survive. In the wild, cats eat the carcases of the prey animals they hunt, which consist of raw meat, bones and organs. They also consume a small amount of the vegetable matter contained in the gut of their prey.
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Already Raw Feeding A Dog
If you already raw feed a dog, you will likely already be aware of the 80/10/5/5 guidelines. The reason why the guidelines for cats is slightly different is because the prey that cats would naturally catch would not be the same as dogs. For example, rodents contain just 5% bone and 4% liver, while rabbits contain less than 10% bone and 4% liver, and birds are even lower in both bone and organ content.
Another difference between raw feeding cats and dogs is that cats, unlike dogs, cannot create taurine in their bodies, so you do need to be aware of the differing taurine contents in certain meats. This will be explained in more detail further down.
Are Raw Cat Food Diets The Same As The Barf Diet For Cats
The acronym BARF is sometimes used to describe a version of homemade or commercially available raw cat foods. BARF stands for either biologically appropriate raw foods or bones and raw foods.
BARF proponents often highlight the inclusion of raw bone and internal organs in their foods, rather than simply adding raw meat to other ingredients to create a balanced diet. The pros and cons of BARF and non-BARF raw cat foods are similar.
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Where To Source Your Meat From
Initially, many people tend to find raw feeding more expensive, but, once you get into the swing of things, you will learn how to source your meat for cheaper.
Local butchers will often have off cuts, as well as bones, that they are willing to give away for free, as will local farmers and hunters. Hunters in particular could be a great source of whole prey for your cat, especially rabbits.
There are also more and more raw suppliers popping up all over the world. They will not only sell everything that you need to put together a homemade raw diet for your cat, but will also sell complete mixes, meaning that all the hard work will have already been done for you.
While these are more costly, they are great for those days when you have run out of cat food but do not have the time to whip up another batch.
Can You Feed Cats Raw Meat
Wild cats eat their meat raw. They are accustomed to most germs that may be present, so they wont suffer from stomach aches.
Domestic cats, unlike their wild cousins, are usually raised in a more sterile environment which includes the food that they eat. Your pet cats may or may not be as robust as compared to a wild one.
With that being said, you can feed your cats raw meat. They are able to digest it without any issues. The bigger concern here is the risk of getting infected by parasites in the meat and falling ill.
This is especially more likely if your cats eat wild prey. A cat with a weakened immune system will succumb to the side effects of a parasite by infection. Wild cats also suffer from this risk and more often than not carry some kind of parasite.
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What Is The Best Raw Food For Cats
Its important to feed a diet that is as clean as possible to your cat, especially when owners want to know is raw food good for cats with kidney disease. Thats why you should always choose high-quality meat sources, avoid by-products and rendered sources of protein. Our diets contain raw ingredients that are fit for human consumption . These raw meats have not been cooked or rendered in any way, keeping the diet as close to their ancestral diet as possible.
Traditional commercial pet foods often contain preservatives, binders, and fillers that offer little health benefit. These ingredients cause additional and unnecessary strain to all organs, including the kidneys. Sticking to simple recipes, as close to their natural state as possible, is the way to go.
What Health Concerns Are Helped By A Raw Diet
As evolved desert dwellers, cats lack a strong thirst drive. The tendency of raw diets to contain more moisture offers added hydration, helping to alleviate some urinary problems and improve overall health.
Perhaps the most common health concern that can be helped by a raw diet is kidney disease. The kidneys, when healthy, work wonders metabolizing protein and processing waste. Heat processing damages the foods amino acid profile, creating lower protein efficiency and waste to be processed by the kidneys. In turn, a diet free of heat damage can improve kidney health.
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What Do Cats Need To Eat
As obligate carnivores, cats need certain food to thrive such as taurine, a type of protein and fatty acids such as arachidonic acid.
Carbohydrates are not a must in a cats diet and in fact have been linked with chronic health issues. However, small amounts are fine and it is always good to have some fibre in its diet to help with bowel movements and gut health.
Homemade Raw Diet Food For Cats
Because cats are obligate carnivores, they thrive on meals high in animal protein, making homemade raw diets particularly useful. Raw cat food diets contains:
- Low carbohydrate content can help avoid obesity and diabetes.
- High moisture content helps your cat stay hydrated, good for kidney health.
- Due to a lack of heat processing, provide adequate protein levels.
- Reduce plaque build-up, tooth loss, and gum disease to improve oral health.
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What Is Raw Feeding
Raw feeding means feeding your cat uncooked meat, bones and offal, the way nature intended it. A complete raw cat food diet is meant to replicate a natural cats diet. This is also called a BARF diet, which is an acronym that stand for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food.
The idea behind raw feeding is that its very similar to what a cats diet would have been if they lived in the wild. Small wild cats tend to hunt & eat rodents and other small mammals, birds, fish, insects, and even reptiles. A BARF diet mimics these foods with the real thing or suitable alternatives.
Is Commercial Cat Food Necessary For Cats
We keep dry food as recommended by our vet available at all times to our cat. He greatly prefers the wet food, and most weeks doesnt even touch the dry food. Still, I dont want to have to worry that Im not giving him enough, so I do have a feeder for Bob that always has dry food in it.
I dont think that a little dry food here and there is bad for cats, but I would always want to have raw meat, including organ meats, as the main part of their diet.
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Commercial Raw Cat Food Vs Homemade Raw Food For Cats
Raw cat foods come in many different forms. Some pet parents prepare raw foods for their cats at home. Others choose commercially available raw cat food diets, which are usually sold as raw frozen or raw freeze-dried formulas.
Other options are also available, like premixes of vegetables, vitamins, and minerals that you add raw meat to, or there are ready-made, raw pet diets that can be purchased from local butchers. Which option is best?
Raw Rules Food For Cats
There are two main rules for feeding cats. When you follow these, youre working with the cats natural nutritional patterns.
After seeing so much success with switching our cat Bob to a raw food diet for kidney disease, friends and family and readers have been asking me about a recipe for kittens and healthy cats.
The only change to the Feline Kidney Care Raw Food recipe is that I used bone-in chicken in place of the beef, as it contains the healthy fats from the skin as well as bone bone that cats need to grow and maintain bone health. Cats with kidney disease need to limit their phospherous, but cats without kidney disease should NOT limit phosphorous and should include bones in the diet.
Is this recipe enough taurine? I wasnt sure, since taurine in the chicken heart may degrade when its frozen, and my chicken hearts come frozen. Since taurine is so essential to cats, I sprinkle powdered taurine, 1 pinch, on each container of his food .
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