The Raw Food Diet
Cats will eat any prey if it is small and will also eat almost any part of a larger animal. Cats will even eat the bones of the animal; they get most of their calcium from the ingestion of bones. If you cook the meat you give to your cat, it reduces the nutrients you cat can get from the bones and makes them very dangerous for your cat because they become brittle and can splinter in your cat’s intestines.
There are a lot of benefits to switching to a raw meat diet for your cat, such as: improved digestion, reduced stool and odor volume, increased energy, better dental and urinary health, healthy coat, and weight loss.
Cats are omnivores, but they MUST eat meat. Cats are made to digest meat, it’s their digestive systems are made for. In order to digest meat, cats have a digestive tract the is short but very acidic, so when you give cats raw meat their system knows exactly what to do with it. Because of the acidity of cat’s digestions systems, they are resistant to food poisoning.
Unlike humans, cats have no use for carbohydrates and even have trouble digesting them. The raw meat diet however, is very digestible for cats rather than a plant based diet. Cats only have one enzyme capable of digesting cabohydrates, since their diet used to contain mainly meat. On the other hand, dogs and humans have multiple enzyme systems to deal with carbohydrates.
Greatly Reduced Stool Odor and Volume
The raw diet is easier on a cat’s body, so when they eat meat they absorb most of it, meaning stool in the litter box. A raw meat diet can cut up to half of your cats stool production (depending on what they ate before the diet). Their stool itself becomes healthier, which means it will be a better indicator if you think your cat is ever sick. The poop will stink less because it is natural for animals that could be prayed on not to leave an indicator that they were there, the only reason your cats poop stinks so bad (besides the fact that it IS poop) is that the things in your cats food make their scat stink.
Without the proper diet, one with lots of carbohydrates, cats bodies struggle with the excess carbs. The amount of waste is a lot larger than it should be because what their eating isn’t being efficiently processed. Runny, super smelly, large poop is not normal for cats.
Healthy Coat, Less Shedding, Fewer Hairballs
Most cats on the raw meat diet tend to get silkier, smoother coats. Cats need fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6 in their food. Those acids are found in animals and they are also found in plants, but since cats can’t process plants as well they would have to eat a lot of them to get the necessary nutrition that they would easily get from meat. The fatty acids contribute to healthy coats and skin, and since your cat will not shed as much, there should be less haairballs.
Cats that start the raw meat tend to become more energetic than cats that eat dry food. Even cats that tend to be lounge hounds start running around like crazy! If you give your cat the appropriate nutrition then they can get more energy from their food.
Cats have the unique ability to optimize the use protein for their energy requirements. Cats use a process called gluconeogenesis to turn protein into energy in their liver. Humans and dogs can burn protein this way, but unlike cats, if a human doesn’t have enough protein this process will slow down. Cats never turn their rate of protein -to-energy production to a lower setting, that is why cats NEED to have meat in their diet.
The raw food diet is a great way to help your feline lose weight, if they are overweight that is. Since cats can bot get all the nutrients they need from dry food, cats tend to overeat to compensate. Cats tend not to over eat on the raw food diet because they are receiving the proper nutrition and you are controlling their portion size. Your cat shouldn’t be screaming next to their bowl needing more food in the middle of the night. Also, with more energy comes more kitty cat exercise, helping your feline to lose weight.
Better Dental Health
Cat’s dental health relies partially on genetics, like in humans. Cats in the wild tend not to deal with any of the diseases associated with the buildup of tartar and plaque like gum disease and tooth loss. Why, you may ask? Because wild cats chew on raw bones, connective tissue, fur, and skin all help to clean teeth. Carbohydrates on the other hand, encourage plaque buildup and carbohydrate laden food doesn’t control tartar. Bones will help keep oral diseases at bay and keeping your feline away from carbs will keep dental diseases away. Oral diseases can cause big problems in other parts of the body so it is important to keep them at bay.
Better Urinary Health
Raw prey contains more moisture for cats, 65 to 75 percent which is close to natural prey; like a mouse that is 65-75% moisture. Dry food has basically no moisture (as the name implies) so this can lead to your cat being dehydrated and can also cause alkaline urine in cats.
I hope these statistics help you decide whether a raw food diet is the right option for your cat!