WHY RAW IS BEST (CATS)
Cats are predators and this means that they need MEAT. Unlike a cow, cats are not made to digest plant material. They do not have the saliva or the stomach needed to process carbohydrates. Furthermore, a cat requires 2-3 times more protein than any other carnivorous animal. (Kirk CA, 2000)
But today, many pet food companies add barley, wheat, corn, brown rice and even cellulose, which is indigestible plant husks, into their cat foods. This results in reduced percentage of meat available in the food, and thus, reduced nutrients for your beloved cat.
To top it off, they then cook the food at high temperatures. This destroys important vitamins and amino acids and then they add synthetic vitamins back in so that the cats will not perish from the lack of nutrients found in the food.
It is a self-defeating process, but many concerned pet owners do not realise that. They feed badly prepared ‘premium’ foods and then fork out even more for prescription diets when they could have prevented that illness, heartbreak and expense all along by feeding the foods Mother Nature intended.
Hunting for prey.
Here are the benefits of feeding your cats the Natural Way:
1.) Reduction in odour and volume of waste
Ever wondered why houses with cats stink when cats are supposed to be such clean animals? This is due to an inappropriate diet (assuming you DO clean the box daily!). If we feed foods that cats’ bodies cannot use, naturally they will produce more waste. Cats are not made to digest carbohydrates, yet we frequently see pet food with carb percentages as high as 30%!
2.) Increased energy
Some owners attribute their cats’ lethargy to their ‘inherent laziness’. But this is not so; if the owners would feed a non-species appropriate diet high in plant protein (such as peas), then of course their cats will lack energy. They are less efficient at converting starch into a useable energy.
3.) Healthier, softer and silkier coat.
The fats and fatty acids found in raw meat help to reduce shedding. Coat is less dry and fur feels plush and soft.
4.) Cleaner teeth and stronger jaws.
Chewing through large chunks of meat and fur and scraping meat off bones is hard work and this help to clean cats’ teeth. No amount of tiny kibbles or ‘dental treats’ can mimic this, and most of these treats are made of wheat shells, which will do your pet additional harm.
5.) Urinary P.H is stabilised.
Many cats suffer from UTI (urinary tract infection) because they are fed with dry kibble. Cats already have a reduced thirst drive because their ancestors were desert animals which obtained most of their moisture from their food source. Feeding kibble means that cats do not get enough water, thus putting them at risk of urinary tract infection. To make things worse, kibble and some canned food are filled with carbohydrates that upset the P.H in cat systems, increasing the likelihood of developing painful crystals in the bladder.
6.) Maintains a healthy weight
A healthy cat regulates its own diet. But many indoor cats receive free-feeding of kibble, which means that the already unhealthy cat is expected to regulate their food intake. Many cats eat out of sheer boredom or depression. Feeding raw gives them something to do at each mealtime—the cat has to ‘work’ for its food; it has to find a way to turn the meat into a small, more manageable size. Maybe it has to use its paws, or turn its head this way and that—this gives it some brain stimulation. Also, as mentioned before, commercial kibble is filled with carbohydrates, which is stored as unused energy in a cat’s body. The result? A fat, lethargic cat.
WHY RAW? (DOGS)
Unlike popular opinion, dogs are not omnivorous—they are simply very adaptable. The teeth of a true omnivore, like that of a bear, or us, includes flat molars. The teeth of a dog (or a cat’s!) is made for shearing, not grinding, and their skulls designed to bring down prey for meat. Dogs, having lived with mankind for a long time, have simply learnt to eat grains along with meat.
A dog skull
Dogs are also not designed by nature to have the bacteria needed to digest too much plant material. Again, this results in large volumes of very smelly stools. However, dogs are not obligate carnivores like cats, and can get by on some grain and plant material.
The benefits of raw for dogs are similar to the benefits cats get from raw meat. Please feed your dog what nature meant for it to eat!
But what about germs?
Both dog and cat are designed with digestion of bacteria-laden meat in mind.
A kitten or puppy will eat the same food as the adults!
The wild cat and dog will eat carcasses that were left out in the sun to rot even after a week. But they survive, thanks to their highly acidic digestive systems. The feeding of kibble assumes that there is less, or no, bacteria on the kibble. THIS IS NOT TRUE. There have been numerous accounts of pets falling sick from mold growing unnoticed in bags of kibble stowed away for a long time simply because it was assumed that kibble is bacteria-free. The raw that you would feed your cat or dog will be 1.) fresh and 2.) taken away quickly if uneaten, hence reducing the chance of bacteria contamination.
What about cooked meat?
‘Typically raw meats (but not other uncooked foods like grains or starches) are slightly more digestible than cooked meat.’– American College of Veterinary Nutrition
To quote Dr. Lisa Pierson from our email exchange,
‘I strongly believe a happy medium can be met which involves partial cooking of raw meats to kill surface bacteria prior to grinding. This will make the diet far safer than any dry kibble, yet mitigate the risks of bacteria from commercial raw meat.’
It does not have to be all-raw-or-nothing. Raw-feeding in many places has become something like that of a religion–yikes–but really, this is not what The Raw Explorer stands for. If you are worried about bacteria, or suspect that your meat is less-than-fresh, please go ahead to partially cook your raw meat to kill surface bacteria.
- Your Cat: Simple new secrets to a longer, stronger life. By Elizabeth M. Hodgkins.
- The carnivore connection to nutrition in cats. By Debra L. Zoran
- Making your own cat food by Lisa A. Pierson
Categories: Why Raw?