Domestic cats are considered “obligate carnivores”, meaning that they require a diet rich in animal proteins to meet their dietary needs.
No matter if you opt to prepare their own raw meals or purchase commercial raw food, there are numerous methods of providing your pet with a raw diet. To prevent upset stomach and ensure the highest success rates in their transition process.
1. Better Digestion
Raw diets provide cats with more complete and balanced nutrition than many commercial kibbles do, as cats digest raw food more readily than its kibble counterpart, often leading to less waste in the form of fecal matter being produced.
Raw diets may help relieve tummy problems because enzymes present in the stomach aid digestion. This could make an impactful difference in how quickly the food absorbed into the body; and may even aid weight loss efforts as cats may feel fuller more quickly.
Slowly introduce new foods over 7-10 days is the ideal approach to transitioning your cat’s diet. Rushing can lead to digestive upset.
2. Stronger Immune System
Cats, being obligate carnivores, need animal protein for their nutrition. A raw diet provides more animal protein to your cat while also including organ meats and bone that contain essential B vitamins, Vitamin A, amino acids and essential fatty acids that they need.
Raw diets offer numerous advantages over cooked food: collagen provides essential sources of glucosamine and chondroitin to maintain healthy joints; connective tissues aid digestion while also serving as great sources of thiamine (B vitamin).
Proponents of raw diets refer to them as BARF, or biologically appropriate raw foods. While making your own raw meals can be time consuming and requires kitchen equipment such as food processors and grinders, scales, and measuring tools; doing this presents greater bacterial risks if proper cleaning and storage practices aren’t followed – buying commercially prepared raw diets is the safest solution.
3. Stronger Bones
An excellent way to support healthy body functions for your cat, raw diets can provide essential fatty acids and oils essential for organs, tissues and cells in their diet.
Raw meaty bones offer your cat an excellent source of chondroitin and glucosamine, essential components in maintaining joint health. Furthermore, their tough exterior encourages your cat to chew them regularly, keeping their teeth strong and clean in the process!
Many pet parents find that feeding their cats raw food diet improves both their skin and coat health, as well as having less frequent and smellier bowel movements.
Making homemade raw diets for cats can be time consuming and exhausting work, but can also be extremely satisfying and healthy for their wellbeing. For those unable or unwilling to make their own food, there are premade options on the market such as freeze-dried and compressed kibble-shaped nuggets that may be easier for some pets than whole chunks of raw meat.
4. Stronger Teeth
Diets that do not involve heat processing allow the body to utilize amino acids more effectively, aiding kidney health and aiding digestion for felines – many find this helps with diarrhea-related issues as well!
Home-prepared raw diets often contain animal bones, which contain essential calcium-rich nutrients. Unfortunately, their sizes can differ, with larger pieces potentially posing risks of gastrointestinal obstruction or oral injuries if eaten unground or too large in size. Therefore, it’s wise to choose ground raw food products so as to minimize these potential hazards.
As with any meal preparation for your cat, safe handling and storage procedures must also be followed when providing raw meals. Wearing gloves when handling raw foods for storage in a separate freezer to other items, and washing hands thoroughly after handling are all key. If you don’t have time to make homemade raw diets yourself there are plenty of commercial offerings that offer complete and balanced nutritional needs for cats; should you decide to transition them gradually over 7-10 days so as to prevent stomach upset and diarrhea.
5. Stronger Immune System
Cats, as obligate carnivores, thrive on a high-quality raw diet; however, it can be challenging for pet parents to prepare and store this meal safely at home or purchase and store safely from outside sources.
Cats typically digest raw food faster than humans due to their shorter digestive tracts; however, pathogens may still exist on preparation surfaces, in food dishes, and cat fecal matter, exposing humans in the household to harmful bacteria that could make them sick. Furthermore, Toxoplasma gondii parasite can be transmitted between cats and people, leading to miscarriages or abortions in pregnant women.
Raw diets that include various meats may not provide sufficient nutritional balance. This could result in deficiencies of essential nutrients like taurine (a risk factor for heart disease) and folic acid, essential to immune health. Homemade meals incorporating balanced proteins with added vitamins and minerals or commercially prepared raw diets supplemented correctly can be an effective way to avoid these deficiencies.