What are Cats Designed to Eat?
by Dakota Bawden-Tutte, True Carnivores (reprinted with permission)
MISS KITTY IS A CARNIVORE
DID YOU KNOW...?
- Cats have no need for grains. (In ancient Egypt, cats guarded the grainaries against the grain-eating rats!)
- Cats fed only dry food can become chronically dehydrated.
- Cats are not designed to eat cooked (tinned or bagged) food.
- Many veterinarians are seeing the benefits, & are recommending the 'raw prey' diet for maximum health in dogs & cats.
WHAT ARE CATS REALLY DESIGNED TO EAT?
Cats are true carnivores (physiologically/anatomically), designed to eat & digest whole, raw prey.
"If we want to understand the dietary needs of cats, we must look at cats as they live in the wild, & not at how they live as part of human civilization." -- Feline Future
The best cat food is that which most closely mimics what cats would eat in their natural habitat.
FROM COOKED TO RAW: THE BASIC STEPS
- Find a meat (rabbit, pheasant, ostrich, etc.) your cat likes,
- Introduce new food slowly, and
- In small, small portions, and
- Mix in well with the current food.
Start with 1/4 of the 'new' food, & mix with 3/4 of the 'old' food. Slowly increase the percentage of the 'new', as you decrease the 'old'. Remember, your cat's digestive system has spent years dining on over-cooked, dehydrated 'fast foods' - give it time to adjust. Every cat is individual. Patience, persistence, and 'creativity' will pay off in health dividends!
Feel Like You're Losing the Battle? - Here are Some Suggestions:
- Slightly cook the meat (without bones!) first, then gradually decrease the cooking time until it is 'raw'.
- Include raw meat, but mix in some enticement - a bit of tuna perhaps? Slowly decrease the enticement over time.
- Fast your cat for a day or two (always have water available) before serving the 'new' raw food. (Only if your cat is in good health & not overweight)
You've tried everything to no avail? Our staff will be happy to assist you with other suggestions & ideas.
SOME OF THE BENEFITS OF FEEDING RAW:
• Reduced shedding
• Fewer hairballs
• Improved temperament
• Reduced litter box odor
• Less stool
• Healthy gums
• Clean teeth
• Fresh breath
• Fewer or no fleas
• General health improvement
• Less food consumption
• Happier cats!
WHAT, HOW MUCH, & HOW OFTEN TO FEED
• 75-90% meat - of which 5-10% would be organs
• 5-25% bone - try chicken wing tips or necks
• cold-pressed fish oils & natural vitamin/mineral supplements
The average adult cat eats about 1/2 to 3/4 cup (100-150 grams) of food a day. Allow kittens to eat as much as they want, 3-4 times a day. (For improved hydration, add & mix in water.) Remove food between feedings.
Healthy adults - twice a day. Kittens and older cats: 3-4 times a day. Kittens can start on solid raw food between 4 and 5 weeks, however, they'll continue to feed on their mother's milk until 3 months of age. (Whether feeding kittens, old cats, pregnant or nursing queens, adjust the number of times a day you feed, not the ingredients.)
DISCLAIMER: The information provided here is not intended to replace or override the advice of your veterinarian.
© 2000-2005. Dakota Bawden-Tutte. No part may be copied without the express permission of the author.