Most pet parents are uncertain how much raw food should be given their cat. This article can provide them with the guidance they need to get started.
Dry kibbles are highly processed and often contaminated with bacteria, fungal mycotoxins, storage mites and cockroach antigens. Furthermore, their low moisture content puts undue strain on the liver and kidneys.
Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they must consume animal products to stay alive. Their metabolism makes it impossible for them to digest plant matter, so they must be fed a high-protein, meat-based diet in order to survive.
A high-protein, meat-based diet for cats helps them maintain a healthy weight and prevent obesity. Additionally, it contains essential nutrients that keep their bodies healthy and strong.
When selecting raw food for your pet, there are plenty of options to choose from. When making a decision about which one is best suited for your cat, there are a few key things to consider such as its calorie content, fat content, protein content and nutrient content.
Some factors to consider when transitioning your pet from a raw food diet include their breed, size, activity level, health status and genetics. Before making any changes to their food regimen, be sure to consult your veterinarian first – particularly if they have any special medical requirements.
A balanced raw diet should include a variety of meats and vegetables. A proper balance of amino acids, vitamins, and minerals is essential for your pet’s wellbeing.
To guarantee your cat gets all of the proteins they require, opt for a diet with at least four different sources of meat. Include beef, lamb, turkey and chicken in their food plan; try to opt for cuts with low fat content such as thigh or breast meat.
If your pet requires high-quality raw food, consider opting for freeze-dried or dehydrated options. These foods are often the best option since they have not been heated during production and remain as close to their natural state as possible.
Though they lack the same calorie or fat content as raw food, these snacks still offer high amounts of protein and tend to be more satiating than dry food. Although these can be beneficial for overweight cats, they should not replace raw food entirely.
When transitioning your cat to a raw diet, it is essential that you increase the amount of raw in their meals gradually. Doing this helps them adjust and prepare their body for the change. Start by giving them some raw mixed with their current food at first and gradually add in raw as they get used to it.
Cats are carnivores and prefer a raw diet of meat with bones. They prey on small rodents and birds (or occasionally lizards, frogs or other insects), which they then tear apart to get at their flesh and organs.
Cats require a variety of nutrients in addition to meat for optimal health, such as bones, organs, vegetables and water.
One of the most essential nutrients for felines is bone, and this should be provided regularly – preferably every few days. Eating regular portions of bone helps ensure their bones remain strong and healthy, avoiding softening or fractures.
Bones are an important source of calcium for cats, as well as other essential micronutrients. Not only that, but bones also act as a natural teeth cleaner and jaw strengthener.
When feeding your cat’s diet, the amount of bone they should receive depends on their age, weight and health. On average, adults should feed their feline friends around 6% edible bone per day; kittens only need about 17%.
When choosing a bone for your cat, it is essential that it is the appropriate size so they can consume it safely and effectively. This is especially pertinent to kittens and young cats who may find it difficult to crush certain raw meaty bones.
Ideally, bones should come from prey sources your cat would naturally hunt in the wild, such as chicken, rabbit, hare and possum. This helps maintain their balance of essential nutrients while providing them with enough protein and fat for survival.
Another option is using frozen commercial pet diets designed specifically for raw feeding. These can be convenient and a good place to start, though quality and ingredients may differ significantly between brands.
If you want to make your own raw cat food, it’s essential that you follow a specific recipe. Otherwise, your feline won’t get all of the essential nutrients they need and could end up feeling ill.
If you want to give your cat some extra fiber and nutrients without increasing their total caloric intake, introducing vegetables into their diet is a great idea. But before beginning to feed fresh fruits and veggies to your pet, be sure to consult with your veterinarian first.
Raw foods can offer many advantages to your feline friend, but it’s essential to be aware of the potential risk of bacterial contamination. Studies have found that commercially prepared raw pet foods tend to be more likely to contain Salmonella and Listeria bacteria than dry or canned alternatives. Furthermore, feeding pets raw meat increases their susceptibility to pathogen transmission compared with other sources such as fish or poultry.
Vegetables not only provide your feline friend with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that promote wellbeing but can also help them combat illness. Here are some of the best veggie options suitable for cats:
Not only does broccoli provide essential vitamins and minerals, it’s also packed with fibre. This makes it particularly helpful for helping cats manage their weight since it has the capacity to reduce appetite and boost satiety levels.
Spinach is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals for your feline friend’s wellbeing. It’s particularly helpful for older cats or those with urinary issues.
However, it’s essential to remember that spinach contains high levels of calcium and oxalate; therefore, it should only be given in very low doses as excessive amounts may lead to calcium oxalate bladder stones in your feline friend.
As a filler, peas can be safely added to your cat’s diet. Just be mindful not to overfeed them as this vegetable may cause diarrhoea. Also only give this vegetable to adult and senior cats since kittens aren’t mature enough to digest it properly.
While potatoes are generally safe for cats, it’s best to use them sparingly as too many can lead to obesity and other health issues. Plus, since potatoes contain high carbs, it should only be served occasionally as a treat rather than as part of regular meals.
Water is an essential nutrient for your cat, providing essential electrolytes, fluids and minerals necessary for optimal health. It also helps regulate body temperature, normalizes organ function and nutrient transport to and from the gastrointestinal tract, supports nutrient absorption and eliminates wastes.
Cats in the wild obtain their water through prey they consume, so it is essential to provide them with a diet rich in freshwater and other sources of liquids.
Though most of us cannot go out into the wild to catch our own fish, we can help ensure our cats get enough water by offering them either raw or canned food. This is especially important if your cat has diabetes or kidney disease as they are more prone to dehydration and need frequent monitoring to make sure their fluid intake stays adequate.
For an adult cat weighing 4 kg, the recommended daily fluid intake is 240 ml or one cup of water. However, this may differ depending on your feline’s age, activity level, health condition and what food they consume.
To guarantee your cat is getting enough water, make sure they always have access to fresh, clean water and that their bowls are filled regularly. If you have multiple cats living together in one household, use separate water bowls for each cat and set them in separate locations around the house so they don’t share one bowl.
You can encourage them to drink more by adding flavoring their water with items like tuna water or clam juice. You could also mix in some diluted chicken or beef broth for extra protein in the water.
Combining these steps will likely increase your cat’s water intake, but some cats may struggle to adjust to a new diet. If your feline friend refuses to drink water or appears dehydrated, seek medical advice immediately.
Aurelia is the Editor-in-Chief of The Graceful Kitchen, a vegan lifestyle blog that focuses on delicious, nutritious, and ethical eating. A lifelong vegan, Aurelia is passionate about sharing her love of plant-based cuisine with others. She is a regular contributor to several online and print publications, and has been interviewed by major news outlets about the benefits of a vegan diet. In her free time, Aurelia enjoys cooking, hiking, and spending time with her cats.