Our kitty cats are descendants of the wild cats who were one of the biggest predators on the planet. For thousands of years, those cats ate strictly a diet of prey, and of course they ate the meat completely raw. Many cat owners today are now applying the advantages of raw food for cats – just like cats in the wild enjoy.
Science tells us today that whenever we cook our food, we lose much of the nutrients in our meats because they degrade during the cooking process. Cooking causes a vitamin loss, and a drop of minerals and amino acids in our foods.
Today, the meats that are used in pet foods are highly processed and cooked at very high temperatures. So our kitties eat foods that lost the nutrients that were once present in the meat. While supplements may seem like a good answer, supplementations like this are never exact.
Cats that live in the wild will usually eat its entire prey if it’s a small animal, and they’ll also eat almost all of a large prey animal. This typically includes eating their bones because raw bones are very digestible and is actually their main calcium source. When bone is cooked, it greatly lowers the nutrients in that bone and makes it very dangerous to ingest.
These factors are why many cat lovers today are opting for switching their cat over to raw foods. Let us examine some specific advantages of raw food for cats:
- Better digestion
- Much less odor from stool and less volume
- Healthier fur coat, less shedding of fur, reduced number of hairballs
- Increased energy levels
- Weight loss in overweight cats
- Improved dental health
- Improved urinary health
Cats are what are known as obligate carnivores, which mean that they have to eat meat. Vegan cats do not exist in our world. This is because a cat’s digestive system is built exclusively for a diet of meat. Their digestive tract is quite short and acidic, and will process raw food very efficiently in around 12 hours or so. This means that bacteria have hardly any time to proliferate, and this makes cats naturally immune to any food poisoning.
Cats do not require carbohydrates and they also lack the capability of digesting them. This means that a diet of raw cat food is far more digestible for them that would be a plant based diet. Since our cats have evolved from a species that eats a diet with little to no carbohydrates, their bodies only have a single enzyme system that is able to handle them. This is extremely different from dogs and even humans, as both of them have several enzyme systems for digesting carbohydrates.
Much less odor from stool and less volume
Whenever kitties are given a proper diet, the systems in their bodies will use up the majority of their food, when means lower volumes of stool. In fact, the production of stool will be reduced by 50%. Their stools will be dryer with little to no smell. This actually makes sense for animals that live in the wild, because if they are small enough to be a prey for a bigger animal, then they certainly don’t want to leave a gas trail behind them.
If cats are given large amounts of carbs to eat, their bodily systems will struggle greatly as it tries to digest it. Needless to say, most of a diet like this will not be processed very efficiently, which means they will have larger amounts of stool and it will be smelly. It is not natural for cats to deliver large amounts of poop in their litter box – their systems are not built that way.
Healthier fur coat, less shedding of fur, reduced number of hairballs
After just a couple of weeks of enjoying a raw cat food diet, kitty owners report that the fur coat on their cats have become much silkier and softer. Felines need to have unsaturated fatty acids, omega-3, and omega-6 in their diets. And these nutrients need to come from natural animal sources since cats have restricted capability to create these acids from plant-derived products. The essential fatty acids from these natural source make their skin healthy, their fur shiny, reduces the shedding of fur, and a huge reduction of hairballs.
Increased Energy Levels
After switching over to a raw cat food diet, people see a noticeable increase in the energy level of their cats. They see their couch potatoes begin to run around and start playing. Since they are eating the foods that are intended for their species, kitties begin to extract much more energy from their raw foods.
The body of a cat is very unique in how it efficiently utilizes protein for its energy needs. They basically burn their protein as it is turned into energy inside their liver using a process that is known as gluconeogenesis. Other animals like dogs and even humans also burns protein in this manner, but they can turn it off and on depending on the amount of protein that is available. A cat’s body cannot do this. Their “burn rate” remains high with their exclusive requirement for meat protein that comes from high-quality sources.
Weight Loss in Overweight Cats
If you have an overweight cat, then they will most likely begin losing weight immediately on a raw food diet. Cats often overeat because they are being given improper foods, as they attempt to replace all the nutritional deficiencies within the food.
In most cases, they will not eat too much whenever they are given raw food because it will be more satisfying to them. They will not constantly feel hungry. Cats that will wake you up at night to get more food will begin sleeping through the night. That energy increase they get will help them reduce the weight as well.
Improved Dental Health
Very much like humans, the dental health of a cat depends largely on genetics. However, cats who live in the wild generally don’t suffer from dental ailments like gum disease or tooth loss. This is because they chew on raw meats, raw bones, skin, connective tissue, and fur which help keep their teeth cleaned. Carbohydrates produce a film of starch that causes plaque buildup and promotes gum disease.
Food that is heavy in carbs does not help minimize tartar in any way. You can promote your cat’s dental health by reducing their carb intake. The best way to provide natural dental health is to give them raw meaty bones for chewing. This is more vital than most people think because the bacterium that begins in a dental infection can afflict many other areas of the body.
Improved Urinary Health
The meat of natural prey in the wild has a moisture content level of around 65-70%. So when you give your kitty some raw cat food, you will want to ensure that it has at least close to same amount of moisture. An example of this is a mouse whose body contains 65-75% moisture.
Hydration is a very important part of your cat’s health. This is true whether or not you put your cat on a raw cat food diet. Cats are not natural big water drinkers because the big cats they evolved from got all of their hydration from moisture in the meat of their prey.
So as cats today try to eat carb heavy, low-moisture foods – such as many dry foods – they are beginning to experience alkaline in their urine along with chronic dehydration. All of this will eventually lead to urinary tract problems. Cats in the wild very seldom have problems with their urinary tract.
As you can see, there are many advantages of raw food for cats. It will make our kitties healthier, and allow them to live longer in the long run.