[First published: 17 Jan 2018, Last updated: 23 Aug 2019]
We wrote an article about feeding raw dog food to your dog previously, and received pretty good response from it. But what about cats? Is raw food as beneficial to cats as it is for dogs? Very much so!
What is Raw Cat Food?
Commonly known as “BARF” or Biologically Appropriate Raw Feeding, the provision of raw cat food aims to provide our precious pet cats with a diet similar to what their ancestral lineage thrived on, before they became domesticated. This includes actual raw meat, bone and organ (a 100% meat diet is considered incomplete in the dietary regime). It is especially critical to understand that cats are obligate carnivores, as opposed to dogs who can still eat some form of plant-based foods. This has piqued the interest of many pet owners, causing the demand for raw cat food to rise. Even popular cat behaviourist, Jackson Galaxy, advocates a diet of raw cat food. So there are already really good reasons to make the switch.
In this article, though, we’re going to discuss five of the most commonly touted benefits of feeding your cat a frozen raw diet!
Remember the times you set about vacuuming the house, only to find dust bunnies and tumbleweeds of fur not long after? There are many factors that can contribute to shedding. However, poor diet could be considered one of the biggest. Our cats require nutrients such as protein (taurine), vitamins, minerals and especially omega acids, the latter being a composite of fats which are usually lacking in commercial kibble, due to being destroyed through heat during processing.
Minimise Dental Issues
Some pet food manufacturers claim that dry cat food cleans teeth. Their claims are often “supported” by the theory that:
- The kibble’s abrasive surfaces come in contact with the cat’s teeth, in effect polishing them and getting plaque off.
- The pieces of dry food get swallowed dry, so there is less food debris that sticks to the teeth to later form plaque.
However, most cats don’t chew their kibble long enough for any of the scraping action. What little they do chew shatters into small pieces. Additionally, dry food actually leaves a carbohydrate residue in the cat’s mouth that actually encourages growth of tartar and plaque.
But that doesn’t mean that raw food can clean teeth. It has been observed that the effects are minimal in actual dental cleaning. However, because many dental disease are attributable to genetics and other concurrent diseases, it is actually a good idea to ensure your cat’s overall health is taken care of with proper diet made up of… you guessed it, raw food! Just be sure not to skip the brushing completely!
Minimise Kidney Issues
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a pretty common problem in domestic cats. But studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids can actually help to reduce the effect of kidney disease and cats can enjoy longevity despite their ailments. This type of fatty acid is found predominantly in fatty fish like salmon and tuna, as well as eggs, but gets lost through cooking, so it’s a good idea to introduce your cats with such chronic ailments to raw food diet.
Improved Energy & Vitality
Cats are actually highly dependent on sleep, so to expect that they will start acting like Energizer bunnies from being on a raw diet is a bit too much to ask. But when they do wake up, you will find that your cat is more active then before. Raw food diets generally allows for better digestion and nutrition absorption, hence your cat may be more energized from the food as opposed to kibbles in which they would have more trouble digesting. Think about it, how do you feel when you last had indigestion? You wouldn’t want to be out and about either.
Reduced Visits To The Vet
Overall improvement of health means a reduction of costly visits to the vet. Feeding your cat frozen raw diet helps in building a strong immune system, digestive system and other bodily functions. Although raw food can be more expensive than kibbles, it is worth noting that it will pay off in the long run. Healthier food equates to healthier bodies, after all.
With the myriad of reported benefits, it is no wonder that more pet parents switching their cats to a raw diet. If you are amongst the countless pet parents considering the switch, feel free to check out some raw food options for your cats sold on the Nekojam online pet store
Cats are obligatory carnivores — they thrive on protein. They don’t actually need vegetables or carbs in their diet so it would be good to incorporate more raw food into your cat’s diet. However, we know that frozen raw cat food are typically more expensive as compared to other cat foods such as canned cat food or dry foods so purchase within your means! You don’t necessarily need to completely switch over to a frozen raw diet for your feline — it is more important that your cat has a diet that is both complete and balanced so mix it up a little!