Pumpkin does paperwork

Pumpkin does paperwork

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Your Cat's Diet: "Going Raw" may significantly improve health and happiness

This is the second installment of a 3-part series of posts about the benefits of a raw food diet for your cat. Here are links to installments #1 and #3.

Brodie eats raw cat food
My own experience with a raw food diet for out cats

In the last several years, an increasing number of cat owners have begun reaping the rewards of raw-food diets. Their cats are healthier and happier, making fewer visits to the vet, having increased energy, and probably living longer, happier lives. 

My experience with raw pet food begins with the story of our own cat, Brodie, who is a senior citizen in cat years, yet he behaves like a kitten. Several years ago, my wife Nona, related Brodie's story to a friend who had asked about raw food diets for her cats:

Brodie, our 9-year-old cat had been losing weight for a long time and was lethargic. He had been successfully treated for pancreatitis and a bladder infection but still couldn't gain weight and was still lethargic so I started researching online and I discovered a book written by a veterinarian, Elizabeth M. Hodgkins, titled "Your Cat: Simple New Secrets to a Longer, Stronger Life."

Dr. Hodgkins formerly worked for Hills (Science Diet manufacturer) and she talks about kibble as being a bad diet for cats for several reasons. She says it is basically made of cereal and has flavoring sprayed on the outside of it to make it palatable to cats. Since cats evolved as obligate carnivores they don't do well on grains. Also kibbles don't contain the moisture that cats need - drinking water doesn't provide them with enough liquid because they were originally desert animals and don't get as thirsty as they should and therefore they need to eat food that contains moisture.

In her book, she talks about cats treated in her practice and talks about how she treats her patients for various diet-related problems. She feeds her own cats a raw diet and she encourages her clients to do the same, but if they can't handle that, she suggests a high-quality canned food diet.

After getting Brodie on raw food exclusively, he gained 11 ounces in one month and had been maintaining that weight. He hardly sheds any more and he plays like a kitten. The change in his health has been remarkable. The other two younger cats are doing very well, and we are confident they will be healthier long term since we started them on this diet early.

Dr. Hodgkins points out that cats haven't changed much from the wild, desert creatures they were before they were domesticated and they need a diet close to that of their ancestors. They need more protein than most canned cat foods contain and they need a grain-free diet.

Dr. Hodgkins makes a compelling case and Brodie seems to prove her right. As of 2016, he is 15 years old and STILL runs around the house like a kitten.

A raw food diet for your cat consists of uncooked, minimally processed protein-rich natural meat products specifically formulated for cats. There are many to choose from. I have provided a list below. Of course, you shouldn't simply feed your cat ground-turkey from the corner grocery store. Meat intended for consumption by people is expected to be cooked thoroughly. It probably contains a fair amount of bacteria, and it doesn't contain the dietary supplements your cat needs. Raw pet food is specifically formulated with the intention of being consumed uncooked so there are extra precautions in place to ensure quality and purity.
 

List of raw food product manufacturers
Always consult with your veterinarian before attempting any changes to your cat's diet.

The Next installment will provide information on how to convert your cat to a raw food diet.

Here is a link to installment #1.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent article. I personally think that Aunt Jeni's is a better choice for dogs than for cats.

    ReplyDelete