If you have nothing against chickens eating worms, then why wouldn’t your cat be eating raw meat?
Cats have a short digestive system with strong stomach acid, which are designed to digest fat, protein and bones. Their stomachs lack the enzymes to digest plant-based foods. Cats have thin and long fangs that can easily cut through their preys’ throat and separate their spines – some zoologists even called the fangs of the feline family “the key to the spines”. Unlike human molars, feline molars cannot grind food at all, but instead act more like steak knives. Faced with only the dry cat food served up by their indifferent misinformed human owners, domestic cats today really have no use for their powerful weaponry. However, their need for real food may be quite different to what humans imagine them to be.
Raw food is the most natural diet for cats. It contains all the necessary nutrients a cat needs, and because most of the nutrition in raw food is efficiently digested and utilised by the cat, they discharge relatively less waste. Without unnecessary carbohydrates found in dry food, cats’ health and energy level as well as their bodies and coats are noticeably improved.
Cats that eats raw food tend to drink less water yet urinate more. This is because the water within wet food is more accessible and reading used by their bodies than water directly consumed. The odour of cats’ bodily waste is also less intense as a result of eating raw instead of dry food.
The nutrition in fresh raw meat is easily lost from processing. It is currently not clear how much or which nutrients are lost during processing, as there are not many creditable studies about it. As we cannot be certain with the exact essentials in a cat’s diet, it is best for the food to resemble their natural prey – fresh, complete, and diverse.
Common problems of domestic household cats, such as diarrheas, frequent vomiting, or allergies, are alleviated through changing to a raw meat diet. A low carbohydrate raw food diet is also the best method to treat the common illnesses diabetes and pancneafitis.
Prey Model Raw (PMR) is a dietary model that simulates the diet of a feline hunting in the wild. It is also called Biologically Appropriate Raw Food (BARF). Using reputable sources of meat to replicate the prey that cats would hunt in the wild is the main objective of PMR. It roughly consists of 80% meat, 10% bones and 10% inner organs. In some countries, this diet is called “Franken-Prey”, as in, pieces combined together which constitute a “complete prey”.
* Note: The ratio of components in this diet varies between individual cats, and some cats may be allergic to certain kinds of meat. If your cat has never had raw meat before, it is recommended that you consult with a veterinarian beforehand.
A cat’s intestine is designed to digest meat and bones. Most germs that will cause an upset stomach in humans will be taken care of by the strong stomach acid of a cat. However, you should still carefully choose the meat to feed your cat, ensuring freshness. Alert cats will be able to determine whether the meat is fresh enough to eat, but some overly domesticated cats may have some difficulty doing the same. Therefore a part of being a cat’s caretaker means watching over the quality of meat you provide for them.
Freezing meat is the first step fo eliminating parasites. Individual Quick Freeze (IQF) technology is becoming more and more accessible today, and many butchers and seafood vendors are applying it to their products. Fish used for sashimi for human consumption is also quick-frozen to below -35℃ for more than 15 hours, or below -20℃ for at least 7 days. Freezing meat this way ensures the elimination of most parasites.
Another method of preventing parasites in meat is to choose a reputable seller to buy from. Your cat’s sensitive nose might help you do this; yourself may even get to enjoy the same quality meat your cat finds for you.
If you are still worried about your cat becoming infected by parasites, you can also give your cat worm control every 3-6 months or annually.