We humans have been conditioned to believe that eating raw food comes with a big health risk, unless it’s sushi. Because we tend to humanize our kitties, we often feel the same risks apply when feeding a raw diet to our cats.
Salmonella, Listeria, Campylobacter and E. coli, parasites OH MY! We have heard time and time again that if we eat raw meat, we run the risk of getting some of these harmful bacteria that can cause food poisoning and we all know we don’t want that. So why don’t our kitties run the same risks? Glad you asked …
Cats are carnivores just like our dog friends. However, cats go a step further and are considered obligate or true carnivores. This means they NEED a source of animal protein to survive, that they have to have it. That’s great and all but can’t we just feed it cooked so we don’t have to worry about them getting sick?
Lightly cooked meat for our cats is a great option but before you just write off feeding raw meat because you feel it’s too risky, hear me out.
Our cats have a very efficient and very acidic digestive system. Because of this they digest their food much faster than we do. Just to give you an idea, it can take us humans TWO days or MORE to digest meat and fish! Our cats will digest meat proteins in just 12 hours! This means their digestive system doesn’t give harmful bacteria any time to become a problem.
But what about parasites and raw bones in raw food diets? As far as parasites, a little secret is by freezing the raw food they are usually killed or inactivated. Simply just defrost the food before feeding. Bones are a great source of calcium and should be small enough not to be a concern for choking. Never feed your cats or dogs cooked bones, as they can splinter and be dangerous.
A raw food diet for our cats is a species appropriate diet. After all, you don’t see a lion or tiger grilling up their meat before eating it. Unlike canned or kibble foods it’s not over processed and extremely healthy for our cats.
But wait there is one concern when feeding a raw diet to our cats! We want to make sure the diet is complete and balanced. Do your research before just feeding your cat some raw meat and make sure you are getting all their nutrients in the diet. There are also some great pre-made raw food diets in the freezer section of your local pet boutique type store.