Last week (April 1-7, 2018) was National Raw Feeding Week and we’re excited about the awareness it has brought to raw feeding for cats! The most common question we get when we speak about species appropriate raw diets is, “what is raw?” This term is fairly new to cat parents. We’ve been conditioned to believe that the only thing cats should eat is cat food.
But what does the term ‘cat food’ really mean? Let’s take a short history break…
In the 1800s a marketing genius, called James Spratt, realized that they could take the infested waste from the boats and make it into pet food. They would cook the waste to such a high degree that it would kill the bacteria and then market it as healthy food for pets. This idea was so genius that big brand pet food companies still follow this practice today. They take whatever is unhealthy for humans to eat, process it into a kibble and call it ‘cat food’.
“Okay, but what is raw feeding for cats?”
The definition of raw is “uncooked”. Fresh food, as we all know, is better for our bodies than processed food. It’s not even a question in our minds as humans. So why would we think that processed foods are better for our cats?
Raw food contains all the nutrients that nature supplies. Raw meat is what our cats were designed to eat in the wild, as they hunt, kill and consume their prey. Felines would never cook their food, if given the option. It’s simply the healthiest for their bodies.
Isn’t raw food dangerous for cats?
To state the obvious clearly: Cat are biologically designed to consume raw prey. Safely.
However, the big brand pet food companies are doing their best to scare us away from raw feeding for cats. They claim that raw food carries bacteria that can harm our kitties. But, what about the waste that they cook to the umpth degree and call “healthy”? Do you know that there is still no documented case of a clowder of cats being killed after eating raw meat? There are, however, several documented cases of deaths by salmonella poisoning from kibble. The big brand pet food companies are only trying to scare us, so that they don’t lose customers – and thus money.
So how do we start raw feeding for cats?
Now this is the big question we get once cat parents understand the gravity of processed cat food and are ready to feed raw. And the answer isn’t cut-and-dry. We started by transitioning our cats off of kibble and onto canned food first. Once they were used to the taste and texture of the new food, we started adding in some raw meat that we picked up at the market. From there we started purchasing pre-made raw cat food from small manufacturers. When our cat food budget is tight, we make our own raw cat food at home. You can follow our homemade raw cat food journey by clicking here and subscribing to our YouTube channel.
There are many resources available to help you can gain knowledge about raw feeding for cats all over the internet. The key is to keep learning, keep trying… but most of all, start somewhere. Your cats will thank you. 🙂