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There are many things that go into keeping your cat healthy and happy. Genetics and environment play a part. But, there is one thing that has a huge effect on your cat's health, and that is diet. Cats are predators that evolved to eat a diet of raw meat. It is only over the past 70 years or so that we have tried to feed cats a diet based on foods unsuitable for a strict carnivore. Grains, vegetable and plant matter and highly processed and cooked meat products. It's no wonder cats suffer from so many diet-related diseases. We're out to change that.
 
You are here because you want to learn more about how to keep your cat healthy. Diet is the most important change you can make in your cat's life. We hear over and over again from pet parents who have changed their cats' diet and now wish they had done it sooner. They can't imagine feeding their cats any other way. Not only do they see improvements in their cats' health, but they feel a great sense of relief knowing they control what goes into their cat. No more mystery ingredients.
 
Contemplating a diet change for your cat can be a bit overwhelming at first. We remember what it was like in the beginning. We were so used to leaving our cats' nutrition in the hands of others. But, leaving it to others didn't work out so well, did it? Cat nutrition is complicated, right? Well, not really. It's actually pretty easy.

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Don't Let Calcium/Phosphorous Ratios Scare You

It is widely known that cats have a dietary need for both calcium and phosphorous. Calcium is required by the body, not only for bones, but also for muscle control and ion balance. Phosphorous is important in the formation of bones and teeth, and also plays vital roles in cell membranes and energy processes. Phosphorus is a structural part of cells; this is why meat tissue has high levels of it. Phosphorus is attracted to calcium, forming calcium phosphate, which is what gives bones and teeth their strength.
 
Just as important, and possibly even more so, is the ratio of calcium to phosphorous in the diet. Like big cats, the domestic cat's ancestral diet of whole prey would serve to provide the proper amounts of both of these minerals in the ideal ratio. This is because by weight, the cat's typical prey consist of about 7-10% bone.
 
What is the ideal ratio and how can you ensure that your cats are getting proper amounts? Calcium to phosphorus ratios are typically written like this: 1.1:1, with the first number representing calcium and the second phosphorus.

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Answers: Kittens Go Through Teething, Too

I am getting two new kittens soon. I plan on feeding them a raw meat diet, but should I wait until they are older and have their permanent teeth to start them on small meaty bone cuts? Can their baby teeth tackle chicken wings or necks?
 
We are often asked about the special dietary requirements of kittens. Ideally, your kittens should be weaned directly to a raw meat diet. We suggest that as soon as your kittens arrive they should be introduced to raw meaty bones. Get those little critters gnawing and chewing as soon as possible. It is so much easier than trying to transition them later. Raw meaty bones provide a natural, highly digestible source of calcium. Calcium in raw bones can be up to four times more digestible than any supplement. Because the high levels of phosphorous in fresh meat need to be balanced by plenty of calcium, nature has perfected the balance already. Raw meaty bones supply calcium and phosphorous in perfect combination – no need for guess work and formulations. The young kitten, when supplied with an adequate amount of raw meaty bones, will use exactly what it needs for growth and development, and excrete any excess.

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Cats and Cantaloupe: A Method in their Madness

One of the things that we hear about all of the time is the strange things that cats will eat. If you've had cats for any length of time you have undoubtedly experienced this. Not just the odd items in the meat category, such as grasshoppers and frogs, but also things like broccoli and string beans. However, the single food item that seems to come up again and again is cantaloupe. Having a cat that wants to eat something unusual now and then doesn't seem that implausible. They are individuals and subject to the variations in behavior that entails.
 
But to have cats from all different parts of the world, in the past and the present, seemingly unable to resist cantaloupe, has to be more than just coincidence. Something is going on.
 
Being naturally curious – okay, I confess, maybe irrationally curious – I decided to investigate what's up with cantaloupe. When I looked around, there was lots of speculation: it's the texture, the taste, the moisture. I remember as a kid, we had a cantaloupe-obsessed cat. She was not allowed on the dining table. In fact, she never jumped on it, ever.

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Answers: Plant vs. Meat — The Protein Feud

I have read that plant proteins are inferior for cats, that they need meat protein. What's the difference? Why does it matter where the protein came from?
 
Not all proteins are equal. Proteins are made up of amino acid chains and there are a myriad of different combinations that serve many functions in the body. Proteins are structural and tissue components in the body, enzymes and antibodies and serve messenger and transport functions. Ingested proteins will vary considerably in how well they are utilised by the body. Plant-based proteins do not have the same amino acid profile as meat-based proteins and these differences are crucial to cats. The natural diet of cats in the wild is a meat-based diet of rodents and birds. Cats are metabolically adapted to preferentially use protein and fat as an energy source, not carbohydrates. There is a substantial difference in protein requirements between our cats as obligate carnivores and other carnivorous species, such as the dog. Adult cats require two to three times more protein than adults of any omnivorous species, such as humans.

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The Myth of the Finicky Cat

One of the questions I get asked most frequently is what to do about a cat that doesn't want to eat the new raw meat diet you are offering. I hear words like "stubborn" and "finicky." While that may describe what's going on, it is from a decidedly human perspective. I think it's time to delve into a little cat psychology to help us understand what's happening in that little kitty brain.
 
People like to say that cats are creatures of habit. I would agree, but habit isn't quite the right word. Cats stick with what works. That kind of behavior makes a lot of sense for them and they learn what works pretty early in their lives. It's especially true when it comes to food. Notice I say "learn." While cats are predators and have a hunter's natural instincts, those instincts are basic. They learn the nuances and details as they grow up. All that cat play behavior is essentially practice for the hunt. They may look like they are just having fun, but don't be deceived, this is How-to-Be-a-Cat 101 for them. They are practicing the skills they will need to survive. In the wild, a mother cat would bring prey – either already dead or close to it – back to her kittens.

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Feline Pancreatitis: Signs of Trouble

Pancreatitis can be a frustrating disease in cats. The cause in most cases can't be definitively determined and the symptoms can be vague. Pancreatitis can range from low-grade with mild symptoms to severe, which can be fatal. Most often, the treatment is supportive, alleviating symptoms and keeping the cat comfortable.
 
The pancreas is a lobulated gland located along a portion of the small intestine in mammals. The pancreas has two types of tissue, each one of them synthesizing a different type of secretion. The exocrine portion, or acinar cells, produce enzymes utilized in the digestion of food and the endocrine portion, or islets of Langerhans, produce vital hormones such as insulin. Insulin is involved in the absorption and metabolism of glucose.
 
There are several diseases that can affect the normal functioning of the pancreas. In this article we're going to talk about inflammation of the pancreas, which is called pancreatitis. Pancreatitis happens when the enzymes produced and stored in the exocrine portion of the organ get activated inside it.

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Feline Nutrition Membership Tops 4700!

Feline Nutrition is now the largest feline diet membership organization in the world, with more than 4700 members in over 75 countries. And growing all the time. We are thrilled that interest in bio-appropriate nutrition for cats has global appeal, but it also tells us something important. Bad diets for cats are everywhere. That means that the health consequences of those bad diets are everywhere, too. But, people all over the world are waking up to the realization that they can take control of their cat's diet. That it isn't hard at all.
 
Cats are cats. Large or small, all cats evolved to eat a diet of raw flesh. As strict carnivores, they should not be eating plant-based, high carbohydrate diets. We believe every cat, everywhere, should be fed a healthy, bio-appropriate diet.
 
Join Feline Nutrition today. Encourage your friends, family, co-workers and customers to join. Membership is free. Add your voice to the thousands that think it's time that cats are fed diets fit for the carnivores they are. Your membership encourages people new to the idea to make that change. Join now and help cats get food that makes them thrive, not just survive.

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FelineNutrition Did you know snowglobes may contain anti-freeze? Keep them away from kitties! http://t.co/QcyUu8nXIM
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FelineNutrition Why do some cats go nuts over cataloupe? Find out in "Cats and Cantaloupe Method in their Madness" http://t.co/kvDpdRsnzY
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FelineNutrition Plant vs. Meat — The Protein Feud. Not all proteins are equal. What's in your cat's food? http://t.co/Hlmz3Xlbgt

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