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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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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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Answers: Do Raw Diets Affect Blood Test Results?

My cat used to be fed a dry kibble diet. I've been feeding her a raw meat diet for the past six months and I'm very happy with the results. She is going in for her annual check-up soon. Will her new diet cause changes in her blood work?
 
Yes, there can be slight changes in some of the blood work values because of the switch to a high-protein, very low or non-carbohydrate diet. People who feed raw diets – and this applies to cats and dogs – sometimes find that their pet's BUN or blood creatinine are slightly elevated. Both are used to assess urinary tract function. When the mechanism of production of these compounds is examined, this elevation makes sense. A 2003 study compared the blood values for 256 healthy, adult dogs of various ages and breeds. The dogs were divided into two groups: one group was kibble fed, and the other had been raw fed for at least nine months.¹ There was no significant difference in results between the two groups, with the exception of haematocrit, BUN and creatinine. These parameters were, on average, higher in the raw fed group than for the kibble fed group.

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Falling Off the Recipe Cliff

If you're making homemade raw food for your cats, you are following a recipe. At least, I sincerely hope you are. Not following one can be disastrous for your cat. Recipes matter. You really can't just feed whatever you want. We don't recommend trying to formulate one from scratch. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying this is rocket science. Part of our whole message is that you don't have to have an advanced degree in nutrition to feed your cat properly. That's the argument that big pet food tries to use to discredit homemade raw diets. They say it shouldn't be left to amateurs. By that logic, no mother should be allowed to take her infant home from the hospital. She isn't qualified to feed it.
 
Feeding your cat a balanced homemade diet isn't that hard, but you can't just wing it all on your own. You need to follow an established recipe from a trusted source. The recipe we have on the site has been used for many years, with thousands of cats. Not everything is known about what cats need – something big pet food won't tell you. The major nutrients are well established, at least the minimums and sometimes the maximums necessary.

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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 4500!

Feline Nutrition is now the largest feline diet membership organization in the world, with more than 4500 members in over 70 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 Feline Diabetes: The Influence of Diet http://t.co/cqGwWFtMJE
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FelineNutrition Can I Feed Kitten Food to an Adult Cat? http://t.co/bvQ8FVglOU
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FelineNutrition Feline Nutrition Answers: Plant vs. Meat — The Protein Feud. Find out why it matters. http://t.co/MCkUnBPvqY
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