Beginner
Hi and welcome! If you’ve come to Feline Nutrition, you’ve already taken the first step on the road towards a healthier, happier cat. It’s a lot to take in at first. I can feed my cat raw meat and it can change her life? Scary, right?
 
Once you get started, you’ll find it’s pretty easy, with options to fit your lifestyle. We’ve assembled a core group of articles that are especially good for starting out. Read them and you will know the broad strokes without being overwhelmed by sheer volume. Feline Nutrition has helped tens of thousands of cat parents discover what their kitty companions should be eating. But, we go further. We will help you with the how and why, and show the science behind raw diets.
 
We have a ton of info for you. As you read beyond the basics, look for articles tagged with Stanley’s Beginner-Friendly icon. Since you’re new here, an introduction is in order. Stanley is Feline Nutrition’s kitty ambassador. She was once new to raw meat diets, too. Now, she’s your guide. Before you ask, yes, Stanley is a girl, despite the name. Long story.
 
 Beginner's Luck: Where Do I Start?
Congratulations on taking the first step towards feeding your cat a healthier diet. Just making the decision to change what you feed your cat can be the hardest part. For many people, realizing that a cat should be fed a diet closer to what it evolved eating is a complete shift in thinking. Frankly, it's empowering to take control of what goes into your cat. It's also a bit of a relief. No more mystery ingredients. No more worrying about what "by-products" really means. You now get to skip an entire aisle at the grocery store, well, except maybe to get some more kitty litter. Continued
 
 Answers: What Exactly is an 'Obligate Carnivore?'
I have started my cat Tedders on a raw meat diet and I've seen a lot of improvement in his health and energy levels. When I was investigating what I should be feeding him, I kept seeing cats described as obligate carnivores. What exactly is an obligate carnivore and how is it different from a regular carnivore? Are there other obligate carnivores besides cats?
People refer to cats as obligate carnivores when they are trying to emphasize the fact that cats are a little different than many other meat-eating predators. Continued
 
 Just What is a Raw Meat Diet, Anyway?
All cats, small or large, are true carnivores, obligate carnivores. This means they must eat meat to survive. Cats cannot be vegetarians. Because they evolved to fill this top predator niche, their bodies are specifically geared for processing a prey-based diet. This is as true for a tiger as it is for the cat on your lap. Raw feeding is a way to feed cats a more natural diet. By natural we mean bio-appropriate. A diet that fits their true nutritional requirements. The benefits to your cat are enormous. And it isn't hard at all. Continued
 
 The Benefits of a Raw Meat Diet for Your Cat
Cats are predators. They evolved eating a prey based diet, and more importantly, eating that diet raw. Cooking degrades nutrients in meat, causing the loss of vitamins, minerals and amino acids.¹ Meat used in highly processed pet food is cooked at high temperatures and the nutrients lost must then be added back in. This supplementation is not exact, and there are nutrient losses which aren't always replaced. Cats in the wild eat often eat the entire prey animal if it is small, and will eat nearly everything except the intestines of a larger prey animal. Continued
 
 Bio-Inappropriate: The Dangers of Dry Food
I have never seen a single case of serious obesity, diabetes, urinary tract disease, or IBD in a cat fed meat instead of commercial dry foods. Many other people have seen the same results.
 
Further, I do not see nutritional deficiencies in cats fed properly balanced raw-meat diets. I want to emphasize a point here. The incidence of these problems has not just declined on a raw-meat diet, they have entirely disappeared. These results are too dramatic to ignore. Continued
 
 Easy Raw Feeding for the Busy Person
There are now many easy raw-feeding choices for the person on-the-go. In stores and on the internet, you can purchase frozen complete diets, frozen ground meat/bone/organ mixes and pre-mixed supplements that you just add to raw meat. There are a few national brands, and many smaller, regionally available products that make it easy to feed raw. It's as simple as thawing and serving. We discuss some specific products here, but there are many others, with more being added all the time as demand for easy-to-feed raw foods increases. Continued
 
 How to Transition Your Cat to a Raw Meat Diet
Transitioning a cat to a raw diet is something that the majority of us will have to do until the time comes when people grab a kitten from its mother's teat and start raw feeding from the beginning! But in the meantime, it's a major issue in the raw feeding movement. This step-by-step approach, and patience, will work for nearly every cat. Kittens need no transition; they take to raw food like ducks to water. Special kitten food is not necessary. They eat the same food as adult cats, just more of it and more often. Continued
 
 Your Cat's Nutritional Needs: The Basics
This article discusses the basic nutritional needs of your cat. Many nutrients have been studied individually in a clinical setting – in fact, they're examined more individually than in the food they came from. This is unfortunate because it's important to remember that the essential building blocks of health aren't isolated in nature. Whole foods contain a complex blend of synergistic compounds that work together to support optimal well-being. While that may sound complicated, it really isn't – if you simply use species-appropriate real food as the foundation for health. Continued
 
 Raw Food Essentials and Fun Stuff, Too!
The Feline Nutrition Foundation is dedicated to educating people about the benefits of feeding their cats the right kind of diet. We want science-backed information to be freely available to everyone. That's a core part of our mission. We emphasize the freely part. Membership is free, all the information we offer is free and we don't have ads cluttering up the site. Everyone associated with our education and advocacy work is a volunteer. We are passionate about helping cats. But, passion doesn't pay the bills. Continued
 
Ready – Set – Go!
Now that you have the basics down, you’re ready to dive in to the rest of the site! Go to Nutrition if you want to see a raw diet recipe or read more on food and feeding. Check out the Health section for articles on specific medical issues. Have a question? The Answers section has lots of articles on questions you may have. Visit Features for articles from people just like you. For insights and tips from Feline Nutrition’s founder, visit the Blogs.
 
Stan says "Happy reading!"
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