The Benefits of a Raw Diet for Your Cat
|Written by Margaret Gates|
|Monday, February 08, 2010 01:14 PM|
Page 2 of 2
fur helps keep the teeth clean. Carbohydrates create a starchy film that promotes plaque buildup and encourages gum disease. Carbohydrate laden food will not help control tartar. Reducing or eliminating carbohydrates in your cats diet will help keep dental disease at bay, and providing raw meaty bones to chew on is "nature's toothbrush" for cats.⁸ This is important as the bacteria from dental infections can spread to other parts of the body.
Better Urinary Health
Raw diets have a high moisture content of about 65 to 70% that mimics that of natural prey; a mouse is 65-75% moisture. Carbohydrate laden, low moisture foods, specifically dry food, cause alkaline urine and chronic dehydration in cats. This can lead to urinary tract inflammation. Because they get enough moisture in their food, cats in the wild don't often have urinary tract problems.⁹
Peace of Mind
Perhaps the best benefit of feeding a raw diet is the peace of mind it can give you. Realizing that cats evolved to eat a diet that is about as unprocessed as it can get, many people have become concerned about the highly processed pet food they feed their pets. Raw diets are different. The ingredients are simple and identifiable, processing is minimal and it's either fresh or fresh frozen. You know what you are feeding your pet.
"Raw meat is the natural food of the cat, and is really the 'gold standard' of diets for any obligatory carnivore."
Elizabeth Hodgkins, DVM
From Your Cat: Simple New Secrets to a Longer, Stronger Life
Margaret Gates is the founder of the Feline Nutrition Education Society.
1. N. Gerber, M. R. L. Scheedera, and C. Wenk, "The Influence of Cooking and Fat Trimming on the Actual Nutrient Intake from Meat, " Meat Science 81, January 2009, 148-154.
2. Dr. Bruce Syme, BVSc (Hons), "Feeding Raw Bones to Cats and Dogs."
3. U.S. National Research Council Ad Hoc Committee on Dog and Cat Nutrition, Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats, 2006, 7-10.
4. S. D. Crissey, J. A. Swanson, B. A. Lintzenich, B. A. Brewer, and K. A. Slifka, "Use of a Raw Meat-Based Diet or a Dry Kibble Diet for Sand Cats (Felis Margarita)," Journal of Animal Science 75, 1997, 2154-2160.
5. Claudia A. Kirk, Jacques Debraekeleer, and P. Jane Armstrong, "Normal Cats," Small Animal Clinical Nutrition, 4th ed. Walsworth Publishing Company, 2000, 297-299.
6. John E. Bauer, DVM, PhD, DACVN, "Facilitative and Functional Fats in Diets of Cats and Dogs," Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 229, no. 5, September 1, 2006.
7. Elizabeth M. Hodgkins, DVM, Esq., Your Cat: Simple Secrets to a Longer, Stronger Life, Thomas Dunne Books, 2007, 5-6.
8. David A. Fagan, DDS, Dental Consultant and Mark S. Edwards, PhD, Nutritionist, "Influence of Diet Consistency on Periodontal Disease in Captive Carnivores," The Colyer Institute, 2009.
9. Elizabeth M. Hodgkins, DVM, Esq, Your Cat: Simple New Secrets to a Longer, Stronger Life, Thomas Dunne Books, 2007, 167-171.