Best Raw Food for Cats: Top 4 Primal Packaged Options
Recently, feeding your pets a healthier raw food diet has been gaining popularity. So what is a raw food diet? What are the pros and cons of feeding your cat a raw diet? Continue reading to learn more about the benefits and risks as well as how to choose the best raw food for cats.
Cats are a great companion to have in any home. Today, many people are concerned with their own personal health, but have you ever considered the dietary needs of your furry friend?
With cats being the second most popular pet in United States households, it is easy to see how many pet owners might be considering their pet’s health and nutrition more seriously. For many people, their pets become a part of the family. Just like our human family members, we want our pets to live long happy lives with us. To ensure they have the best quality of life a healthy diet is key.
What Is A Raw Food Diet for Cats?
Cats, by nature, are 100% carnivores. Their bodies are specially designed to eat a pure meat diet. A raw diet for your cat consists of raw meat as they would eat in the wild.
This raw food diet is one in which you are feeding your cat in a way that is closer to what they require biologically for their nutritional needs and more similar to the types of food they will hunt themselves. If you have an outdoor cat, maybe you are familiar with the mice and birds your cat may catch on their adventures outside the house.
You can find prepackaged raw cat food online, frozen raw cat food in pet stores or make your own raw cat food at home. It is also important to vary the kind of meat, including things like chicken, turkey, and beef as well as bones and organ meat. When feeding your pet a raw diet it should not contain any processed or cooked kibble, processed or cooked canned food, added carbohydrates, or cooked and processed meats.
Next, we will discuss some benefits and risks of providing raw food for cats.
Pros: What Are The Benefits?
Now we know what makes up a raw food diet for cats, but how is it beneficial for their health exactly?
There is a wide range of benefits such as increased energy due to the higher levels of protein or improved digestion from the lack of carbohydrates from grains normally outside their natural diet.
Raw meat also contains higher levels of taurine, an amino acid, which keeps your cats heart healthy and is found to fight against eye problems. Also the presence of natural fatty acids in the raw meat help to improve and maintain the quality of your cat's fur giving it a healthy shiny appearance.
Cons: What Are The Risks Or Drawbacks?
There are some risks to consider when thinking of providing a raw food diet for your cats.
The risk of parasites, disease, and infection caused by contaminants like mold, salmonella or E. coli that can be found in raw meats.
Also preparing your own foods at home can be time-consuming due to the processing of the meats and dangerous because of the risks mentioned above regarding infection.
One non-health related consideration is also cost. Feeding your cat a raw based diet will increase your grocery bill as it is recommended that if you decide to try to make your own food you need to buy human edible grade meats, and the cost of prepackaged or frozen raw cat foods will be higher than typical foods.
Transitioning Your Cat To A Raw Food Diet
If you are considering a raw food diet for your cat, chances are your cat is an adolescent or an adult. In these cases, it will involve transitioning your cat from their current food to raw food.
The process of transitioning your cat will take some time. There are several different methods available depending on your cat’s age and current food. Make sure you discuss the best option with your veterinarian.
However, if you have a kitten that hasn’t been weaned from its mother yet, your in luck! You can start your kitten out directly on an all raw diet.
What Types Of Commercial Raw Foods Are There For Cats?
When it comes to commercial prepackaged raw foods, there are two main options available: Frozen raw cat food or freeze-dried raw cat food.
The frozen variety comes in the form of fresh meat in a roll or separated into patties. This must be thawed and fed quickly as it only lasts a few days once unfrozen.
Freeze dried foods have been air dried while preserving the nutritional value which is usually lost in the cooking process. This option provides a convenient way to feed your cats a raw food diet while giving it a longer shelf life than fresh meats.
How To Choose Packaged Raw Food For Your Cats
One concern we discussed in the risks of a raw diet is an infection. When considering commercial products, there is a possibility of mold toxins being present in the grains used to produce the food, which can be avoided by choosing grain-free options.
When feeding your cat a raw food diet, it is very important to make sure that the product contains calcium in the form of ground-up bones or added bone meal. Look for foods high in protein and low in carbohydrates. It is suggested that the raw food contains at least 95% meat, bones, and organs.
Recommended: The 4 Best Raw Cat Foods
Stella & Chewy's is a great brand when looking for raw food for your cat. Their foods are 98% freeze-dried meat, organs, and bone. In their foods, you will find no added hormones, antibiotics, grains or fillers. This product blends the desire to feed your cat a balanced nutritionally sound diet with the ease and convenience of contemporary dry foods.
Primal offers a great option of freeze dried raw cat food. You can expect edible grade meats from ranches and farms throughout the United States and New Zealand. Their cat foods are 93% meat, bones and organs with 7% produce. All of the added minerals and vitamins are food based. The foods have no grain, gluten, corn, wheat or soy. They provide your cats with a complete and balanced raw based diet.
Wysong Archetype's raw food is made to emulate what your cat would eat out in the wilderness. While there are no specific ratios of meat to added ingredients, they do provide a complete list of ingredients, and their websites provide the reasoning behind each one. Their foods contain no ingredients added to create color, texture, stool consistency, or shelf-life. What they do is give your pet a diet high in the natural proteins and fats needed to sustain healthy nutrition.
Nature’s Variety gives your cat a grain-free, gluten-free, raw meat in freeze-dried form. With 90% chicken and liver, 10% vegetables, fruits and vitamins it gives your pet a balanced meal. The chicken in their foods is cage-free while the fruits and vegetables are organic. Their foods are high in the protein your cat needs and minimally processed.
As pet owners, our main goal is to live a long happy, healthy life with our furry friends. As we talked about in this article, a cat has special nutritional needs that are best met through a raw meat diet. If you decide to change your cat’s diet, it is important to transition them properly to a raw diet. There are benefits and dangers that we discussed that you should consider and talk over with your veterinarian.
The best raw cat food option is Stella & Chewy's Freeze Dried Food for Cats. Their blend of quality free range meat, including bones and organs, provides the balanced nutrition your cat needs. Stella & Chewy's does not include any grains or fillers that can cause health problems. They offer both frozen and freeze-dried raw cat foods with a variety of flavor options.