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Natural Feeding

Written by Kayla

I have been feeding a raw diet since 2002 after loosing a cat to Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and after one of my cats had a severe bladder infection with crystals for six long months of back and forth to the vets. After more medicines and absolutely nothing working I decided to try the raw diet on him. He loved the new food and in three weeks all symptoms were gone.

I started researching cats and nutrition and found that commercial dry or wet food is not as healthy for cats as we have been led to believe and does not clean their teeth much; however, chewing raw meat and bone does. I also found out that cats do not need grain and their natural diet is mostly mice and small birds. Now you can't find that in a can or bag.

After I started feeding many of my cats a raw diet (some were elderly and not so easily convinced not to eat the commercial food), I began to notice how much healthier the raw-fed cats were. Their coat color was more vivid and shiny. The dam's did not get thin while nursing and kittens were bigger and healthier at birth. Also the transition from mom's milk to raw was easier and with less stress.

What are the benefits of feeding a raw diet?
Healthier skin and coat, more energy, cleaner teeth, fresher breath, less litter box odor, less vet visits, less chance of disease, less obesity, better immune system and most of all the mental capacity and enjoyment to the cat getting to chew on meaty bones. This can help a bored cat be happier.

The litter boxes have not only less odor but less solid waste because the cat is digesting more of the raw food and is getting more nutrients from it. Cats after all are carnivores and therefore they can digest raw food easier than commercial dry or wet food. Cats do not require the carbohydrates that are high in most commercial foods. In fact cats require only about 5% carbohydrates in their foods. Raw food is closest to what cats would naturally digest and does not contain the excess carbohydrates. Less carbs, less fat, promoting healthier immune systems.

But what about the bones?
Cats are fine with bones provided they are not cooked. Cooked bones dry out and splinter therefore causing great danger to the cats. Chewing on the raw bones promotes healthier teeth and jaw muscles. Soft bones like chicken, quail and small turkey are great for cats to chew on but NEVER cooked bones of any kind.

Here are some links regarding raw feeding as well as pet food and ingredients that you can check out:
http://home.earthlink.net/~pawsreflect/nutrition.html
http://www.felinefuture.com
http://www.catnutrition.org/
http://www.catinfo.org/
http://www.buddiesnaturalpetfood.ca
http://www.catinfo.org/commercialcannedfoods.htm
http://www.rawfedcats.org/index.htm
http://www.momofood.com/
http://www.reunionrescue.com/id49.html (This site gives great advice and tactics for switching your cat to raw if they are kibble-addicts.)
http://www.mystre.com/making_raw.html to Making Raw (This page shows how simple it is to make a basic raw diet with photos and videos.)

Suggested other resources:
"The New Natural Cat - A complete Guide for Finicky Owners" by Anitra Frazier with Norma Eckroate
"Food Pets Die For - Shocking Facts about Pet Food" by Ann N. Martin
"Raising Cats Naturally - How to Care for Your Cat the Way Nature Intended" by Michelle T. Bernard http://www.blakkatz.com

Please check out our links page for more raw-feeding information sources and products.