How healthy is a raw food diet for cats?
Cats thrive on high-quality, animal-sourced protein, so raw meat is, naturally, a healthy option.
Cats are true carnivores. They love meat. They need meat to live.
Pet parents may choose a raw diet because it mimics what cats’ predatory relations eat in the wild.
However, these diets do pose significant risks.
Raw animal meat is loaded with protein, it’s high in moisture, contains vitamins and minerals, and can be easily digested by cats.
However, uncooked meats may contain parasites or bacterias like salmonella and E. coli.
While most cats are able to tolerate these pathogens, some with immune issues may be at risk of serious illness.
Handling large quantities of raw meat does increase the risk of cross-contamination in the household, so if you are weighing up a raw food diet for your cat, bear this in mind.
Always factor in family dynamics when considering bringing raw food into the home. Will there be babies crawling on the floor? Are there any pregnant women in the house? It’s not just your pet’s health and safety you have to be thinking about.
These are only some of the pros and cons of a raw food diet, and thorough research should be conducted before any decision is made.
Raw food diet examples
- Chicken – Fresh chicken is a crucial part of any raw food diet. It is an excellent source of lean protein, providing strength and energy to your cat. It is also low in carbohydrates meaning that it won’t lead to obesity issues or cause any trouble with digestion.
- Boneless beef – Beef will have your carnivorous cat licking their lips. Raw ground beef is easy to prepare, and easy to digest. Rich in protein and taurine, it will help improve vision, keep their heart strong, and bolster their immune system. It is fattier than other meats – so extremely tasty – but portion control is vital.
- Organ meats – Organs meats can be considered a raw food superfood for cats. They form an essential part of raw food diet as they provide minerals and nutrients not found in muscle meat. Liver is a great source of protein and iron, while also carrying vitamins A, D, E and K. Best served in small amounts to avoid vitamin A toxicity. Heart tissue contains high levels of taurine, and is, unsurprisingly, good for boosting heart health.
It is typically recommended that you feed your cat 2% to 4% of their total body weight per day. So if your cat weighs 5kg, you should be giving them 100g – 200g of raw meat.