Choosing to provide your cat with raw meat will bring them closer to a diet they would have in the wild, but can cats eat raw meat safely? Raw meat can pose many dangers, as many types of bacteria can cause problems, but the cat foods marketed today also have some benefits. There are many aspects to this discussion, so let’s start with the benefits your cat would get from a raw meat diet.
Benefits of raw meat
As predators, cats evolved by eating prey, i.e. uncooked meat. When you cook meat, you lose a lot of vitamins, minerals and amino acids, and this is even more true for processed meat cooked at very high temperatures. In these cases, the nutrients need to be extracted and then re-injected, but this process is by no means perfect and so the differences will be noticeable.
Cats would eat the whole animal if it were small except for the intestines or larger ones, but the raw bone itself is their main source of calcium. Cooked bones can be very dangerous as they become brittle and can cause internal damage.
The most common prey of cats in the wild are small mammals such as rodents, birds, fish, snakes and other reptiles or even insects. If you really want your cat to enjoy what it’s done in the wild, then you need to find a way to provide it with live prey, although that certainly proves difficult for most cat owners.
Among the benefits of raw food, we must mention better digestion, a healthy coat that will shed less and therefore create fewer hairballs, more energy for your pet and its dental and urinary health will be better. Raw meat will help cats stay fit, so if you have an overweight cat, a raw diet will balance its weight.
Chewing raw bones, meat, connective tissue, skin and fur will help the cat keep its teeth clean, while carbohydrates create starch films which will promote gum problems and dental plaque. Cats do not need carbohydrates in their diet and cannot digest them properly. So a choice of raw meat is much better than that because they lack the enzymes we have to break down carbohydrates.
For half of the 20 year period th Francis M. Pottenger, Jr. conducted a study on the effects of heat treated foods on cats. His study was carried out on cats donated by the clinic for this purpose, and as his supply of cooked meat dwindled, he began feeding the cats raw meat scraps from a local packing plant. meat. A few months after the cats were given the raw meat scraps, their health seemed to have improved a lot and so his diet study began, as well as one of the most frequently cited arguments in favor raw diets.
Between 1932 and 1942, the experiment involved more than 900 cats and their diet included 1/3 raw milk, cod liver oil, 2/3 raw meat and the control group received cooked meat instead of raw. The study found a direct link between undercooked meat and many problems such as facial deformities in children, excess parasites, various illnesses and pregnancy difficulties.
Problems with raw meat
Some veterinarians will warn you about problems with raw foods such as salmonella, e coli, listeria or other bacteria, but many also consider this diet to be very beneficial for the animal. . Foodborne illnesses can also spread to pet owners who prepare food, so be sure to take the proper precautions.
In the wild, cats will eat carcasses that may be a day old and they won’t have a problem, but it’s not meat that your pet will do the same. A transition period is necessary for adult cats if you intend to change their diet to raw meat and here are some precautions that will help ensure that everything goes smoothly:
Buy from trusted butchers rather than packaged supermarket meat and use it immediately or freeze it in individual portions for later use. If you freeze meat, many bacteria will be destroyed, and this procedure is applied to raw foods that we eat, such as sushi. Probiotics can reduce the risk of indigestion since they improve the health of the intestinal tract.
Sterilize cutting boards and dishes after using them, as bacteria will multiply if left there. Food should not be left on a plate for more than thirty minutes, so throw away anything the cat has left behind and wash everything properly. It is advisable to consult a veterinarian if you intend to give raw meat to a cat that has problems with the body’s immune system and it is good to ask them about this anyway.
Switching to a raw meat diet
If you have a kitten, you can just start feeding them raw Meat Diet for Cat, but with adults they will need a period of adjustment. Kittens need to eat more often because their stomachs are smaller and a meal every six hours or so is recommended.
For adult cats, the length of the transition varies depending on their health status, food usage and other factors. It can take just a few days or months, so be patient. Cats seem to become addicted to dry food, so it will be difficult for them to take this step. But first you have to get them used to eating at specific times. Two or three meals a day should be enough instead of always leaving dry food available.
Cats need to get used to the new routine quickly when they are hungry and this will train them to prepare their meals at regular times. Make sure they eat, but if they seem hungry that’s not necessarily a bad thing as it will only make the food more appealing to them. Now try to stop giving them dry foods and change their diet to grain-free canned foods.