Feeding Cats Raw Meat

When commercial cat food just isn't cutting it, feeding cats a raw meat diet can give them the additional nutrients they need.

Benefits of Feeding Cats Raw Meat

The biggest benefit of a cat eating a raw meat diet is that it closely resembles the diet she would get out in the wild. Every commercial cat food lacks in nutrients because of the processing it must go through to meet government standards.

A study performed in the 1930s tested a group of cats, one on cooked meat and one on raw meat. The cats eating raw meat proved to have a better nature and were far healthier than the group eating other foods.

What Cats Can Eat

Cats are obligate carnivores. This means they must eat other animals in order to survive; no cat can survive on a vegan diet. Cats can ingest a number of meats and poultry such as:

  • Chicken
  • Quail
  • Lamb
  • Goat
  • Venison
  • Duck
  • Fish
  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Game hens
  • Rabbit

While cats can't survive on a veggie diet, some do enjoy the taste of some vegetables and can obtain added nutrients if you want to mix something like green beans or carrots into the diet.

Feeding Raw Meat

It is absolutely essential that all raw meat fed to a cat is fed completely fresh. This means no cooked meat, and no 'heated' meat. Never microwave a piece of meat to warm it up. Your cat will probably enjoy it a lot more if it is room temperature; to achieve this, put the meat in a plastic bag and place it in a bowl or pot of warm water to let it heat just a bit.

Never leave your cat's raw food down for more than an hour. Because it is raw meat, bacteria can flourish if it is left unattended. Let your cat eat his fill, and remove whatever is left.

Bones in the Diet

One of the more difficult aspects of a raw food diet for cats might be the bones. Some cats may not like them and refuse to eat them. However, the bones are a vital source of calcium - which cats need a lot of in their diets - that they won't get from the rest of their food. The bones are excellent for a cat's teeth, both their strength and their cleanliness. Giving your cat a meaty bone is a healthy, nutrition-packed meal good for their bodies and their teeth.

Switching from Commercial Food to Raw Food

Kittens are easier to switch over to raw food than adult cats are. Just try to give your kitten a bit of raw meat, leaving it down for no more than 45 to 60 minutes so the kitten has a chance to investigate and, hopefully, eat it.

For older cats who have been on a commercial cat food diet for awhile, the change might be a little trickier depending on your cat. Attempt to give your cat a little piece of something raw, such as chicken, and see how readily she eats it. If she isn't picky and eats it right away, you probably won't have too much trouble. If nothing else, feed her one raw meal, such as in the morning, and her regular food at night until she has adjusted.

If you try giving her a taste and she wants nothing to do with it, you'll have more work to do. Switch her over to a good quality canned cat food, mixing it with the dry food. Wean her off of the dry food until she is eating only the canned food. Once this is done, you can start transitioning over to something like chicken. Mix a little bit of it each meal with the canned stuff, increasing the amount until she's eating a full piece. After this, you can start trying her on other types of meats, and introduce bones into her diet as well.