Is a Raw Food Diet Good for Cats?


Yes! Cats are obligatory carnivores and rely on a diet of whole
muscle meat, organs, and bones for optimal nutrition. Therefore, a raw food diet promotes good health and a longer, more sustainable life with fewer vet visits.

Why do we advocate for a raw, species-specific diet for cats?

Cats who eat raw have fewer allergies, obesity, diabetes, cancer, urinary infections, kidney disease, hyperthyroidism etc. Cats are what they eat, just like us. If we eat “fast food” everyday, we will get sicker over the long term. If we feed our cats the equivalent of “fast food” from the commercial brands at the grocery stores and big box stores they will get sicker too over time.

Cats who eat raw have beautiful, shiny coats and no furry odor. Bury
your nose in your raw-fed cat’s fur and you will smell a “clean kitty”. 

They also use more of the food they consume, biologically speaking, which
results in 50% less poop - often only having one bowel movement
every 24/36 hours. Their poops are purr-fectly formed and rarely does a
raw-fed cat have diarrhea.

On the topic of poop, cats who eat raw also have significantly less smelly poop. No kidding – try it and you’ll see!

What is a raw food diet exactly?

Often called the BARF diet, the raw food diet consists of biologically appropriate raw food. It contains fresh human-grade quality animal proteins that have never
been cooked or overly processed at high temperatures that denature
the protein, after which they have to add chemicals and preservatives to
artificially put the “protein” back in.

That’s why some cat food such as traditional kibble and commercial canned wet food have so many ingredients, many of which you can’t pronounce, or even know what they are.

Our best advice is to start reading your cat’s food ingredients. Aim for
the fewer ingredients the better. Look for the first ingredient to be the
whole protein such as beef, pork, turkey, etc. followed by things you
can recognize.

“Chicken meal” or any other “meal” is not a fresh whole protein. It's often
made from rendered parts of the animal and even diseased parts.

Watch out for corn, soy, grains, too many veggies, and even fruits. Cats
have short digestive tracts and are hard-wired for eating “on the run” in the
desert, so they can't process carbohydrates like dogs can.

How do I buy raw food? How does it come packaged?

Raw food is available in several different ways – the common factor is
that no matter how it comes, it has never been cooked and traditionally

Raw food comes frozen as patties, sliders, cubes, nuggets, etc. and frozen is
generally the best value financially. Defrost and serve later when room

Shelf-stable raw food can be freeze-dried, air-dried, dehydrated, etc.
and also coming in the same shapes as frozen options. It is more costly to
produce than frozen, therefore it can be 30% higher in cost for the
consumer. However, the ease of tearing open a bag or pouch will often be worth it for those who don’t want to wait for frozen food to defrost overnight.

Freeze-dried cat food will need to be reconstituted with lukewarm water to be considered a “complete” diet. We have to make it “wet” again as cats need wet food to thrive!

And for that matter, we advocate for cats to have water added to ALL types of food as they are notorious desert animals and are not hard-wired to drink water. In the wild, they get their moisture from the blood of the prey, so add moisture to every meal!

Where do I purchase raw food for my cat?

The best place to shop to learn more about the raw food diet is the independent family-owned pet stores that focus on human-grade quality food brands. They have been leaders in the raw food movement amongst all the pet stores generally for many years now and will carry various brands and types of raw foods. In
addition, they are there to answer your questions and explain the
various types of raw food and the features and benefits. They will help
you get started on how to serve “raw” in its many forms and how to transition your cat to a biologically appropriate raw food lifestyle.

In conclusion, raw food is the healthiest food to serve your feline so that it enjoys a healthy long life! 


If you would like to learn more about how to feed “raw” – check out some of our other Food and Nutrition blogs:




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