The good news is that there are more raw cat food and treat products coming onto the market this year that are anywhere from limited ingredient food diets to single ingredient treats.
How to Spot Raw Cat Food Offerings
Our belief is that the raw whole animal protein diet is our ancestral diet being carnivores and therefore our diet needs to be 90%+ meat and very few carbohydrates. Bones and organ meat are important too for various cat-specific vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, etc.
There are many offerings that are classified as truly raw, meaning never cooked, available frozen, freeze-dried or air-dried/dehydrated. Raw never comes in a can. It comes mostly in bags and some tubs.
The big commercial pet food companies recognize that the direction is towards the ancestral diets for cats and dogs, but their product lines are based on food that comes in a can or kibble in a bag. They are trying to address this trend by either acquiring small niche pet food companies or shifting some of their brands over to more limited ingredients, which is a start.
Kibble Is Not Your Cat’s Friend
I want to remind you all that us cats do not have molars with which to grind up kibble. We have only fangs with which we bite into our prey, tear and swallow. That’s it!
We have no way to eat kibble by chewing it up and then swallowing. We swish the kibble around our mouth, trying to soften it up and then basically swallow it whole. For any of you pet parents whose kibble-fed cats tend to “scarf and barf” every so often after a meal, if you notice the kibble comes back up whole!
Kibble is basically poison in our book as it is baked and has fillers, chemicals, preservatives and other ingredients that we can’t pronounce. Also, cats don’t naturally graze, so kibble really doesn’t have a true place in a cat’s diet, except the one that pet parents force on them.
The pet food industry is busy working on developing “kibble-like” food which is easy to serve for the pet parents who are used to tearing open a bag and serving the contents. We will have to see how that develops for the cats and will it be truly raw?
Vegetarian and Vegan Diets For Cats
Mom says that some niche food companies are playing with the idea of a vegetarian or vegan diet for us cats. It’s to cater to the many millennials and Gen Z who are vegetarians and vegan themselves.
We understand that it is coming from a “good place” in their quest to be healthy and eat a more plant-based diet and lessen the impact of the meat industry. Many people feel the plant-based diet is more of their ancestral diet to begin with, however us cats are carnivores and it is impossible for us to not eat MEAT and survive. Period. It could kill us to be put on a vegetarian or vegan diet.
Raw Cat Food Is Becoming the Norm
Prices of raw food are coming down which is great for many more families to be able to switch over to raw. Mom feeds Beau and me twice a day for basically US$1.75 a day each.
And raw is much easier to find as more independently owned pet stores are the first to be adding the raw food to their shop’s offerings.
Lately, the major pet chains and even some super markets are putting in freezers and refrigerators for the raw and minimally cooked “raw” pet food!