To keep a cat fit and health, it is essential to provide it with the required amount of nutrition which is something that everybody knows. But choosing the right food for your cat can be really hard. There are pet foods shown in commercials, then there’s home-cooked meal. Making a choice between them can be a real trouble, but at least home cooked meal can be easily monitored. So, the easiest and the best choice that an owner is left with is raw food diet.
What is the Raw Food Diet?
We all hear stories about raw food diet for cats and how it’s a healthy option when it comes to feeding cats, but the most common question that people ask is “what exactly is this raw food diet?”.
Basically, a raw food diet is feeding a cat uncooked meal like uncooked meat from the muscle, meat from the organ and the bones. This food comes under BARF. When expanded, BARF becomes “Biologically-Appropriate Raw Food”. This food is very carefully made and is ideally prepared from recipes that are very carefully designed. Raw Food Diet isn’t about presenting a raw meal to the cats, but it’s about providing the right food with the right amount of nutrition.
Most of the times, these raw diet meals are prepared by the owners themselves, but if they are unable to do that then there are commercial substitutes of these products that are available in the market at reasonable prices. So, if an owner decides to feed his/her cat raw food diet, then it becomes very important to make sure that the diet cat gets is well balanced, healthy and rich in vitamins and nutrients as cats are very energetic animals and they need high protein diet in order to grow and maintain their health.
Is it safe?
Since cooked meal is known to kill any pathogens from the food and make it eatable, so if you are going to feed your cat with the raw food diet then you have to be prepared for some risks that come with it.
This does not really happen when food is cooked which is why we cook food on the first hand. But this generally happens with humans as we have a large digestive tract than a cat. The digestive tract of the cat is much more acidic and smaller than ours due to which the pathogens just pass through it without affecting the cat in any way.
If you take precautions while making the raw food diet like cleaning the meat thoroughly, using well cleaned utencils and knife in a clean and disinfected area then there is no chance of any pathogen contamination. Still, it is better to be safe than sorry so, that is why there are some measures that one can take in order to avoid the attack of pathogens.
While preparing raw meal for your cat, make sure that the area is contained. Once you’re done preparing, clean the area thoroughly. And always wash hands thoroughly while handling raw meat with your hands. This reduces the risk of contamination and spreading of germs and infection. These are some of the measures that you can take in order to avoid the growth of pathogens. Since you cannot eliminate the risk 100 percent, but still you can reduce the risk of pathogen attack by maintaining the cleanliness.
What if the cat shows signs of rejection?
No matter how hard you try to feed your cat raw diet, if there is no variety, at one-point cat will start to reject it and even show signs like nausea and vomiting. It is nothing to worry about, but if vomiting persists, you should take your cat to the vet.
Now, if your cat is looking completely fine, but it’s suddenly on a hunger strike after you’ve started feeding raw diet then it’s probably because of lack of variety. If the cat’s been eating canned food all its cat life then it can be a real trouble transitioning to raw food. It might not be an easy thing. But once the cat is past that stage where it has accepted the fact that it is going to get only raw food, then you can assure that your cat is only eating healthy food.
The initial stages might be a little difficult, but don’t give up or go too hard on your cat as this can result in starvation and poor health of the cat. Just keep on feeding your cat raw food and make sure that there is a little variety in it so that cat does not get bored.
Well Balanced Diet
It is essential to make sure that the cat is getting a well-balanced meal. It is not about just feeding them with meat and bones. It is about paying attention to the protein, fat, calories, and nutrition. If you don’t take care of these things, then your cat will end up with major health issues which you probably don’t want. Moreover, a raw food diet can help in betterment of urinary health of the cat.
So, if you want help for preparing raw food diet for your cat then you can ask for some recipes from vets as they can tell you everything you need to know about raw diet. They can provide you with the recipes that can provide a little variety in the meal to make it pleasing for the cats.
Moreover, preparing raw food can be a little time consuming. This can make it impossible to prepare the same food every day. So, what you can do is, just prepare enough food that lasts weeks and freeze it.
This way you’ll be able to reduce the effort. The commercial raw food available in the market can also save you some time as it is a great alternative to home-cooked meal and it comes frozen which reduces the risk of any pathogen contamination. But still, make sure you handle these foods well in order to avoid any cross-contamination.
Cats are the creatures who like to have a fixed routine of everything. So, if you want to feed them only raw food diet then try to bring it in their routine. A fixed routine decides whether the outcome of your effort turns out to be successful or not. Now, if you have brought it into the cat routine, try to keep the transition of food process a little slow because fast transition can result in total rejection and hunger strike which you probably don’t want as an owner. If you feel that the transition is making the cat’s stomach a little upset or making the cat nauseous then stop for a while but don’t stop moving in that direction because at the end you are doing this for the cat’s better well-being. Facing some troubles at the beginning of transition is totally normal. Just follow a certain routine and pay close attention to cat’s health and behavior during the diet transition process. As an owner, this raw diet will give you a peace of mind. You can always monitor what you are feeding your cat.
Author Bio: Willie Mays is a housewife, good mother, pet lover and a blogger. Auxier is her dog and Mimo is the name of her cat. She loves them very much. She has an aim to help other pet owners and that’s why she wrote about shiba inu husky mix in her blog.