As an obligate carnivore, your kitty relies solely on the nutrients found in animal flesh to complete her diet. Wisconsin Pet Care recommends feeding your cat the kind of food she’d eat in the wild: MEAT. Maybe she does like the occasional taste of a banana, or the crunchy texture of lettuce, but her body reaches optimal health when fed in the manner nature intended. Blood, guts and gore. We love our cats. So why then, have we been feeding our feline friends so many things besides what they need?
Pros: It’s easy. It doesn’t have an “offensive” odor. It appears to keep your kitty full. It is vet-recommended.
Cons: It’s as nutritionally dense as cardboard. It lacks the moisture needed for basic feline bodily function.
Your veterinarian has been lying to you. Kibble does not “protect your cat’s teeth”. How did this myth even get started (it couldn’t be that kibble companies publish and write veterinarian text books, could it?)? The truth is, the only thing that combats tooth decay is chewing meat and scheduled dental cleanings from your veterinarian. Cats need to chew on terse flesh, not consume abrasive starches. In fact, the kibble actually lodges in their teeth and causes decay, very much the same way cookies do to our teeth! Plainly put, ripping through the meat of their prey will keep those chompers in perfect working order for a lifetime.
VEGETABLES AND GREENS
Pros: Fresh veggies! Is there anything better?
Cons: It makes kitty vomit up her kibble.
In the wild, if a cat consumes something not so great, it will eat a bit of grass. Somewhere down the line, we’ve come to associate the consumption of greens with “settling kitty’s tummy”. Actually, it helps aggravate a cat’s stomach, causing her to vomit (that’s the part we don’t see while watching Animal Planet). Now before cats get a Black Swan reputation, it should be noted that this line of digestive defense keeps them from having to process anything harmful (it makes you wonder what’s in that kibble to compel kitty to rid her body of it from time to time). “Ooops, I ate some bad field mice,” turns into, “Blech! Blech! Ack!” There’s nothing wrong with an occasional nip of organic pet grass, but seeking foods that boast “garden greens” as a key ingredient are of no benefit to your cat.
Pros: (None) Consumer Pet Food giants suggest it rounds out a meal. Meat, Vegetable and Starch – a meal trifecta. Not to mention, rice has been known to “settle a kitty’s tummy”.
Con: It is difficult for your cat to digest. There is no nutritional benefit.
Here we go again with the tummy-settling debate. I think it’s time we uncover why a cat would have an upset stomach to begin with. After all, there are no rotting carcasses in your kitchen, right? Of course not! Kitty is fed a fresh bowl of food – morning, noon and night. So why would there be any need to “settle her tummy”. Well, it’s because most cat food brands contain grains or starches that act as food “fillers”. QUALITY meat is expensive. There’s no way for a company to maintain high profit margins when making good food on the cheap. Therefore, corporations rely on starch to fill in the gaps. Rice is cheap. Grains not fit-for-humans are cheap. But starches and grains do not facilitate the acidic digestive environment cats need to maintain a proper PH-balance within their bodies. The result is that digestion becomes difficult (the physiology of felines has mandated an acidic digestive environment to break down meat quickly, as they do not have a large digestive tract) and vomiting occurs.
The bottom line is that, for cats, MEAT should be what’s for dinner. There are many homemade recipes that are easy to prepare for your cat. However, if you are searching for an even more convenient option, there are reputable companies that provide grain-free solutions. You will not get very far with most store bought brands (see last week’s feature on the reality of dog food ingredients), but researching a feline raw food diet will lead you in the right direction. Ultimately, it is our hope that these articles have inspired you to give your pet’s food some thought. Wisconsin Pet Care maintains that if our companion animals are healthy on the inside, they’ll be happy on the outside.