Back in the days of Yore, when my hooman mom was young, cat food seemed simple – cats ate kibble n scraps n no one cared. They figured, dogs eat kibble and hooman food so why can’t cats – they are the same just smaller – right? WRONG!
The facts of cat food
Actually, cats n dogs are very different animals in spite of the fact that we both find ourselves the most common hooman furred companions. First, the dog is actually an omnivore and can eat and digest a very large range of food, including hooman food. This is partly their physiology and partly their domestication that has gone on thousands of years longer then with the cat. The cat, on the other hand, is an Obligate Carnivore. That means a cat MUST eat primarily meat to survive. Everything else is optional and potentially harmful.
Experts and vets do of course disagree on exactly what is the best food and what to avoid because after all they are hooman and they do have their own biases for various reasons. However, one thing is very clear – cats must eat meat and especially taurine – something that would naturally come from raw animal tissues – which is why all cooked commercial cat foods add a taurine supplement to make up for the lack after cooking. That is also why u can’t simply feed your cat and dog the same food. Without taurine and meat a cat would die.
Message to Vegetarians
So, to all vegetarians, please do not ever try to make your cat a vegetarian too. If you can’t deal with the fact that cats MUST eat a meat based diet, then a pet cat is not for u. Plenty of other animals can follow your meal plan, just not cats.
What to feed your cat
So, ok, feed your cat meat. What kind of meat? What kind of commercial food? Is dry ok, or should u feed wet? How about raw? All very good questions, but some of the answers might be deemed controversial depending on who you ask. Our food recommendations can be found in our cat food section.
Wet or Kibble?
It starts with this: kibble or wet? While kibble is far more convenient and less messy it should be used in tandem with wet or raw food or not used at all. This is because, while it may make your cat happy and sleek in their younger years, chances r that kibble will come back to bite them in their digestive system down the line. Imagine if all u ate was dried meat jerky. I bet u would be spending many a day groaning in the bathroom. Well, a cat’s system is far smaller and more sensitive than a hoomans.
Studies have actually shown, a lifetime of dry food can have a very damaging and lasting effect on a cat (1). It can lead to inflammation, disease and even cancer. At the very least u will find yourself with an old cat who is addicted to kibble but can’t digest it any longer and is getting skinnier and skinnier while rejecting any other food. Avoid this by simply making wet or raw food a routine part of your cats diet, either alone or with dry as a side option.
Enter grain free and raw food.
Ok, so what about all this raw food and cutting out grains? Those ideas come from the fact that animals tend to do better the closer to their natural diet that they can get. In the wild a cat would never have kibble, nor most grains, fruits, veggies, nor even cooked food. There have even been studies indicating that the problem with commercial foods isn’t just grains or dry food, but the fact that the meat is cooked – and cooked very well (2). In the wild a cat would eat mostly rodents and insects and they would be raw. So their system is designed to break down mostly chunks of meat with a little bit of carbs from the stomach of the prey. Old school commercial cat diets mostly ignored this wisdom, but the cat food industry is now starting to come up with better alternatives to basic kibble.
Need a plan? Try this one
So, what should u do? Start out with a variety of foods, because variety is also far better for your cat than one food for years. If u can’t handle raw then just go for a mix of wet foods, or a mix of wet and kibble. But make sure to choose both from quality brands and ingredients. First rule of thumb – make sure the first ingredient is a whole meat and that the rest is mostly meat, vitamins and minerals. Avoid foods high in corn, carbs or other non-meat fillers.
Wanna go Raw?
Ok, so u want to go full wild and explore raw food? Its best to start with a pre-made raw diets that include everything in a handy package – like Primal brand foods. Otherwise it can get very messy and confusing very fast. Same rule of thumb about ingredients apply.
We carry all of the above options, of course, including my favorite Primal freeze-dried Venison (raw). Everything we offer are viable species appropriate foods for your cat that have all been tested and approved by our three resident cats. We hope your cat enjoys them too!