Many people are natural worriers! So it’s normal for them to be concerned about their cat’s health. In particular, since there is conflicting information on the internet, there may be more concerns about raw feeding cats, than about commercial feeding them.
Although that doesn’t make much common sense (more of a rare sense!), it’s habits that die hard that are the focus.
One has to appreciate that veterinary schools receive big donations from big harmer and big pet food. And they want to influence. So the information that’s taught is not bias-free. That is the number one reason mainstream vets don’t advocate raw feeding cats. They only have to try it for themselves to see the huge health improvements.
But that deals a big blow to their income. First from a lack of sales of the commercial brands. Second from all the animals that are now so healthy, they don’t need vets.
This article is not about how to go about raw feeding cats as that’s covered in my ebook Naturally Healthy Cats. This is about concerns after having established raw feeding.
Differences in Male and Female Cats
From my own experience, male cats tend to be bigger is size, more aggressive in nature and more enthusiastic about food, than females cats.
Males and females have different roles to play in all species.
We know that the male in most species, especially the mammals, are bigger in size than the female. Current thinking, which makes some sense, is that they have to impress the female, that they’re healthy and strong and so can father healthy babies.
Females don’t want to invest in all the time and effort of pregnancy, birth and rearing youngsters to have them die.
Most male mammals also have to fight their competitors for the right to mate. Again, a strategy that proves to the female, this big burly boy will father healthy babies.
So male cats do tend to be much more enthusiastic, even aggressive at times, in their appetite. As far as they’re concerned, the bigger they are the better!
But without the natural exercise they have in the wild, of patrolling their extensive territory, of marking them continuously, of fighting off any competitor and of hunting for food, our male cats can easily become over weight. 10 lbs or 4.5 kilo is a healthy weight for an average male cat. You don’t want to go too much over that, the excepting being Maine Coons.
Body Shape and Composition In Raw Fed Cats
A healthy cat is slim, lithe, agile, and sensuous in movement. You can feel their ribs but they’re not prominent. You can feel the back bone, but it isn’t prominent. Looking at them from both above and the side, their abdomen should be parallel, with no bulges or wasting aft of the ribs that is common in dogs.
The quality of the raw food is important. See my ebook Naturally Healthy Cats. Butchers and supermarkets often sell fresh pet meat, but it tends to be off cuts, high in fat, and may be mainly meats that aren’t popular for humans, such as liver. Raw brands may do the same. Cats need meat and bones from the whole carcass, in proportion. Whole food.
Whole food is mostly muscle meat that’s low in fat (you don’t get much fat on wild animals), bones and small amounts of the organs. It’s a reflection of the body of their prey.
With this diet and some exercise, your cat will always have healthy muscle tone.
Supplements Added To Raw Diets
Concerns about raw feeding cats invariably includes supplements. Most supplements are made in laboratories from petro chemicals. By the wildest stretch of the imagination, they can’t be called nutrients. But they’re cheap.
The expensive and real supplements come from food.
So you can feed your cat poor quality food and top up with questionable (and often toxic) supplements to make you feel you’re doing the right thing. Or you can feed good quality food which is balanced, and skip the supplements. Logically, it’s a no-brainer.
Good quality raw cat food doesn’t need taurine (it’s in raw meat), vitamins (same), omega 3 (the little that cats need is in the meat from free ranging animals), salt (for the iodine, which can be found in meat, whole eggs, fish such as sardines) or egg shells/calcium carbonate.
The latter ‘supplement’ comes from the notion that phosphorus is bad for cats. The sythesised and isolated phosphorus made in a laboratory from questionable sources is indeed very bad for cats. But the natural, balanced form in small poultry bones is perfect for cats.
The egg shells/calcium carbonate is out of natural balance for cats and can cause harm when given long term. Crunching on small poultry bones is preferable. These bones can be cut up small for cats with no teeth or those with an unhealthy or painful mouth.
Don’t make life difficult for yourself. Don’t keep worrying! Feed your cats as close as is reasonable to the diet of their wild cousins. Allow them as much freedom as is safe. Treat the rare health issues that may appear with homeopathy. Then concerns about raw feeding cats will disappear.