What are the foods cats can’t eat, or perhaps more appropriately, what they shouldn’t eat?
It’s important to know why cats can only eat some foods, why they are finicky eaters as well as what can’t cats eat. It’s also important to appreciate the enormous scope that the chemical food industry has.
Understanding The Foods Cats Can’t Eat
First let’s look at where cats come from. They are true carnivores. Everyone knows that. But few people appreciate that they are also lone hunters. When you rely solely on your own skills to survive, as opposed to having a pack to back you up, you have to acquire extra skills.
Cats have super stealthy skills. They can move noiselessly. They have incredibly acute senses to hear, track and ‘feel’ their prey. They can move very fast for short periods.
To achieve all this, they have had to lighten their frame. Their bones and their organs have shed those aspects that they don’t need. This is important to know. Why? Plants, and so plant based foods, contain alkaloids. Alkaloids are the plants way of putting us off eating them as they are poisons, albeit mild poisons.
Our digestive organs have developed strategies that easily overcome this. But this increases their complexity and so their weight. Cats don’t need this, being carnivores, so they have lighter, less complex digestive organs. This means they can’t digest or utilise plant based foods. This leads to alkaloids having a deleterious affect on them.
Certainly cats do eat some plants, but this is mainly for medicinal reasons. For example, eating grass stimulates vomiting, helping to clear up a digestive issue.
The stomach of prey, especially the herbivore prey, will contain some plant based food. But this is likely to be fermented, so already partially digested. And if it isn’t, cats will generally throw that bit back up.
So the foods you should always avoid feeding cats is any plant based food. This includes nearly 100% of commercial cat food. Check the ingredients and you will see that the bulk of them all is high in plant based food. It’s cheaper.
What about grain free cat food? Can cats eat that? Tapioca or non-grain plant based food is used instead. It’s a sideways move to help people feel better, who don’t fully understand the reasoning behind why.
Why Are Cats Finicky Eaters?
Cats kill and eat their prey immediately. They don’t store any excess to eat later. They don’t eat carrion, as dogs do. This means they need their food to be very fresh. They can’t cope with stale food or rotting food, as dogs can. They can detect even slightly rotting food and are likely to refuse it.
And cats are sensitive to the clever schemes that butchers and retailers use to keep meat on the shelf for longer. Such as washing chicken in chlorine. So they will refuse that. Cooking masks that, so they can be more easily duped with cooked food.
Why Do Cats Love Some Commercial Cat Foods and Not Others?
Never underestimate the ability and creativity people will go to to sell their product. The chemical food industry is big business, in animal food as much as in human food. Bearing in mind the extreme poor quality of food that goes into the majority of commercial pet food, the poor hygiene as well as cats desire for very fresh food, they had to come up with something.
And that something, whatever it is, will be synthetic, a chemical. And it’s very effective. It has duped most cats, as most love dry cat food. And it does them so much harm.
What Can Cats Eat?
Try to keep in mind the diet of a wild cat – small animals, very fresh food, the whole body. This means the diet consists mainly of muscle meat, some organ meat, some bones, blood, skin, the lot. All raw.
It may be gross to our sensibilities, but it is a natural cats diet. It keeps everything working, it keeps them in great health. It is natural cat food which supports natural cat health.
We generally can’t duplicate a wild cat’s diet exactly, in our normal, everyday lives. Some compromises may be necessary. Learn the easiest way to feed your cat a healthy, balanced diet, that fits in with your busy life schedule, one that won’t harm your purse.