Yes – a picture is worth a thousand words!!The cat in the photo is actually my brother’s cat, Hamilton, and the picture was taken as a joke – as most of the time he cooks real food for Hamilton and feeds “crunchies” as a treat.However, after we finished laughing about the picture, it did inspire me to write this article, since so many cat owners feed this way.They leave out a big bowl of dry food for their cat(s) and allow them to free feed and offer no other food choices.
Unfortunately there are multiple problems for cats with both this style of feeding, as well as feeding dry only food.One of the primary problems with feeding only a kibble diet to cats is that they are obligate carnivores, which means they MUST eatmeat to survive.While many pet food manufacturers have gotten more clever with labeling and marketing by listing some type of meat or meat meal as the first ingredient – it is actually the first 5 or 6 ingredients you need to look at and consider since that is the bulk of the food.In fact, the first 5 or 6 ingredients can all be the exact same quantity by weight and the manufacturer chose the order to list them.As an example your ingredient list says:(these two lists were taken off actual bags of dry cat food)
Deboned turkey, turkey meal, whole potatoes, oatmeal, peas, whole ground brown rice…..On the surface when you look at the first two ingredients it does not seem so bad, however, when you look at the next 4 ingredients and understand all 6 could all be in equivalent amounts this food is LOADED with carbs!Cats don’t eat carbs – they eat meat!
Chicken meal, corn gluten meal, soybean meal, brewers rice, animal fat, corn meal, chicken……
Once again, carbs, carbs, carbs before we ever get to the whole chicken listed as the 6th ingredient.
Bottom line – cats need high protein, moist, meat based diets!
One of the other major problems with a dry food only diet is the lack of moisture.Cats were designed to get most of their hydration from their food.In fact, a cat can’t physically drink enough water to adequately hydrate itself if eating only dry food.
Needless to say, with a high carb, low moisture diet the door is wide open to invite in a long list of health problems like increased tartar on the teeth, reduced kidney function, diabetes, obesity and the list goes on!
A high quality raw diet is the most ideal providing natural meat protein and moisture for your feline friend.The initial cost is certainly more expensive – but the trade off with reduced vet bills makes it a more economical choice in the long run.Yes, cats are picky and switching can be challenging for sure, but it is worth the extra effort.Canned food is a good interim addition as it at least adds moisture to the diet, and a different texture for your cat to get used to.Many cats that have been fed exclusively dry food for a long period of time have a hard time switching because they do not recognize anything else as food.For some helpful tips on transitioning your cat visit www.hoo-raw.comAlso watch for our new gently cooked food to help with the transition process!Until later…..
Kiss Kiss from Hamilton