This post is sponsored by Darwin’s Natural Pet Products

When it comes to our own nutrition, we’re very much aware that a diet made up of primarily whole foods is healthier for us. So why do so many cat parents think nothing of highly processed foods? Sure, these foods may be convenient, but the price our feline family members pay for this convenience is too high.

Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that they need animal-based proteins not just to survive, but to thrive.  They cannot get enough nutritional support from plant-based proteins such as grains and vegetables, because, unlike humans and dogs, they lack the specific enzyme that processes plant-based proteins metabolically.

The trouble with processed foods

Most commercial pet foods are highly processed. This is especially true for dry food. Most processed foods are too high in carbohydrates, leading to many of the degenerative health issues we see in cats, ranging from allergies to intestinal problems to diabetes and urinary tract issues.

While a quality grain-free canned diet is a better choice, these diets are cooked at high temperatures, which, degrades the nutrients. To make up for the resulting loss of enzymes, vitamins and minerals, pet food manufacturers need to add in supplements.  Supplementation is not always exact, and depending on the manufacturer, may be done with synthetic rather than natural supplements.

The benefits of a raw diet

Feeding a raw diet to your cat has multiple benefits, including improved digestion, reduced stool odor and volume, increased energy, ability to maintain ideal weight, better dental health, and better urinary tract health.

Holistic veterinarians and holistically oriented cat parents have embraced raw feeding for decades. It has become increasingly mainstream as cat parents are looking for alternatives to feeding highly processed foods.

Unfortunately, many cat parents are still leery of the idea of feeding raw, and myths about raw feeding abound.  This article will help sort through the myths and facts surrounding raw feeding.

Top 5 Myths About Raw Diets for Cats

Myth:  It’s dangerous to feed raw meat because it contains bacteria.

Fact:  Cats have highly acidic digestive tracts, which makes them pathogen resistant.

A cat’s digestive tracts is also much shorter than humans. Food passes through their digestive system in about 12 hours, compared to two or three times longer for humans.  This shorter transit time doesn’t give bacteria enough time to proliferate.

Caution:  this applies to healthy cats.  Bacterial resistance in cats with an already compromised immune system may be diminished.

Myth:  Raw food may contain parasites.

Fact:  Reputable raw food producers source their meat from reputable farmers and test for pathogens and parasites.

Of course, there is no way to be 100% sure, but then, neither is there a 100% guarantee that commercially prepared foods are going to be free of toxins, pathogens or other contamination, as the 2007 pet food recall showed us in such tragic proportions.  Do your research and find out where the company you’re buying from sources their ingredients.  Reputable manufacturers will be happy to answer your questions.

Myth: Handling raw food is dangerous.

Fact: You don’t need to handle raw cat food any differently than you would handle meat for human consumption.

Wash your hands before and after handling raw cat food, use separate bowls and utensils, and wash those thoroughly after your cat finishes her meal.

Myth: Cats need dry food to keep their teeth clean.

Fact:  Dry kibble does not clean your cat’s teeth.

This myth just won’t die, and sadly, it’s perpetuated by many veterinarians without any real evidence. Think about this: would you listen to your pediatrician if he told you to make sure your kids chew on crackers to keep their teeth clean?

Most cats don’t chew their kibble long enough for any of the scraping action that is the theory behind this myth to kick in. Additionally, dry food leaves a carbohydrate residue in the cat’s mouth that actually encourages growth of tartar and plaque.

Myth:  Raw feeding is complicated and takes a lot of time.

Fact:  Raw feeding doesn’t have to be complicated.

While some cat owners want to make their own raw foods, grinding meat and bones and mixing in appropriate supplements, there are many companies that offer frozen raw food that is already nutritionally balanced. These diets make raw feeding as easy as feeding canned food. Simply thaw the food and feed!

Myth:  Raw diets are not complete and balanced.

Fact:  That depends on the diet you choose to feed.

Some raw diets are balanced and include proper levels of supplements, others will require adding a good vitamin and mineral supplement.  The reality is that no one food can be nutritionally complete.  Complete nutrition comes from a varied, whole foods diet.  This is why it’s a good idea to mix and rotate different meats and maybe even different manufacturers.

Allegra loves her Darwin’s!

About Darwin’s

Darwin’s is doing everything right, both in terms of what’s in the food and what’s not. I’ve been feeding raw for the past ten years and have seen all of my cats thrive on it. For the past six years, I’ve been feeding Darwin’s, and it has become a perennial favorite.

o          100% meat – no animal-by-products or fillers

o          Ethically sourced human grade ingredients from farms they trust

o          Formulated under the guidance of veterinary nutritionists

o          Free range, pasture raised, cage-free meats

o          No GMO

o          No steroids

o          No hormones

o          Made fresh: you will receive your meals 4-6 weeks from production

o          Ready to serve

Special offer: get 10 pounds for $14.95

Darwin’s has an introductory offer that can’t be beat so you can try this for your own cats: For $14.95, you get 10 pounds of raw food. You can customize the proteins depending on your cat’s taste preferences.

Use code PURRSOFWISDOM to take advantage of this special offer.

For more information and to order, please visit DarwinsPet.com.

*FTC Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, which means that I was compensated to feature this content. Regardless of payment received, you will only see products or services featured on this site that we’ve either used or would use ourselves. Purrs of Wisdom is a participant in Darwin’s affiliate program. This means that if you decide to purchase through any of our links, we get a small commission.

Photo via Darwin’s Facebook page, used with permission

2 Comments on Common Raw Feeding Myths Debunked

  1. I used to feed my girls raw, not I only use freeze dried raw and only commercial brands. I let someone hunt deer on my property, He would have the deer meat commercially processed, then he changed companies. The new grinder did not clean his equipment, and my oldest got hepatitis because venison had e-coli in it. She has almost died several times, and it has caused her many health problems over the years and will eventually shorten her life.
    She has cost me over 300k in vet bills in the last 3 yrs. She is now on a special diet and can’t have some of her favorite foods now. just like humans that have liver disease.

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