Raw food diets for cats have become very popular amongst cat owners in recent years. Our feline friends’ ancestors hunted prey to survive, so many cat owners feel that raw diets are the natural choice for domestic cats.
What you decide to include in your cat’s food is completely up to you, but it is important that you are aware of the types of meat to include in a raw cat food diet.
We have compiled a list of raw meat that is safe to feed your cat if you wish to make your own cat food instead of buying commercial brands. If you wish to simply buy a complete and balanced nutrition option from a reputable brand, try Bella and Duke‘s raw cat food.
What kind of raw meat is safe to feed my cat?
Below is a list of meat that is safe to include in your cat’s raw food diet.
Raw chicken is one of the most popular choices for raw food feeders. It is a popular choice for commercial raw diet producers, so you can know it is safe to feed your cat to ensure a balanced diet.
Chicken contains protein, Vitamins B6 and B12, Phosphorus and Niacin. These are all crucial nutrients that raw foods should contain to ensure your cat is healthy. Chicken has many health benefits, the most well-known being that it ensures heart health and provides plenty of protein for energy.
Raw food diets consisting of venison are completely safe. Venison is low in fat and moderately high in protein. It is a great source of food to prevent obesity. Venison is also less likely to cause an allergic reaction.
As it is not as high in protein as other meats, you can substitute the raw diet with wet canned food to ensure your cat gets all the nutrients it requires.
Cats love fish, and including salmon in your cat’s diet will offer plenty of health advantages. It contains Omega 3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for your cat’s coat and skin. It may also improve the functioning of the immune system.
Salmon further contains Vitamin B, Niacin, Selenium and Potassium. The high nutritional value of salmon, therefore, makes it amazing to include in a raw diet.
Although salmon pieces are high-quality raw diet alternatives, they should only be fed occasionally and should not be the bulk of the diet.
Duck is low in fat, high in protein, and a source of Vitamin B, zinc, and iron. Not many commercial raw cat foods contain duck, but if your cat is allergic to chicken, it is a good replacement.
Lamb makes most raw food diets complete and balanced. It provides heme-iron, which is easily absorbed by your cat. Iron is required by your cat to transport oxygen across the body.
Lamb is very high in fat, therefore you should carefully monitor the amount you feed your cat. If you cut off the fat, it is a great source of Vitamin B12, which will aid in brain function.
Why feed a raw food diet?
Raw cat food contains very few preservatives and additives and contains high-quality ingredients that will allow your cat to live a long and healthy life. Meat is naturally high in protein and low in carbohydrates, and when combined with nutritional veggies, your cat will enjoy a complete and balanced diet.
Here are some more benefits of raw diets:
- Improves coat and skin health
- Increases water intake
- Improves joints and bones
- Better digestion
- Improved oral health and better smelling breath
Are raw food diets safe?
Feeding raw is completely safe as long as you keep food safety in mind. Cats have acidic stomachs and can easily digest meat without any bacterial contamination.
However, be very careful when you prepare the meal, and make sure you check the nutritional content of all the ingredients, to ensure your cat is not lacking in nutrition.
How do I get my cat started on a raw meat diet?
The easiest way to get started with feeding raw food would be if you could introduce it in the kitten phase. Cats are fussy eaters, and will not welcome a sudden change in diet. You should try to gradually phase in the raw diet if you had your cat on a dry kibble or canned diet.
It is recommended that you combine meat with their existing meals for the first few days so they can get used to the new taste. Increase the meat content for the next few days, until your cat has taken to raw feeding.
At what age can cats eat raw meat?
Even kittens can enjoy a raw food diet, however try to only feed raw after 20 weeks of age, as they may not have the immune system to fight off bacteria when they are younger than 20 weeks.
Feeding cats raw meals is extremely easy, but you will have to try out different meats to find what is best for you and your cat. Before you start a new diet, make sure to consult your vet.