Saturday, January 12, 2013

Caturday ~ What should I feed my cat?


Hi Friends,

Welcome to Caturday with the Primcats where I answer all your burning cat questions. Ha! Not really burning, but important none the less. ;)

Lets jump right in with the most common question I get asked…

What should I feed my cat?

Well, lets start with what cats eat in nature. Mice, rats, birds, bugs, rabbits, chipmunks, squirrels, snakes, lizards, etcetera.

Keep those prey in mind as we move on…

All small domestic cats descended from desert cats. In the wild these desert cats derive their entire liquid intake from their prey. They have a nearly nonexistent thirst mechanism because they don't need it when eating a species appropriate wet prey diet. They were designed to get all the water they need from what they eat. Additionally since water was not readily available to them in their desert climate they did not evolve as drinkers. Regular ol' house cats have descended from those same wild desert cats. Their nutritional needs remain the same. They need to receive water in the food they eat. 

Cats were never meant to eat dry food, also known as cereals or kibble. We, humans, make them eat it for convenience to us. It has nothing to do with them or their nutritional needs. It's completely species inappropriate.

Modern kibble was only created as late as the 1970’s when we really started full time living indoors with our animals. Modern kibble was created to accommodate our needs. Not theirs.

In fact the first manufactured cat foods killed tons of cats due to the lack of knowledge that cats are obligate carnivore’s and can not receive proper nutrition from any other source than meat. Muscle meat contains taurine and without the life giving amino acid taurine cats die. The first manufactured foods were overloaded with carbs and lacking meat (taurine) and killed so many pets. Sad.

A great article about this can be found here:

In a home environment, your kitty does not get the moisture it needs from dry food and it’s almost always in a constant state of dehydration which takes a very serious toll on your cats body. Imagine the state of your body if all you ate was dry food such as pretzles and rarely drank. You skin and hair and nails would look terrible. That is why so many pets suffer terrible skin conditions and poor fur quality. Water fountains are encouraged to TRY to get your cat to drink more and your kitty may even enjoy it, but it will never meet its water intake needs drinking from a bowl. I don't care how much you tell me your cat is drinking, it's not drinking enough. 

Deadly feline illnesses, all caused by improper diet, run rampant these days.

Diabetes, kidney failure, obesity, allergies, Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD), constipation, bladder stones, kidney stones, urinary tract blockages and Urinary Tract Infections (FLUTD), with and without deadly crystals and vomiting to name just a few. 

Prior to the 1970’s cats rarely faced any of these deadly issues because they were not being kept on such inappropriate diets. Manufactured kibble is killing our cats. 

And lets not forget what you see on the outside. Dry skin, dandruff, lackluster coat condition, patchy fur... I could go on and on.

Cats are not taking in enough water to prevent these illnesses. Proper water intake through a species appropriate diet alone can prevent most of these conditions.

Wet food, either canned or a fresh balanced raw diet is the best diet for all cats. They should never be fed dry cereal kibble if we wish to most closely match their wild nutritional and dietary needs.

Kibble meets only our needs… not our cats.

What do I feed the Primcats? I personally feed a Raw Meat and Bones based diet to my cats and they are incredibly healthy on it. We have been raw feeding since 2006 with massive improvements to our cats health. While I HIGHLY recommend it I know that I am neurotic about caring for my cats and providing them the closest life and environment they would get in the wild. Know that I understand it is NOT for everyone and I don’t expect it out of anyone. We will talk more about this next week though.

So we have established that your cat needs a high protein, low carb (grain), wet meat based diet.

The quickest way to do that is a quality canned food diet. No kibble.

Easy peasy. Pop the can twice a day. All done.

You have just improved your cats life 10 fold and given it a few extra years. :)

Yep. Just. Like. That.


It also helps to vary the diet with a constant rotation of 2 to 4 different brands of canned foods that your cat enjoys. If you do this, and allow your cat the same assortment they would have in nature when eating mice, bugs, birds and rabbits, your cat’s digestive system won't be so sensitive, making them less likely to vomit, and you won't have to run around looking for a specific brand when your store is out. You will have a nice variety to choose from instead.

A high quality meat based grain free brand is best and you can find them at your local pet store. I will delve into how to choose a food based on ingredients and brands I have used at a later date.

Remember that when adding in a new food or changing cat foods please remember to switch your pets food slowly over a period of 10 to 14 days, if you can. Start by mixing 25% new to 75% old, then 50/50, then 75% new to 25% old, and finally switching over to 100% new. Take it slow as they need as not to upset their digestive system.

I hope you have found some useful information to help you help your cat here.

Next Caturday we will be discussing what we feed our cats. A raw food diet. Even if you never intend on doing this I hope you will read it. Our story is interesting. And I think it’s beneficial for everyone to gain knowledge even if it’s not for them.

If you have any questions about todays topic, ask away!

Until next time…

Carmen and the Primcats


Peggy Lee said...

WOW! I don't even own a cat and I found this VERY interesting. Can't wait for next Saturday already!

Firecracker Kid said...

Okay, we're feeding our babies a mix of Iams dry and can. So we should ween them from the dry then, yes? Do you think Iams is a good brand? Oh, and they go outdoors too and eat an occasional vermin (mole, mouse, bird).


Raymond Homestead said...

Thank you for sharing with us!

Merry Wind Farm said...

Very interesting, Carmen. I so appreciate your doing this Caturdays thing. So, I guess it is not necessary for cats to have constant access to food? How do you go about feeding your 14 cats twice a day without the aggressive ones getting most of the food? And, should it only be canned food from pet stores, not the ones from the grocery, like Friskies, etc?


acorn hollow said...

my sadie who will be 20 this spring eats fresh baked chicken and canned food put out by newman's all natural. She does drink a lot of water and I was worried she was dibetic but was assured she was not. the vet always says what ever you are doing it is working for her.No dry kibble for her. her fur is shiney, she is trim, and she still caught 3 mice that made it into the house this fall. She does sleep more than she did but she is almost 20 not sure how much that is in cat years. Great post! keep those kitties healthy