Start the New Year with a Healthy Diet for Your Cats – Where Did I Start?

Once "obese" kitty, Mimi - now she is slim and athletic - the hunter of the house!

What is the “healthy diet” for cats? I had never asked this question to myself until my own cats started suffering from obesity and a food allergy. I blindly assumed that the animal staff at the shelter knew what she was talking about eight years ago when I got my first cat, Tora in Portland, OR. She said to me, “Yep, you can just feed the cat dry food of his choice”. I wish I knew better then. I could have started the healthy diet much earlier than three years of age.(Read my personal story here.)

What do cats eat in the wild nature? That was the first thing came up to my mind. I researched feline diet on-line and through books, and found out that cats are hunters, that raw meat is their natural diet that the Mother Nature created for cats. I later found out that dry food for cats was originally designed and manufactured following the “dog dry food” model. Dogs were domesticated earlier than cats, so the commercial food was created for convenient feeding for dog owners much earlier than for cats. The big difference and mistake here is dogs are omnivores, and cats are carnivores!

After transitioning my cats to raw food, and witnessed amazing shifts in their energy level, health, and their figures (slender and pretty coat!), I was a convert to raw meat feeding for cats. I’ve met with many cat owners who are curious about raw food for their cats. For the starters, I recommend start your cats with some canned food.  For finicky eaters, you might want to transition from dry to wet (canned) slowly over several weeks.

Free-endless feeding dry food is the worst thing you can do for your cats because they can eat as much as they want. You would think that your cat can “regulate” the amount they eat, and some cats do pretty well. Often though, cats eat food out of boredom and depression from their boring indoor life style. It is natural and healthy to feel hunger. If you haven’t done so, please measure appropriate amount of dry food for your cat’s body weight per day, and feed them in two meals (or whatever works with your schedule) and don’t give them more than that per day. Treats? No, unless you give less dry food on that day to compensate calories from the treats. Generally speaking, the crunchy treats contain too much carbohydrate that cats don’t need nutritionally.

In following weeks, I will talk about the benefits of good quality canned food and raw food, and how I feed my cats with raw food.  Stay tuned…

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