When cats are fed a primary diet of dry food they are in a constant state of dehydration which can lead to urinary tract issues and less than optimal health over time. Cats are carnivores, meaning they eat mostly protein and very little carbohydrates. They are designed by nature to hunt small rodents and birds. They rely on their super efficient kidneys to extract every drop of moisture from their diet. Kibble contains carbohydrates, fats, and other additives that a cat wouldn’t naturally eat. As a result, cats have a low thirst drive and don’t drink water until they are dehydrated.
When a cat’s diet is primary dry food, they are more prone to diabetes, thyroid, allergy issues, obesity, kidney problems and even liver failure.
Dry food kibble is the pet food manufacturer’s answer for pet owner’s convenience!
Dispelling the Myths
Have you heard that high protein diets are hard on your cat’s kidneys? This is a myth as a result of poor quality pet food manufacturers wanting to compete in the pet food industry. High plant protein diets are actually what is hard on your pet’s organs while high protein diets are essential. It’s also the best way to maintain a low urinary pH naturally. Cats who eat a canned variety diet have fewer problems with urinary tract disease than those eating primarily dry kibble diets.
Does kibble help to clean your cat’s teeth?
Cats have pointed teeth with sharp edges, not flat. They are designed to bite, tear, and chew raw meat. Most pets when eating kibble shatter it or swallow it whole. It doesn’t scrape down towards the gums where tooth decay begins. Just like in a humans diet, carbohydrates break down into sugar which is a favorite food for dental bacteria. Feeding a natural, healthy diet along with chews and regular brushing will keep your pet’s teeth in optimal health.
Have you ever look at the ingredients of the many “top” brand pet foods sold in veterinarian’s offices? The ingredients will tell you a different story. These manufacturers derive far more protein from grains or grain by-product sources such as corn gluten meal, brewer’s rice, and wheat, than from a healthy meat source. The also contain by-products which are leftovers unfit for human consumption – everything except clean meat – a low quality source of protein. They often label them as a formula with a few specialized ingredients to position the food for a specific health condition but a better food would be to provide a healthy diet with daily supplementation.
Instead of providing kibble, offer more wet meals per day during their biggest growth phase. Start by giving three meals per day and when they have reached three or four months of age, cut back to two. Kittens should be kept slim, just like an adult. Keeping an eye on their waistline is the best key. If it begins to round out, slightly decrease the amount of food you are giving. Too thin? Adjust their food amount by adding in a bit more.
Senior Cat Feedings
As cats age, their calorie requirement may shrink but their need for the healthiest food you can provide is needed greater than ever. They require excellent nutrition to keep their immune systems as strong as possible and their joints working the best they can. Continue to feed a high quality, varied diet, just feed a bit less of it to avoid obesity which can lead to diabetes, arthritis and urinary tract problems.
What Should I Feed My Cat?
The digestive tract of cats are very different from humans. They are much shorter than ours and have less acid to break down foods. This also means that food passes through much quicker and if contaminated food is eaten, they are prone to dangerous risks of Salmonella and E.Coli.
Give your cat the moisture and protein needed to optimize their health. Give either a semi-raw (see below) homemade meal (do follow a balanced recipe) or a wet (canned) food diet. Whichever you choose, variety is key, providing a wider range of nutrition for your pet. The addition of digestive enzymes and essential fatty acids should also be included in their diet. If your pet is experiencing digestive upsets or is on medication, include a Probiotic.
Raw vs. Semi-raw
Raw meat is contaminated with bacteria and may harbor worms and other parasites. If you opt to give your pet a raw, home cooked meal, cook the meat just until the “pink” disappears.
Eliminate Dry Food From Your Cat’s Diet
Feeding cats dry food leads to obesity, diabetes, urinary tract problems, kidney disease and inflammatory bowel diseases. The absolute best thing to do for you feline is to stop feeding them dry food. Good nutrition is the foundation for your pets good health. Take a proactive approach to better nutrition by selecting the highest quality ingredients and careful preparation over convenience. Switching completely over from kibble to wet, needs to be done over time and may be a bit more difficult for those hard-core addicts. Gradually decrease the kibble amount while increasing the wet. You can also opt to mix it together or place it alongside their kibble to help with the transition.