In the Western world, most people feed kibble and canned food to their cat. That makes sense because we have been taught that lumps and cans contain everything the cat needs. And, it’s easy to give kibble to the cat.
Kibbles don’t stink, are easy to store and you don’t have to think about what your cat needs. However, cats and fresh food should go together more often than is currently the case.
Most cats stay healthy and grow old on lumps
But unfortunately there are also cats that do not do well on kibble (and canned food). There are cats that have intestinal or stomach problems and there are cats that have skin problems, for example. Cats also often have problems with the kidneys and / or bladder grit at a young age.
Sometimes these complaints have to do with the food that the cat receives and these complaints can be properly resolved by giving the cat a raw and fresh meat diet . Often a fresh food immediately resolves bladder grit problems.
This is because raw meat has a natural acidifying effect on urine, in which struvite grit is dissolved. And since fresh / raw food contains no unnatural minerals, there is much less chance that the cat will develop bladder grit.
The cat is naturally a meat eater
The reason for any problems with health, in relation to nutrition, must be found in the fact that a cat is a meat eater. Of course, the cat’s diet does not consist solely of (muscle) meat, but for the most part. In addition to meat and organ meats, a cat also eats the soft bones of its prey. And some prey are eaten in its entirety.
The natural food of the cat and feline consists for the most part of prey animals and therefore food of animal origin. If we look at the cat’s teeth and digestive system, we must conclude that the cat is a carnivore pur sang. So, after all the years of evolution, very little has changed on the inside of the cat.
A person is an omnivore (omnivore) and has the free choice to live as a vegetarian, vegan or meat eater. A cat is clearly a carnivore but a cat cannot make the choice to go through life as a carnivore. He is dependent on humans for his food.
And what is actually in chunks and canned food?
If you are very lucky, the cat chunk contains 55% meat meal (meat and organ meat). This is a fairly low percentage when you know that a cat is naturally a carnivore. The meat that is in lump or canned food is not a steak or chicken fillet, but it is those parts of meat that we humans don’t want to eat.
Cereals in cat biscuits
But the kibble also contains a lot of grain. Grain hardly ever occurs in the natural diet of the cat and feline. It does occur in the lump. In big amounts. For around 30% of the total, the lump consists of carbohydrate. Grain is a cheap energy supplier and that is why it is in bulk.
A cat gets its energy from protein, fat and carbohydrates. Grain mainly supplies carbohydrate and therefore energy. But it is the cheapest energy supplier and therefore cheap for the manufacturer. In addition, a cat prefers to consume as few carbohydrates as possible, because otherwise the pancreas will be unnecessarily burdened due to the development of diabetes .
Opt for natural antioxidants
All chunks contain antioxidants. This is to prevent the rancidity of fats. Some manufacturers use natural antioxidants such as vitamins E and C. Some manufacturers use chemical antioxidants such as BHA, BHT, Etoxyquine, Prophylgalate.
These chemical agents are also used to extend the shelf life of color films and to stabilize rubber. Other means are also used in agriculture as a weed killer. Many of these drugs are forbidden in human food or only forbidden in food for babies and infants.
Why can they then be fed to the kitten or cat? There are strong suspicions that these chemical antioxidants cause diseases.
If you feed kibble, you should therefore opt for a kibble brand that uses natural antioxidants. For this, it is best to thoroughly study the lump label. If the package says that the chunks contain “EEC-approved antioxidants” then you must know that the chemical antioxidants are also EEC-approved.
Bowel and stomach problems due to sterile food
Chunks only contain cooked nutrients. Vitamins do not survive this cooking process, so you must supplement the vitamins afterwards. Add a type of multivitamin pill. Not only the vitamins disappear during the cooking process, but also all good bacteria and enzymes are destroyed by the cooking.
That is why cats can develop intestinal and stomach problems on this sterile food.
Fresh food for the cat
In the Netherlands there are many brands of complete fresh meat food for sale . These contain unprocessed, uncooked fresh meat, supplemented in some cases with ground bones and some carbohydrates.
Most brands of fresh food therefore contain everything the cat needs.
Complete fresh food
These complete fresh meat foods contain no chemical antioxidants and no preservatives. They contain many natural vitamins, minerals and enzymes and these all help to achieve and maintain good health. Because these fresh meat foods contain more meat than a lump, this food also satisfies the requirements that can be set for the food for a meat eater. Many people fear that raw meat contains many bacteria. Fresh, raw meat does indeed contain bacteria, but not all bacteria are harmful to the cat.
Some bacteria are good for the cat. Any harmful bacteria (for example salmonella) are destroyed by the stomach in the stomach by the healthy cat. In the Netherlands, the following brands sell ready-to-eat fresh food: Felifini, proCani, Bandit, Bibi, Carnibest,
Put together your own meals for your cat
In addition to the ready-made complete fresh meat foods, it is also possible to put together meals for your cat yourself. Of course you must first delve into this before you switch to it. But once the basic concepts are clear, putting together fresh, raw food yourself is very easy and fun to do! With the right variety of raw meat, raw (soft) bones, raw organ meat, raw eggs, raw fish and a minimal amount of pureed vegetables, the cat receives all the nutrients it needs.
The cat’s self-made diet (according to the BARF principles of Ian Billinghurst, an Australian veterinarian) consists of: 70% to 75% raw meat bones and meat, 5% vegetables and possibly fruit, 15% to 25% organ meat and 5% to 10% healthy table scraps and / or nutritional supplements.
Slowly switch to fresh meat nutrition
Cats and fresh food are a good combination, however, cats are generally very difficult to switch to fresh / raw food. This is because cooked food tastes more attractive to the cat. Once pampered with cooked food and food with strong flavorings (flavorings that are often added to cat food and canned food – these do not necessarily have to be unnatural flavors), the cat will not switch easily.
The best way to convince the cat that it is healthier and better to eat fresh / raw food is by mixing its favorite brand of cans or kibbles with a tiny bit of fresh meat (whether or not ready-made or self-made). Over the course of days / weeks you can give more and more fresh meat and fewer and fewer kibbles / cans,