Health is freedom! To wild cats, health is a prerequisite for survival. For cats in the company of people it is the potential to live life to the fullest. For people, a healthy companion cat is pure joy. For me, “healthy cats” is my mission. With my passion for cats I hope to inspire you to commit to homemade, raw cat food to prevent illness and set the stage for a long life.
Common commercial pet foods may represent an evolutionary dead end – resembling nothing cats are naturally adapted to eating. A product that is cheap and convenient simply can not boast the attributes of being healthy and of high quality in the same breath. However, what are a cat owner’s alternatives? Have you thought of making cat food yourself? If so, you have come to the right place!
Nature has given us a precise blue print of cat nutrition. Biologists know exactly what each species of wild cat is most adapted to be eating, and modern nutritional analysis can provide a complete breakdown of these foods. DNA research enables us to find the wild equivalent of our domestic cat and provides us with the fact that the domestic cat remains genetically unaltered from its ancestor the African Wildcat. We also know from evolutionary studies that each species specializes in a niche of life to assure continuation in the fiercely competitive game for survival. Together, this knowledge forms a very precise answer to perfect nutrition for domestic cats: mice. Innovation comes to play when attempting to recreate the mouse nutritionally with foods commonly used in modern human culture.
Cats are True Carnivores. They meet their nutritional needs entirely by consuming other animals. The ideal diet for our domestic cats would resemble that of wild living cats. A variety of small prey animals, especially rodents, would meet all their nutritional needs perfectly, support dental health, regular bowel movements and, probably, help to prevent the many nutritional diseases that plaque companion cats today. Understandably, the modern cat owner is rather turned off by the idea of serving their feline companions four or five mice every day, which is why I made it my motto to “reinvent the mouse” for ultimate feline nutrition. The resulting raw meat diet offers a practical and satisfactory alternative to the cat’s natural diet of prey.
“The domestic cat is not a undemanding home accessory or toy. It is either a valued working member of the family by providing pest control, or a life companion and expensive hobby.”
According to the Humane Society of the United States, 9 BILLION “food animals” are slaughtered for meat ever year in the US. This includes cattle, hogs, lambs & sheep, chickens, turkeys, and ducks. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, 13,670,000 TONS (that is nearly 14 Million tons) of beef were consumed annually by Americans alone in recent years. According to the Global Action Network, 650 millions animals are killed annually in Canada for meat. Sadly, meat is a huge industry in North America, and not just the meat that gets consumed by people.
The so called carcass yield of an animal, containing the edible portions, is only 50-60% of the animal’s live weight. The rest is waste. Millions of tons of bio-hazardous waste. Some hides are made into leather or rendered into gelatin. Some fat is rendered into tallow and grease or even bio diesel. Most of what people do not eat is rendered into meat and bone meal and animal by-product meal to form the basis of commercial pet foods and other animal feeds.
Commercial pet foods is the other half of the big meat business. It is a very profitable spin off from our gluttony for meat and has become an essential service to cope with millions of tons of hazardous waste. Think about that the next time your Veterinarian urges you to purchase commercially prepared pet foods, or you are tempted by another pet food advertisement. Advocates for commercial pet foods are sponsored by a very large industry to help distribute a waste product which would otherwise bankrupt that industry if it had to pay to dispose of its waste.
Simply put, they can’t afford for you to stop buying their waste in form of “scientifically developed pet nutrition”.
With feeding a homemade diet using raw meat, cat owners take responsibility for the quality and source for the meat needed to prepare their cat’s food, and instills knowledge not only about the nutritional needs of cats, but the supply chain of our foods. Cat owners should feel empowered that nobody can tell them that they can’t do something, like make their own cat food. They should feel empowered that they know there is more to the bags of kibble and packages of meat in the store than meets the eye, and that their choices make a significant difference to the welfare of life, including our own, on this planet.
So, this website and my work is a celebration of the cat – the marvel of adaptation, the charismatic, powerful and graceful athlete. It is also a celebration of independence, self reliance, new ideas, and the revival of old skills. As cat lover be inspired and thought-provoked by my sharing my passion for the carnivore cat. Gaining a better understanding about your own “backyard predator” may offer to be a steppingstone for a better understanding of our natural world.
Our domestic cat appears very familiar at first glance, but is completely alien at closer observation. Little do we as humans have in common with the cat. Our social structures, means of communication, eating habits, and physical appearances and functions are at near opposite ends of the spectrum. It is striking that most of us can relate to a cat kept as companion so well nonetheless. The cat has become part of our everyday lives, part of our language and culture, and the embodiment of man’s most noble virtues. As a companion a cat is unrivaled.
Members of the cat family, or Felidae, have roamed this world for the past 10-15 million years, ever evolving and adapting to be living on nearly every continent and in nearly every climate, and taking their place on top of the food chain as the perfect predator. It is imperative to understand their unique adaptation to life if we desire to understand their nutritional needs. It would be ill fated to use our own needs as humans as a template for how to care for them.
When attempting to understand the needs of the small cats, comparing them to their larger relatives is nearly as ill fated as comparing them to humans or dogs .
Cats are carnivores. They meet their nutritional needs entirely by consuming other animals. The ideal diet for our domestic cats would resemble that of their wild living relatives. A variety of small prey animals, predominantly small mammals, would meet all their nutritional needs. Regrettably for cats, such foods have largely fallen out of favor for feeding a domestic companion, and processed pet foods are far too convenient for caregivers to go looking for alternatives.
In recent years, however, caregivers have become much more pro-active in wanting to understand their companion cats’ nutritional needs. Quality and effectiveness in meeting the true biological needs of cats are becoming most important aspects when choosing foods for a being whose life is entrusted into our care. Homemade cat food is popular due to countless pet food recalls of mass-produced commercial products, and because many know that pet foods are created as a profitable by-product from factory farming waste. Chronic and debilitating health problems in cats are another reason why cat owners go looking for alternatives.
Although predominantly viewed as a low maintenance cuddly companion, life with cats can also be a very interesting hobby, because the cats are so specialized in their habits and unyielding from their needs. To an observant owner, domestic cats are an introduction to the wild nature of which we are all a part of. Learning about the natural habits and nutritional needs of cats, and making the food for companion cats yourself, is gaining you a better understanding about the world we live in.
The domestic cat is an opportunity for mankind to love something as it is, which is quite against our nature.
Homemade cat food is not a way to save money on the cost of your pet. Keeping cats is a very expensive hobby, no matter how you slice it. The exception would be barn cats employed as rodent control. Their existence is largely uninfluenced by their human hosts, and they face illness and death alone. Most of us, however, have a considerable emotional invested in the relationship with the cats we have welcomed as companions into our lives. We wish them to be as happy, healthy, and long-lives as possible. Therefore, we must accept that keeping cats is expensive. This is due largely, because the meat-based diet they must eat as true carnivores is expensive. To avoid this cost, considering a herbivore as pet might be valid. Alternatively, ways exist to prepare homemade cat food for less money, but they demand a greater investment of time. Everything has its price. If you choose to stick with cheap mainstream commercial cat food, the price will have to get paid eventually, because there is a reason why these products are cheap and convenient.
I am a proponent of using meat raw for making cat food, mostly because cats do extremely well on eating meat raw, and because it is much easier to prepare cat food with raw meat than it is to make a cooked homemade cat food. If meats are chosen sensibly, the healthy cat is extremely resistant to infection with food-born bacteria. Parasites are only of little consequence, because most are host specific.
A large benefit of feeding raw, besides the time-saving aspect for the owner of cats, is the fact that raw meat is NOT sterile. Fresh raw meat is a vector for other kinds of lesser known bacteria which can have VERY beneficial effects for cats. In some way, raw meat is a source of PROBIOTICS. The digestive tract of cats is not a sterile environment. In fact, it is truly still the “outside” of the body, because it is really a tunnel going from the mouth to the anus through the body. Like all areas of the outside of the body, its surface is populated by beneficial bacteria which live in symbioses with the host and help maintain the health of the host. A diet of raw meat facilitates “transfaunation” or the transplanting or “seeding” of the cat’s inside with species specific microbiota to create and maintain a healthy gut microbiom. The reason why many cats with Irritable Bowel Disease spontaneously recover when fed a raw meat diet may rest here.
I think a cooked homemade diet can be nutritionally complete and balanced with additional supplements, but it is my opinion that it is much more beneficial to the majority of cats to eat meat raw.