We are excited and beyond honored to host the Feline Nutrition Foundation Archive*
First a little background:
The Feline Nutrition Foundation was founded in 2008 as an organization dedicated to educating pet parents about the benefits of raw meat diets for felines and to advocate for changing how cats are fed. While providing science-backed information on diet and health, the Feline Nutrition Foundation has helped many people make informed decisions about what to feed their feline family members.
In 2011 the Feline Nutrition Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit, was created to focus on education and outreach.
The Foundation gathered information from many sources: veterinarians, researchers, seasoned raw diet experts, authors and people just like you – pet parents who want the best for their cats.
The approach on the subject of feline nutrition was not viewed narrowly, but rather they kept an open mind knowing that there are many ways to "do it right" which has served feline guardians in finding what works for them and their cats.
Above all, the Feline Nutrition Foundation wanted to change the very definition of what cat food is in people's minds, first starting from what cats evolved to eat and not from overly processed leftovers from human food production.
“When it comes to cat food, everything you thought you knew could very well be wrong,” says founder Margaret Gates and over the last decade and beyond the Feline Nutrition Foundation has spent many years trying to help make it right.
Please join me in giving a round of applause to all the great people behind this wonderful Foundation. The time put into sharing this level of detail is noteworthy and we are humbled to share their hard work and preserve the knowledge that can be found within the Feline Nutrition Foundation Archive.
*Archives contain primary source documents that have accumulated over the course of an individual or organization's lifetime, and are kept to show the function of that person or organization.
Feline Nutrition’s vital and irreplaceable information goes seamlessly with our Mission to promote the practice of feeding domestic dogs, CATS and other carnivores a Species Appropriate Diet of uncooked meats, edible bones and organs. Hare Today is a supporter of sharing creditable information, with verifiable foundations at the core.
Please recall our Disclaimer that our purpose and heart lays in sharing experiences as they relate to the health and well-being of animals, and in particular, to our raw feeding journey.
As you look through information shared on our site please know that those are intended for informational purposes only and should not substitute for your veterinarians' (and I will always encourage a holistic veterinarian) advice, diagnostics, or treatments. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. Never disregard professional advice or delay in seeking it because of something you read on our website. Any information provided is accurate and true to the best of my knowledge, but (as human nature allows) there may be omissions, errors or mistakes.
A note from Feline Nutrition's founder, Margaret Gates:
"It has been an amazing journey. I started Feline Nutrition in 2008 after I realized there was a dire lack of information on feeding cats a species-appropriate diet, especially for the beginner. Along with many dedicated and hard-working people, we built an organization focused on helping people feed their cats a diet best suited for their health and well-being. Things have changed a lot since Feline Nutrition was founded. Raw meat diets have become much more accepted and available over the years. I hope we played a part in making that change happen.
"Hare Today was one of the first contacts I made back in 2008 when I was still a beginner. They have been a trusted source of raw foods for many years and I am thrilled that they are hosting our archived articles on cat nutrition and health as we wind down the Foundation’s operations. Whether you are a raw meat diet beginner or an experienced raw feeder, you will find a wealth of science-backed information in the archive to help you in your own journey."
There are many things that go into keeping your cat healthy and happy. Genetics and environment play a part. But, there is one thing that has a huge effect on your cat's health, and that is diet. Cats are predators that evolved to eat a diet of raw meat. It is only over the past 70 years or so that we have tried to feed cats a diet based on foods unsuitable for a strict carnivore. Grains, vegetable and plant matter and highly processed and cooked meat products. It's no wonder cats suffer from so many diet-related diseases. We're changing that. Continued
Congratulations on taking the first step toward feeding your cat a healthier diet. Just making the decision to change to raw cat food can be the hardest part. For many people, realizing your obligate carnivore should be fed a diet closer to what it evolved to eat is a complete shift in thinking about cat nutrition. Frankly, it's empowering to take control of what goes into your cat. It's also a bit of a relief. No more mystery ingredients. No more worrying about what "by-products" really means. You now get to skip an entire aisle at the grocery store, well, except maybe to get some more kitty litter. Continued
It is important to remove dry food from your cat's diet. This one change alone is a big step forward in improving cat nutrition and health. Dry food, be it premium, prescription or "natural," harms your cat's health. It consists mostly of starch and carbohydrates – it must be, as it can't be manufactured and extruded otherwise. The quality of the ingredients really doesn't matter – that's not the point. Simply that it is carb-laden and dry is enough to make it a terrible choice for cats. The carbs take the place of healthy meat-derived protein and fats that are vital for an obligate carnivore. All of these factors make dry foods detrimental to health.¹ Continued
I have started Tedders on a raw cat food diet and I've seen a lot of improvement in his health and energy levels. When I was investigating what I should be feeding him, I kept seeing cats described as obligate carnivores. What exactly is an obligate carnivore and how is it different from a regular carnivore? Are there other obligate carnivores besides cats?
People refer to cats as obligate carnivores when they are trying to emphasize the fact that cats are a little different than many other meat-eating predators. Continued
Making homemade cat food isn't hard to do at all, anyone can! Once you make your own, you'll realize that raw food for cats isn't complicated. It helps to know how ground raw meals are made, because commercially-made frozen foods are created in much the same way, just on a larger scale. Taking the mystery out of what you feed your cats is important. While they benefit from the nutritionally better food, the benefit to you in terms of peace of mind shouldn't be overlooked. Continued
The reasons people give for becoming vegetarian or vegan are diverse. Primarily, it's the desire to become healthier and to prevent or stop cruelty to animals. Those are admirable reasons, but extending that desire to your cat, an obligate carnivore, is a recipe for disaster.¹ These cat owners don't realize that, in trying to convert their feline companion into a "vegan carnivore," they themselves are inflicting cruelty on their cats. I call this passive cruelty, because in doing so they disrespect and go against the true nature of cats. Continued
For years, I've been feeding my cat the commercial dry diet my vet recommended. In the last visit to the clinic, however, he told me she was developing tartar on her teeth, her gums were inflamed and she needed to go under anesthesia for a dental cleaning. How can this be? I've followed his instructions verbatim. I feel like there's something missing here. The fact that we humans have taken the cat with us to live under a roof doesn't change their marvelous biology and evolution as true, obligate carnivores. Continued
I've received a number of inquiries both from veterinarians and cat owners asking about the daily protein requirements for cats. How about protein requirements for clinically normal geriatric or senior cats with a nonthyroidal illness? These are excellent questions, given the fact that all cats will need higher amounts of protein as they age to prevent a loss in lean body mass and associated muscle wasting. The dogma that all older cats be fed reduced energy "senior" diets must be questioned based on what is now known about the increasing energy requirements and nutritional needs of older cats.¹⁻² Continued
The inflammatory bowel diseases are the most common cause of chronic vomiting and diarrhoea in cats, and refer to a group of diseases. The term Inflammatory Bowel Disease, or IBD, is applied to a group of poorly understood gut pathologies that are considered to be a consequence of uncontrolled intestinal inflammation in response to a combination of elusive factors that may involve the diet, the environment, the gut microflora and dysregulation of the immune system in susceptible cats. Continued