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I Worry About My Cat
- Updated: Friday, May 31, 2019 02:46 PM
- Published: Saturday, April 23, 2016 12:49 PM
- Written by Margaret Gates
The primary things cats worry about are food and safety. I delved into those worries in my last post. Basically, for a cat, that means eat and don't get eaten. These concerns explain why cats can be so skittish and why they startle so easily. They know they are prey and quick reactions are life and death. It also explains why food can be such a bonding tool with your cat. Being the one who feeds her really does give you a leg-up on being at the top of your cat's favorite person list. But, what do you worry about when it comes to your cat? Safety is certainly a top concern. Most people cat-proof their house to some degree: making sure she can't get trapped in a closet, walk on a hot burner, topple furniture onto herself, eat poisonous plants or escape outside. Even for those who do let their cats out, an easy way back into the safety of the house is usually provided via a cat door. We all worry about our cats' safety.
Unfortunately, that worry about safety has come to include food. It's pretty easy to look around the house, find the potential hazards and do something about them. But, if you feed commercial canned or dry foods, you are suddenly in the dark. You really have no control over the situation. Not a great feeling. We all remember the melamine disaster and wonder if it could happen again. Lax standards, bad ingredients, poor labeling and contamination issues plague the pet food industry. The FDA ignores its own rules on pet food ingredients. There are good products out there, but people don't know who to trust.
We at Feline Nutrition spend a lot of time laying out all of the reasons you should feed raw food for cats. As obligatge carnivores, it's the diet they evolved to eat. It's much healthier. It results in a better coat and robust teeth and gums. It has a high moisture content. Your cat will shed less. Your cat's poop won't smell. But, we haven't emphasized a benefit that may be critical. You can stop worrying now.
Raw cat food diets are inherently different from canned or dry foods. They aren't highly processed. Grinding and freezing is about it. You can't incorporate the waste ingredients that are part of processed foods into a raw cat food product. There are no rendered ingredients. Believe me, what goes into rendered products is about as bad as you can imagine. There are no meat meals made from the leavings of the meat industry. Proteins from plant sources are not used to try to up the total protein to an acceptable level. You still need to source your meats with care and follow safe handling practices, as you would with raw meat purchased for your own use. You get to feel good about using common sense, rather than feeling uneasy about being forced to participate in an ingredient guessing game.
I transitioned my cats to a raw food diet many years ago. I did it for their health and I felt good about that. But, I soon realized the relief I felt about changing their diet went beyond just my worry about their well-being. That nagging doubt about what was in that can or bag of cat food was something I just didn't have to worry about anymore. I had made an entire aisle at the grocery store irrelevant. I didn't have to figure out which can was best. People who don't want to think about what their cat eats and what goes into it assume raw cat food will complicate their lives. The opposite is true. Feeding raw food for cats makes your life simpler. Who doesn't need one less thing to worry about in their lives?
Margaret Gates is the founder of Feline Nutrition and the Feline Nutrition Foundation.