Raw meat for cats is perhaps the most heated debate for any cat owner,
but there are really only two simple questions that need to be addressed.
Is it safe and does it provide any real benefits.
Outside of these two basic questions, every other issue falls to a distance third.
If it is safe and if it does provide additional benefits, it would be very difficult to argue against the usage of raw meat for cats.
However, on the other hand, if it does present significant health risks with very few benefits, then the question would have asked is it really worth the risk without a lot of rewards?
It will always be a personal choice for any owner but there are some basic facts that can help in the decision.
Raw meat for cats, much like any other food that you feed your cat, will always have some potential risks.
However there are several facts and methods an owner can use to greatly reduce the risks.
However, before examining what an owner can do, it is very helpful to gleam some facts from perhaps the most noted research ever done on cats diets by Dr. Francis M. Pottenger, Jr. several years ago.
This study was based on several respiratory diseases that were thought to be caused by heat processed food for cats.
Although these studies took place between the years 1932 and 1942, there are several experts that still agree with the basic merits of the study.
In the ten year study, Dr. Pottenger examined why so many cats were in such poor health when fed cooked meat scraps.
This study started to grow so rapidly that he soon begin to run out of donated cooked meat.
As an alternative he found a source of raw meat from a local packing plant.
Within a few short months some amazing things started to happen that propelled his feeding study.
The cats that were receiving raw meat scraps instead of cooked meat were in much better overall health.
In fact, the findings reached the point of being almost astonishing based on a very simple diet.
The diet consisted of 1/3 raw milk, cod liver oil, and 2/3 raw meat and over that period of time included slightly over 900 cats.
However, some amazing things also happened to the cats that remained on cooked meat diets and really started to surface within a few years.
Instead of showing improved overall health, they started to exhibit facial deformities that included narrowed faces, crowded jaws, as well as frail bones and weakened ligaments.
They also started to exhibit as excess of parasite diseases, difficulties during pregnancy, and litters that did not survive.
As each generation of cats that were not on the raw meat diet continued, the results were even more disturbing.
By the second generation these cats started losing their coordination and developed several diseases.
The third generation suffered more parasite diseases, had trouble producing at all, and also suffered severe personality changes.
By the fourth generation they started to die out almost completely. These studies all had one common denominator; they did not include raw meats for cats.
It appears that the basic question is raw meats for cats actually safe; despite modern cat food manufactures claims, and has already been proven beyond a doubt.
But there are several things that you can do to make raw meat even safer.
Raw meat for cats is part of your pet’s inborn nature.
Their digestive system is more finely tuned than most animals or humans for that matter, as their stomachs have a very high degree of acidity.
This makes them much less likely to digest bacteria from raw meat assuming they are not immune compromised.
The first thing you should do is to totally avoid any type of packaged ground beef, especially from a supermarket. Instead, go to your neighborhood local butcher and buy range free beef.
The same is true with poultry as you should only feed them free range poultry simply to avoid all of the additives.
You should also avoid pork as well as limiting raw fish as it can very easily lead to a thiamine deficiency in your cat.
You should use the meat that you have selected the same day.
If you do not, freeze it as freezing helps to destroy potential bacteria.
Handling the meat properly by utilizing cutting boards and then cleaning them properly, preferably with a steam cleaner, is also very important in the process.
Raw meat for cats should also be supplemented with probiotics as they are essential in maintaining the intestinal health of your cat.
This will help to prevent salmonella, e coli, as well as most all other bacterial infections.
However, making raw meat safer also includes one other common sense approach.
Do not let the raw meat set. If your cat has not eaten it within 30 meats, pick it up and destroy it.
But there is one thing you should be very cautious with with raw meat for cats.
If your cat has any type of an immune deficiency or challenge, you should discuss any raw meat diet first with your veterinarian.
If you both agree, you should than start them on this diet slowly to make sure it will not present any problems with their immune system.
Raw meat for cats has literally hundreds of recipes, but all recipes should stay the course with the basics found by Dr. Pottenger and use between 2/3 but no more than 75 percent raw meat.
Blending in raw muscle as well as organ meat and then adding in vegetables, excluding onions, can make an excellent meal for your cat.
The true meat purists will argue that cats do not need vegetables, but they have very important antioxidant agents that will provide additional benefits for your cat.
Raw nuts and seeds can also be added, but there is something that any recipe should include; Vitamin C and Fatty acids.
Both are critical as antioxidants, blood purifiers, as well as helping prevent bacterial infections.
The debate on raw meat for cats has to go back to the two basic questions: is it safe and does it provide any benefits.
The studies have shown it is much safer for your cats and the health benefits are huge if you pick the correct meat, handle it properly, and then mix it correctly and supplement it with vitamins.
But there is one other question you may want to ask yourself; how many pet foods have been recalled in the last ten years?
It's your choice, but it should really be quite simple if you stick to the two basic questions.