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Raw Fruits and Vegetables for Your Cat.

cat-veg-fruits


If you're going down the route of a BARF diet for your cat then fantastic, it's one of the best choices you can make for the health and well-being of your cat. 

Cats are natural meat eaters. It is biological essential for their survival that they eat raw meat. They are known as "obligatory carnivores" in that the digestive system of cats is specifically adapted to eating raw.

Their digestive tracts are short and they have little ability to make amino acids and vitamins in their bodies the way other animals do. 

They have high requirements for taurine, which in its truest form, is found in flesh of their prey, specifically the heart, eyes, brains and muscles. 

Cats need a high amount of protein in their diet to convert to glucose rather than digesting carbohydrates. Everything about a cat's digestive system is adapted for raw eating. Simply put, it's essential your cat eats raw.

If you're into feeding a BARF diet or just starting out with raw feeding, you're probably wondering how to get your cat to eat raw fruits and veg or which ones are safe to feed.

This is simple. Cats don't need to eat fruits and vegetables for optimum nutrition. Protein, specifically animal protein is what they need for their nutritional health and well-being.

They can survive extremely well without fruit and veg in their diet, so don't force your cat to eat these or worry too much if it turns it's pretty little nose up at your offering of broccoli.

For optimal health, your cat should have regular meal times. Don't leave food out all day. In adult cats, this is two to four times a day. For cats, less than one year, you'll need to feed them more often. If you have a young kitten it's likely they will start eating raw straight away as it's more in line with their natural instinct. 

If you have an older cat, then start by adding a little of the raw meat to their current food. Once they start eating the raw, gradually increase this until you can eliminate the other food altogether. 

Some cats prefer their food "body temperature" warm so you may want to take the meat out of the fridge before feeding so it's at least at room temperature for their feeding time.

If you cat has always been feed a kibble diet and you're converting to raw to improve it's health or help fight disease, this can take some time for the cat to adapt and understand that the raw food is food, as it contains no chemical enhancers. 

Not all cats will eat raw straight away so it's vital that you have patience as some cats don't do well with change and need more encouragement, but the benefits to your cat's health are worth the switch. If you need to, lightly saute the meat, or quickly dip it a pan of boiling water to slightly cook the outside of the meat as this will release some of the flavors and appeal to your cat's sense of smell.

It's very important however, that you introduce different meats more so than fruits or vegetables as they need a variety of proteins in their diet for their over well-being and optimal nutrition.


Top Vegetables for Your Cat's Raw Diet 

You might want to lightly steam these or blend them raw and mix them in with the meat. 

Your cat won't need a lot of these in their day to day diet so keep them to a minimal. Think around only 5 - 10% of their overall food intake. 

With a cat's raw diet, you want to keep in mind the species they would naturally hunt, mice, birds, fish etc. so their natural consumption of fruit and veg would normally be through the stomach contents of their prey. 

In no particular order...

1. Spinach

2. Acelga

3. Broccoli

4. Squash (cooked only)

5. Sweet potato (cooked only)

6. Green beans

7Asparagus

8. Kale

9. Peas

10. Pumpkin (cooked only)

11. Cucumber

12. Wheatgrass

13. Nettles

14. Dandelion greens

15. Courgettes


Top Fruits for Your Cat 

Cat's don't have a sense for sweetness so don't worry too much about adding fruit into your cat's diet. However if you want to try, you're cat may like a few of these. 

Give in very small quantities and more as a treat than added everyday to their meal. 

In no particular order...

1. Blueberries

2. Apple

3. Banana

4. Melon especially cantaloupe and watermelon. 

5. Apricots (the fleshy bit only)

6. Cranberries

7. Mango

8. Kiwi fruit

9. Strawberries

10. Raspberries

The essential thing about feeding a raw diet is ensuring that your cat is getting a nutritionally balanced diet. This means a good combination of quality muscle meat, organs, connective tissue and bones over the course of a week. 

Your guideline should be around 80% muscle meat, 10% organ meat and 10 % soft bone like chicken carcass. Think mice, birds, etc, have bones that you can very easily break, that's what you're aiming for when giving a cat a bone, not hard bones such as chicken legs or wings. 

As Dr Jordan states "The most important nutrient necessary for obligate carnivores and specifically for the cat is water. Drinking a healthy amount of water is vital to a cat's health. Two thirds of the cat's body weight is water and water serves as a center of all chemical processes in the body.

Feeding plenty of fresh real foods in their raw state will provide cats with the important water nutrient that will keep them properly hydrated.

In the wild, cats obtain most of their water from freshly killed prey, all of which contain approx. 75% water. Cats can do very well when receiving raw foods or canned foods that contain 73% water. Only cats eating a normal natural diet, real raw foods obtain enough water in their diet so drinking extra water may not be necessary. Cats even have a diminished thirst drive and ideally water should come from their food".

Raw feeding truly is the best way to detox your cat or fed it out of dis-ease. It appeals to their natural senses on every level, even reversing behavioral problems in cats, eliminating vomiting and hairballs, and poorly cats switched to raw feeding, see significant improvement in health conditions such as IBS, inflammation issues like arthritis, heart disease, kidney disease and obesity, to name but a few! Poor nutrition leads to disease.

Ultimately, when you compare a cat or dog that is raw feed to those that aren't, it's incredible the difference not only in things like glossier coats and eyes but their overall demeanor is happier and calmer. Also in regards to their long term health, they rarely suffer from illnesses that are considered the "norm" for other pet parents that are not feeding raw.

"Dogs and cats, being carnivores by nature, are meant to eat raw meat and do not have a problem doing so." Dr. Richard Pitcairn


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Saturday, August 13 2022

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