Fish would not be a natural food source for cats – do you know a cat that likes to swim?
The Cat family has closely evolved alongside their canine equivalent – dogs, but unlike dogs that can stay alive on a vegetation diet, cats must have meat in their nutritional regime to survive.
Their unique dietary requirements means cats need significantly larger amount of protein and fat, and less carbohydrates and vegetable matter than dogs. It is essential they have a dietary source of the amino acid, taurine – naturally found in uncooked meat and essential fatty acid, arachidonic – found in animal fats.
Cats bodies, teeth, claws and digestive tracts have all been evolved specifically to align with the catching and consumption of fresh meat and animal fats. Unlike dogs, they rarely scavenge or eat carrion, rather preferring fresh meat – hence often been seen as ‘fussy eaters’.
Evolution has also provided cats with the ability to survive in the most arid of environments. Their urinary system enables them to conserve water extremely effectively, producing highly concentrated urine (we all know that smell!). This means they only need a minimal amount of water each day, of which up to 80% is absorbed from their prey.
It has been reported that a sole diet of dry food can lead to urinary tract disorder and renal failure in cats. Unless they adapt quickly by dramatically increasing their water intake to compensate for the lack of moisture in the food, their urinary systems are forced to produce even more concentrated urine, resulting in crystal formation, PH imbalance and renal overload.
So what is the suggested natural diet for Cats?
A food intake based on high levels of fresh raw meat and bones with a correct balance of carbohydrates and vegetable matter. Raw Kangaroo is an excellent source of meat – being naturally free range and organic, it is also high in protein, vitamins and minerals while being low in fat. Softer, smaller bones such as chicken necks, wings or even a whole carcass are ideal. Also rabbit if available.
Bones are not only highly nutritional, but are also an extremely digestible source of calcium which is required to provide a natural balance to the high levels of phosphorous found in raw meat. They also play an integral role in ongoing dental hygiene, as well has having a beneficial affect on the animals digestive tract.
There is no doubt that cats on a natural raw meat diet find it far more satisfying than what’s found in a tin!
Note: Cooking bones not only makes the natural calcium almost impossible to absorb, they are extremely slow to break down in the animals gut, and will blunt an animals teeth.