How to Raise a Healthy Cat
17 September, 2013

Guest Blog Post:  Claude West (The Cat Man)

If you have just brought a cat into your life, you might not know exactly how to raise or feed your new feline friend.  A new cat owner may not understand that cats are obligate carnivores meaning that live prey provides all of their nourishment.  That said most new cat owners would go to the supermarket to locate food in the pet food aisle.  Here is your first caution of many to come.

When shopping for pet food for your cat or dog, the butcher counter is the best place to start for animals that are carnivores.  The downside is just putting meat in their bowls is not sufficient for a complete balanced diet.  Live prey have digested vegetable and fruit matter as well as digested grains.  In addition, the live prey contains many enzymes, probiotics, and organ tissue that are part of the diet.

Therefore, the ideal diet is live prey or frozen prey and both very inconvenient to obtain on short notice.  The best start for a new cat owner is to find the best commercial pet food available until you can purchase prey or make homemade pet food for your dog or cat.

TANSTAGCPT (There Ain’t No Such Thing as Great Commercial Pet Food) but there are some that come reasonably close to give you some time to recoup and organize.  My best recommendation is to go to your local pet food store and ask the personnel that work there these questions:

* Do you carry raw frozen pet food for cat or dog?  I have used Instinct Rabbit before with moderate success, (cats can be finicky), and my current favorite is Rad Cat Chicken, Turkey or Lamb.

* Do you carry canned cat or dog food that is grain free?  There are several brands available and right now, I prefer Wellness and Weruva.  Wellness is pate or solid food and Weruva is with gravy.  You will soon know what your pet prefers by offering both at separate feedings.

* Do you carry freeze dried (not just dehydrated or treated with high heat) dog or cat food?  I have had relative good success in mixing this with regular cat food to boost up the nutrition.  Friends of mine offer them as kitty treats rather than commercial kitty treats that are junk food in a bag.  There are several brands I have used, Ziwipeak and Stella ‘N Chewy’s.

* Do you have grain free dried pet food that is low temperature processed?  This is a tough question but some folks insist on dried food for pets.  Here are several comments from competent veterinarians and naturopaths: “Kibble or dried food is suspected to stress the internal organs of cats and dogs that later cause chronic failure with those organs.”  “I call them Doomsday Pellets because it will kill the pet eventually.”  Well, there is one product I am aware of and there are likely others.  Lotus has a balanced dried kibble that is low temperature baked.

The issue with dried food especially with cats is the lack of moisture.  Cats are not big drinkers after eating dried foods and this will cause dehydration and stress in the intestines.  One comment I heard was mix the kibble with water and perhaps that is one solution but beware dried food contains many bacteria and fungus spores.

* Do you carry unscented dust free cat litter?  Let us not forget the litter box.  One problem with commercial litter is silica can be toxic and so can scented.  Some cats cannot stand the perfumed litter and remember scented is for people’s noses not cats.  Save yourself some grief and buy the right stuff.

Want to read more articles about cat health, care and advice!  Take a look at all the great articles on Tips About Cats!

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