Many chronic diseases are directly linked to the practice of feeding processed food to our cats. Processing food destroys and alters enzymes, amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals.  Dr. Francis Pottenger conducted a 10 year feeding study to determine the effects of heat-processed food on cats. This study involved over 900 cats. Pottenger Study  and http://www.price-pottenger.org/   The results speak for themselves!

 

Because cats evolved as desert animals, dry food is especially unhealthy for them. The Truth About Dry Food.

"A cat consuming a predominantly dry-food diet does drink more water than a cat consuming a canned food, or preferably raw, diet, but in the end, when water from all sources is added together (what’s in their diet plus what they drink), the cat on dry food consumes approximately HALF the amount of water compared with a cat eating canned, or raw foods.  This is a crucial point when one considers how common kidney and bladder problems are in the cat." 

Dr. Pierson, DVM

 

 

Cats are one of evolution's most successful predators. They never needed to develop the ability to metabolize and synthesize nutrients from plant matter. Not only are they unable to utilize grains & carbohydrates, but these can actually cause harm. 

"Your cat was built by Mother Nature to get her nutritional needs met by the consumption of a large amount of animal-based proteins (meat) and derives much less nutritional support from plant-based proteins (grains). It means that cats lack specific metabolic (enzymatic) pathways and cannot utilize plant proteins as efficiently as animal proteins." 

"Cats have a physiological decrease in the ability to utilize carbohydrates due to the lack of specific enzymatic pathways that are present in other mammals, and the lack a salivary enzyme called amylase. Cats not only have no dietary need for carbohydrates, but too many carbohydrates can actually be detrimental to their health."

Dr. Lisa Pierson, DVM,  Feeding Your Cat: Know The Basics Of Feline Nutrition

 

 

Both the act of processing food and the feeding of grains changes the cat's naturally acidic PH. Beginning with the mouth (causing dental disease) and ending with their digestive and urinary tracts (IBD, renal failure and FLUTD). 

It is a fallacy that high protein diets cause renal disease (kidney disease) It is also a fallacy that low protein diets are the correct treatment for kidney disease. Protein is not a single molecule. It is a group of molecules collectively called amino acids. Poor quality protein is deficient in one or more of these amino acids, which the body cannot manufacture. In general, plant proteins are deficient in one or more amino acids.  Combinations of plant proteins (e.g., corn, wheat and beans) can provide complete protein but you have to know the essential amino acid balance of the constituent plant foods to combine them properly. And these plant sources must be bio-available to the animal. Animal proteins provide a better balance of amino acids than do plant proteins. With eggs having very nearly an ideal balance.  If poor quality protein is fed, the excess amino acids cannot be used as building blocks, and the body must get rid of their nitrogenous waste products via the kidneys.

 

 

It is a fallacy that dry food cleans teeth. Cats do not chew their food. Dry food shatters on contact  Nature's Toothbrush.

We feed our cats in ways that are most convenient for us, not thinking about what is best for the cat!  Free Feeding :-(

It all comes down to the basics. Cats are true (obligate) carnivores. Cats need to eat a balanced raw meat diet to survive. 

A Lay Perspective on Feline Nutrition

Why Feed Raw

JAVMA article supports raw feeding -- a must read!