Educational Resources

What To Feed A Cat

Why Canned or Raw Food Is Best

Good nutrition is vital to good health! We advise feeding a diet based on a good quality canned or raw cat food.

Cats are obligate carnivores and require meat-based diets
Cats are designed to eat a diet with abundant, high-quality, animal protein. Wild cats do not eat grains, vegetables, or fruits and our cats don't need these foods either. Dr. Deborah Zoran's groundbreaking article on this topic has lots of further information on this topic.

Cats need water with their food 
Cats are also designed to get most of their water from their meat-based diet. Cats require fresh water and may prefer glass or metal dishes, water that moves, and water far from their food or litter box.

Cats can have problems with dry and high carbohydrate diets 
It is impossible to make a dry food that is low in carbohydrates. Free feeding of high carbohydrate foods may increase the risk of serious illnesses like obesity, diabetes mellitus, inflammatory bowel disease, and pancreatitis. These conditions, in turn, increase the risk of urinary tract, joint, and skin problems.

Cats should be meal-fed rather than "free choice"
In the wild, cats spend a lot of time hunting for food. Of course, they are not always successful. Our cats still may do lots of food-seeking behavior, but if they are always successful, they will become overweight! In addition to regulating how much food they eat; we must provide our cats with other interesting things to do.

Read the labels on the cans of food 
The first two or three ingredients should be some kind of meat. Many people prefer foods without any grains like rice, barley, corn, wheat, or oats, but there should certainly not be more than one. Cats do not need fruits or vegetables and these are simply fillers from the cat's point of view.

It can be a challenge to get a dry food addict to eat canned food. A gradual patient, approach is needed!

For our tips on changing to a new diet. Dr. Lisa Pierson has detailed info on this process.

This article has been updated from Cats Exclusive's Spring 2010 Mewsletter

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