RAW FEEDING CATS THE BASICS OF CAT NUTRITION THE LINK BETWEEN INAPPROPRIATE DIET & DISEASES THAT AFFECT OUR CATS: High levels of carbohydrates in the diet of a cat will lead to chronic high blood sugar. The pancreas has to work hard to deal with this unnatural situation, leading to burn-out of the insulin-producing cells - diabetes. The chronic dehydration caused by feeding dry food to a carnivore with a low thirst drive plays in role in the development of Feline Lower Urinary Tract disease. Many cats receive intra-venous fluids while being maintained on a dry diet. Every attempt should be made to get these cats eating food with a high moisture content. Crystals in the urine, bladder stones and cystitis are often diagnosed in cats. The most important preventive step you can take to avoid these problems is to feed your cat a high-moisture diet. Your cat is not motivated to drink enough and will need to get its water from its food. IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) often goes unnoticed. It is not normal for a cat to vomit regularly. Grumpy cats with swollen tummies and bouts of vomiting and diarrhoea and occasionally constipation, may be suffering from IBD. We have an epidemic of overweight cats. Obesity can predispose to diabetes. Cats on grain-based diets will convert the carbohydrates to be stored as fat. The so called ‘light’ diets have reduced the fat content and increased the grain/fibre content of the diet, so an even higher level of carbohydrate is present. And as we now know, the cat remains overweight! Cats will lose weight easily on a speciesappropriate raw meaty bones diet. Dental disease is a huge part of our daily veterinary practise. The majority of cats swallow their dry diet in whole pieces and receive no dental benefits. Shearing and tearing at their raw diet with those carnivorous jaws is the best way to keep the teeth clean and the gums healthy. PREVENTION IS THE BEST CURE... Cats appear to do well on commercial pet foods, but just remember that all cats appear to be well until they are diagnosed with an illness. Diseases begin to develop long before they are recognised. Preventive nutrition is the key to keeping your cat healthy. CATS ARE STRICT CARNIVORES Cats are designed to get their nutrition from eating small prey animals. They need to eat lots of animal proteins in the form of raw meaty bones. They cannot utilise plant proteins to satisfy their nutrient requirements. In the wild, a cat would be eating a high protein, high moisture content, meat based diet, with moderate fat, and minimal carbohydrate (pre-digested by a herbivore). Most cats are fed on commercial dry food, often high in plant proteins (corn, wheat and soy) because they are cheaper than animal proteins. Many pet food manufacturers try to add back the nutrients that are stripped from the manufactured diet (hence the long list of ingredients on your cat food bag). 'The Carnivore Connection to Cat Nutrition’ is a must read for anyone concerned about their cat's diet. The average dry food for cats contains 35-50% carbohydrates. But grain is cheap and dry food is convenient, and so we continue to feed our cats a very inappropriate diet. Cats do not have a strong thirst drive. They are designed to obtain most of their water from their food. A cat on dry food alone will consume approximately half the amount of water that a cat fed on a raw diet will consume. The raw food has a high water content (70-75%) and keeps the cat well hydrated.