This article is part of a series sponsored by Balanced Blends, a raw pet food company, answering some of the most common questions around feeding a raw food diet to your cats.
In today’s article, we look at understanding a balanced raw diet and why it is important.
What is a balanced raw diet?
A balanced raw diet is nutritionally balanced with sufficient amounts of all the essential nutrients a cat needs for optimal health. A nutritionally balanced raw diet comprises a variety of ingredients (muscle meat, organs, etc.), which are carefully put together to provide essential nutrients, such as fatty acids, calcium, vitamins, amino acids, and others.
Why is “balance” important in a cat’s diet?
Balance in a cat’s diet is important because it promotes and maintains overall health. A balanced diet will contain nutrients in their optimal amounts. If a diet is not balanced, it is missing vital nutrients, causing dietary deficiencies that can lead to serious health issues. Dietary deficiencies can be hard to detect by cat parents until serious symptoms manifest, which is why it’s so important that cat parents ensure that the diet they feed is nutritionally balanced.
What to pay attention to when balancing a raw diet?
A few key items that are important in a balanced diet are:
- Calcium to Phosphorus ratio – not only are these 2 nutrients important, so is their ratio. The ideal ratio is 1.1:1. Proper amount and balance of these nutrients helps promote healthy skeletal systems.
- Omega 6:3 ratio – typical diets are high on omega-6 fatty acids, which increase inflammation, and lack omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation. A balanced ratio of the two fatty acids helps with inflammation control and overall health. A ratio in the range 6:1 to 2:1 is currently considered ideal.
- Vitamins and Minerals – depending on the recipe, some diets may lack vitamins and minerals that are essential. Taurine, for example, is an important nutrient for cats and needs to be added if the recipe lacks it.
How to balance a homemade raw diet?
While it is more convenient to buy commercial raw cat food that is already balanced, balancing a homemade raw diet can be done through:
- Finding a balanced recipe – since making a balanced homemade raw diet can be challenging, your best option is to look for a balanced recipe. Dr. Lisa Pierson has a wealth of resources on making your own raw diet and an excellent recipe on Catinfo.org.
- Using supplements – premixed vitamin and mineral supplements designed to supplement homemade raw diets will ensure that your diet is properly balanced.
- Balancing over time – while not every single meal may be perfectly balanced, feeding a variety of ingredients that provide different nutrients over time will achieve balance over time.
How do you balance your cat’s’ diet? Share your tips in a comment!
This series is sponsored by Balanced Blends. For more information on their raw dinners for cats, please visit their website.
Next in this series: Find out how a species appropriate and nutritionally balanced diet can be beneficial to your cat’s health.
FTC Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, which means that I was compensated to feature this content. Regardless of payment received, you will only see products or services featured on this site that I believe are of interest to our readers.