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.
Today we’re looking at the health benefits of raw diet. How does a species appropriate and nutritionally balanced diet benefit your cat’s health?
How can a species appropriate diet help your cat’s health?
A species appropriate diet for a cat is one that mimics what a cat would eat in the wild (raw). Ideally, it is high in protein, low in carbohydrates, and has a high moisture content.
- Bio availability: Raw, high quality, meat is better for digestion as it is more bio available to our obligate carnivores. This means our cats are getting a lot more nutrients from the food, resulting in less waste and increased energy.
- Low carbohydrates: In the wild, cats eat mice and birds. The only carbs they get with this diet is found in the stomach content of their prey. Cats’ digestive tracts are not designed to digest large amounts of carbohydrates. Unfortunately, diets high in carbs place an increased burden on their digestive system, and this increased carb intake can lead to weight gain, diabetes, allergies, and other health issues. A species appropriate diet will be low in carbs, which promotes a much healthier lifestyle and avoids stress on the digestive tract.
- Moisture content: Due to their low thirst drive, cats have a pretty amazing ability to survive just based on the water they consume in their food. A species appropriate diet has a higher moisture content to support this. In the long run, that means better urinary health, which means fewer trips to the vet and less cost to you.
What does a nutritionally balanced diet do for your cat’s health?
Here are two specific examples of how a nutritionally balanced diet help keep our cat healthy.
- Balanced calcium to phosphorous ratio: Just as in humans, cats use calcium for strong bones, which help support muscle control. Phosphorous helps form teeth and bones, and it also helps synthesize protein. If not enough calcium is present in the diet, it means the calcium will be leeched from the cat’s bones, which can lead to fractures, while too much calcium can cause other orthopedic issues. Too little phosphorous could possibly lead to anemia, while too much could cause issues for a cat with kidney disease. In a nutritionally balanced diet, an ideal calcium to phosphorous ratio is 1.1:1, which mimics an ancestral diet, and allows your cat to have strong bones and teeth.
- Balanced Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio: Omega-6 and omega-3 are essential fatty acids. Cats need them, but cannot manufacture them, so they must come from food. A nutritionally balanced diet will have an appropriate ratio of omega-6 to omega-3, which helps in inflammation and infection control, which results in stronger immune system and healthier skin & coat due to the formation of skin cells that prevent loss of water and nutrients.
A species appropriate, nutritionally balanced raw diet can help our cats avoid serious health issues, promote a healthier skin and coat, create and maintain strong bones and teeth, and give us more snuggle time and fewer vet visits.
What benefits did you see when you switched to raw? Share your cat’s positive changes in the comment below!
Next in the series: Are raw diets safe for my cats and my family?
This series is sponsored by Balanced Blends. For more information on their Raw Dinners for Cats, please visit their website.
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.