Feline Nutrition

Life Stages and Lifestyle Diets: Does Your Cat Really Need Them?

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Last updated June 2019

Feeding your cat a species-appropriate diet is the most important thing  you can do for her lifelong health. You can’t control your cat’s genetics, but you can control what you feed her. Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they need meat not only to survive, but to thrive. Even though cat food manufacturers would have you believe differently, a cat’s diet needs don’t change all that much over the course of her life.Continue Reading

Review: Dave’s Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

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If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know that I’m passionate about species-appropriate nutrition for cats. Cats are obligate carnivores, and they need meat not only to survive, but to thrive. The optimal diet for a cat is a properly formulated raw, home-cooked or grain-free canned diet.

When we were approached by Dave’s Pet Food to review some of their foods, I didn’t hesitate to accept. I had already occasionally been feeding some of these diets to Allegra and Ruby. I also met Dave Ratner himself at Global Pet Expo, and was impressed with his passion for pet nutrition.Continue Reading

Bravo Pet Food Recall

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Bravo is recalling select lots and products of Bravo Pet Food because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

Listeria monocytogenes is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.Continue Reading

From Australia to India, With Three Cats

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Guest Post by Lisa Hall

Taking cats to India….three of them! Everyone thought I must be joking….

I’m Australian fashion designer, Lisa Hall. My label, Madame Hall, creates one-off women’s clothing from my home in the remote town of Bhuj in India. I’m living my dream life….but, it was only possible because I could bring my three Australian cats to India with me.Continue Reading

Weruva Review: Cat Food Good Enough to Eat

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If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know that I’m passionate about species-appropriate nutrition for cats. Cats are obligate carnivores, and they need meat not only to survive, but to thrive. The optimal diet for a cat is a properly formulated raw, home-cooked or grain-free canned diet.

I maintain a small list of recommended brands on this site. The foods on this list are foods I either currently feed to Allegra and Ruby, or have fed to them in the past. This list is not meant to be exclusive, and it does not mean that there aren’t other really good diets out there. It means that these brands are the ones I’m comfortable with after doing thorough research. Brands can’t pay to get on this list – you’ll only see brands that I trust on the list.*Continue Reading

Canned Cat Food May Not Contain Enough Thiamine

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When you buy canned cat food – any brand of canned cat food – you will see a statement on the label that says that the food is “complete and balanced” according to AAFCO standards. This would lead you to assume that the food has all the nutrients your cat needs, right? This is not necessarily true.

What does “complete and balanced” really mean?

AAFCO, the American Association of Feed Control Officials, is the organization which is charged with establishing and enforcing animal feed requirements across all fifty state governments.  Its primary responsibility is to ensure the safety of feed for human food producing livestock.  The AAFCO statement on most pet food labels indicates that the food has been tested and approved as “complete and balanced for the life of a pet.”   This is sadly misleading. Continue Reading

Benefits of Digestive Enzymes for Cats

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Enzymes are tiny protein molecules that are found in every living cell. They are responsible for vital chemical reactions in your cat’s body, including proper digestion and absorption of nutrients. A lack of enzymes in your cat’s system will result in digestive upsets and a less than optimal immune system.

Benefits of Enzymes

  • Aid in the digestion and absorption of the vitamins and minerals in the cat’s diet
  • Promote normal body weight
  • Support healthy cell growthContinue Reading

How to Get Finicky Cats to Eat

If you’ve read The Conscious Cat for any length of time, you know that cats should be eating a species-appropriate diet of raw, grain-free canned or properly balanced home-prepared food. Cats should never eat dry food, and the money you invest in high-quality, premium food will result in better health and lower vet bills for your feline family members. I’m always delighted when I hear from readers who have switched their cats from a low quality and/or dry diet to a healthier diet because of something they’ve read here on my site.

Sometimes, switching a kitty off the human equivalent of junk food can be challenging. Understanding why cats are finicky, and knowing how to safely make the switch to a healthier diet, or encouraging fussy cats to eat, is an important step toward better health for your cats.

What Makes Cats Finicky?Continue Reading

Feline Hyperthyroidism and Cat Food: Exploring a Possible Connection

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Hyperthyroidism is a common disease that typically affects middle-aged and older cats.  It is caused by an excess production of thyroid hormones, which are produced by the thyroid gland, located inside the cat’s neck.  Thyroid hormones affect nearly all organs, which is why thyroid disease can sometimes cause secondary problems such as hypertension, heart and kidney disease. There has been much speculation about what causes hyperthyrodism in cats. One of the culprits may be your cat’s food.

University of Georgia study looks at whether cat food ingredients play a role in disease development

Researchers at the University of Georgia are examining whether cat food ingredients play a role in disease development. In a study funded by the Morris Animal Foundation, researchers treated feline thyroid cell cultures with various cat food ingredients to determine whether these ingredients stimulate normal thyroid cells. From the foundation website:

Researchers learnedContinue Reading

5 Tips on Picking a Quality Raw or Canned Cat Food

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Guest post by Joseph J. Wakshlag, DVM

For the cat parent looking for commercial raw and ultra premium cat foods, there are plenty of choices, and lots of claims to wade through.  Since these foods are often more expensive, how do you read the labels correctly and make sure you’re getting the right food for your extra cash?

Too often manufacturers throw out the terms “holistic” or “natural” which have little to no regulated meaning. “Holistic” has no definition in the pet food industry and can be used by any manufacturer, while “natural” has limited value since it only means that there are no synthetic preservatives in the food. (Synthetic preservatives are uncommon in the organic and ultra premium market.)Continue Reading