Published by: Ingrid King. Last Updated on: June 26, 2023 by Crystal Uys
Animals are classified as three different types of eaters: herbivores, carnivores and omnivores. Carnivores eat a meat-based diet while herbivores eat a plant-based diet. Omnivores eat both meat and plants. Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they need meat not just to survive, but to thrive.
Nutritional needs of obligate carnivores
Obligate carnivores, also known as hypyercarnivores, need a diet that consists of at least 70% meat protein. All cats, both wild and domesticated, are obligate carnivores. Their requirement for meat has roots in both their ancestry and their physiology. Cats evolved as hunters, eating their prey immediately after killing it. Their digestive tract is shorter than other species, allowing them to digest protein and fat quickly.
Cats cannot get all the nutrients they need from plants. They have a high requirement for taurine, which is primarily found in meat. They also lack the enzyme needed to split carotene, obtained from plants, into vitamin A. Instead, they get vitamin A from the liver of their prey. They also can’t synthesize some essential very-long-chain, highly unsaturated fatty acids that other animals can make from shorter chain fatty acids found in plants.
The optimal diet for cats
A raw food diet is the logical choice for cats, based on their evolutionary history and dietary needs. The earliest evidence of cats as companion animals goes back almost 10,000 years. These cats had the job of pest control on ships, farms and graineries, and as a result, their diet consisted of fresh prey. The history of commercial pet food only dates back to 1956, incorporating highly processed and cooked meat products, grains, and vegetables into their products. As a result, cats began to suffer from a wide array of degenerative diseases. Cat parents who have made the switch to a raw diet have seen many of these conditions improve or clear up altogether.
About Darwin’s Natural Pet Food
I have been feeding Darwin’s to my cats for the past six years and watched them thrive. As far as I’m concerned, Darwin’s is doing everything right, both in terms of what’s in the food and what’s not:
- 100% meat – no animal-by-products or fillers
- Ethically sourced human grade ingredients from farms they trust
- Formulated under the guidance of veterinary nutritionists
- Free range, pasture raised, cage-free meats
- No GMO
- No steroids
- No hormones
- Made fresh: you will receive your meals 4-6 weeks from production
- Ready to serve
Special offer: get 10 pounds for $14.95
Darwin’s has an introductory offer that can’t be beat so you can try this for your own cats: For $14.95, you get 10 pounds of raw food. You can customize the proteins depending on your cat’s taste preferences.
Use code CONSCIOUSCAT to take advantage of this special offer.
For more information and to order, please visit DarwinsPet.com.
Featured Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock
About the author
Ingrid King is an award-winning author, former veterinary hospital manager, and veterinary journalist who is passionate about cats.