Should I feed my cat a cat food made of raw meat and bones?
Your cute, fluffy little bundle of fur that loves to snooze in the sun all day is an obligate carnivore. Left to herself, this ferocious hunter will chase and kill small prey around your home, like mice, squirrels, birds, amphibians and small even fish for her cat food.
Have you ever watched a cat eat her meal in the wild? She will devour the entire animal from head to toe – hair, feathers, skin, flesh, blood, bones, organs, glands, entrails, digested and undigested food in the stomach, and even the head, feet and tail. The only things a cat will leave behind are the nails and teeth. This is nature’s way of ensuring the cat gets all the nutrients it needs for a healthy life.
The only way you, as pet parent, can ensure that your cat is getting all the nutrients she needs is by feeding her a raw diet. It is the only thing that comes close to her natural diet.
Let’s talk about bones today. And some do's and don'ts to ensure you are feeding the right thing.
What bones can you add to your cat food?
Make sure the bones that you feed your cat are small in size so she can chew on them easily and safely. Chicken wings, necks and ribs are a good idea. So are many cuts from small rabbits and other small poultry,like quail. Some cats enjoy feeding on whole prey, such as mice and chicks.
Unlike dogs, cats are sensible and will not wolf down the first thing they see in front of them. Your cat will check the bone thoroughly and only when it passes her inspection, will she begin to chew on it. Watch her she eats and keep an eye on her bowel movement the next few days after you’ve introduced bones. If there are signs of blood in the stool, or if your cat appears to suffer from discomfort, indigestion, vomiting, gas or bloating, or if you find shards of bone in the stool, then stop feeding whole bones.
Never cook or microwave the bones
Always feed bones raw when they are in their pliable and softer state. Cooking or microwaving them makes them hard and brittle. So when your cat bites them the bones can splinter, and the shards could possibly puncture the intestinal system.And that could lead to internal bleeding, rectal bleeding, constipation and even a blockin the gastrointestinal system.
Raw bones and oral health
While feeding your cat a meaty bone, like chicken wings or necks, she has to use her side teeth to bite and cut the meat into smaller pieces that are easy to swallow. This vigorous use of the side teeth helps keep them clean; the gums are stimulated and the jaws also gets sufficient exercise. Chewing on raw bones is not only extremely beneficial to their over all dental health, but is also keeps them mentally stimulated.Healthy teeth and gums are important because infections or disease of the mouth can also impact other parts of the body.
The importance of calcium
When you are feeding your cat a cat food made of raw diet, you need to be sure she is getting sufficient levels of her daily requirement of calcium.
By the time you see any symptoms of a calcium deficiency in your cat food, your cat would have been calcium deficient for several months or even years.Early signs of a calcium deficiency are stiffness, weakness, muscle tremors, restlessness, irritability and hypersensitivity to touch and sound. More advanced signs include: arthritis, broken and/or bent pasterns, broken bones, weak, easily injured ligaments, patella luxation, severe pain, most often in feet, legs or hips, skin and coat problems, heart problems, such as arrhythmias, diarrhea, incontinence, constipation, and kidney, bladder and liver problems.
Uses of Calcium:
Do you also know that it is required in the blood-clotting process, for nerve and muscle stimulation, parathyroid hormone functions and the metabolism of vitamin D?
Feeding salmon or small fish oil can provide vitamins D, E, and K. Raw meat already contains trace quantities of other minerals and vitamins.
If you are feeding your cat a whole prey meal, bone-in meats or a raw grind, you do not need to supplement calcium to complete her raw diet