As an obligate carnivore, cats need two things very specifically: Meat and Moisture. The building blocks of muscle (and organs are very specific muscles) are protein and amino acids, and that protein in cats is specifically meat proteins. When a cat can’t get the protein they need to sustain their internal organs, they break down their external muscle stores, starting with the muscles around the limbs, and when this weight loss gets bad enough, the body will break down the stores around the spine, which is called “wasting.” A round belly doesn’t always mean that a cat is overweight, but a bumpy spine does always mean that the cat is underweight. See Inflammation in Cats for more info. 

Feeding your cat as close as possible to his natural diet as a cat will help him regain his muscle mass and fat stores in a healthy way. Any canned is better than any dry; any raw is better than any canned. While he’s getting back up to weight, as much as you can get him to eat is good, up to 6 oz every 8 hours. And, good, healthy fat boosters include raw goat’s milk and raw eggs.

The process of making kibble requires very high amounts of carbohydrates, which cats can’t use, and what meat is in the dry food is cooked for days at high temperatures, and it’s so heavily processed that there’s no nutritional value left. To compensate for this, the manufacturer sprays on a combination of synthetic vitamins and fat, and this spray is the only useful part of the food.

Canned food, while processed, is not processed for anywhere near as long. In meat, half of the protein molecule lives in the wet part of the cell. Since it’s kept wet, the meat in it is automatically significantly more bioavailable, and the cooking process doesn’t take anywhere near as long, allowing anything in the food to remain more bioavailable.

Raw food is only processed in so far as to separate the meat from the bones and to maybe add additional vitamins. This is the closest you’ll get to letting your cat be the predator he’s meant to be without him eating mice.

In raw goat’s milk, the distribution of fat molecules in the milk causes it to be more easily used by both cats AND humans, but for cats, you want the goat’s milk to be raw for the enzymes and probiotics, which are killed off when any level of cooking is applied. Raw eggs are higher in protein while still being high in fat, so they’ll be the extra boost of protein to help him rebuild muscle. You can even mix them together to make the egg easier for him to consume, since they’re slippery. A half cup of raw goat’s milk and a whole raw egg can replace 3oz of wet food, as long as he eats it in one sitting.

In addition to these boons, getting him on a more natural diet, you’ll see his poop become less stinky, he’ll be happier because he won’t feel bogged down or dehydrated, and cats who are indoor only on a diet of canned and/or raw tend to live 19-22 years! Our goal is to educate you in the ways of a cat, to help your kitty live the most happy life he can, and to help you and your kitty stay together as long as possible.