By Nancy Howard, The Whole Cat and Kaboodle

Do you dread taking your cat to the vet for fear of having to mortgage your home to pay the bill? Does your cat turn into the tasmanian devil at the very sight of the carrier? Does the thought of shopping for pet insurance make your eyes glaze over?

What if there was a way to reduce vet bills, reduce the number of vet visits and avoid spending money on confusing pet insurance?

There is a way. Now, I’m not the one who first thought of this solution. I must give credit to Mother Nature as it is her design. So, here it is: What if we actually fed our cats the diet that their body was designed to eat? Call me crazy, but it just might work.

Simply put, the more the cat’s body has to compensate for edible-food-like-substance diets that we have been feeding, the more imbalance and dis-ease we encounter. That’s just a fact. For instance: the cat’s liver has a unique need for constant, high quantities of protein- unlike the liver of the human or dog which use protein on an as-available basis. If the cat’s liver can’t meet its quota of bio-available protein from food, then it will disassemble the body’s own protein constituents. We often see this “wasting” in the muscle pads on either side of the spine.

Another organ that is forced to compensate is the pancreas. During digestion the pancreas secretes enzymes to help break down food so that the nutrients can be absorbed. The natural (Mother Nature) diet is chock full of active enzymes, so life is easy for the pancreas! Processed diets cause diminished pancreatic contributions by age 7.

The last organ that I will mention in this article is the kidney. This is another organ with characteristics that are unique to the cat. Thier kidneys are double filtration vs single filtration. So a clean diet is critical to the kidney longevity. A clean diet is one that is fresh and unprocessed, made up mostly of meat and moisture.

So what is this “magic” diet created by Mother Nature? Just regular old raw food. That’s it. Raw food is the easiest to digest, contains the most usable, bioavailable nutrients and makes light work for compensating organs.

So why is this the best insurance on the market? Because raw food provides the unadulterated protein that the body uses for repair, rejuvenation and regeneration. Raw food contains enzymes and probiotics that break food down to bioavailable bits that nourish the body and stock the immune system. And raw food is very high in intra-cellular moisture which is critical to healthy kidneys.

My rule of thumb for choosing foods is not based on manufacturer or flavor, it is based on level of processing. Dry food will always cost the cat’s body more than it contributes. Canned food is a great maintenance choice- great for variety as well! Raw food is where the healing takes place.

As I write this article I am watching my 17 and 18 year old cats playing with a bottle cap. They are juicy and vital and healthy. I own a business called The Whole Cat and Kaboodle. We specialize in grooming, boarding, nutrition and behavior modification for cats. I am regularly a bit shocked by the condition of cats that we groom. Thier humans will tell us that they are “seniors” at ages as early as 10 or 11. And they do appear to be “seniors”. Dehydration, bloating, achy joints, thinning or excessively oily coats, bad teeth, low energy- all signs of the body breaking down. And, indeed, without access to clean, unadulterated protein to heal and rebuild the body, it makes sense that we see what we see. As I am working on these cats I make a silent vow to each of them that I will do my best to teach their humans about how to feed them properly. Many listen, many are open to the information. And that makes my job infinitely satisfying.

If this article has inspired you to try raw food, then please read on. Not all raw foods are created equally. I sell Natural Pet Pantry at my store and feed it to my cats at home as well. There are three reasons for this:

  1. Price- there are many raw foods on the market. NPP is far and away the best value. Not only because it is affordable, but because it is affordable considering the amazing ingredient listing. A purrfect economy of what the body can use- both complete in nutrition and without the use of fillers. It doesn’t get better than that.
  2. Palatability- the majority of raw cat foods on the market are just repackaged raw dog food. While dogs are omnivores with a carnivore past, cats are obligate carnivores. Even a minimal addition of vegetables (as little as 5%) will change the palatability of the food. Cats don’t eat or need vegetables. Because many people have tried this kind of raw cat food and their cats won’t eat it they think that their cats won’t eat any raw food. NPP does not use vegetables in their cat food. NPP is a VERY palatable food for cats.
  3. Ingredients- I love reading the ingredient list to my customers. Simple, clean, complete. Created with the best for the cat.

Next article: How to transition your cat to raw food.