Pawr4Cats - Supporting Natural Feeding

by Shopify API
Pawr4cats making natural feeding easier.jpg__PID:8a822313-b7f1-4d94-84c2-da5df21fc3be

3 Steps To Support A Natural Diet For Your Cat

May 15, 2024 | Pawr4Cats | Long Read Version 

Ever noticed how your cat can switch from being cuddly to wild in the blink of an eye? It's like having a furry little enigma in your home! 
From being wild spirits to becoming domestic goof-balls, not much changed in their instincts but a lot changed in the way they got their meals. Today, obesity and organ malfunction are common problems and are often linked to not only how much are they fed, but also how they are fed according a study conducted in 2020 [Link]. 

This article will focus on whys and whats of a natural diet for cat, and how cat-parents may support such a diet.

Step 1: Define the natural diet for the cat species.


When it comes to crafting the perfect diet for your feline friend, understanding their physiology is paramount. Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning their bodies have evolved to thrive on a diet primarily composed of animal-based protein. 

At the core of their metabolic prowess lies gluconeogenesis, a metabolic pathway through which cats efficiently generate glucose from non-carbohydrate precursors, primarily amino acids derived from protein metabolism. This process allows cats to thrive on a diet devoid of carbohydrates, utilizing protein and fat as their primary sources of energy. Moreover, their short digestive tract and rapid transit time facilitate the efficient absorption of essential nutrients from its prey.

Let's start with protein. Protein is essential for cats as it provides the building blocks for tissue repair, muscle growth, and overall health. Animal-based protein sources such as meat, poultry, and fish are rich in the amino acids that cats require for optimal health. Taurine, for example, is an amino acid found almost exclusively in animal tissue and is vital for cats' heart health and vision.

Next up, fat. Fat is a concentrated source of energy for cats and is necessary for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K. Animal fats, such as those found in meat and fish, are particularly beneficial for cats as they provide essential fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6, which play a crucial role in skin and coat health, as well as immune function.

Now, let's talk carbohydrates. Unlike humans and some other animals, cats have limited carbohydrate metabolism capabilities. Their bodies are designed to derive energy primarily from protein and fat rather than carbohydrates. While small amounts of carbohydrates can be included in a cat's diet, they should primarily come from digestible sources like vegetables and fruits rather than grains, which cats have difficulty digesting.

Finally, hydration is key. Cats have a low thirst drive compared to other animals, stemming from their desert-dwelling ancestors. In the wild, cats would obtain much of their hydration from the prey they consumed. Therefore, a natural diet for cats should include moisture-rich foods such as wet or raw food to help support their hydration needs.

Step 2: Fulfill the natural instinct to hunt!

Supporting your cat's innate hunting instincts is crucial for their overall well-being, whether they're prowling the great outdoors or lounging in the comfort of your home. 

Consider setting up spaces like catios or creating vertical spaces indoors, such as perches or cat towers, that offer vantage points for observing potential prey. Additionally, incorporating food puzzles into their daily routine can provide mental stimulation and mimic the thrill of the hunt. Scheduling playtime before meals not only satisfies their instinctual hunt-then-eat pattern but also promotes physical activity and establishes a comforting routine. Ensure that your feline companion leads a fulfilling and enriched life, true to their natural instincts.


Step 3: Do's & Do Not's of feeding.


Lets get the Do-Nots out of the way! What should you avoid?

Processed Foods
Just like with humans, processed foods can have detrimental effects on cats' health. These foods are notorious for triggering chronic inflammation, which can lead to a myriad of health issues in felines, including diabetes, arthritis, kidney disease, heart disease, and even cancer. It's crucial to minimize their presence in your cat's diet whenever possible. 

Foods with fillers.
When selecting cat food to support your furry companion's natural diet, it's advisable to steer clear of fillers such as soy, wheat, and corn. Many prominent pet food manufacturers incorporate these starchy fillers into their products to form kibble and add volume. Moreover these fillers may carry the risk of triggering allergies or sensitivities in your cat. Symptoms of food allergies may manifest as persistent itching, hair loss, gastrointestinal disturbances like vomiting or diarrhea, or itching around the anal area.

High Carbohydrates
Domestic and wild cats need carbohydrates in their diets, but in limited amounts. A low-carb diet for cats will contain less than  10% carbs, and is similar to what they’d consume in the wild as also supported by their physiology.

Dairy Products
Most cats are lactose intolerant, so their digestive systems can’t process dairy foods like milk, cheese, and yogurt. Dairy is not toxic to cats, but eating too much of it can lead to stomach upset. Additionally, dairy simply doesn’t provide the necessary nutrients cats require, so it is essentially just unnecessary calories, which can lead to weight gain

Now to the main part. How do we feed?

Animal Proteins
Cats will thrive happily on a natural meat based, protein rich diet. But it goes further than feeding just minced meat. A full prey diet will be in a good composition of muscle meat, organs and bone content - just like a wild prey.
Often the diet may benefit from a secondary protein in the bowl. Fibre is the second component which may come from a few vegetable sources.

Hydration cannot be missed. Even if your meal is coming in dry form - be sure to add in the hydration in form of water or bone-broth. Wet meals are a great way but again ensure the composition aligns with the first principal of meat proteins and no fillers.

Avoid Free Feeding
Obesity in house cats is a real issue. Another cause of obesity is free feeding. This is the practice of leaving dry food out at all hours of the day, which allows your cat to graze. This may sound like a good idea in theory, but in practice, free feeding makes it harder to monitor your cat’s food intake — and in some cases, can cause a slower metabolism. Instead of free feeding, try to feed your cat twice per day, and be sure to discard any unfinished food. Stick to a routine!

Read the Label! Choose a great food.
Feeding a raw or fresh and balanced meal can be demanding, even on the most motivated cat parent. It's natural to seek the convenience of packaged meals. The label reveals a lot in terms of fillers, additives, etc. Choose a clean, nutrient dense, meat based cat food.

Processing Technology
In the category of ready-to-eat food, processing technologies can be ranked from best to worst as follows: freeze-drying, vacuum drying, retort, baked kibble, extruded kibble, and moist cat food. The ranking is basis to heat and temperature in the process and the food undergoing chemical changes under these conditions.

Supporting your cat's natural feeding with Pawr4Cats.

At Pawr4Cats, we put feline health and nutrition at the forefront of all of our cat foods. Our human grade cat food line includes freeze-dried and wet cat food as well as an array of natural treats. There's an option for even the pickiest cats! Explore the wild natural world of Pawr4Cats.

Pawr4cats freeze-dried cat food
Pawr Wet.jpg__PID:4cc4a0e5-2eb9-4f83-8c96-9b3987062039
Zoomy pawr.jpg__PID:a0e52eb9-7f83-4c96-9b39-870620394716
Explore Pawr4Cats