Before I offered raw meat to my cats, I did a lot of research. Yes, I know that cats can eat raw meat. But what I wanted to know was, is it safe for cats to eat raw meat? What safety issues make most veterinarians hesitant even to recommend raw food for cats? How do I make sure the raw food I feed my cat is safe?
Is It Safe for Cats to Eat Raw Meat?
Raw meat is a controversial topic with two distinct camps, “Pro” and “Con“.
Many veterinarians are reluctant to recommend raw diets due to concerns about cats’ safety or a lack of knowledge about raw meat diets for cats. They often talk about the dangers of raw food and have seen cat patients become malnourished due to eating raw food. The problem here is not the raw food diet; it is usually because cat owners do not have enough information to ensure that their cat’s diet is nutritionally balanced.
At the same time, not as much research has been done on raw food for cats as has been done on commercial pet food brands. With research support, veterinarians are more likely to trust and recommend commercial pet foods, making it challenging to know what is best for your cat.
Just because your veterinarian disagrees with raw food doesn’t mean you should give up on the idea. However, it’s essential to be aware of potential safety hazards – bacteria, parasites, bones, and nutritional deficiencies – so you can take the necessary precautions to prepare raw food for your cat safely.
Remember, you don’t need to prepare raw food from scratch; there are many quality packaged commercial raw foods available to you – frozen meats.
Would you consider giving your cat raw food? Why or why not? Here is a reader trying to find whether it is safe for cats to eat raw meat.
Understanding Safety Issues: the Risk of Bacteria
When it comes to bacteria, Salmonella and E. coli are usually the most significant concerns. However, you can minimize the risk by following safe meat handling procedures and only purchasing raw meat from reputable sources.
It is also important to note that cats have a very efficient and acidic digestive system. This means that a protein meal usually takes only 12 hours to pass – which doesn’t give bacteria any time to digest and becomes a problem.
Parasites in Raw Meat
You may have heard that toxoplasmosis (from venison, pork, and lamb) and trichinosis (from pork and hunting animals) may be present in raw meat. This is true, but they are usually frozen or inactivated, and it is best to freeze them for more than 48 hours; buying fresh meat at the food market is not recommended.
Intestinal parasites, such as roundworms, hookworms, or tapeworms, are also considered a safety concern when given raw to cats. They are not usually a problem either unless you feed your cat the guts of your prey. (Too much liver can be toxic. ……)
Can I Feed the Bones?
Some cat owners are concerned about the safety of their cats eating raw meat. Remember, in the wild. Cats will eat all prey (such as mice or birds), raw meat, and all. Cats can chew and digest small bare bones without any problem, and bones contain beneficial nutrients, including calcium. Just make sure the bones are small enough, so they don’t become a potential choking or obstruction hazard. (Since my cattery has many newly weaned kittens, we use calcium powder)
On the other hand, cooked bones can cause problems and should never be given to your cat. Bones can become brittle during the cooking process, and they can break once swallowed and may cause internal damage. Don’t take that risk.
Risk of Nutritional Deficiencies
Raw food is a “natural” diet, but you want to make sure your cat is getting the proper nutrition. Commercial raw diets will be nutritionally balanced so that it may be an easier option for some people.
If you plan to eat a homemade raw diet, do some research from a reliable source, such as a holistic veterinarian specializing in raw food nutrition recipes, and take the time to get the balance right. Raw food may seem complicated at first, but it will become second nature to you once you get into the habit.
The Most Important Thing to Eat Raw Meat
The health of our cats and yours is of the utmost importance to us, so we recommend that you follow these tips to ensure that the raw meat you feed your cat is safe:
- Buy from a reputable place, we usually get our frozen meat with packaging from Jingdong Fresh, and don’t go for meat without packaging in supermarket chains! This meat has been touched around and has who knows how many bacteria.
- Make sure the raw meat you use is from a reliable source, as fresh as possible, but don’t go to the vegetable market to buy fresh meat.
- If you are feeding ground meat, be sure to grind it yourself to reduce the risk of bacteria. Ground meat has more surface area to attract bacteria and other harmful substances. Unless you grind it yourself, you don’t know where it is or how long it’s been there.
- Take reasonable precautions
- Clean up after handling raw meat or anything (bowls, meat grinders, etc.)!
Benefits of Raw Meat for Cats
1. No additional additives
Additives are unnecessary for cats. If the cat is eating raw meat, it is an excellent choice to use raw beef to replenish the body.
2. To bring up the cat’s spirit
I don’t know if it is because it is originally a carnivore. Cats will mostly be pleased when eating raw meat. When there is no appetite, it can also eat well if there is raw meat. Giving cats raw meat seems to be more active than usual and has become spiritual. This can also make the cat have a good mental state.
3. Good for digestion
Raw meat is easier to digest than dry food, which means it is suitable for the digestion of the stomach and intestines. If you always feel constipated, you can try to give your cat raw meat to keep the next bowel movement smoothly, and the cat’s condition will improve.
Dry food contains almost no water. We know that cats do not drink much water, so part of the water needed every day is taken in through diet. Raw meat is a food that contains more water and is very effective at replenishing water.
5.Raw meat and bones are good for dental health
Cats are animals that do not like to brush their teeth. In the wild, cats eat raw meat to clean their teeth and clean tartar through the friction between meat and teeth. Cat food particles are tiny, and canned food is usually pureed meat, which does not play a role in cleaning the cat’s teeth and is not conducive to dental health.
How To Switch Your Cat To A Raw Diet？
Cats are allowed to eat raw meat. That is, there are many precautions, and the portion size should not be too much. In addition, the purchase channel is also an important thing. It is best to eat beef or chicken, etc., to ensure that you buy in a regular place.