Cats are carnivores, meaning they eat meat – it’s as simple as that. In the wild, cats will catch and eat their prey, which means they are eating raw meat. Should you give your cat raw meat like they are relatives or ancestors?
Raw meat can be harmful, right? That’s why we cook our meat, but can our cats eat it?
Let’s take a look.
A Bit About Raw Meat
Raw meat is natural. Meat contains protein for a strong heart, good vision, and a healthy reproductive system for your cat.
Raw meat may contain salmonella (there are antibiotic-resistant strains) and bacteria. Why the increased rate? May be due to our current factory farming methods and the overuse of antibiotics in meat-producing animals.
Raw meat diets are available pre-made from various companies. These meals are typically frozen or freeze-dried. There are some that resemble regular dry cat food. Bacteria have been found to survive freezing, so that is something to consider if buying some of these products.
What Does Raw Meat Contain?
Raw meat is easy to digest and has more vitamins than cooked meat, like B6, which is a heat-sensitive mineral. It also contains enzymes for digestion. There is a great deal of protein in raw meat, which is great for cats.
Raw meat may also contain bacteria (such as E. coli) or salmonella, which would make your pet really ill.
Things To Consider About Raw Meat…and Cats
Each cat needs to eat what is appropriate for its breed, age, sex, physical condition, medical issues, and lifestyle. If your pet needs extra Vitamin B6 or having trouble digesting food, you may look into raw meat.
Both the American Animal Hospital Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association have made statements that pet food containing raw and undercooked meats could lead to food-borne illnesses and can ultimately be spread to the pet owners who prepare the food.
There are various grades of meat to consider. Would you eat the meat you are serving your cat (even cooked)?
Raw meat can be harder to chew if you have an elderly cat, and it’s probably best to stick to familiar foods with cats that are older. A big change in diet can cause eating issues and throw off the digestive system.
So, Can Cats Eat Raw Meat?
With all this in mind, it’s probably best to cook your cat’s meat unless you are willing to purchase local, organic meats that are less likely to contain harmful pathogens. Also, make sure the meat is human grade and is something you would eat. You don’t want your cat to become extremely ill or you for that matter.
Remember to discuss with your vet before changing your cat’s diet. Also, be sure to keep a well-balanced diet for the ultimate health of your cat.
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