Service Cats: Feline Nutrition: The Obligate Carnivore
MeOW Welcome to Service Cat Monday. What started out as a simple Training day post quickly evolved to encompass all things Feline. It’s the one day a week, we focus on educating and writing fur the humans in our lives. We wanna thank all of you fur your questions, comments and readership this past year. Keep the questions comin’. ‘Member, the only dumb question is the one not asked. This will be the last Service Cat Monday post of the year 2017. But, don’t worry, this series will return fur 2018. We haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of the complexities of the Feline Behavior (pun intended). That bein’ said, let’s get the business outta the way and get on with today’s post. The followin’ post will be written in human English fur reader and translator ease. Our Service Cat Monday posts aren’t intended to be an all inclusive Trainin’ Manual but rather Tips, Tricks and Techniques used/developed by mommy A thru her many years of animal trainin’, cats in purrticular. And to offur insight into your questions about Feline Behavior. Ifin you have any questions or topics you would like us to cover, purrlease let us know in the comments section or send us an email. When asking behavioral questions, purrlease be as specific as pawssible. And, ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in this series, you can ketch up by clickin’ the links at the end of this post. Always remember, Training is all ‘bout Repetition and Rewards.
We get asked a lot about food and proper nutrition for us kitties. As most of you know, we eat a raw freeze dried food and are adamantly opposed to feeding any kitty a kibble only diet. And as most of you also know, we have semi scheduled feedings and don’t believe in leaving food out all the time for kitty. What we mean by Semi-Scheduled, is that we eat at specific times a day. Altho’ breakfast is served when mommy can get up and make our plates, dinner is almost always served within a hour of the same time each day. Those plates are available for a limited time and then empty or not, they disappear until the next meal time when they are replaced with a fresh plate of food. One comparison you can make between kitties and humans is, if you can sleep without getting up to eat, so can we.
To understand kitty’s nutritional needs, we must look at the feline roots, the wildcat from whence we came. We believe in creation, and that God created the first cats. However, you want to see it, Cats exist and are among the few True Carnivores. We call them Obligate Carnivores, meaning they MUST eat meat to survive. The dictionary says this about Obligate: Biologically essential for survival. Cats Can Not live much less Thrive on a vegan or vegetarian diet. A cat’s teeth are designed to rip flesh and chew meat, muscle and tendons. The cat’s tongue is barbed to help it remove fur and feathers from their prey. Cats lack the physiology required to break down or digest vegetation, starches and/or some carbohydrates.
Cats’ require certain Amino Acids such as Taurine, Tryptophan and Arginine that is found in animal flesh. While the human body is capable of breaking down carbs and producing certain Amino Acids on it’s own, the cat must get those from their food. A cat who doesn’t get the required nutrients in their diet, may go blind, suffer muscle loss, other illnesses and even die. A cat in the wild, will also get moisture from their prey. Cats consume blood, predigested vegetation and other wet contents from their kill. This practice has led to a smaller liquid intake by cats and more concentrated urine. We’re all familiar with the overwhelming smell of cat urine. However, fresh water should still be available for kitty at all times.
(Meat Meal) Looks more like chicken feed than somethin’ us
kitties can sink our teethies into.
So, let’s take a look at Kibble. It’s a well known fact that the first three ingredients listed make up the largest part of a food/feed. Now we know every bag of kibble lists a moisture content. But, we also know anyone who has ever touched a piece knows there’s nothing moist about kibble. If you were to put a piece of kibble in a spoon full of water, the kibble would soak up all the liquid in no time. So, imagine what it’s doing inside kitty who never drinks their 8 glasses of water a day (mol). No, kitties don’t need 8 glasses of water a day, that part was a joke. But seriously, cats don’t always drink enough water, so when kitty eats something that will absorb any liquid around it, it’s a disaster waiting to happen.
Some grain free options. Does a kitty look like a rabbit?
There are 2 basic diets available, regular and grain free. Grain free diets commonly include starches such as potatoes. As we pointed out earlier, cat’s generally Do Not have the ability to break these down. An inability to digest these starches in cats may cause kitty to become gassy, have diarrhea or bloat. Kibble may also cause kitty to gain weight and be at risk of becoming obese. Kibble only diets also increase kitty’s risk of Urinary problems. For many years now, it’s been known that a lot of the pet food manufacturers use less than desirable ingredients in their kibble and even canned feeds. The laws protecting animals and ensuring the quality of food are too often not enforced. Animals that have been euthanized or died from illnesses/disease are often used in the manufacturing of pet feed. Even companies that charge outrageously for their products are guilty of these practices.
Me hopes mommy doesn’t ketch me cleanin’ Raena’s plate.
Even more alarming than the above is what happens to a kitty when kibble is left available at all times. Contrary to the belief that kitty will go hungry overnight, or while you’re away at work, we kitty’s were never intended to eat 24/7. And believe it or not, we can even last a few extra hours when you’re running late. Most kitties can safely go without a meal every now and then without any harm or danger to their health (Only healthy cats, not those affected by an illness or disease. Please speak with a VET before fasting any cat who is sick). Let’s talk about kitty’s sniffer and food for a minute. When kitty smells food, a chemical reaction happens that causes kitty’s body to produce needed acids to break down the food for use. When food is left out all the time, kitty’s brain is on overload. The body can quit producing those acids or over produce them which can lead to illness, obesity and even death. A hunting cat isn’t always successful and may not eat every day. We’re not suggesting you fast kitty, but we are saying, kitty doesn’t need to eat all day and night.
Dry Freeze dried Primal (not recommended by manufacturer).
Now we luv the gravy.
A few years ago, me was a grain free kibble eating kitty. Until that is, me got sick and mommy learned me’s urine pH was off the Alkaline charts. Me was on a Semi-Scheduled feeding, but me’s body just couldn’t break down all those potatoes. Me was stubborn and didn’t want to give up me’s kibble. Thankfully, mommy’s more stubborn than me and knew what was best. While we don’t recommend it, mommy began to feed me the Freeze Dried Raw food…DRY. Freeze Dried raw should be reconstituted with water or broth. However, me just wouldn’t eat it, so mommy left it as is. About a week later, mommy began serving me’s freeze dried raw on a damp/wet plate. A week later she used her fingers to sprinkle water across the top. The next week, she added a spoonful of water and so on. Now me can’t imagine eating a food without that delicious gravy. The more the better me meows.
We also added water fountains to make drinking more appealing and fun. After much research and many calls to pet food manufacturers about their ingredients and manufacturing policies, we eat and recommend the Primal line of foods. They truly use human grade ingredients. Yes, it costs a bit more than kibble or canned, but it’s the next best thing to mommy making our food herself. And, for those who don’t want to touch raw ingredients or need easy raw food due to travel, it’s convenient. Me’s urine pH is healthy and normal now, and Raena and me are generally healthy and happy.
Me’s lappin’ up the last of the gravy so mommy can add more.
If you’re not ready to make the Raw leap, canned food is the next best choice. It is a myth that kibble cleans kitty’s teeth. It is also a myth that a Persian cat and a Siamese cat have different nutritional needs or require breed specific formulas. That’s one of the craziest money grabbing schemes we’ve ever heard. All Cats are Obligate Carnivores and therefore require the same nutrition…MEAT. Not meat by products or meat meal made up of some unknown animal parts or plant proteins. Mommy says when deciding what meats to feed us, she likes to think about our wild ancestors. She asks the question, What kind of meat would kitty hunt for if left to their own devices? Very few cats actually fish. Most of a cat’s food sources come from land mammals who eat both meat and vegetation and supply kitty with all the nutrition he/she requires.
Well we do hope this has helped some of ya’. Obviously, this is a huge topic and there’s much more we could have added. So, ifin ya’ want us to expound more, let us know. Fur now, we’re gonna wrap this up and do some more Christmas purrep. Don’t furget to leave your questions, comments and/or topics below or send us an email. And, you can ketch up on any posty you may have missed by clickin’ the links below. One last thing, our Blessing today is Good Food and Nutrition. Fanks mommy, fur lookin’ out fur us.
Till the next time…………………………………………Be Blest!!!
Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses
Deztinee and RaenaBelle
When the Handler Dies Proper Training Methods Pt. 1 & Pt. 2
Discipline: Stop Countersurfing Kitty Internal Disputes
The Rest of the Story Raena & the Wheelchair Pt. 1 Pt. 2 Pt. 3 Pt. 4
Stop Kitty’s Begging Calling For Help Options Pt. 1
Going for a Walk When in a Wheelchair Calming the Tiger Pt.1 Pt. 2 Pt. 3
Posted on December 11, 2017, in Blessing Train, Blog Hops, Educational, Human Speak, Nutrition, Questions & Answers, Service Cats and tagged #BlessingTrain, #ServiceCats, #TrainingTechniques, #TrainingTips, Cats, Deztinee, Feeding Kitty, Feline Nutrition, Freeze Dried Raw, Nutrition, Primal, RaenaBelle. Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.