Do Cats Live Longer on a Raw Food Diet?
We know from personal experience that eating a healthy, natural diet has multiple benefits for our own nutritional wellbeing. So as a caring cat lover you want to give your furry friend the best possible food to promote a long and healthy life. Here, we ask ‘Do cats live longer on a raw food diet?’
Unfortunately due to a lack of funding in these areas of science, there isn't yet a definitive answer on this. However, although genetics and environment play a part, the biggest factor in whether a cat lives longer is their overall health. As with humans, a high quality, fresh-based balanced diet will go a long way to ensuring your cat is in tip-top health. That’s where raw cat food comes in!
Numerous claims are made for and against the benefits of raw feeding, and it can be tricky to make a decision one way or another.
On the one hand, cats are obligate carnivores - meaning they HAVE to eat meat to survived - so feeding a raw diet is pretty logical. Raw feeders believe that over millions of years of evolution, cats have thrived on raw food in the wild, so are perfectly designed to digest the nutrients provided by a raw diet – and actually get many more health benefits, including a better appetite, more energy and fewer medical issues.
In opposition, others say some raw foods is not correctly balanced, causing nutritional deficiencies, and cooked animal foods were developed to kill bacteria and parasites which are much more likely to be spread via raw food. It is, therefore, vital to feed a commercially prepared raw food, like ours, if you are going to switch to a raw for your cat.
What are the benefits of raw feeding cats?
The raw argument revolves around the basic principle that feeding cats what they would eat in the wild – a biologically-appropriate diet (BARF) – is what their bodies are designed for and provides all the nutrients they need to thrive.
You’ll may have heard about taurine, an amino acid, being an essential part of a cat’s diet. Indeed more so than other household animals because, unlike humans and other omnivores who can synthesise sufficient amounts of taurine from other amino acids, cats can only make limited quantities. Therefore they need another supply to prevent them from becoming taurine deficient.
Meat and poultry (including internal organs such as liver and kidney), and seafood are the richest sources of taurine. It’s not found in planta, so cats eating vegetarian or vegan diets are at highest risk. Therefore a raw diet provides the ideal source of taurine for your cat.
Another major benefit is that protein is very filling, and of course raw meat is mostly protein. So feeding cats a raw diet means they get more protein and will feel more satisfied – great for greedy cats who continually pester for extra food. As a result this could lead to a decrease in cat obesity, an increasing problem in recent years.
It’s often said that cats fed a raw diet poop less because more of the food is directly digested – so less comes out the other end. And what does is smaller, drier and less smelly. We know from experience that this is certainly the case, a very welcome result!
Cats were originally desert-dwelling creatures so have little thirst drive, getting most of their water from their diet; prey is about 75%-80% water, so dry diets, at 10% water, don't come anywhere near this level of moisture content meaning they have to drink more to stay optimally hydrated. Raw diets provide much more water and, therefore, may help to stave off urinary disease in susceptible cats, which are some of the most common ailments they can suffer with.
Is raw cat food regulated?
TABBY's TABLE is a DEFRA-registered raw pet food company and we abide by all the legislation that covers the manufacture of raw cat food. We are also the first raw cat food to be awarded a UK PET FOOD Raw Safe Standard for quality and safety. This means you, our wonderful customers and your furry friends, can buy our fully balanced meals with absolutely confidence.
It can be wise to check how exactly any company you’re thinking of buying from formulated and balance their recipes. Tabby’s Table has created recipes that comply to FEDIAF nutritional guidelines that exist to ensure animal feeds are complete, balanced foods that fully satisfy the dietary needs of specific animals. The FEDIAF guidelines are peer-reviewed by independent experts across Europe. Knowing this, you can rest assured that our raw cat meals contain all they need, especially that all-important taurine, to ensure they thrive and live healthy lives.
And of course you want to follow a simple but effective regime of cleanliness when you are feeding raw food products in your kitchen – in just the same way as when you prepare raw chicken or other meats for your own consumption. That’s the simple way to avoid any chance of contamination.
Do cats live longer on a raw food diet?
By choosing a raw diet we firmly believe you have made the best feeding choice for your cat to promote good health. TABBY'S TABLE raw cat food is the ideal biologically appropriate raw food diet, providing the closest to what a cat would eat in the wild – quite simply, it’s what they are designed to eat. There’s a lot more information available in our ‘RAWPLICITY: The Complete Guide to Feeding Raw Cat Food’ – this is the ultimate ‘How To’ for getting started with raw feeding. Whether you want to make a complete switch or just add a burst of freshness to your cat’s existing dry or wet food, our guide will hold your paw along the way.