Late in the previous year we decided to have a New Year’s resolution: to feed our cat a better quality food. Mainly, because we already ditched the dry food in the middle of the last year, which we think was the best thing that had happened to our cat… ever.
In case there are cat owners who’d like to join our resolution, here’s a list of all the benefits our cat saw after switching from dry kibble food to a raw diet. Since introducing raw meat in their cat’s food may be over the roof for many cat owners, it’s beneficial to note, most of benefits listed below still be achieved if you switch to canned food. So, wanna give it a try – here’s what awaits your cat.
Why wet cat food is better than the dry one?
First, few words about the dry food. There are two things worth mentioning.
1. Dry kibbles contain almost no moisture, that’s why it’s called the dry food. It’s manufactured for the sake of simplicity as it’s easier to feed, easier to store, easier to transport and so on.
However, water is essential to cats. Okay, water is essential to every living organism, but water IN the food is extremely important to cats. You see, cats have evolved from species living in the desert. They have inherited a low thirst drive from them, and are made to extract most of their necessary water from the food.
Do cats drink? Yes, of course, but if the food contains inadequate levels of moisture, cats will unquestionably drink too few. Then what? Then they are under constant under-hydration, and those are not good news if you want to sustain good health for your cat in a long run – that is through his senior ages, as well.
2. Most of dry cat foods contain grain. Even worse, many of them contain grain as the main ingredient. And the truth about the grain is that they are extremely indigestible to your cat.
Grain is added to the dry food for two main purposes. First, they are like a “glue” between other ingredients and prevent kibbles from falling apart. But most importantly, manufacturers put it in for a bulk, so you appear to have got more for the value.
For comparison, when we take a look at a daily amount of raw of our cat, it’s easy to notice that drying it would make less than a handful of kibbles, which is nothing compared to a small bowl of dry food necessary daily. The small amount of dried raw food will still contain all the nutrients necessary for the cat, except for the water, mentioned above. Not all of the difference is an extra waste material, but it’s still impressive.
Benefits of ditching the dry cat food
And now, those are just talks, let’s take a look at real benefits from ditching the dry food in favor to canned or raw one.
- Litter box stinks no more. And it appeals to so many cat owners. This is all thanks to both things we talked about above. Proper hydration will make your cat’s urine less concentrated. It will be in a lighter color and will smell less. Cat will urine more frequently, though.
Also, as the wet food contains more digestible ingredients, his stools will be smaller, harder, will virtually have no smell and will occur less often. Though initially after the change the diarrhea may occur, which will not smell lovely. This is why it’s a good idea to switch to the new food type gradually.
Changes in litter box contents will usually occur almost the same time as you will switch to the wet food. However, in some aspects, like urine color and smell, they will keep getting better and better during next several months.
- Better body structure, no excess weight, more muscular. This also takes time, and we kinda noticed it in our cat about two months after the switch. She appears to be wider, but not fat, and it separate parts of her body, like arms, rump ant the head, are more pronounced, instead of a vague, single piece creature, called cat. It’s all thanks to better nutrients so it may not be visible with any food you switch to, but only if you do choose a high quality one, or prepare it yourself.
- Shinier coat. Recipe we use includes wild salmon oil which contributes to the glitter of her coat. But not only that. The food of our cat contains so much water that it would be a sufficient source of it alone. She still drinks additional, but the point is that she is now getting enough water. It prevents her skin from flaking and initially her coat has become softer, easier to brush and shinier.
- No hairballs or other vomiting. Actually, our cat had hairballs quite constantly, and we gave her a paste to aid them passing often. Since the switch about six months ago, we have never given the paste her again and she had vomited only once for a different reason. There are two main things that assist in this. First is that her coat quality is better – less hair falling out means fewer hairballs. Second – the wet food itself acts as the paste we gave to our cat. It’s natural. Please note, your cat might experience some extra vomiting after the change if you do it too rapidly, but it will eventually end, or can be avoided by introducing the new food gradually.
- More activity. And it actually happens quite soon after the switch, with a gradual increase during the next several weeks. Our cat is more willing to play, she is more friendlier during interactions, and better tolerates unfairness when our toddler girl “hugs” her too tight. More likely, it’s a combination of many factors, but the most important we think are a better hydration and better digestibility of the new food, which undoubtedly leads to better health, and better wellbeing. And good wellbeing, no doubt about it, leads to better interactions with the world around her.
- Is that all? No! Above things are just what we saw in our cat and she was, more or less, healthy before. Switching to canned or raw food can show some improvements in conditions like diabetes mellitus, inflammatory bowel disease, feline lower urinary tract disease and several other urinary related problems. At some cases, the switching of the food may even cure the disease all by itself. The best part here is, that even if your cat has no diseases to improve on after the switch, the risk of them showing up in the future will be minimized. Please note: if your cat has a serious medical condition, changes in his diet should be discussed with your veterinarian.
And so it is. All of the above stuff is why we honestly can say that ditching the dry food in favor of the raw diet, was the best thing that had happened to our cat. Not only that year, but during her life. And, it could happen to your cat, as well.
Find out how to switch to a new cat food here.
Our New Years resolution feeding a better food to our cat (yup, there’s still room for improvement), guarantees that there will be more nutrition related articles following soon throughout the year.
Yes, all year, because it’s New Year’s resolution, not only New January’s resolution, and, most likely will keep continuing after the year, as there will always be room for improvement.