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5 Tips To Help Your Cat Switch To A Raw Meat Diet

Simplify your cat's transition to a raw meat diet with these practical tips. Designed for a seamless shift, these insights ensure your feline friend thrives on a diet aligned with their natural instincts. Embark on a healthier, happier journey for your beloved cat.

cat reaching up for their raw food

Check out our homemade raw cat food premix to help switch your cat to a raw meat diet.

What is a Raw Meat Diet for Cats?

Raw cat food, as the name suggests, is unprocessed food made from raw ingredients. Cats, being obligate carnivores, have unique nutritional needs met by consuming uncooked meat, fish, and internal organs. Ground bone, a source of calcium and phosphorus, is often included. Essential nutrients such as taurine, arachidonic acid, vitamins A, D, and various B vitamins must also be present in sufficient amounts.

Benefits of a Raw Meat Cat Diet

Advocates of raw meat diets for cats, also known as "BARF" (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) diets, claim several benefits:

  1. Nutritional Content: Raw meat provides a more natural source of nutrients for cats.
  2. Improved Coat and Skin Health: A raw diet may contribute to shinier coats, healthier skin, and reduced shedding.
  3. Dental Health: Chewing on raw meat and bones promotes better dental health by reducing plaque and tartar buildup.
  4. Weight Management: A raw meat diet may help maintain a healthier weight and body condition.
  5. Reduced Allergies: Some owners believe raw diets can alleviate allergies or sensitivities to commercial cat food ingredients.

Want to learn more? Check out our raw food diet information page

How to Switch to Raw Cat Food

Gradual Transition if Needed:

If your cat resists the raw diet, mix a small amount with their current canned food. Increase the proportion gradually, and consider finger feeding to make it more appealing.

Balanced Nutrition:

Consult a holistic veterinarian to create a balanced raw feeding plan. Include muscle meat, organ meat, fat, and necessary vitamins and minerals. Premix supplements like Know Better for Cats can be beneficial.

Variety in Protein Sources:

Offer a variety of fresh, human-grade protein sources like poultry, beef, lamb, lean pork, and rabbit. Rotate sources to provide diverse nutrients and reduce imbalances.

Supplements if Necessary:

Assess the need for supplements like taurine or omega-3 fatty acids based on your cat's health. Consult a veterinarian before introducing supplements.

Monitor Health and Behavior:

Watch for signs of digestive upset or adverse reactions during the transition. Older cats may experience a detox period if they've been on processed food for a long time.

Cat sniffing at raw food pouches

Top Tips For Fussy Cats

Transitioning a finicky cat to a raw meat diet requires patience and a strategic approach. Consider these steps:

Consult with a Holistic Veterinarian:

Before making any changes, consult your holistic veterinarian for guidance on your cat's suitability for a raw diet and to address health concerns.

Gradual Transition:

Mix a small amount of raw meat with your cat's current food, gradually increasing the ratio over days or weeks.

Choose High-Quality Raw Food:

Opt for high-quality commercial raw cat food or prepare a homemade raw diet with guidance from your veterinarian.

Experiment with Different Proteins:

Discover your cat's preferences by trying different protein sources such as chicken, beef, or fish.

Temperature and Texture:

Serve raw food close to room temperature, and pay attention to texture preferences, as some cats prefer minced or ground meat.

Add Appetizing Toppings:

Enhance the appeal by sprinkling freeze-dried meat or catnip on top, creating positive associations with the new diet.

Positive Reinforcement:

Reward your cat with praise, petting, or playtime when they show interest in or eat the raw food.

Use Cat Food Puzzles or Toys:

Engage your cat during mealtime with puzzle feeders or toys that dispense small amounts of raw food.

Be Patient:

Allow time for your cat to adjust to the new diet. If refusal occurs initially, try again later with patience.

Monitor Health:

Keep a close eye on your cat's health during the transition. Consult your veterinarian if any signs of digestive upset or health issues arise.