Raw Cat Food Diet

If you have been keenly following pet food trends, you might have noticed a growing trend of feeding the best raw food diet. At first, when I first came across this, I did not think anything of it. After all, cats are animals, and yes, they are created to eat raw food. As a matter of fact, eating cooked food is a luxury and not a necessity.

Now you might be shocked at my thinking and probably do not expect that from me. But if we are being honest, this was the first thing that popped into my mind. And yes I am a proud cat owner. It wasn’t after a little research that I came across controversies and heated debates surrounding the raw foods diets.

Raw Cat Food Diet Comparison Table

NameMain IngredientsProteinFatFiberPricing
Stella and Chewy’sDuck with Ground Bone, Turkey, Turkey Liver, Goose, Turkey Gizzard, Pumpkin Seed40%30%2%Click Here
Instinct Raw Boost Grain Free Recipe Natural Dry Cat Food by Nature's VarietyChicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Peas, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid)43%20%3.5%Click Here
Wellness TruFood Tasty Pairings Natural Grain Free Wet Raw Cat FoodChicken Broth, Water Sufficient For Processing, Chicken, Carrots, Potato Starch, Chicken Liver5%2%1.8%Click Here
Primal Pet Foods Freeze-Dried Feline Chicken and Salmon FormulaChicken, Chicken Necks, Chicken Gizzards, Salmon, Chicken Livers, Organic Kale, Organic Squash52%32%1%Click Here
Instinct Raw Boost Grain Free Recipe Natural Dry Cat Food by Nature's VarietyChicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Peas, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid)43%20%3.5%Click Here
The Honest Kitchen Human Grade Dehydrated Grain Free Cat FoodChicken, eggs, potatoes, sweet potatoes, organic flaxseed, pumpkin, spinach39%28%2.4%Click Here
Merrick Backcountry Dry Cat FoodDeboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Potatoes, Peas, Natural Flavor, Salmon Meal (source of Omega-3 fatty acids)42%14%4%Click Here

The formula is great for all cat breeds and cats of all ages. It focuses on the basics of a raw diet and includes vitamins, fats, and proteins - And so makes our list of the best raw cat food diet. 

This is a freeze dried raw food that is perfect for your feline. It comes in a 12 oz. packaging and contains meat from organic poultry. The product contains no hormones, antibiotics, artificial preservatives, glutens, colouring, and grains. In addition to this, it also contains minerals and vitamins. It is perfect for cats that have fairly sensitive digestive systems and offer your cat all the nutrition it needs

The perfect way to serve the meal is by mixing it with water and transitioning your cat gradually from its normal diet to this food.  Your cat is bound to enjoy the meal.

Pros

  • It is organic and free of preservatives
  • It contains 12 oz. of raw food
  • It is nutritious and is laced with minerals and vitamins
  • Is perfect for felines with sensitive digestive systems

Cons

  • Your cat may not love the texture

Nature's Variety offers high-quality cat food. However, of all the foods they produce, the Instinct Raw Boost chicken formula is by far the best. Actually, it is one of the best raw cat food.

It is high in minerals, fats, vitamins, Omega 3 and Omega 6 acids, probiotics and antioxidants. The meal is without a doubt one of the best and most popular with cats and cat parents.

It provides well-balanced nutrition and is perfect for cats of all ages. In addition to this, it is worth noting that the product also works to stimulate the immune and digestive system. It is devoid of wheat, corn, soy, gluten, grains, and preservatives.

Pros

  • It is highly nutritious and made from high quality food
  • Does not contain preservatives, gluten, soy, grain and wheat
  • Stimulates the immune system

Cons

  • It is slightly expensive

These are among the best raw cat food brands in the industry. The company is known for producing high quality and nutritious foods. This Wet Raw Cat food contains carrots, chicken meat and chicken liver which make the best raw cat food diet.

The packaging of this raw food includes 24 wet meals each weighing 3 ounces and containing a well-balanced diet of vegetable and meat products.

The ingredients contained in the food are from all-natural meat and vegetables. The balanced diet is free of grain which tends to excite allergies in cats. If you are in search of the best raw cat food for your furry companion, then you should consider this product.

Pros

  • It is free from grains
  • It contains natural vegetables and meats
  • It is broken down into 24 sufficient meal portions

Cons

  • It can be a bit strong for your cat

If you are concerned about the health of your cat, your research might have led you to paleo diet – raw food diet for cats. While here, you must have come across the Primal Pet Foods. They are among the best in the industry and produce both raw food diets for cats and dogs. Over the years, the company has risen through the ranks of the best pet food company and has built a reputation that precedes itself. Its high and strict quality standards have contributed majorly to this.

Primal only uses fresh ingredients to produce its raw foods. They use organic produce, minerals and some unrefined minerals. This raw food provides a balanced diet to cats of all ages. It contains salmon and chicken raised without added hormones or antibiotics.

It is also worth noting that the product is free of gluten, corn, wheat, soy, and grain. It is filler free and as such protects your cat from allergic reactions.

Pros

  • It is organic
  • It contains chicken and salmon laced with essential minerals and vitamins
  • It is free of wheat, corn, and gluten
  • Great for all cat ages

Cons

  • You will need to buy extra as cats love them

If you are thinking of transitioning to raw cat food diet, this is yet another great raw food diet. It is made with a perfect blend of high protein kibble and frozen, dried raw pieces of all in one formula. It is available in two and three regular indoor formulas

Nature’s Variety is a pet food company that has made a name for itself over the years. The company is dedicated to providing your cat with all its nutritional needs. It follows strict quality and production standards. This strictness shines through the quality of food it makes. The company avails two brands namely Prairie and Instinct. The Prairie features premium proteins in all natural recipes, but affordable while Instinct features raw frozen diets.

Pros

  • It is grain free and contains natural ingredients
  • It has probiotic boosts and ore antioxidants
  • It is made in the USA

Cons

  • It is very dry and you will need water nearby

This is not exactly an old company compared to the others listed above. But despite it being fairly new in the industry, it has caused significant ripples in the pet food industry. It is currently one of the top-rated food brands available. They offer pet food with an ‘Honest Difference.'

This Grain-Free Chicken Cat Food is a complete balanced diet for adult cats. It contains sweet potato, eggs, dehydrated chicken and organic flax. It also features supplements to complete the balanced diet.

 A 4-pound box of this cat food comes with a total of fresh ingredients devoid of soy products, wheat, corn and artificial preservatives.

Pros

  • High-quality food
  • No grain and wheat
  • Best for adult cats
  • High nutritional value from both vegetables and meat

Cons


Merrick is not as popular as the other brands, but it still does wonders. This product is designed to provide your feline with the best raw food nutrition possible. The number one ingredient in this food is real deboned chicken.

The poultry pieces are freeze-dried to ensure that the fresh taste is locked in. Additionally, this raw food comes free of grain and gluten. This makes it easier to digest. Last but not least, the food also contains some Omega fatty acids which help to keep your cat’s fur shiny all through.

The raw food is prepared in the USA and contains no ingredients from China. You can trust in the quality of this food.

Pros

  • It contains real deboned chicken
  • It is grain and gluten-free
  • Contains additional nutrients to meet your cat’s needs

Cons

  • May contain very few raw bits
  • Some cats may not like the taste and texture

Advantages and Disadvantages of Raw Cat Food

But before you make any changes to your cat’s diet, it is imperative that you consider the pros and cons of the raw food cat diet. While raw foods have health benefits, there are some risks that you cannot afford to ignore.

Benefits

  • Similar to Natural Cat Diet

This diet is the closest one might get to a natural cat’s food. Cats are carnivorous. This is to mean that your cat’s digestive system is designed to process meat and animal products and not plant products. Professionals who have studied wild cats say that wild cats get their carbs from the stomach contents of the prey they fell. This works for them since the food is already partially digested. A diet high in carbs and fibre is thus pretty unnatural for your cat.

  • Improved Nutrition

Living on a raw food diet, your cat, like mine will register an improvement in health. Commercial raw food diets contain nutrients that are designed to meet the needs of your cat. The meats and bone (raw) are loaded up with vitamins, digestive minerals, and proteins – all nutrients that your cat needs to lead a healthy life. With the nutrients coming from high-quality food sources, you will notice your cat having more energy and its immune system improving. The coat of your cat will be shinier, and the teeth will be cleaner and breath will be fresher.

Cons

  • Reduced Shelf Life

Raw cat food does not last as long as dry kibble. To extend its shelf life, it has to be refrigerated or at the very least frozen. And even then, it will last for about 3-5 days after it has been thawed. Dry kibble, on the other hand, can last for weeks if not months once it has been opened.

  • Cost

Raw food is expensive in contrast to traditional kibble. For instance, a large bag of kibble lasting for about one month may cost about $20. This translates to about $0.6 a day. With raw cat food, you should expect to spend anything between $1 and $3.5 daily depending on the brand of the food and your cat size.

  • Risk of Contamination

With raw food, the risk of contamination is high. Eggs and raw meet require high standards of handling and safety to reduce the risk of contamination. However, these risks are directed to cat parents and all who will handle the food. Your cat can tolerate bacterial infection better than you can.

But in all truth, handling raw cat food is no different from handling food you prepare for your family. When you follow all safety protocols, you should not have problems with raw foods. In addition to this, you should note that the commercial raw foods come with instructions for safe handling of the foods.

What You Will Learn

Raw food, as the name suggests are uncooked and as such still contain their nutrients. Your cat’s body will fast absorb these nutrients. That said, before you jump on the bandwagon and decide raw food diet is perfect for your cat, you should learn the pros and cons associated with this diet. In this piece, we shall go through lots of useful information and review some of the top brands available on the market.

Most arguments actually make sense. Some animal nutritionists and vets question the safety of feeding cats and pets in general, raw bones and meat. They state that there is a risk of contracting food-borne diseases as well as contaminating and negatively affecting cat parents like you and anyone who handles the raw food diet.

But on the flip side of the coin, (a more in-depth research will reveal this), raw food cat diets actually come bearing lots of benefits for cats. Professional pet nutritionists state that raw food work to improve the digestion of cats and overall cat health. Additionally, raw food gives cats a massive energy boost thus improving activity in kittens and adult and tired cats.

What are These Foods?

It is exactly what you imagine. It is a diet that includes uncooked and raw foods. While to you, a caring cat parent used to cooked packaged food, this might sound unnatural, take a pause for a moment and consider that this is the same food wild cats feed on. As a matter of fact, when you give it some deep thought, feeding your cat on dry kibble is what is unnatural.

In the industry today, manufacturers are developing and creating foods they label as biologically appropriate diets. These are high-grade foods that mimic the type of diets wild cats have. This is the diet that cat’s digestive system was designed for.

For your cat, raw food will consist mainly of raw bone and meat. The meat, in this case, will consist of more than just the muscles and skin tissue. It also includes cartilage, connective tissue, and ligaments – the whole 9 yards. Raw bones are an important part of the diet – especially the rich bone marrow. And before you become a skeptic of this diet, bear in mind that it is the cooked bones that pose a threat to your feline.

Why is this? Well, when animal bones are cooked, they become rigid and brittle. They break easily. If you feed your cat with cooked chicken bone, for instance, you run the risk of having the bone puncture its oesophagus, intestines or stomach. Raw bones on the flip side are soft, and your cat with its specialized teeth can break them down into tiny harmless pieces.

That said, while bone and meat form the basis of raw food for cats, there are also other ingredients that are imperative. Some manufacturers tend to throw in some vegetables and fresh fruits to help find a nutritional balance. Eggs are also common in the raw food diet for cats. This is because the eggs are rich in essential nutrients. But despite the nutritional value of eggs, most manufacturers only include the egg yolk as the egg white contains avidin, a protein that tends to interfere with the cat’s ability to absorb and use vitamin B.

Organ meats are an important inclusion in the diet including the liver. So generally, raw food diets contain about 80%-85% of meat, 10% bone (edible), 5%-10% organ meat (which mostly includes the liver).

Factors to Consider When Purchasing Raw Cat food

At the very top of the list factors, you should consider when picking the best raw cat food is the type of food. Yes, raw foods come in all forms. Below are some of these forms.

Rolls

This food type features raw ingredients that have been ground together and shaped into beautiful rolls. These are generally stored in fridges. When you need to feed your cat, you can open the roll, cut a portion for your cat(s) and then replace it in your refrigerator.

Patties

These are similar to the rolls only that they have been separated into different portions for you. Just like the rolls, these contain raw ingredients that have been passed through a grinder to get uniform texture.

Fresh

This is yet another way manufacturers decide to pack raw foods. The foods come in bags, tubs, and pouches. The state of the food varies depending on the manufacturer. They could be large or small chunks of fresh ingredients, or it could be a mixture that is broken into tiny pieces.

Frozen

All of these types can be frozen by manufacturers. As a matter of fact, some manufacturers only sell their products in this state. Frozen raw cat foods last for longer compared to fresh food. You, however, will need to thaw the food before serving it. And once it is thawed, it is only good for a few days.

Freeze Dried

This type of raw cat food is air dried to get rid of the moisture. Air drying the food allows manufacturers to get rid of the moisture and make the raw food is more stable even at room temperature. A bonus is that the food is nutrient-rich as it is not cooked.

Conclusion

Now that you are well equipped to make your cat transition to raw food, you probably are wondering if it is safe for your kitten. And the answer to this is a resounding yes. Soon after your kitten is weaned, you can proceed to introduce it to raw food.

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