First Step to Healthy Cats – Eliminate All Grains From Their Food

First Step to Healthy Cats: Eliminate all Grains from their Daily Diet

Most likely, your cat is unhealthy because you are feeding him food with grain as an ingredient. Are your veterinarian bills mounting up because your cat has one health problem after another?  Are you using those “wipes” on your cat every week because its coat gets a little oily and smelly?

Check the ingredients list on the food.  Even if you are buying premium cat food from a well know producer of pet food, chances are you will find some form of grain listed close to the top of the list. That means a large percentage of the food inside consists of grain. And that creates problems for kitty.

Cats Digestive Systems are not Designed to Process Grain

One of the first facts Wikipedia lists about cats is that it is an obligate carnivore.  By definition, an obligate carnivore is “an animal that by its genetic makeup must eat the tissue of other animals in order to thrive. Obligate carnivores may eat other foods, such as vegetables, grains, or fruit, but they must eat meat as the main source of their nutrients.” That last sentence referencing other foods is probably true for your dog, but it is simply not true for cats.

For way too many years both your local veterinarian and your local pet food company have considered cats as a small sort of dog that doesn’t do tricks.  And they operated on the seriously misguideded notion that what is good for a dog is also good for a cat.

Cats are unadulterated, pure and simple carnivores.  They must eat only animal tissue to thrive. Their digestive system is totally set up to digest, assimilate and use protein, fat, organs and bone. And that means a cat’s gut and the associated digestive enzymes are not geared to handle anything but animal protein. Dropping grain into that system is like throwing a wrench into a spinning crankshaft.

Years ago, when I was in college with very little money, a friend gave me a kitten.  At the time, beef heart was both cheap and easy to find in the market, so Francesca dined on raw beef heart, or raw chicken giblets. She thrived and flourished on that diet and never needed to visit the veterinarian from one year to the next.

Decades later, information began circulating about the inadvisability of feeding raw food to cats. I remembered Francesca, and wondered why she had been so healthy for so long even though she ate “the wrong food.”  Nevertheless, when I adopted two young neutered tabbies from a shelters, I fed them a premium cat food that prided itself on provided a balanced diet of meat, grains and vegetables.

Happily, my new cats were only fed this stuff about two weeks when I discovered two books almost simultaneously that were serious discussions about cat nutrition.  The first was by a veterinarian, the second by a woman who had years of practical experience with feline health.  Both convinced me to stop feeding my own cats anything containing grain of any form. The results have been gratifying.  The cats are frisky and vital, and now have beautiful clean fur that never gets oily or odorous.

If you care about your cats the way I know you do, you will immediately dump any remaining cat food with grain in it and replace it with a food that is all animal protein (if it has some vegetables or berries in the recipe, that is fine for now.) I know this is an expensive action to take. But think of it this way: replacing your cat food now is not as expensive as paying the insulin costs of a diabetic cat.