Should you be feeding your cat fast food?

Should you be feeding your cat fast food?

Natasha Hodge, Nutritional Advisor, shines a spotlight on feline diet and health.

We are a nation of animal lovers. During lockdown I will bet your pet has been a constant companion and source of comfort.

We have had our cat Mac for 11 years. For 6 of those I have been a Nutritional Advisor. Maybe in the back of my mind I had the thought that the food I fed my cat did not quite match my crusade for better human health via nutrition, but time, budget and social norm kept the packet food coming.

I am a staunch advocate of unprocessed food for humans but I now admit that I have been an unbelievable hypocrite when it comes to feeding my cat!

So, what changed? A health scare of course. Excessive thirst, vomiting and general lethargy.

Aged 11, Mac is considered a senior citizen. Reading up on the internet I discovered all sorts of ailments that could be affecting him. Top of the list were Type 2 Diabetes, Cancer and Kidney disease. So, a trip to the vet was booked.

Meanwhile, I decided to look up how I could help him myself.

Cats are called obligate carnivores. This means they are supposed to get all their nutritional needs from eating other animals. 100%. They are not supposed to eat ANY carbohydrates. But for 11 years I had fed Mac dry biscuits and wet packet food. Do you know how much carbohydrate are in the biscuits alone? Who knows? Because if you look at the nutritional information on the packets it does not tell you. But the first ingredient is cereal and if 30% is animal derivatives and 11% is fat let’s assume that the other 59% is carbohydrate. Way too much for a cat who should be having 0%.

I resolved to change the way I fed Mac, whatever his vet check-up outcome was. And what do you know? His results came back fine! But it still didn’t explain his symptoms. I personally think he has stayed in good health despite the garbage I was feeding him, because he is a prolific hunter. Out here in the sticks there is always a mouse to be found.

When you start to investigate how to feed a cat what it really needs, you can be overwhelmed. Freshly minced raw meat with the right amount of bone, organs and added supplements is what he needs. How was I supposed to prepare that? Who knew there are companies out there that do all the work for you? But there are. Many in Suffolk. I settled on a company called Kiezebrink based in Bury St Edmunds.

It costs about 90p a day to feed him all he needs. I had to transition him from strong smelling processed pet food to low odour 100% raw meat, it took about a week, some cats take less or more time, but he has never looked back. And ALL his symptoms have disappeared. It does take slightly longer to prepare but it has been totally worth it.

I feel guilty for not having made the change sooner. It was only brought sharply into focus when I thought my beloved pet might be seriously ill.

This is also what I find with clients of the human variety. Suddenly a health scare crops up and one of the options that occurs to people is a change in the way they eat.

Do not wait until a health scare pulls you up short. Change the way you eat today, with food that your body requires and responds positively to.

If you have a food and health question for Natasha please email her

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