Whether you are cooking and preparing your cat food yourself or you purchasing commercial cat food products for your cat, there are benefits and drawbacks that you should be aware of of each method and that’s what we are going to tackle in this article. So let’s not waste any further time and get started.
Raw, homemade cat food. Is it enough for your cat to consume on a daily basis?
You may have heard that veterinarians have an opposing position to homemade cat food and they are always cautious about this particular topic. Their main concern arises from that this homemade cat food may be inadequately prepared and it may have nutritional deficiency or bacterial contamination if there is no quality control applied during the preparation process. And they are absolutely right about this exact point. The strict raw cat diet may seem to mimic the natural food that cats eat in their wild habitat and it also may have an animal rich protein which is an essential nutrient in feline diets, but that should not mislead to think that it is sufficient for your domestic cat.
They lack different nutrients which can be determinant to your cat’s health such as essential Vitamins and minerals and prebiotic fiber.
Also, the food contamination can cause your cat different infections and inflammation which may complicate your cat’s health.
And the lack of knowledge about cat nutritional requirements also can make this method of feeding not suitable for a lot of cat’s owners. In this case, they should stick to the other option which is the commercial cat food products that are generally carefully prepared and supervised by animal nutritionists and veterinarians.
That being said, I will say if the cat owner has an idea about his cat nutritional needs (you can take a glimpse of each main nutrients role in cat food in this detailed article) and has a clean area where he can cook his cat food without the risk of contamination, the raw cat diets can be a very nutritious and healthy food option.
If you are going with homemade cat food occasionally, and it is not your main method in feeding your cat, that’s okay also, but first, you should know what type of food is safe for your cat and avoid giving your cat the wrong type of food that may harm your cat. For example, your cat can safely eat cooked eggs but you should never offer your cat raw eggs as those contain pathogenic bacteria that could harm your cat. The same applies to meat also to some extent, raw meat may have harmful bacteria that could infect your cat. When it comes to vegetables, there are also some types of vegetables that you should never give to your cat such as onions, garlic, and chives. On the other hand, it is completely safe for your cat to eat asparagus, broccoli and carrots
Commercial cat food: Is it perfect ?
Commercial cat food is a much safer option for a lot of cat parents, because they are regulated by The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and a lot of pet food manufacturers cautiously prepare their mass products to be met with AAFCO ( Association of American Feed Control Officials) standards regarding pet nutrition and that will put a lot of cats owners’ minds at ease regarding the safety and quality control of their cat food.
However, manufacturers resort many times to much cheaper alternatives ingredients that may not be sufficient and can be nutritionally deficient if consumed on a daily basis such as high carb diets with a lot of ingredients such as grains , lugems or their byproducts, or fillers like ( soy, wheat, corn ) and their byproduct or some preservatives and colouring agents that may upset your cat stomach if it is consumed excessively.
Manufacturers differ in this regard, for some reputable brands that are heavily involved in research and development, their premium food can be of high quality and much more adjusted to your cat dietary needs. But this type of food is always a little more expensive than other products. While other pet food manufacturers tend to be more interested in the commercial aspects of their food, Not the perfect formula for feline diets. Their products generally have more additives and fillers that make their food productions less costly and their profit margins at much higher rate.
However, the majority of cat food products that are available in the market are adequately prepared and nutritionally suitable for cat consumption, so you should not worry too much about it.
Each one of the aforementioned methods has its own advantages and drawbacks. On one hand , raw cat food can be very nutritious if it is carefully prepared and covers all the nutritional requirements that your cat needs. In this way, your cat can eat much more natural, authentic food that resembles what wild cats eat without the risk of nutritional deficiency and pathogenic contamination. While on the other hand, commercial cat food is a much safer and faster option. Yet it may not have the perfect and the natural, authentic dietary formula.
I will say as a closure , if you’re cat parents and have a nutritional background about what your cats need, and also you have a clean area where you can prepare your cat food, you can go for the homemade method option as your main method in feeding your cat. but first, you should discuss it thoroughly with your Vet. And if you have no time or no interest in cooking your cat food, you can go for the commercial cat products option as many manufacturers have a lot of products and lines of products that each one of those lines aim specifically to cater to the needs of particular demographic cats ( for example , veterinary food products, senior formula products, kitten formula products, premium formula with single, novel protein formula products which aims to resolve many food sensitivities and many more). In general, it is adequately, not perfectly prepared “with varying degree between products and manufacturers” from a nutritional perspective and that is enough in my opinion.