Raw food must be extremely fresh and the freshest raw food will usually be food you make yourself. However, it can be tricky to make sure your cat’s food has all the important vitamins and minerals, along with proper protein and fat.
One of the best sources for information on how to feed a whole, raw diet is Dr. Jean Hofve’s e-book, What Cats Should Eat: how to keep your cat healthy with good food. It has great background information on ingredients and how to read labels, compares types of food and finishes with approved foods and recipes for making your own.
Another good source is a book written by veterinarian Dr. Karen Becker, Dr. Becker’s Real Food for Healthy Dogs & Cats. It’s an updated version of the classic books written by Dr. Pitcairn in the last couple of decades. She has a very comprehensive supplement section to make sure your cat’s diet is balanced.
The book is very dog-centric, however, and assumes that what is good for dogs is also good for cats. You may want to lower the vegetable proportions of the recipes or eliminate them entirely.
Another veterinarian source is the website of Dr. Lisa Pierson. This is a very comprehensive site that addresses the most common questions and issues regarding raw feeding.
Many commercial raw foods are a cornucopia of feline-inappropriate ingredients. As an example, one brand has apples, carrots, squash, clay, broccoli, lettuce, spinach, etc, etc, ending with cloves! Few of these are researched and none are proven to be species-appropriate.
Rad Cat Raw Food Diet
This food is certified organic and free range or pasture raised.
ADVANTAGES: It comes in turkey, chicken, lamb, beef and venison and most cats find it palatable. There is less waste and better direct protein absorption. It’s available at the Happy Cats Shop and the Pet Health Store in Colorado Springs.
DISADVANTAGES: This can be more expensive at first, until you find the exact amount of food your cat needs. The food must be fed on schedule and cannot be left out for grazing. Some cats can be difficult to transition to raw food, especially if they are “kibble addicts” which can happen because of the enhancers (usually dried blood) which are sprayed on kibble. As with any raw food, it must be handled carefully.