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Is Raw Food Diet Good for Your Cat?

In recent years, there has been a rise in raw food diets for cats and dogs. Some cat parents choose to prepare raw food for cats at home so that they don’t have to worry about undesirable ingredients found in commercial products, while others opt for off-the-shelf raw food for the convenience. However, is raw food good for cats? 

What is a Raw Diet for Cats?

A raw diet includes feeding your cat uncooked animal products such as muscle meat and organ meat. Raw food diets are also known as the “BARF” diet, which stands for “bones and raw food” or “biologically-appropriate raw food”. 

Felines that consume an imbalanced diet are at risk of a variety of health issues. If you choose to prepare your cat a raw diet at home, it is recommended to consult a veterinary nutritionist for a complete and balanced menu for your cat. 

What are the Benefits of Raw Food Diets?


To start off, cats are obligate carnivores. Felines solely rely on nutrients found in animal meats to survive. In fact, they can only tolerate a small amount of plant matter in their diet. A high-protein & moistrous diet that mimics that is found in small prey in the wild is beneficial to cats.

Biologically-appropriate Diet

Advocates of raw diets believe that the cooking process denatures most of the crucial proteins in the food. Hence, cooked food including kibbles and canned food, deviates from what cats are feeding in the wild. On the contrary, raw food is favoured by supporters for a biologically-appropriate diet as it more closely mimics what a cat would find in nature. 

Raw Food Diets Makes Cats Less Hungry

The protein in raw meat can be very filling for your cat. Thus, making your felines more satisfied with their meals. This is great as it can prevent obesity in your cat

Improved Digestion

Cat’s digestive system does not have the enzyme to digest carbohydrates. Therefore, it is harder for cats to digest plant-based diets. A raw food diet only contains meat which means it would be easier for them to break down the food. 

Increases Energy

Many people who switched to raw cat food have noticed a higher level of energy in their cats. Felines utilise protein for their energy requirements. Through a well-balanced and appropriate raw food diet, they are getting more energy from their food. 

Better Dental Health

When your cat chews on raw foods, it helps keep their teeth clean. Additionally, carbohydrates create a starchy film which can cause plaque buildup. Hence, eliminating it can prevent your cat from having gum diseases.

Better Urinary Health

Carbohydrate laden foods can cause alkaline urine and chronic dehydration in cats. This can cause urinary tract inflammation. A raw cat food diet contains more moisture which can prevent urinary tract problems. 

When is A Raw Diet Not Suitable?

#1 When you are unable to prepare complete, balanced and safe meals for your cat, a homemade raw diet is not for your cat. A raw food diet is not just feeding cats with a wide variety of raw meats. You have to take calorie, fat, protein and nutrition content into consideration. An incomplete diet can lead to serious health problems for a feline. 

#2 If your cat is a picky eater, it may be difficult to introduce raw foods to them. Some felines have strict preferences for certain food textures and smells. For these cats, transitioning to a raw food diet can take a lot of effort. 

What are the Risks of Raw Food Diets?

The biggest risk of a raw food diet for cats is bacteria. However, you can limit this risk by following safe meat handling procedures. Learn proper meat handling procedures here! Purchase raw meat only from reputable sources like the supermarket. If you are not using the raw meat immediately, freeze it in meal-sized portions. 

No time to prepare, but still wanna try a raw diet for your cat?

If you have no time to prepare a complete & balanced raw diet at home for your cat, but still want to provide your cats with the benefits from raw food, consider the freeze-dried raw cat food from aPetMart. Raw food at your fingertips by just adding water or broth. In addition, freeze dried or air dried raw treats are great snacks to introduce raw food to your cat.

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