All cats, small or large, are true carnivores, obligate carnivores. This means they must eat fresh clean meat to survive. Cats cannot be vegetarians or survive on processed pet food because they evolved to fill this top predator niche and their bodies are specifically geared for processing a whole food diet. This is as true for a Lion, Tiger or Serval as it is for the cat on your bed.
Whole food feeding is a way to feed cats a more natural holistic diet. By natural, we mean species-appropriate. A diet that meets their complete nutritional requirements. The benefits of feeding this type of diet to your cat is enormous and it isn't expensive, hard to order or make at home. Whole food diets can be readily purchased online, we will make it per your order, freeze it, vacuum seal it and deliver the meals right to your door. If you are a do-it-yourselfer, we will sell you a formulation created for the unique needs of your pet and teach you how to prepare it at home. Pet Nutrition Systems cat formulations are uniquely set up be easliy digestable. Your cat will metabolize our meals which are high in moisture, high in protein and very low in vegetation.
One of the most common ailments that plague America’s cats are urinary tract infections, but healthy cats don’t get them! It is finally becoming recognized in mainstream circles that there is a direct correlation to dry food feeding, kidney failure and urinary tract issues. There is NOTHING HOLISTIC ABOUT DRY FOOD! Holistic implies that there is a balance and nothing could be more unbalanced than eating a steady diet of processed foods. Fresh whole foods are healthy and live kill is healthy for your cat. Think of it in terms of how your cat would be eating if it were an indoor and outdoor cat!
When you feed processed food, there is virtually no water consumption with dry kibble and without the hydration of cells, the body cannot function properly or repair itself and the immune systems become dysfunctional. Live enzymes, vital nutrients and moisture in the diet is so important to the healthy cell function of everything on the planet. Processed foods are generally grain based designed to make profit and even the so-called holistic, organic or premium brands of cat foods contain pet-grade ingredients, are cooked and processed at very high temperatures, and then they’re baked and extruded. This kind of over processing renders those foods devoid of any real nutrients, literally dries out all of the cat’s vital organs and leaves the poor cat susceptible to all kinds of health problems.
Cats eating a steady diet of dry processed foods can easily become overweight, stress their kidney & liver, age prematurely, have digestive disorders, run a risk of renal failure and have a slower metabolism. These products typically contain a higher fillers to protein ratio using cheap corn, wheat, rice, potatoes and other starches used to bind and hold the product together. Most bags contains a long list of 30 to 40 isolated vitamins and minerals added to the formulation needed to meet the minimum standard and still legally can be called complete & balanced.
A Healthy Alternative
"There is only one best cat in the world, and every family has it."
Your cats are part of your family, and you want what is best for them. There is growing evidence that feeding processed pet food causes many of the diseases that cats are suffering from in ever larger numbers.⁷ Diet plays a huge role in the health of your pets, so choosing a diet that reflects what a cat would eat in the wild makes a lot of sense. Feeding a balanced raw diet is feeding a healthy diet. Cats systems are perfected to handle this kind of food.
Pet Nutrition Systems whole food diets consist of ground meats, ground bone, organs meat, along with eggs, essential oils and a small amount of minerals and vitamins provided by locally farmed vegetables. Ideally, your cat should also get some raw meaty bones. (vegetable matter, is usually a very small amount of around 5-10%) The goal is to get as close as we can to a prey based diet without having to resort to live prey.
Many different kinds of meat can be used in a whole food cat diet. In fact, you should vary the kinds of meat you feed, not only for variety, but also to be sure your cat gets a balance of all essential nutrients needed in a truly complete diet. The important difference between PNS whole food cat meals and the rest of the pet food industry is that our food is made with human-grade free-range meat (optional organic meat), non-GMO non-factory farmed, handmade only after you place the order and no additional humanmade supplements, coloring, flavoring or preservatives are added. 98% of all commercially made Raw food products use rendered ingredients, GMO grains and are made & stored months before you purchase them.
With our Creat Your Own option you may chose from free range chicken, turkey and rabbit, duck, pheasant, cornish game hen, quail or venison. Surprisingly, even though cats would never hunt deer, wild venison is very close nutritionally to a cats natural prey.⁸ Most people try to feed meat that is close to what cats would naturally be eating, such as beef (which can cause allergic reactions in some cats), lamb and pork are used less often.
Ground raw bones are highly digestible and provides calcium, minerals and enzymes. The marrow is nutrient rich. It is only cooked bone that is dangerous; cooking makes bone sharp, brittle and almost impossible to digest.¹⁰ In addition to including the ground bone in food, small cuts of meat with bones such as chicken wings or Cornish hens can be given to cats.
Our whole food diets try to balance the meat to bone ratio to match that of a wild diet, usually mouse or rabbit. This balances the calcium to phosphorus ratio. Cats cannot live on just meat, and their calcium source is ideally from bone, not a supplement, as bone provides other minerals such as copper and zinc, along with collagen.¹¹
Organ meats, such as liver and kidney, contain key ingredients your cat needs: B vitamins, vitamin A, amino acids and essential fatty acids. Heart is a particularly good source of taurine, a vital amino acid. Heart is usually counted as muscle meat for raw feeding purposes though, not as organ meat. Both commercial and homemade raw diets usually add taurine as a supplement, even when fresh heart is included, to be sure of providing enough of this essential amino acid.
Minerals are essential to the cat and are involved in almost all physiological reactions. They contribute to enzyme formation, pH balance, nutrient utilization, and oxygen transportation and are stored in bone and muscle tissue. Biological availability may vary widely depending on the source of the nutrient. Elemental minerals are generally taken from the earth or water; chelated minerals are those that are bound with other organic substances, often making them easier for the body to absorb.
Minerals include calcium, chloride, chromium, cobalt, copper, fluorine, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, phosphorous, potassium, selenium, silicon, sodium, sulfur, and zinc. There are others that cats require at trace concentrations. Minerals, like vitamins, work synergistically, with a cooperative action between them.
Nutrients are essential for metabolism regulation and normal growth and function. Usually found in food, some are synthesized within the animal's body. They're classified as either fat or water soluble. these nutrients are supplied by small amounts of organic vegetables rather than man made supplements.
Fat-soluble vitamins include A, D, E, and K. The water-soluble group includes C and the B complex. Generally, fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the body, while water-soluble ones pass through more quickly. Once again, the carnivorous cat utilizes animal sources of nutrients more readily than plant sources. For example, felines can't convert beta-carotene from plants into vitamin A (as some animals do), so they need preformed vitamin A from an animal source. This type needs no conversion.
Because cats are designed to fulfill most of their water requirements by eating fresh whole food, they naturally have a low thirst drive. This can lead to health issues when they eat dry food products and treats. One of the problems is that cats become dehydrated eating processed kibble, their natural "programming" may not encourage them to drink more water, and their urine can become too concentrated. Even though a healthy cat doesn't drink much, you should always have clean drinking water available.
Good Nutrition is a Team Effort
All the components we discussed don't work alone in nature; foods don't contain single nutrients. For example, we've probably all heard that oranges are a good source of vitamin C, but that piece of fruit contains many other cofactor nutrients that actually aid in the absorption and utilization of the vitamin. Even if farmers created a "Franken-orange" that contained only that vitamin, it wouldn't be as effective without the other "helpers," such as bioflavonoids and minerals that aid in vitamin C's effectiveness.
Likewise, vitamin E isn't simply the d-alphatocopherol that you'll find in a capsule from the store. It's actually a family of at least eight different molecules that work better when taken together, the way they're found in fresh food, rather than alone in supplemental form. Many studies have shown that natural nutrients from food are more beneficial than isolated synthetic supplements.² And by the way, oranges aren't a species-appropriate source of vitamin C for cats, but raw liver is.
To Order Food A Recipe Or A Veterinary Nutrition Consultation:
Pet Nutrition Systems have many wonderful recipes for your cat that are easy to make at home and offer them made by hand using locally farmed ingredients. The even better news is we offer a Organic Nutrition Express membership in which you can benefit from huge savings. We can’t wait to share the gift of health with you and your pets, so be sure to sign up for our Organic Nutrition Express Club, order your recipe or handmade meals and rest assured that you are doing the best you can for your pet companion.