Cats are obligate carnivores.
This means that it is biologically essential that your cat get fresh raw meaty meals. Dogs are also obligate carnivores, but their scavenging ways have made them a little more adaptable to a sub par diet. Cats require the food that they are designed to digest and utilize.
Cat’s are hunters and need fresh meat and bones to thrive. The best way to see a cat’s diet is to use the “prey model”. Consider a mouse; the ratio of bones, meat, and organs gives us a good idea of the cat’s needs. Although letting your cat hunt prey in your home would be ideal, it’s not everybody’s cup of tea. So we try to duplicate the diet as best as we can. The guideline is about 20% bone, 70% flesh, and 10% organs. These can be ground together if your cat is used to soft food, but whole pieces are better for cleaning the teeth and preparing the stomach for digestion.
Bone-in meats such as chicken ribs and wings are a great start. Chicken necks, rabbit parts, quail, and feeder rodents (the frozen mice people buy for snakes) are all perfect if your cat is willing to take them on. Starting with a ground product might be necessary if you are looking to switch your cat after she’s grown. Cats can be stubborn and will require patience and perseverance. Remember to include organs, particularly liver to keep the diet balanced.
Variety is important, although your cat may disagree. Buddies Pet Food has many flavours to choose from and their “Variety Pack” is a staple in my house along with the “Cat Butcher Block” for ground products. I also make sure my cat has to chew some food so chicken necks are also served up several times a week. You can take larger bone-in meats, like pork breast bones or chicken legs and pound them with a hammer to crush them into chewable portions.
Switching some cats over to a healthy diet can be daunting, but Buddies has literature with tricks and tips on getting them to accept their new lifestyle. Once they’ve switched, they will look and feel better and you’ll have a much happier housemate.