What Raw Meats Can I Give My Cat?

Cats are natural carnivores. In nature, their diets mainly consist of meat and other meat-based products. This means that their nutritional needs will vary from those of other animals. Raw foods can help supplement nutritional values not found in ordinary, commercial cat food and provide benefits that aid in both cognitive and physical health

To know more about raw meats in cat diets, here are some that you can give your cat and the benefits of raw meat for their diets.

Raw Meat for Cats, and How Does It Benefit Them?

This refers to meat that is not cooked or processed. A raw food diet usually has raw meat, organs, and occasionally, raw and ground bones. The most common natural raw food served to cats is chicken, but cats can also eat other raw foods.

Raw food diets are low in carbohydrates and high in protein. It also provides cats with physical benefits, such as;

  • Improved skin and fur
  • Stronger joints and bones
  • Improved digestion
  • Improved oral health
  • Better renal health
  • Helps in mainting weight

Cats need a lot of protein in their diets than other animals; they get most of their energy from protein rather than carbs. Arachidonic acid, vitamin A, vitamin D, and numerous B vitamins must also be present in cat diets in appropriate quantities, as a few specific amino acids, most notably taurin. A balanced diet of raw, canned, and dry food can provide the proper nutrients and vitamins a cat needs.

Raw Meats Suitable for Cats 

There are a lot of raw meats that cats can eat. It may be cheap steak cuts, free-range, locally butchered meat, and organic. The general rule for feeding raw meats to cats is to choose human-grade meats, as these will provide proper nutrients. Here is a table of common raw meats to serve to cats, their nutritional value, and how often you should give and serve them.

Type of Raw Meat Nutritional Value How Often in a week How to serve
Salmon Contains omega three fatty acids (for cat fur and coat, and immune system), potassium, Vit. B, Selenium, and Niacin 1-2  Remove head, tail, slice, and debone. 
Chicken Contains protein, selenium, niacin, phosphorus, and Vit. B6 and B12. Protein from chicken aids cats’ muscle and tissue repair 1-2 Cut breast or thighs and remove bones 
Duck is High in protein and a good source of Vit. B, Zinc, and Iron Occasionally Cut breast or thighs                 and remove bones, skin, and fat
Lamb Has heme-iron (for proper iron absorption) and Vit. B12 for neurological support and brain growth Occasionally heart, kidney, and flesh in small servings. Remove fat
Turkey High in protein and low in fat Occasionally Breasts, wings, and legs, and cut into chunks.
Beef High in protein Fresh beef only, cut into chunks

Serving these foods in rotation with other accompanying food, such as dry or wet, is ideal for achieving a more balanced diet. Cat’s raw diets should be around 30% to 50% of their daily meal. Consider alternating particular raw foods with other choices or giving them as treats to avoid nutritional deficiencies.

How To Safely Serve Raw Food For Cats

There are always risks when handling raw meat. Below are practices that can help you safely prepare raw meat for your cat’s consumption:

  • Get Fresh Meat From Reputable Sources

The appropriate raw meat for your cat should be human-grade, fresh, and free from preservatives. Only get your raw meat where you know where they source it, how they clean it, and how they butcher it. Avoid meat sourced in unnatural ways, such as wild animals.

  • Don’t Wash Raw Meat

Washing raw meat can spread bacteria around your area, especially when handling chicken. Use a clean paper towel and pat dry the raw meat.

  • Clean Your Hands and Kitchen Utensils Before Preparing

Improper cleaning and handling of raw meat can cause contamination. Wash your hands in warm water with soap to avoid cross-contamination before and after handling raw meat. Also, wash your cat’s pet dish before and after serving raw meat to eliminate lingering bacteria. Use hot, soapy water or use a dishwasher.

  • Use Gloves, and Appropriate Utensils

Prepare separate sets of gloves, stainless steel bowls, and kitchen utensils that will be used for your cat’s raw food preparation. This avoids cross-contamination from your food to your cat’s food.

  • Disinfect Your Preparation Area Before and After Serving Raw Meat

Clean your preparation area before and after serving raw meat to your cat. This includes kitchen table tops where you prepared your cat’s food and floor areas where your cat ate their raw food.

  • Store Raw Meat in Small Containers and Store it in Freezers

If you plan on feeding your cat raw meat for the week, prepare raw food in small containers to avoid freezing and defrosting raw meat. This causes the meat to lose its freshness and develop bacterial contamination. The appropriate temperature for frozen meat is 5C.

  • Slowly Defrost Raw Meat

Never defrost frozen meat at room temperate; this causes the meat to spoil quickly, becoming harder to eat. Defrost raw meat overnight in the refrigerator before serving it to cats.

  • Dispose of Uneaten Raw Food

Unlike dry cat food, leaving raw meat out for more than 20 minutes causes bacteria to multiply quickly – especially in a warm environment. To avoid your cat getting sick and spreading unwanted bacteria, dispose of raw meat that your cat didn’t eat after 20 minutes.

Final Words

Overall, feeding your cat raw meat can allow them to explore different palates. Think of it as treats that you can reward now and then. However, a cat’s diet doesn’t live on raw meat alone, and it’s a cat owner’s responsibility to supply the right amount of food.

Always consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your cat’s diet. They can provide personalized recommendations and ensure your cat gets the proper nutrition. Ultimately, what matters most is your cat’s well-being, and health.

Frequently Asked Questions:

When can I start feeding my cat raw meat?

Cats are picky eaters and quickly adapt to the food they are given. You can start by giving them small chunks of raw meat as a kitten. However, only start a raw diet on kittens at 20 weeks as their immune system is still developing.

Is raw food diet safe for cats?

Generally, yes, but bacterial contamination risks include salmonella and E.coli. You can avoid contamination by using clean storage practices and only getting fresh meat.

There’s not much to worry about since cats are less susceptive to bacteria due to their short gastrointestinal systems

Can I feed my cat raw meat from the grocery store

Yes, it is safe to feed your cat raw meat, as long as it’s hygienically prepared.

Will my cat be healthier with raw meat diet?

Raw diets have more moisture than any other diet. This can help cats with renal or urinary tract problems.

Better renal and urinary health can help your cats absorb more protein and help in bowel movements

What raw meat is not allowed for cats?

Tuna. It contains the enzyme thiaminase. It destroys essential B vitamins inside a cat’s body.

Should I give my cats raw food with bones?

Yes, but cooked bones can cause broken teeth, stomach and intestinal problems. However, monitor your cat when giving them bones; it can also cause choking.


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