Over 85% of cat owners feed kibble, but just because everyone else is doing it doesn't make it right.
When choosing the best food for your cat, the first fact to consider is that cats are not just carnivores, they are obligate carnivores. Cats must eat meat to survive. Their bodies are designed to get all their nutritional needs from animal flesh, and, in fact, their bodies have a very difficult time extracting any nutritional value from any ingredients other than meat, organ, and bone.
Go ahead and look at the ingredients of what you are feeding your cat right now. Every ingredient other than meat is filler. Your cat is getting absolutely nothing from it. You are paying for poop - and stinky poop, at that, because the cat's body can't even digest the ingredients that are not meat, so they ferment while working their way through the body.
But the fact that dry kibble includes ingredients that the cat's body can't digest isn't the biggest problem with kibble. The biggest problem with kibble is that it is dry; it has the minimal moisture content.
All domestic cats find their roots in the cats of the African desert. Water in North Africa is scarce, so the cat's body was designed to get its water from its food. Feeding kibble not only doesn't give the cat the water that its body needs, but it also increases the body's need for water which makes kibble double trouble. Now, the body needs more water than normal for it to try to metabolize this unnatural dry food into something from which it can extract nutrients.
An average cat needs 200 ml of water a day - that equals 4/5th of a cup of water. Look at the water in the cup. That is how much a cat should drink each day. It is highly unlikely that a cat, who does not have a strong instinctual drive to drink water, is drinking 4/5ths of a cup of water each day. Most cats, especially those on kibble diets, live in a constant state of low-grade dehydration, and their owners never know it because dehydration is rarely apparent.
So what exactly are the problems with a cat living in a constant state of dehydration? Unfortunately, most of the negative side effects often aren't seen until later in life. More and more veterinarians are concluding that processed pet food is the number one cause of illness and premature death in cats. Processed pet foods suppress the immune system making the cat more vulnerable to infection and illness. In addition, it is linked to liver, kidney, and heart disease along with diabetes.
Feeding non-processed food will protect your cat's health into old age.
A study in Karolinska Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden showed that young cats who are fed dry kibble would start out living normal, healthy lives. But once they reach adulthood, the rate at which they age and develop degenerate diseases increases at an abnormal rate. In contrast, cats fed a non-processed, natural diet did not age as quickly and, most importantly, did not develop ANY degenerate diseases.
Are you killing your cat with kibble? The chances are, yes, you are. While it may not be immediately apparent, kibble food will decrease your cat's life expectancy. It is never too late to switch to either a balanced raw diet or a canned food diet.
For more information on Jon and Robyn and our Bengals, visit our website at www.quality-bengal-kittens.com
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Gates, Margarate. "Answers: What exactly is an Obligate Carnivore?" Feline Nutrition Foundation. 17 January 2016. http://feline-nutrition.org/answers/answers-what-exactly-is-an-qobligate-carnivoreq
Lutz, Angela. "Does Your Cat Have a Drinking Problem?" Catster. 19 February 2013. http://www.catster.com/lifestyle/cats-drinking-problems
Munkevics, Signe and Maris. "Would you know if your cat is dehydrated?" Pet-happy. 4 March 2015. https://www.pet-happy.com/would-you-know-if-your-cat-is-dehydrated/
Ohlund, M. Et al. "Environmental Risk Factors for Diabetes Mellitus in Cats." Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine. 1 December 2016. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jvim.14618/full