The myths

Myths 1-10: Ready-made food is complete and balanced and contains everything the cat needs.

Unfortunately, ready-made food does not guarantee the cat the long, healthy life that the producers promise. Most of the degenerative diseases found in pets are the result of lifelong feeding of cooked and processed food. The fact that diseases of the internal organs and metabolism as well as allergies are highly dependent on diet is ignored and these diseases are referred to as age-related. There is no ready-made food that is so balanced that it can only be fed for a lifetime. If that were the case, every food would contain exactly the same ingredients, which is not the case. Some time ago it was found in a consumer test that the calcium-phosphorus balance in a canned food that was advertised a lot, because it does not contain enough calcium. There are many of these examples, some foods also contain too little or too much vitamins, some of which are harmful if overdosed. Many varieties contain ingredients that are considered non-toxic at the current dose, but there is no evidence of long-term effects. An example of this are herbs or extracts from plants such as yucca, aloe or alfalfa, which have recently been added to feed. These may have a medical benefit in certain clinical pictures, but some are listed as toxic for the cat and should not be consumed by healthy cats on a daily basis. Nobody knows what the effect is when these additives, which can be classified as medicines, are taken by the cat day after day for years. If you only give a single food, you run the risk of a deficiency or an overdose of individual components. In nature, cats get everything they need by having a varied diet. Due to the variation of prey animals of different species and different ages, it receives a balanced diet over the period.

German version is: Irrtümer

Myth 2: Vets recommend ready-made feed, so it has to be good.

Unfortunately, most vets have next to no nutritional training. Most of the information and training they receive comes from the feed industry. Since veterinarians also earn part of their money selling this feed, there is no reason for them to study the nutritional issues themselves. This also explains the fact that most veterinarians do not classify the diseases they treat in their practice as diet-related, but as predisposition or aging. After all, it is difficult for a veterinarian to admit that a disease developed from years of consuming a food that he sells himself.

Myth 3: Too much protein is unhealthy for the cat and stresses the kidneys.

This is yet another claim made by the industry to apologize for the low, poor quality protein content of their feed. In contrast to us humans, cats are made to consume and digest large amounts of high-quality protein. Mice, other small animals and meat almost always contain significantly more protein than ready-made food. The cat’s organism is adjusted to this, relieving the kidneys and metabolism. Inferior proteins and grains can put a lot of strain on the kidneys, as the cat can only partially use them and large amounts of indigestible substances have to be funneled through the body and excreted unused.

Myth 4: The cat needs carbohydrates as an energy source.

This argument is often used to excuse the high proportion of grain in the finished feed. Most manufacturers now admit that cats don’t need carbohydrates in their diet. Compared to animal materials, grain is a cheap source of energy in the form of starch, which is the only reason it is included in feed. As already mentioned, the cat can use carbohydrates poorly, since they normally get all of their energy needs from animal proteins and fats, and their metabolism is geared towards this. Grains in the feed benefit the feed manufacturers, not the cats.

Myth 5: The cat has adapted to the finished food in the course of domestication.

In the course of domestication and breeding, some external characteristics of the cat such as body structure, coat length or color and nature were slightly changed by human hands. But metabolism, digestion and internal organs were not included, nor was there any reason to. On the contrary, in the past and in some cases to this day, cats were ultimately kept as mouse catchers because of their good properties. A change in the metabolism or intestine would not have been very useful, after which the cat suddenly needs another or additional food for prey. Also, there never was a natural selection in this direction, as was the case during evolution, the thousands lasted for years and the course of which has led cats to specialize in small prey. Ready-made feed has only been around for around 100 years; this time is far too short to bring about a change or adaptation.

Savannah cat nutrition The myths

Myth 6: dry food cleans the teeth and prevents tartar.

Very many cats that are fed on ready-made food eventually develop dental problems or gum disease, although they consume dry food regularly or even exclusively. For some time now, manufacturers have stopped saying that dry food is good for cats‘ teeth. Rather, they are now starting to manufacture products especially for cleaning the teeth, since they have found that dry food does nothing to keep teeth and gums healthy. The chunks of food are much too small for this and are sometimes swallowed whole. Anyone who has ever observed a cat chewing a prey animal or a large piece of bone-in meat will immediately see the difference. More detailed information on the disadvantages of dry food can be found under feeding methods.

Myth 7: Homemade food is not suitable and causes deficiency symptoms.

Here, the manufacturers always assume that you either feed table scraps or pure meat to the cat without any further additions. Indeed, that would be unbalanced and inappropriate. However, it is certainly possible to offer the cat a self-made food that is fresh, high-quality, balanced and prepared according to nature’s example. Thousands of cat owners, some of whom have been successfully feeding their cats with a balanced, healthy raw food diet for over 30 years, have proven this

Myth 8: In order to make food for your cat yourself, you have to be a nutrition expert.

We manage to provide ourselves with a variety of fresh food without having completed a nutrition degree. Cat nutrition is not a mystery, as feed manufacturers always want us to believe. Common sense, basic knowledge of nutrition, about the requirements of the cat and the food components are sufficient. If you take into account that cats eat very differently than humans, what they eat in the wild, understand what to feed and why, and take some time to look at the matter, it’s not that difficult. You certainly don’t have to be a scientist to do this.

Myth 9: You should never feed raw meat because it contains bacteria and parasites.

This generalized scare tactic can now be read and heard almost everywhere. This statement is repeated in this way or similar on many websites and in books, without giving any further explanation or justification. Salmonella, protozoa and worms are usually mentioned in this context. Strangely enough, these parasites are mainly rampant among cats that are fed ready-made food, so that sources of infection other than food seem to play a much greater role. First of all, you should be aware that the cat’s natural prey animals are not sterile either. If that were so dangerous, the wildcats would certainly have become extinct. The fact is that not all meat is automatically afflicted with something bad or infected. Even if this is the case, cats can cope with it much better than humans, since raw meat is part of their natural diet. Cats are very insensitive to salmonella and other bacteria due to their short intestines, which allow food to pass through quickly. Worms are reliably killed by freezing the goods. Aujeszky’s disease is an exception, so you shouldn’t feed raw pork in the affected countries. In almost 20 years of raw feeding, we have not had a single case of illness due to the raw food diet.

Myth 10: You should never give bones because they splinter

This is just another example of factual misinterpretation. Bones become brittle and splinter from cooking, which could be dangerous for cats or dogs, so the warning is justified. However, raw bones are elastic, relatively soft and do not splinter. Otherwise it would hardly be possible for millions of predators to live well by devouring prey with bones. We have been feeding whole or crushed raw bones for almost 20 years without anything having happened to our cats

<< Mouse vs finished food

Feeding methods >>