What is Raw Feeding: Channeling the Ancients

Continuing our chat about Raw Feeding, I’m going to skip a lot of history about eating in specifics. One of the drawbacks of working for a museum and working with a bunch of biologists, scientists, archaeologists and all those people with PhDs is the amount of information you can get from them (they can be a bit long-winded). My attempt to simplify this may fall short of their standards and I apologize for this if your understanding is affected. You can always ask for specifics afterward and I will either research it or pass it along. As a short and sweet definition; the process of feeding is to convert food or matter into energy.

As earthlings, there are only four types of eaters; omnivores, carnivore, herbivore, and Photosynthesis. Since neither you nor your cats are plants, we can forget explaining Photosynthesis.

Herbivores are eaters and absorb their energy from the consumption of plant matter. Herbivores include animals like or are biologically similar to horses, cows, rabbits and deer.

Carnivores are feeders that absorb their energy from the consumption and processing of meat. Carnivores include Felidae (Cats), amphibians, reptiles, and birds.

Omnivores absorb energy from the consumption and processing of both meat and plant matter. These would be Canidae (Dogs), pigs, rodents, you (humans) and Homo-sapiens.

I didn’t include fish in this because fish is a complicated definition and since we are not talking about raw feeding fish, we will skip it.

None of this means that any creature in any category cannot eat outside of that category. The distinctions are about how a specific earthling is biologically designed to process food for energy. Just because a creature can eat something doesn’t mean their digestive system can convert said matter into energy. A horse can eat a hamburger, but its digestive system isn’t designed to process meat so it can’t change the burger into energy. For cats, we know they can eat grains and vegetables and fruit. However, they are not designed to convert any of that into energy. They could survive for a time without meat, but not for long. We know some birds can eat grains and berries, but without meat protein (bugs, game) they too would die (bet that surprised you).

So what does all of this mean for your cats? Your cats are carnivores. Your cats are biologically designed to process meat, and only meat for energy. Carnivores by design do not use grains, vegetation, fruits or anything other than meat to convert to energy. You will hear the word “Obligate” often placed in front of carnivore when addressing cat diets. However, all true carnivores are obligated to meet.

You will also hear the word Paleo in regards to raw feeding. Paleo is a bit of a misnomer. The word “Paleo” means ancient. None of us can eat old food, nor are we the creatures of ancient homo-sapiens, nor are our cats within the line of saber-toothed lions. We have evolved a little; people have an appendix, but since we don’t eat raw meat the body does not need it. Eventually, humans will change not to be born with it. Cats are substantially closer to their ancestors than people, but not exactly smaller version of big cats. Neither of us can eat like our ancestors, so Paleo as a diet is nonsense. How raw feeding mimics the diet of our ancestors is to eat the game we would most likely eat if we were the hunter/gatherers of long ago based on what is available today. In short, you eat what you can kill or grow. For me as a human, that would be any game or vegetation. If I looked at it regionally or locally, I would not be eating Ostrich or Buffalo since neither are from the region I live. For that matter, I shouldn’t eat beef since cows aren’t natural to nature, but I digress. For your cat, or let’s say for my cats, I’m sure if they were able to hunt on their own they might kill a chicken, duck, maybe a young turkey or rabbit, squirrel. Though I love my chips and chocolates, my Mountain Dew and banana pudding, over processed foods are killing me, having not much of the nutritional value it once had before it became the delightful nothing that it is. I would do better if I ate as low processed food as I can get. For your cat, though it might like a buffalo, a herd of cats could not kill one, not even the baby-buffs. However, most of our cats could take out ducks, chickens, mice, even a rabbit. The new mimic of the paleo diet for your cat would be only to eat the meat of an animal it could kill if it had the chance or the food it could grow. My cats don’t cultivate anything so…enough said.

For full disclosure, though my cats mostly eat chicken, duck, and turkey, they also eat venison and sometimes beef. When I thought Moshe Moshi had allergies and IBD/IBS, the Vet suggested he eat something that was unusual for him to eat, something he never had before. At the time that was venison. When I started him on a raw diet, I kept feeding him venison, and he developed a taste for it. I stopped, however, feeding him the turkey.  He and Lexi both get dehydrated beef as a treat.

Next post: Raw diets, Commercial and Homemade.

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