Why Cats Need Raw Food


Cats are weird. It takes only one internet search of “funny cats” to see just how weird they are. But there’s no doubt about it—we love them dearly. Because we love our cats so darn much, it makes sense that we would want to extend their lives for as long as possible, and one of the most effective ways to do so is through a good diet. But with so many different kinds of cats foods on the market, how do you know which is best?

Cats are Natural Hunters

Our common house-cats were domesticated as late as 3,500 years ago. That’s a heck of a long time that we humans have been living with cats, and yet commercially available cat food has only been around for the last 50-60 years or so. Also in the time period, here in the US, we have seen a rise in disease and a fall in life expectancy in our cats. So what changed? Cats went from hunting outside and eating scraps to diets that were full of grains, byproducts, and other ingredients that are difficult for cats to digest.  What I’m trying to get at is that for thousands of years, cats were eating a pretty natural diet and were doing really well, so why not try to mimic that as best we can?

Cats have two major species-specific needs regarding food. First, they are true (obligate) carnivores, meaning they require an almost entirely meat-based diet. In fact, most “wild” cats would only eat plants in the form of stomach contents of smaller prey they’d eat whole. Since cats do not have an adequate amount of the enzyme in their body (amalyse) that can break down carbohydrates, they have to get nearly all of their nutrition, including the vital amino acid taurine, from meat.

Cats are NOT Natual Drinkers

Second, since cats evolved in the arid near east climate, they are somewhat adverse to drinking water and so have developed a system to gather most of their moisture needs from the foods they eat. This is why we don’t see our cats at the water bowl nearly as often as we do our dogs. Interestingly, MIT did a study on how cats drink and found that they cannot scoop up water like a dog. Basically, they dip their tongue in the water and slurp it into their mouth in very small amounts. It’s an awful lot of work for little water. It’s much easier for them to absorb moisture as they’re digesting food, which is why a diet naturally high in moisture is so very important for cats.

So what kind of food can provide everything a cat needs, naturally? Raw food! Raw foods formulated with cats in mind offer raw meat as the base, with supplemental nutrition derived from whole food sources like fruits and vegetables (ground fine to mimic what produce would be found in stomach contents of prey). The predominate meat formula provides all of that unadulterated nutrition cats need, and since raw foods are chock-full of naturally occurring moisture (called intracellular moisture), cats have their moisture needs met without having to deal with that pesky water-drinking business.

Steve’s Real Food offers five different formulas approved for feeding to cats—the Beef, Chicken, Turke, Turducken, and Pork formulas provide the meat, moisture, and nutrition that cats crave and need. With luck and proper nutrition, we can keep our cats as healthy and happy for as long as possible!


3 years ago

Thank you for the terrific article

Google Review

  • My dogs LOVE their new food!! I used to feed them dry kibble and they would leave their food in the bowls for 2 days before they would eat. Now they wake me up in the morning ready to eat. They also have so much more energy, they act like they are puppies again. The customer service is awesome! Too bad all companies don't have this kind of service. I will continue to buy Steve's Real Food for my dogs.

    Kelley Dillon Avatar
    Kelley Dillon
  • CONVENIENT, RELIABLE, DOGS LOVE THE FOOD I switched my dogs to a raw diet about 2 months ago. My older dog was panting a lot and he had a potato sized growth on his shoulder. The growth is now the size of an egg and his excessive panting has stopped. My younger dog was overweight despite the fact that she was very active and on a strict low calorie diet. She has slimmed down quite a bit.

    Trish C Avatar
    Trish C
  • We were skeptical of feeding raw. Finally we decided to take the plunge. The first surprise was, my dogs loved it. And the goat milk yogurt is a complete hit! They all love it. We had one small issue with the shipping and after one email everything was taken care of. But now that it's been several months we have noticed many other things. None of my dogs chew on their feet anymore. None of my dogs have itchy flaky skin anymore. And they are all pretty and shiny with tons of energy.

    Denise Moitoza Avatar
    Denise Moitoza
  • My dog was a picky eater and overweight. After 4 months of eating this raw diet he is almost at his recommended weight. I no longer have to coax him to eat by doctoring up his kibble. He eats the food as is and empties his bowl right away.

    Carrie Thompson Avatar
    Carrie Thompson
  • I wanted to give a shout out to Tara at the corporate office. She really went above and beyond! I had several questions about switching my dog over to raw food and the transition that's involved. She met with me in person and took the time to listen and gave me some great suggestions/feedback to my questions. She shared what her own dog went through and how raw dog food helped. Tara made me feel comfortable and was so kind and thoughtful to take the time out of her busy day to be so helpful. My dog is LOVING the food and has been transitioning very smoothly. Thanks so much for being so awesome, Tara. It meant a lot to me and because of the experience I had and the kindness you showed to me, I will continue to be a grateful customer and will recommend Steve's to all my fellow dog moms and dads.

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    Susan Romney

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