A healthy, natural diet is vital to keeping you, your family, and your furry children (in this case, cats) healthy. Your cats (and dogs) are designed to eat a carnivorous diet. Most pet foods don’t honor that. They contain a long list of artificial colorings and flavorings, grains, beans, legumes, and other unsavory ingredients. As a result, many cats (and dogs) develop diabetes, obesity, dental decay, allergies, autoimmune disorders, digestive and skin disorders, and cancer like their human companions.
Do your cats eat a species appropriate diet?
My two cats (my girls), who eat a more species-appropriate diet than most domesticated cats, have taste-tested many brands of cat food and snacks. I’m selective and they are even more so! They usually alternate between canned and dry food (free of grains, beans, legumes, artificial colorings, etc.). They absolutely loved Whole Foods 365 Beef & Liver Cat Food. I used to buy it by the case. Then Whole Foods switched distributors and discontinued that brand. They wouldn’t tell me where they got the brand my cats liked so much and wanted.
Missing her favorite food
Sophie, one of my cats was distraught. For months she would go to the cabinet, look at it and then at me, and cry when she was hungry (the way only cats do!). When I put dry food down for her, she would make even more noise about what she wanted but wasn’t getting. She would eat the dry food but she really wanted the beef and liver canned food she was used to and she continued to let me know that.
If it sounds like a can of cat food…
When I opened a can of sardines, trout, tuna, or salmon for myself (I don’t eat tinned fish very often), she would come running and start meowing for me to give her some. I would often succumb to her cries and give her a little of the meat (she didn’t like fresh raw or cooked fish or meat). I didn’t need to eat the whole can anyway. Eventually Sophie would come running when I opened cans of coconut milk, thinking I had something for her!
I couldn’t find a canned food that was pure enough by my standards that she and my other cat, Lilly, would eat. I had given up finding a grain-free, gluten-free beef and liver cat food for her. Months went by and then I decided to check again. Sure enough I found one! I was excited and I knew my girls would be too.
The search is over!
I found By Nature 95% Beef & Liver canned cat food in 5.5 ounce cans online. I ordered it and got an entire case. (I’m usually an optimist!) My cats are picky––and they loved it! They wanted it every day and would have eaten it for breakfast and dinner, had I not rationed it. I wanted to make it last, so I let them share one can of it once a day, until it was gone. They ate their grain-free, bean-free, artificial coloring-free dry food at the other meal.
I want my cats to have the best chance for long, healthy, active and happy lives. I give them a lot of love, I pet them, groom them, play with them, talk to them, let them sit in my lap, and pay attention to how they are feeling and to how their coats look. I’ve even clicker trained them! (Yes, cats can be trained!) I buy and feed them the best quality food I can find that also fits my budget. Canned food costs more but it’s actually better for cats because it contains more moisture than dry food. So, I usually include it in their diet on a daily or weekly basis.
What can a more nutrient-dense and appropriate diet do for your cats?
The first thing I noticed when my first kitten, Sophie, in 2008, switched from a Friskies Buffet dry food diet (the ingredient list is incredibly long and shockingly unnatural) that her former caregivers gave her (they had good intentions; they just lacked knowledge about a natural diet for cats) to a gluten-free, grain-free, more species appropriate diet, was that her coat became more softer and sleek and her long hair (now a flowing mane) looked healthier and more beautiful.
I have no idea what my second cat ate before I rescued her 5 years ago (on foot, crossing a street, at a red light, when she ran under and SUV and was headed for a busy intersection). She’s eaten a grain-free diet since she was about 2 months old and 2 pounds in weight.
Some cats smell better, experience relief from allergies, eczema, psoriasis, or breathing problems. Some shed excess body fat, get off diabetes medications (yep some obese pets receive daily insulin shots!), and other increasingly common health issues. The possible improvement are as endless for cats and dogs as those that humans experience with improvements in diet.
I highly recommend the grain-free line of By Nature Cat Food. Although my cats have only tried the 95% Beef & Liver cat food, I would like to buy and have them try some of the others:
The By Nature website also features Grain-Free Dog Foods. They have canned and dry food options for both species. All of their other products are made in the U.S.A., so you can feel overseas that have had ongoing contamination issues.
The By Nature Website lists a Find a Retailer Near You search option so you can buy their products locally, if you want to and there is a store near you. They have a frequent buyer program for their dry cat and dog foods, a Food Fur Thought blog for improved pet parenting, and more.
By Nature cat and dog foods are great for those who are into paleo, primal, ancestral, and gluten-free, grain-free and healthy eating, and those who simply want to feed their pets high quality, species-appropriate meals but don’t have time or inclination to prepare the BARF (Bones and Raw Foods) Diet. (Really it’s not barfy, it’s just a catchy term for the age-old diet our canine and feline friends were designed to eat.)
It’s time for me to re-order and get some additional flavors for my girls. They get so excited when they see the cans. They know what I have and they watch me put it into THE cabinet. Sometimes Lilly will stand up and paw at the cabinet, hoping it will magically open and allow her to get something that’s not in her kitty dish. They know the sound of their favorite treat bags being opened too…. 😉