If you are a cat owner and are wondering what meats are best for cats, you have come to the right article.
Cats eat meat and are obligate carnivores.
This means that they need a diet high in protein to be healthy. Unlike dogs, cats don’t have the ability to digest carbohydrates.
Cat owners who feed their cats mainly of dry food or kibbles need to seriously consider switching their cat to a raw meat diet or at the very least, wet food.
It will be good for the cat’s health in the long run.
Best Raw Meats That Cats Eat
As advocates of a raw meat diet for cats, this article will cover the types of raw meat that you can and should be feeding your cat.
It is also important to purchase human-grade meat for your cat. Not meat from animal carcasses or meat that has been unhygienically prepared.
If you can’t eat the meat that you have bought for your cat, then you shouldn’t be feeding it as cat food.
Please also be aware of how long your cat’s raw food should be left out in the open. We want to prevent food contamination as much as possible.
You wouldn’t want to be eating a plate of sashimi that has been left out of the fridge for hours as well I assume.
Chicken is one ingredient that you will find in many cat food.
It is dense in protein and widely available. It’s classified as ‘white meat’ and comes under the poultry category.
Benefits Of Chicken
- Affordable and widely available
- The lean healthy protein in poultry is an outstanding resource of amino acids
- Eating hen can assist to build stronger muscle mass as well as advertise much healthier bones
- Natural chicken stock/broth provides a significant source of gelatin and collagen
- Chicken meat supplies a suitable source of required nutrients
- An outstanding low-calorie and low-fat source of high-grade protein
Turkey is one meat that many cat owners will use as a substitute for chicken.
It’s also known as ‘white meat’ and is derived from the poultry family.
Some cats might actually prefer turkey to chicken as it has a slightly gamier smell than chicken. And the way to a cat’s stomach is through its nose.
One thing about Turkey is that it might be as widely available as compared to chicken unless it’s during Thanksgiving.
Benefits Of Turkey
- Turkey is an outstanding source of healthy protein
- Turkey meat is much lower in fat as well as high in protein
- Turkey is a great source of taurine which is an important part of your cat’s diet regimen
Beef is the second most popular type of meat when it comes to the kind of meat that cats eat.
It is also widely found in wet canned food and is classified as red meat.
As with all red meats, it has a higher fat content than white meat so it should not form the main bulk of your cat’s diet.
You can either rotate it with lower fat meat like chicken or turkey or add some to your cat’s food.
Benefits Of Beef
- Beef is an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C and also vitamins of B complex
- Fantastic meat for taurine which cats need
- Bone broth includes amino acids that have anti-inflammatory properties
- Collagen and gelatin in bone broth help to strengthen bones and joints which is good for older cats
I know many cat owners out there get squirmish when it comes to feeding their cat rabbit meat.
It’s not something one would consider part of a cat’s diet and the thought of feeding ‘bugs bunny’ to their cat is somewhat gross.
However, rabbit meat is similar to chicken and turkey which is low in fat and high and protein.
One thing to note is that rabbit meat can be pricey as it’s considered ‘novel’ meat. If budget is an issue, then use it as an occasional treat.
Benefits Of Rabbit As A Raw Meat
- Good for cats with severe dietary allergies or sensitivities
- Low in fat and high in protein
- Contains the full range of amino acids that a cat requires
- Rich in vitamin B12 which is vital for a cat’s nervous system
Duck is one meat that is starting to get popular with raw feeders and most cats like it.
It’s red meat like beef, making it rich in vitamins, minerals and taurine. All good for your cat.
Like most red meat, it is also higher in fat content so make sure to give it sparingly to your cat.
Benefits Of Duck
- Good source of protein
- Contains important minerals and vitamins for cats
- Excellent source of iron for cats
Feeding your cat some duck meat now and then can help add some variety to its diet.
Lamb is another red meat that cats eat. It is also higher in fat as compared to other white meats so feed your cat sparingly or as an occasional treat.
Make sure to trim off the excess fat before feeding your cat.
Benefits Of Lamb
- High in protein
- Contains important vitamins and minerals
- Great source of healthy fats like omega 3
Is Fish Good For A Cat’s Diet?
Mainstream media has been portraying cats as fish eaters.
No doubt that fish is a good source of protein and healthy fats for humans, but cats don’t really benefit from it in the same way.
Raw fish contains an enzyme that has an adverse effect on thiamine which is an important B vitamin for cats.
A lack of this vitamin in cats can lead to many health problems down the road.
Fish also contains high levels of fatty acids like Omega 3 which can cause vitamin E deficiency in cats.
If your cat really likes fish, cook it first and feed sparingly.
Is Pork Good As Raw Cat Food?
Pork, even though some might consider it ‘white meat’ is not used in commercial cat foods for a variety of reasons.
Higher Fat Content
It has a higher percentage of fat as compared to chicken or turkey. And too much fat for cats isn’t a good thing. They should be eating leaner cuts of meat with the occasional fatty meat.
Risk Of Contamination
Pork has a higher risk of contamination which can make your cat ill. Cats eat raw meat and their body is suited for such a diet.
However, the contamination in pork might be too much for their digestive system to handle.
If you wish to incorporate some pork in your cat’s diet as a treat, then ensure it is thoroughly cooked before feeding your cat.
What Is A Cat’s Favorite Meat?
Based on my experience, cats tend to favor poultry meat better. This can range from chicken, turkey, cornish hen, etc. I think this boils down to being the type of meat that is closest to the type of prey that a cat would catch and eat in the wild.
I highly doubt that our cats are strong enough to take down an entire cow or sheep by themselves.
Is Beef Better For Cats Than Chicken?
Beef in general isn’t a better type of meat for cats due to the higher animal fat content that is found in red meat. The good thing is that cats are able to better utilize and break down saturated food which prevents them from getting health problems like high blood pressure and heart disease. Chicken or poultry meat should still form a large portion of your cat’s diet.
Now that you know what meats are best for cats, you can mix and match them in your cat’s diet.
It will be good for your cat to have different meats every now and then as variety is the spice of life!