As founder of Feline Nutrition, I spend a lot of time thinking about cats. They are a huge part of my life and I confess we have quite a few, ten actually. My focus is always on cat nutrition, but you can’t spend time with cats without having them worm their way into every aspect of your life. Ask most people, and they’ll tell you their cats are part of the family. Ours certainly are. In my opinion, a house without cats is just a house, not a home.

One of the reasons that nutrition is so important for cats is that, as pets go, they live a long time. Currently, our cats are all over ten years old. I fully expect to have the same ten cats in ten years, maybe even fifteen. Barring accidents, all cats should live into their twenties. This means they are going to go through old age and, just like people, need to stay healthy to make the best of their senior years. Proper nutrition plays a huge role in their health.

Here are some of my thoughts about cats, cat food and what we can learn from our furry family members.

Raw Meaty Bones for Cats: Adult Supervision Required!

I have always recommended feeding raw meaty bones to cats. They really need to do some serious gnawing and chewing – using those side teeth – to keep their teeth and gums in top shape. If you have read my previous blog posts, you’ll know about Thodin and her amazing teeth. She is over ten years old and has been a raw meaty bone-eater her whole life. Her teeth are plaque-free and the gums are in great shape. She’s never needed a dental and likely never will. This is how a cat’s mouth should be. The scraping action that occurs when

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Your Cat Worries About This

Everyone who shares their life with cats at some point wonders how they see the world. In the literal sense, they do see it differently than we do. Their distance vision is blurry, their close-up vision is pretty bad, too. They see the same colors. But, vision is not really what I’m thinking about. I’m thinking more about their outlook – what they care about. What do cats think is important in life? My answer would be food and safety. That’s not unusual; it’s what all animals, care about – people, too! With cats, though, the two may intersect in

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Let Me Tell You About Raw Cat Food. Hey Come Back!

If you’re anything like me, as soon as you realized what a difference raw food for cats makes, you wanted to tell everyone all about it. You wanted to convince everyone to do what you did. If you’ve tried, you probably had mixed success, right? Why is that? Just think about what we’re saying. Basically, you’re telling someone what they’re doing is wrong, and you’ve got it right. You can see the problem. Nobody likes being told they are wrong. Ever. There are only two ways someone will be receptive to this kind of message. One: they already know or

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Your Kitty May Need to Go to Chunk School

Frequently, I’m asked, “How do I get my cat to eat meat chunks and raw meaty bones?” I’m glad to hear this question because it means people understand how important it is for a cat’s dental health to do some chewing. It’s also important for their psychological health. Imagine if you ate only soft foods. As obligate carnivores, cats evolved powerful jaws that can slice through meat, skin, tendons, and bones, yet we have taken away any opportunity for them to use their teeth. This can’t be healthy physically or mentally. Some of my cats jumped at the chance to eat

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Are Cats Clandestine Consumers?

I once met with a representative from a meat producer trade group. I thought they might be interested in Feline Nutrition’s efforts to educate pet parents on feeding raw food for cats. I asked whether they had figures on the amounts or percentages of human-grade meat purchased for pets by consumers. The rep looked surprised as if it had never occurred to her to ask this particular question. It turned out it was something they didn’t track, period. Perhaps the industry rep wasn’t surprised by the question, but only that someone was asking it. They may be aware this occurs,

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Dry Cat Food – The Big Easy

The hook that gets most people snagged into feeding cats dry kibble is that it’s easy. Okay, it’s extremely easy. You can feed the cat in under five seconds. She seems to like it, too. It’s hard to fight against that. We are all busy, some of us ridiculously so. Easy is a big deal. Once people understand their cat shouldn’t be eating plant-based kibble, their first worry, whether they admit it or not, is that feeding kitty will become a lot of work. Almost everyone at this stage has realized there’s no going back, no matter how convenient it is. When

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Raw Cat Food Essentials and Fun Stuff, Too!

The Feline Nutrition Foundation is dedicated to educating people about the benefits of feeding their cats the right kind of diet. We want science-backed information to be freely available to everyone. That’s a core part of our mission. We emphasize the free part. Membership is free, all the information we offer is free and we don’t have ads cluttering up the site. Everyone associated with our education and advocacy work is a volunteer. We are passionate about helping cats. But, passion doesn’t pay the bills. We depend on the generosity of people who also know how important our message is.

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Cats and Cantaloupe: A Method to their Madness

One of the things we hear about all the time is the strange things cats will eat. If you’ve had cats for any length of time, you’ve experienced this. Not just the odd items in the meat category, such as grasshoppers or frogs, but also things like broccoli and string beans. The one food item that seems to come up time and again is cantaloupe. Having a cat that wants to eat something unusual now and then doesn’t seem implausible. They are individuals subject to the variations in behavior that entails. But to have cats from all different parts of

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The Myth of the Finicky Cat

I’m often asked what to do when kitty doesn’t want to eat the new raw cat food you’re offering. I hear words like “stubborn” and “finicky.” While that may describe what’s going on, it’s from a decidedly human perspective. I think it’s time to delve into a little cat psychology to help us understand what’s happening in that little kitty brain. People like to say they are creatures of habit. I would agree, but habit isn’t quite the right word. They stick to what works. That kind of behavior makes a lot of sense for them. They learn what works

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Falling Off the Cat Food Recipe Cliff

If you’re making homemade cat food, you’re following a recipe. At least, I hope you are. Not following one can be disastrous. Recipes matter. You really can’t feed whatever you want. We don’t recommend trying to formulate one from scratch. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying this is rocket science. Part of our message is that you don’t have to have an advanced degree in nutrition to feed your cat properly. That’s the argument big pet food companies try to use to discredit it. They say it shouldn’t be left to amateurs. By that logic, no mother should be

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The Most Important Member, You

When I created the Feline Nutrition Education Society in 2008, one of the first things we had to do was name the organization. People usually don’t think about the naming of things, and how much a name can influence the character of a person or a group. Names matter. I thought long and hard about it. The Feline Nutrition part came naturally; that is the core of what we are. We chose feline over cat, as feline evokes the scientific. Science is at the core of our world view. Education was what we intended to do and are doing now.

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You Said You Feed Your Cat, What?

I read the results of a survey that questioned people on their cat nutrition knowledge.¹ That the survey was done by Purina gave me pause, but the answers they got didn’t surprise me. Most people don’t think much about what they feed their cats. They buy what’s in the grocery store. You know, the stuff with the healthy-sounding names and the nice pictures. It couldn’t be sold if it weren’t good for your cat, right? You might think I’m passing judgment, but I’m not. I used to be one of those people. I know how they got there. I understand

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Oh! Those Dirty Little Kittens!

You may have heard of the hygiene hypothesis. The theory is that exposure to dirt and germs early in life helps to prevent allergies later – your immune system needs to be “trained” at an early age to fight off allergens.¹ The idea came from the observation that children who grew up on farms had a much lower incidence of allergies than those in cleaner environments, without as much exposure to naturally-occurring germs. Some studies conclude that infants exposed to multiple pets, cats or dogs, have fewer allergies as adults.² Two additional studies add to this idea. One indicates it

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It’s My Cat’s House, I Just Live There

There’s a movement in housing design to include features to enhance accessibility. Architects and designers are responding to the need for houses with features to make life easier and safer as one gets older, or if you become disabled. Wider doors for wheelchairs, handholds in the shower and spaces left for the addition of an elevator. It shows designers are thinking about how houses are really used, rather than just what looks good. But, I wish to register a complaint. The majority of people in the US own pets, yet houses are designed with complete disregard for this fact. If

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Black Cats Are Not Unlucky at All

When you start feeding raw food for cats, you begin to ask questions. For so many years, I fed dry, plant-based kibble because I had never asked those questions. It was a shock to realize how much I had taken for granted. I never asked myself the “why” of what I was doing. It’s clear now it’s always good to ask questions about all those reasons why. Questioning things we accept as given can lead us to interesting places. We should be more like children when we ask questions. They ask about things adults have stopped noticing. A child will

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Is There a Cat in the House?

I have noticed – and not just recently – that as far as movies and television are concerned, cats barely exist. If there are any aliens out there that have been monitoring our TV transmissions, they are probably wondering why there are so many cat food ads when no one actually seems to have any. I’m always snapping to attention when I see a cat incidentally on television or in a movie: it’s such an unusual event. As far as numbers are concerned, cats have been the most popular pet for quite a while now.¹ You’d never know it from

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Is There a Cat in the House?

I have noticed – and not just recently – that as far as movies and television are concerned, cats barely exist. If there are any aliens out there that have been monitoring our TV transmissions, they are probably wondering why there are so many cat food ads when no one actually seems to have any. I’m always snapping to attention when I see a cat incidentally on television or in a movie: it’s such an unusual event. As far as numbers are concerned, cats have been the most popular pet for quite a while now.¹ You’d never know it from

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Cat Longevity and the Ultimate Test?

I’ve been thinking about cat longevity. We had cats when I was a kid, and none of them made it past about eleven. I thought then that was how long they lived. After all, it was a lot longer than most of the dogs I knew. As an adult, my husband and I adopted a half-dozen rescues. They lived longer. One made it to 19, a couple to 18, but many died at 14 or 15. They all succumbed to one disease or another, cancer, diabetes, kidney failure and one from a completely mysterious ailment. It was heartbreaking. Cats should

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Bug Patrol and Cat Stampedes: Life with Lots of Cats

We have a lot of cats. More than is usual in a multi-cat household, but less than “crazy cat lady” numbers. We love having lots of cats, but it does change your life. We’ve made adjustments to accommodate them. Most are to make our lives easier since trying to change a cat’s nature is futile. We don’t have any carpets in our house. We tried it once. Our cats thanked us profusely for the great new horizontal scratching pad and assured us they’d have it shredded in a jiffy. There are no curtains in our house. We use only micro-blinds.

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What Scraps?

Since I started feeding raw food for cats, I’ve done a lot of thinking about cat food. I realized while grocery shopping the other day the only reason I go down the pet food aisle now is to pick up kitty litter. There isn’t a single pet food there I’d be willing to give my cats. Everything has grain in it. Everything. I shudder to I think it wasn’t that long ago I was buying dry food there. I really should say what I’ve been thinking about isn’t cat food per se, but meat. I pretty much stick to fowl

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