Caring for your cat is easy when you try to remember her origins. Being domesticated doesn’t mean you should abandon how she would live in the wild. Cats have evolved in the wild over millennia. They have been domesticated for a mere trifle in comparison.
This means that their nutritional and emotional needs remain identical to those of their forebears. In attempting to provide the best cat care means looking at these needs. Lets look at their nutritional needs first.
Wild cats hunt on their own. They hunt small animals, sometimes up to about their own size, but mostly smaller than themselves. They rarely eat anything other than freshly killed meat. Contrasting this with a typical domestic cat’s diet of dried pellets and you realise how off the mark commercial pet food is. Even if dried pellets were made with the best cuts of meat (which they aren’t), the meat is still not fresh or raw. So, if you’re trying to provide the most complete cat care, what should you feed your cat?
In my opinion, the best cat food is raw meat and bones. You can’t completely duplicate a wild cat’s diet, but you can come so close as to not compromise her health. Cat care starts with food as this is consumed daily. Something done daily has much more impact on our health than say something that only happens once a year.
When a cat eats her prey, she will eat all the meat, including the bones. Bones are the best source of calcium for a cat. And meat can only be properly digested when it is consumed with bones. After all, all carnivores eat meat with bones. Not only that, crunching up on bones is the best way of keeping her teeth and gums healthy, as long as they’re not too big. No dried pellets can do that as well, despite the promises on the label.
Some think that giving a cat raw meat will trigger their hunting instinct. In my experience, it does the exact opposite. Because raw meat is nutrient dense, your cat will be satisfied and won’t feel the need to supplement her diet as when fed a nutrient deficient diet.
Natural cat care also means providing your cat with her basic emotional and physical needs. Cats are intelligent and inquisitive. They need visual stimulation. This is best served by being outdoors, where nature provides an abundance of stimulation. If it’s impossible or too dangerous to let your cat outside, do make sure she has access to safe stimulants, perhaps in the form of toys. Make sure you play with her to ensure she gets adequate exercise.
Sun is an important aspect of good cat care. Cats love the sun and it is essential to good health for all of us, not just your cat. Regular outdoor access will allow her to choose for herself. For confined cats, make sure there are times when you can open a window (safely) to allow the sun’s rays in, unhindered by glass or plastic.
Easy cat care really means allowing your cat the freedom she desires. Confining cats indoors is going against good animal husbandry, I am also of the opinion that declawing cats is not only painfully inhumane, it deprives the cat of the natural joy of stretching. If you are considering declawing your cat, maybe you should also consider having a cat is not for you. Cats have already adapted a great deal to live with us. Putting them through an unnecessary, inhumane and painful operation is purely for your benefit, not your cats.
Cats provide us with an abundance affection, love and enjoyment. To provide even adequate cat care, we should at least do the same for them.