An Ounce of Prevention
It is said that an “ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Nowhere is that more evident than in providing preventative care for your cat. By empowering yourself with some basic knowledge, most disorders, illnesses, and diseases, that are common to cats, are very easily prevented. You might want to read that again. The choices you make have a direct impact on your cats’ health, well being and life expectancy!
Health Begins in the Colon
Consider for a moment two statistics:
- 80% of your cats immune system is based in the gut
- 90% of chronic illness is caused by an unhealthy immune system
Commercial food does not contain much of what your cat needs to stay healthy. In fact, along with vaccines, it is a primary cause of your cat’s illnesses. “You are what you eat” has never been more true!
Imagine your favorite childhood breakfast cereal. You know, sugary sweet, with lots of empty calories. Or maybe, you’re the health conscious type, and prefer a cereal with all the “good stuff”- bran, fiber, and a few dried fruits thrown in for good measure. Seems healthy, right?
Now imagine you ate that same cereal as your total diet, twice a day for 5 months, let alone 5 years. How healthy would you be then?
And yet, commercial cat food is the equivalent of that same bowl of cereal twice a day for life. A steady diet of empty calories, meat byproducts (rendered meat, and meat unfit for human consumption) and filler has created legions of unhealthy cats.
Commercial cat foods have been linked to a variety of health problems in cats, including chronic dehydration, urinary tract disease, skin disease, allergies, gum disease, renal failure, and chronic gastrointestinal inflammation, a precipitating factor in GI lymphoma, a type of cancer in cats.
Feeding Your Cat as Nature Intended
If your priority is to keep your cat healthy and minimize vet bills, it’s time to take a careful look at your cats’ diet. You can increase your cats’ health, and reduce his or her chances of developing many health problems simply by changing what your cat eats.
Cats are carnivores. The ancestors of today’s domestic cat evolved on the deserts of Africa. Their sole source of both protein and water intake found only in their prey. In that natural setting, a cat’s diet consisted of at least 65% water, with no supplemental water intake necessary.
Today, cats are chronically dehydrated. In as little as 5 years, dehydration leads to urinary tract disease and most importantly, renal (kidney) failure; the 2nd most common cause of death for older cats.
Dry cat food contains less than 10% water: simply adding water to it is not the answer. The water found in raw meats is organic, not the same as water from the tap, or even bottled water.
Although commercially prepared canned cat food typically contains 40-45% water, it is not the organically sourced water that your cat needs to maintain a healthy intestinal and immune system.
Commercial Cat Food
Commercial cat food is so far removed from your cats’ natural diet that it flies in the face of thousands-of-years of evolution; in no way should it be considered food, let alone the best food for your cat. In addition, cats fed primarily commercially prepared dry foods have been shown to have greater problems with obesity, as well as making them more prone to hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver disease.
Begin today to transition your cat to a natural diet that most closely resembles what nature intended. Raw food and home-cooked diets are the ideal, as they provide your cat with the nutrition they require to be healthy, and through that, to live a happy life that exceeds today’s typical life expectancy.
Prepared cat food should only be used as a backup. When you have to feed a commercial diet, take care to select a diet with a high-moisture content, that utilizes quality meats and ingredients, as opposed to by-products and filler, which have little or no nutritional value.
Vaccinations- Friend or Foe?
Much has been written and debated about the merits and drawbacks of vaccines in cats. Emerging research has shown that as a whole, cats are being over-vaccinated.
Over-vaccination, in the form of both too many different vaccine types, as well as the frequency that vaccines are administered, can lead to many adverse effects in cats, including immune system dysfunction and serious systemic reactions, like vaccine related sarcomas and other cancers.
So, you may ask, if there are so many downsides to vaccinating, should I stop vaccinating my cat altogether? The short answer: you might just consider it.
In the last 20 years, as more vaccines have become available, and increasing number of vaccines have been administered to cats, the occurrence of cancer and other immune system problems in cats have skyrocketed. Several universities have shown in studies a link between increased vaccination administration and increasing rates of disease in cats.
Cats with minimal exposure (such as indoor-only cats) may be able to go without vaccination altogether. It is up to you to be educated about your choices, and be your cats advocate , especially when it comes to vaccination.
Maintaining Your Cat’s Peak Health
Adding high quality probiotics and enzymes to your pet’s diet will guarantee that they are able to absorb and use the high quality nutrients you are providing in their new food.
Another aspect of overall good health is a strong immune system. A healthy GI tract but also helps bolster the immune system, lessening the effect of allergies and various skin conditions for your cat. It also helps fight and prevent cancer and normalizes blood sugar levels to help prevent or stabilize diabetes.