November 3, 2009
Dry kibbled, highly-processed diets are not, by their nature, biologically appropriate for cats. By nature, cats are desert creatures, and this means that in nature, they get most of their moisture intake from the food they eat. Dry kibble foods actually rob the body of moisture and can eventually cause a state of chronic, low-grade, long term dehydration in a feline - hence, a common feline ailment are urinary tract infections and kidney disease. The consumption of a low-moisture kibble diet requires the cat to drink excessive water just to help digest and break down the kibble food.
Here are some additional issues with dry food kibble:
Generally, they are loaded with too many grains for a meat-eating creature, and kibble-fed cats tend to graze all day, which is not how a feline would dine in the wild. When an animal is allowed to graze on food, their digestive tract is never given a proper chance to rest and empty. This can create GI Tract issues and possibly increase the risk of FUS (Feline Urinary Syndrome).
For some cats, kibble is an addiction. They will absolutely refuse to eat anything but those crunchy bites (some cats even have shape preferences), and these animals can be really tough to wean onto a new type of food such as canned, dehydrated, home-made or raw. Our recommendation is to slowly start adding water or a low sodium broth to the dry food. Prowl is another option as a great topper to the kibble. Cutting down the feeding time is another option, by removing uneaten portions after 15- 20 minutes. This will encourage your feline to eat at a set meal time.
With cats, dietary changes should be made even more slowly than with dogs, and the process can require lots of patience on the part of the guardian.
Special Note: It is not advisable to fast a cat for longer than 12 hours, especially in overweight cats. This could create a condition known as Fatty Liver Syndrome, which is deadly. If you cat absolutely refuses to eat and food that has something new added, offer a small amount of his original food, free of additions.