Not many cat owners consider what kinds of meat they should be feeding their furry friends. Because of marketing, anything labeled cat food no matter the meat is considered healthy. What if some meats are not ideal for most cats?
So what can a cat catch and eat?
We will use the barn cat as an example. A barn cat is a cat looked after by a farm owner to keep pest populations under control. Barn cats will kill and eat mainly rodents and birds. Rodents by nutritional value are considered “white meat” and this includes mice, squirrels, and rabbits. Cats are able to catch and kill small and medium sized rodents and birds. Anything bigger than a medium sized hen or duck is likely not going to be an option.
What about fish?
While fish is considered “white meat”, when was the last time you seen a house cat go hunting in water? This is something that is not typical for these kinds of cats. While fish is not “bad”, it is not a good idea to only feed them fish alone. I would advise to feed it to them sparingly. Not only is it not typical for house cats to hunt and eat fish but the mercury content in fish (especially tuna) is not healthy.
Is dairy okay?
Dairy is one of those things that depends on the individual cat. When giving milk, you should only ever use lactose free milk. They do not have the ability to break-down lactose and casein. Most adult mammals are actually lactose intolerant on some level for the same reason, this includes humans. Things like yogurt, cheese, and butter are fine in small amounts. Only use plain yogurt, no seasoned cheeses, and real butter. Consider this a rare treat. Also, for those of you wondering, eggs are fine for cats as well. Hard boiled eggs are the best option but if they only like scrambled eggs, cook them in virgin olive oil (not butter!) and don’t use lactose milk.
When a standard house cat is given a diet high in red meat, it will put stress on the liver, kidneys, and digestive system just like it does for humans. It can cause them to gain weight easily as well as make them become picky eaters. Red meat can also increase your cat’s chances of developing high blood pressure which can be an issue for them as they get older. Cats who have issues with high kidney readings should not have any red meat in their diet at all.