Best Meats for Your Cat

You may have noticed when shopping for cat food, there are a lot of options when it comes to meat and poultry. When looking at a cat’s natural diet in the wild, you have to assume a house cat will not be able to take down something more than twice its size. You must also note that they are not so great at catching prey in the water. So, what are the best and worst meats to feed your kitty?

Best Options

The options below are considered best for your cat because they can actually prey on them in the wild. Yes, this means they can actually catch and kill these. These meats (and poultry) also provide key nutritional balance with minerals and vitamins that are easy to digest for cats.

  • Chicken
  • Eggs
  • Turkey
  • Rabbit
  • Duck
  • Quail

Limited Options

The options below are not normal prey material for your cat but most meat cuts and catches are safe. You do not want these to make up more than 40% of your cat’s diet because they do not supply the proper nutrition for a house cat. Also, not to point out the obvious, but your cat cannot kill or catch cows, lambs, or whitefish.

  • Lamb
  • Beef
  • Whitefish

Avoid/Use Sparingly Options

Many people assume that seafood is the best option for their cat, but when was the last time you seen a house cat hunting for food in the water!? This alone is enough to limit these foods BUT what makes matters worse is that most seafood catches in animal food are low quality and can contain high amounts of lead and mercury. These are best to be used as a seldom treat or not at all. Yes, pork makes this list as well because they offer very low nutritional value for your cat.

  • Crustaceans
  • Tuna
  • Salmon
  • Pork

Be sure to check treats as well, most cat owners use treats as 15% of their cats daily diet. A lot of treats hide cheap filler from tuna, beef, and low-quality chicken byproducts.

Never feed your cat raw meat unless you know the exact source it comes from (i.e. your own farm). There are raw options on the market that are better for your cat than doing it yourself. Human grade meat doesn’t have any of the added minerals needed for your cat’s health and this can lead to health problems.

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2 thoughts on “Best Meats for Your Cat”

  1. This article is wrong in many ways.

    The fact that Lamb is not a natural prey for cats does not mean it doesn’t supply the proper nutrition. In fact Lamb is a better quality protein than chicken. Lamb also is more fatty – which is healthy for your cat.
    1. Animal fats typically do not cause excessive weight gain in cats. Carbohydrates do.
    2. Animal fats do not increase a cats risk for heart disease as they have much higher blood HDL than we do.
    3. The high quality protein in lamb, along with the fat is highly digestible and will keep your cat fuller longer. He/she will eat less food overall because. No other food product (except quail) will create the same level of satiety.

    Next, none of the “best options” listed above have omega-3 fats. The best option for omega-3 fats without the fear of lead and mercury come from sardines and wild salmon or Alaskan salmon. Yes, you cat benefits from omega-3 fats just like you do.

    Crustaceans are an amazing treat for your cat. According to the FDA, the following crustaceans are the safest of all sea foods: scallops, shrimp, clams, oysters.

    In conclusion, there’s nothing wrong with chicken, turkey, rabbit, eggs, duck, and quail. To maintain optimal health of your cat, 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 diet (1/3 poultry, 1/3 land meats, 1/3 seafood).

    Poultry: All good sources of protein with quail being the best, followed by duck and turkey being equal, and then chicken. A rotation of turkey, chicken, and duck will keep kitty happy.

    Land meats: Lamb is the best for cats. Rabbit, venison, kangaroo are also excellent. Beef is good. Pork should be an occasional treat.

    Seafood: Sardines and herring are the healthiest and safest seafood choices for your cat. Other top choices include salmon, tuna, and mackerel (depending on where they are sourced). Shrimp is also a very good source of omega-3.

    Sources:

    https://www.fda.gov/food/foodborneillnesscontaminants/metals/ucm115644.htm

    https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2014/10/can-eating-the-wrong-fish-put-you-at-higher-risk-for-mercury-exposure/index.htm

    https://nutritiondata.self.com

    https://www.wwwallaboutcats.com/best-cat-food

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