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Celestial Homemade Food for Cats

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Celestial Homemade Food for Cats

The feline has emerged through the stages of evolution as an obligate carnivore, which means that all cats, from the domestic house cat to the Bengal tiger, are creatures whose carnivorous nature is 100 percent dependent on their species-specific diet: fresh raw prey. Everything about the cat, from its unique physiology to its behavior, demonstrates that what it needs to achieve optimum health depends on fulfilling its strict dietary requirements.

The Carnivore’s Teeth
A cat’s mouth contains four long teeth called canines at the front of the jaws. He has sharp serrated teeth at the back of the jaw, which are used to grasp and tear the meat from the bones. These teeth contain an array of pressure-sensitive nerves. When a cat grips a mouse with his canines, his teeth find the space between the mouse’s vertebrae and deliver a quick, clean, killing bite. Remember, in the wild, the cat only gets to eat and feed its young when they win the battle and manage not to have dinner whisked away by another predator. Survival of the fittest is the law of the jungle even if the jungle is your own home.

The cat, both large and small gets its nutritional needs met secondhand through the prey animal! It serves as a kind of processing plant for everything the feline needs nutritionally. The cat has myriad receptors for certain chemicals found in their meal of raw meat. Cats can taste if their meat is fresh killed, or if it comes from the meat department of your local health food store. Cats know (in their brain stem and cerebellum, which govern instinctual survival behaviors and thinking) whether the prey is a minute or a day from its end. They may even be able to detect how the prey died if they didn’t kill it themselves.

Cats, if given the choice, would prefer their mice (as it is the natural diet of our cats) to our modern store bought meat, but I am not suggesting that you turn your house cats out into the wild and allow them to fend for themselves as for sure it’s a jungle out there today. A mouse in your house may seem like a golden opportunity to test your cat’s natural instincts. But please note that many house mice have ingested rat poison, and field mice can carry infectious diseases and parasites.

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Celeste Yarnall

Celeste Yarnall, PhD shares musings on myriad of topics at her Celestial Musings Blog. She is the author of The Complete Guide to Holistic Cat Care with Jean Hofve, DVM and Paleo Dog. Celeste is an actress/producer/activist/writer and keynote speaker. She and her husband Nazim Artist created the Art of Wellness Collection and are the producers of Femme: Women Healing the World. They live in Los Angeles, California with their beloved Tonkinese cats. Join Celeste at her website or on Facebook.

119 comments

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8:22AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

Some people need to get a life--cats are carnivores pure and simple and as much as some non meat eaters would like to, the cat cannot change their systems to go on a vegan diet just because this will end animal suffering. Purrhaps we should cull all carnivores so that only the vegetarian species will survive but since Nature created both meat eaters and those whom do not eat meat, well there was a reason.
Reality however dictates that cats and other carnivores are part of the natural order of things. They do not survive well by eating a non meat diet. Get over it, not all species can go vegan, they just exist in the world because Nature made them that way.

2:52PM PST on Feb 23, 2012

Lamby please feel free to contact us for help...we love it when we can. You can reach us at Celestial Pets http://www.CelestialPets.com. We’ve been helping people make this conversion for 20 years. CelestialPets@CelestialPets.com My business partner for all these years is Imelda Lopez Casper and we have help many a hand and paw through the years for both dog and cats parents!!! xxoo

2:10PM PST on Feb 19, 2012

thank you so much for this article. i have a 2 year old tomcat who has thus far refused the fresh raw meats that i have brought home. i've changed prey, different organic suppliers...he just smells the food and is not interested. occasionally i will bring home a piece of cooked chicken breast or turkey - sometimes he will have a little bit of it, but i can't help but wonder if he sees me get all excited about it that he just feels sorry for me! i want him to love his food like i have seen when i fed my beloved dog a raw diet. i have tried going slow, mixing it up and putting just a tiny bit in with his regular wet food - he honestly wont even eat his regular food at that point. anyway, this article has inspired me to try again. perhaps an animal communication session is next. thanks.

4:24AM PST on Dec 23, 2011

Celeste Y. i don't think the vegans care about biology. feeding pets is all about ethics to them. trying to give them a crash corse in zoology is considered bullying or trolling to them.

12:32PM PDT on Oct 11, 2011

(Trying to make the quote fit here is the rest)
What little carboyhydrate the cats do burn is broken down by hexokinase, an enzyme system that can’t speed up to handle large meals or slow down during a fast. Cats handle excess carboydrates by stoing it as fat, not gycogen. As a result, when a cat misses a meal, it has no source of fast fuel, so it must break down fat and protein stored in its own body--the same thing an omnivore does during starvation. On the other hand, cats are efficient at getting energy from protein, so the small constant, meaty meals of a predator suit a cat completely."

12:30PM PDT on Oct 11, 2011

Joanne Howl, DVM,Oct '98 Cat Fancy Carnivore in the House.
“One important biochemical quirk is the way cats get energy from food. Most animals use carbohydrates, the complex sugars found in plants, for their primary body fuel. In thee animals, the nergy factory is based on the enzyme glucokinase, which adapts readily to either feast or famine. For example, when a marathon runner eats pasta the night before a race his or her glucokinase system kicks into high gear and sends a steady energy stream to the body, which stores excess energy as readily usable glycogen. The next day, when the atlete can’t eat but needs a lot of energy, the glucokinase system nearly shuts down, allowing the body to burn glycogen for fuel.

Cats are radically different. They dpn’t use a glucokinase system, so they don’t handle carbohydrates as well as people can, says Rebecca Remillard, PhD., DVM, a veterinary nutritionisht at Angell Memorial Animal Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. What little carboyhydrate the cats do burn is broken down by hexokinase, an enzyme system that can’t speed up to handle large meals or slow down during a fast. Cats handle excess carboydrates by stoing it as fat, not gycogen. As a result, when a cat misses a meal, it has no source of fast fuel, so it must break down fat and protein stored in its own body--the same thing an omnivore does during starvation. On the other hand, cats are efficient at getting energy from protein, so the small constan

12:26PM PDT on Oct 11, 2011

Joanne Howl, DVM in the October 1998 issue of Cat Fancy and ref/ pg 29, 'Carnivore in the House.’
“One important biochemical quirk is the way cats get energy from food. Most animals use carbohydrates, the complex sugars found in plants, for their primary body fuel. In thee animals, the nergy factory is based on the enzyme glucokinase, which adapts readily to either feast or famine. For example, when a marathon runner eats pasta the night before a race his or her glucokinase system kicks into high gear and sends a steady energy stream to the body, which stores excess energy as readily usable glycogen. The next day, when the atlete can’t eat but needs a lot of energy, the glucokinase system nearly shuts down, allowing the body to burn glycogen for fuel.

Cats are radically different. They don’t use a glucokinase system, so they don’t handle carbohydrates as well as people can, says Rebecca Remillard, PhD., DVM, a veterinary nutritionisht at Angell Memorial Animal Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. What little carboyhydrate the cats do burn is broken down by hexokinase, an enzyme system that can’t speed up to handle large meals or slow down during a fast. Cats handle excess carboydrates by stoing it as fat, not gycogen. As a result, when a cat misses a meal, it has no source of fast fuel, so it must break down fat and protein stored in its own body--the same thing an omnivore does during starvation. On the other hand, cats are efficient at gett

12:23PM PDT on Oct 11, 2011

I found in my original research for my nutrition chapter in my book Holistic Cat Care, with Jean Hofve, DVM.
Joanne Howl, DVM in the October 1998 issue of Cat Fancy and refer/ pg 29, 'Carnivore in the House.’
“One important biochemical quirk is the way cats get energy from food. Most animals use carbohydrates, the complex sugars found in plants, for their primary body fuel. In thee animals, the nergy factory is based on the enzyme glucokinase, which adapts readily to either feast or famine. For example, when a marathon runner eats pasta the night before a race his or her glucokinase system kicks into high gear and sends a steady energy stream to the body, which stores excess energy as readily usable glycogen. The next day, when the atlete can’t eat but needs a lot of energy, the glucokinase system nearly shuts down, allowing the body to burn glycogen for fuel.

Cats are radically different. They dpn’t use a glucokinase system, so they don’t handle carbohydrates as well as people can, says Rebecca Remillard, PhD., DVM, a veterinary nutritionisht at Angell Memorial Animal Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. What little carboyhydrate the cats do burn is broken down by hexokinase, an enzyme system that can’t speed up to handle large meals or slow down during a fast. Cats handle excess carboydrates by stoing it as fat, not gycogen. As a result, when a cat misses a meal, it has no source of fast fuel, so it must break down fat and protein stored i

11:50AM PDT on Oct 11, 2011

oh wow, a vegan that sees cats do eat meat. most of them here would rather they not.

11:02AM PDT on Oct 11, 2011

Can this whack nut be banned from posting?!? Colleen, you are an embarrassment and a disgrace to all myself and my vegan, animal-rights friends and cohorts. And before you consider re-posting, do us all a favor and buy the book, "Animal Ingredients A to Z". It may be a true eye-opener for you. Unfortunately, you may start harassing more friends and family, if you have any left.

Thank you, Celeste, for the informative article and in hopes that the "reachable" learned that felines NEED meat to survive.

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