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Guide to the best diet for your cat

Guide to the best diet for your cat
by Dr Grant Hampson

Read time: 4 min

There’s a lot of misinformation out there about cat nutrition. So many cat diets you could choose from. And a lot of meaningless claims and hard-to-understand jargon in your way.

As a hardcore cat parent, you just want to know the best way to feed your cat. Which cat food will give your cat their best life? What are the most popular cat diets and what do they really mean? So let’s get started.

Fresh cat food is best

Let’s start with the headline: fresh is the best food for your cat. No contest. It’s 100% fresh meat, gently steam-cooked and frozen to stay fresh without preservatives.

Why 100% fresh-cooked meat? Because cats are carnivores. Like their wild ancestors, they’re born to eat meat. Plant matter isn’t natural for them. Their bodies aren’t built to process grains – which is why their litter tray smells so bad on dry and wet food.

And because they’re carnivores, cats have a constant need for protein. Their bodies are burning through protein non-stop every day. They can’t stop or slow down that process, and if they don’t get enough protein, their body will start to break itself down instead. The only way to keep up is with an all-meat diet. And not processed, powdered meat, but the highest quality, 100% fresh-cooked meat.

Plus, fresh cat food is balanced and complete. That means there’s no need to feed anything else. Your cat will thrive on fresh alone. It’s high-moisture whole food, supported by the perfect mix of nutrients for cats of all ages.

Should I feed my cat raw food?

No. Raw cat food might seem natural, but it’s dangerous for you. Remember that cats lick themselves. If your house cat eats raw chicken, licks their fur, then rubs on you, they could be spreading salmonella and E.coli.

A ‘home-made’ raw food diet is dangerous for your cat too. If you’re not buying pre-made raw meals and you’re just feeding any raw meat, it’s not nutritionally balanced or calorie controlled. That can lead to over- or under-feeding and nutrient deficiencies.

With fresh cat food, you get the benefits of raw, minus the risk. Gentle steam-cooking is hot enough to kill bad bacteria, gentle enough to protect nutrients.

Is dry food/kibble good for cats?

No: kick kibble to the kerb. It’s a little cheap meat meal and a lot of even cheaper grains. Kibble looks like breakfast cereal because it’s similar in structure. Those shapes are made from grains and carbs. And like we’ve talked about, cats struggle to digest plant matter.

Plus, kibble is overbaked. It’s made through a process called extrusion: all the ingredients are moulded and cooked under extreme pressure and extreme heat. It destroys nutritional value, damaging sensitive vitamins that cats need for good health.

The final thing to remember here: dry cat food isn’t necessary for good teeth. There’s no independent research to back that: the research papers are written by dry food brands. For good teeth, you need a good dental hygiene routine and regular vet checkups.

Is wet food good for cats?

No. But first, let’s clear things up. Wet food means processed meat and meat meal ‘chunks’ in a sauce – usually artificial sugary gravy or jelly. It’s different from fresh, because fresh food means 100% fresh meat cooked in its own natural juices.

Wet food is bad for some of the same reasons as dry. It’s processed meat derivatives, bulked out with cheap vegetable extracts and grains. Though you might see words like ‘chunks’ and ‘morsels’ on the packaging, those shapes aren’t natural. They’re derivatives and fillers, processed and pressed to form nuggets. Not the real fresh cuts of meat cats need.

Should I feed my cat home-cooked food?

Unless you’re a nutritionist, it’s near impossible to get home-made cat food right. If you don’t get the exact balance of nutrients, you can make your cat ill. You might also expose them to potentially toxic foods without meaning to. For example, if you pop an innocent-seeming chicken stock cube into your cooking, it could have garlic and onion. Both are toxic to cats.

Plus, all that cooking every day is an effort. KatKin’s fresh food gives you the same home-cooked experience – minus the work. And because our fresh meals are formulated by a board-certified vet nutritionist, you know your cat is getting exactly the nutrients they need.

Can my cat be vegan?

No. Unlike humans, cats are born carnivores. Their sharp teeth are for tearing meat; not grinding plants. Their saliva and their liver don’t break down plants like herbivores do. Their digestive tract is shorter, because it’s built for meat.

Plus, there are nutrients cats can only get from meat. As an example: they need taurine for a healthy heart and immune system. But they can’t make it from plants like herbivores do. So they have to eat the herbivores. (Sorry, herbivores.)

And like we talked about earlier, cats have a constant need for protein, and it never stops. Since cats don’t digest plants efficiently, a vegan diet can’t keep up with the demand. And if your cat doesn’t get enough protein, their body will start to break itself down to compensate.

Whilst vegan and vegetarian diets can be great for humans, they unfortunately aren’t right for carnivorous cats. But with KatKin’s fresh food, you can at least rest assured that our 100% meat food is ethically sourced and made right here in our UK kitchen.

Wait – there’s another diet you haven’t covered?

We’re always here to talk cat nutrition. Just get in touch at or join our Facebook Club House where we swap cat stories, photos, and laugh at 4% meat kibble.

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