The Ancestral Diet For Cats
Read time: 3 min
An ancestral diet can be the best way for your cat to receive the nutrients they need to thrive. When we say our meals are made for cats, it’s actually because cats are made for our meals. Following the expertise of our Board-Certified Vet Nutritionist®, our recipes are guided by ‘the ancestral diet’ – what cats are meant to eat, before kibbles and tins took the ‘food’ out of cat food.
What is included in an ancestral diet?
Cats are ‘obligate’ carnivores. They are naturally hunters and built to eat meat. So their nutritional requirements are largely about getting enough of it. Lots of supermarket cat foods get around this by artificially adding nutrient mixes and supplements to a largely grain-filled meal. But this is like only eating junk food and then remembering to take your vitamins!
Our ancestral diet doesn’t take any shortcuts, we formulate our recipes to a cat’s needs- not around them. That’s why our meals are 100% meat.
Grains are made from plants, and from head to toe, cats can’t really digest them very well. Their sharp teeth are made for tearing away at meat, not chewing away at plants, and their digestive tract is much shorter- built for absorbing the pre-packaged nutrients you only get in animal flesh. In fact, cats only produce small amounts of the enzyme that digests starch in the pancreas- quite far down in their digestive system- as opposed to humans who begin breaking down starches from the moment they enter the mouth.
Meats, on the other hand, they digest like they were made to do it (... because they were). So again, we keep our cat food recipes meaty, and cats can absorb far more nutrients from our ancestral diet inspired meals because of it.
When you think about it this way, it’s easy to see why cats have so much energy after switching to KatKin… and why there’s less poop in their litter boxes. A mostly meat, ancestral diet, with no grains means far more nutrients are being absorbed, and less waste is coming out the other end.
As carnivores, cats are also used to getting water from their meals, not a bowl (you might have guessed from how in-efficient their little tongue-dipping method is). They don't have the natural drive to drink water, which is okay as they would get most of their moisture from their prey in the wild. For example, mice are 80% water, and a common prey for cats. However, as kibble is so far from natural, their dryness creates a risk for cats.
Our Fresh, 100% meat content meals are naturally high in water too, and our slow cooking method stops any of it from escaping during cooking.
Ancestral diets provide exactly the right quantities
There’s no such thing as a free meal in the wild, and certainly not a free, all you can eat flow of biscuits. When eating a meal means spending time and energy hunting it, cats will only eat exactly what they need (with plenty of cat naps between). These appetite principles don’t quite apply when calorie dense biscuits are always available on demand however, and that might be why cats are facing an obesity epidemic.
We take the guesswork out of portioning by calculating exactly how much food your cat needs.
KatKin’s ancestral diet recipes
Because of fire and nutrition science, most humans eat better than any animals in the wild- and what kind of cat lovers would we be if we didn’t bring their ancestral diet into modernity a bit too.
That’s why we took inspiration from the ancestral diet and cook our meals instead of serving them raw. Raw meat is more prone to having harmful bacteria that outweighed the benefits of a raw diet. That’s also why we strategically measure the nutritional profiles of our meats and supplement them where needed to ensure they have the ideal amounts of the nutrients and vitamins naturally occurring in meat.
So there you have it- our ancestral diet inspired food is all natural, and all scientific. Quite literally, what your cat was born to eat.