12 Worst Cat Food Ingredients (You Must Know)

12 Worst Cat Food Ingredients (Know These Things)

Knowing what food is best for your cat can be complexing when there are so many different cat foods available on the market. They are advertised as being healthy, well-balanced cat foods with the best ingredients. But are they? In this article we give our view on what we consider to be the worst cat food ingredients.

It is important to educate yourself on cat food ingredients and then read the cat food labels carefully before deciding on a particular cat food.

The worst cat food ingredients to avoid (no particular order)

Worst Cat Food Ingredients


This ingredient is added to wet cat foods as a gravy thickener.

Carrageenan is considered to be carcinogenic and can cause inflammatory problems leading to Colitis, Arthritis and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). It may also damage parts of the digestive tract and organs such as the liver and kidneys.

Carrageenan has been used in laboratories to trigger cancer in their test animals.

Carrageenan is in most canned pet foods. The manufacturers will tell you that they use the “Safe” form of Carrageenan. However, there is no real “safe” form as it converts to an unsafe form in the cat’s digestive system.

Meat Meal/By-product

Real meat should always be the first ingredient listed on cat food labels. When the meat ingredient isn’t named, then you do not know what they have put in the food.

Often by-products are organ meats such as brains, kidneys, and hearts – which are all great for cats, however, if the by-product isn’t named, then what you are getting may not be beneficial to your cats.

Meat and bone meal is generally the leftover parts of the animal after the meat has been removed. Again, it is better to know what this is.

Remember, cats are obligate carnivores. They are only meant to eat animals. In the wild they will eat pretty much the whole body of small animals, gaining nutrients from blood, bones, organs, and meat.

Too Much Fish

can cats eat fishFish, in general, should not be fed to cats – except maybe occasionally. Fish is not a natural food for cats. Cats in the wild are hunters – not “fishers” (Except occasionally).

Cats cannot Digest or Metabolize fish well – so fish leaves a lot of by-products in the blood. Which must be cleared out by the kidneys and liver – putting extra stress on these organs.

Large predatory fish like tuna can accumulate mercury in their systems. When consumed by cat’s this toxin will accumulate in the cat’s body. Not all large predatory fish will have this toxin in them, however it is better to er on the safe side and minimize how much you feed to your cat.

Avoid any foods containing salmon or salmon oils (unidentified fish or oils are generally from salmon). This is because the salmon will be farm-raised. Farm-raised salmon contain carcinogens.

It is common for cats to have a fish allergy.

Feeding fish to cats can be very dangerous for them. Check out this website that talks about why.


Avoid foods that contain Liver – unless it’s organic or from poultry. Liver can harbor toxins from the animal it’s from. Poultry does not live that long, so, liver from poultry will tend to ok.

Synthetic Preservatives

BHT (butylated hydroxy anisole), BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) and Ethoxyquin are three nasty chemical preservatives commonly found in cat foods. BHA and BHT are chemicals added to fats as preservatives.

According to California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, BHT is a known carcinogens and reproductive toxicants. BHT is also a carcinogen and causes liver and kidney damage in rats.

Ethoxyquin is illegal to use in human foods in USA, however, it is still legally added to pet foods. Reports indicate that it is harmful if swallowed or if it directly contacts the skin. Ethoxyquin often enters through the ingredient ‘fish meal’ and may not even appear on the label.

Another one to look out for is Propylene Glycol (PG). It is a humectant (moistening agent) found in some soft cat foods and treats. It is derived from ethylene glycol (EG) – antifreeze. PG is toxic to animals. Note, this ingredient is touted as non-toxic and non-absorbent for your pet. But consuming ‘pet-safe’ antifreeze’ will not ensure your cat’s health.

Food Dyes

Blue 2, Red 40, Yellow 5 and 6, have been linked to allergic reactions, behavior problems, and cancer in humans.

4-methylimidazole (4-MIE) can be found in the color caramel. 4-MIE is known to be poisonous to animals.


Can cats eat wheat productsMost cat foods will contain grains being touted as being beneficial to cats for the carbohydrates they provide. Once again, we must point out that cats are obligate carnivores.

Cats have difficulty digesting carbs from grains. Cats generally get all the carbs they require from meat.

In addition, many cats have an intolerance to wheat and corn gluten. As with humans with this condition, it can lead to itchy skin, vomiting and diarrhea.

Other forms of grain such as rice can impair taurine (an essential amino acid that cats get from meat) absorption.

Some cat food companies say their products are grain free, but this doesn’t mean they are carb free. They will use vegetables such as potato, pumpkin, and peas. Cats are unable to produce amylase in their saliva needed to break down carbs.

Food labels will sometimes say the vegetables provide protein for cats (cat’s require high protein in their diets). The protein from vegetables (and legumes) is not the type of protein that cats require.

Something else to mention, grains will likely have traces of chemicals like glyphosate on them. These disrupt the gut flora and fauna that can lead to immune problems. In addition, GMO ingredients tend to have a greater load of glyphosate.

Rendered Fat

The process of rendering separates fat, removes water and kills pathogens. The fat that is removed goes into pet food as “animal fat”. This will be named as: chicken fat, beef fat etc.

Rendered products are deemed “unfit for human consumption”. If we shouldn’t eat it, then should our pets? Rendered cat food products typically have relatively high protein levels, however, the quality of those proteins is often questionable.

Rendered products may be listed as meat meal or by-product.


Legumes such as peas, lentils, soybeans, and chickpeas, are a common ingredient in commercial cat food. They are promoted as being high in carbs and proteins for your cat. Cats don’t require the carbs and the protein is not one cats can easily digest.

Legumes are known to cause diarrhoea and have been linked to kidney damage.

Small amounts in cat food will not harm your cat.

Vegetable Oils

Sunflower, canola, and olive oil in cat food offers no benefit to cats. They are unable to absorb the Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.


Cellulose is used as a thickener in cat food. The cellulose used is derived from powdered woodchips. Cats cannot absorb it and it can block the digestive system causing constipation.

Vitamin C (last but not least of the worst cat food ingredients)

Cat foods formulated with added Vitamin C are offering no benefit to cats. They don’t need it like us humans. It can cause urinary blockages. Cranberries, often listed as an ingredient, is high in Vitamin C.

Final Thoughts on the Worst Cat Food Ingredients

It is almost impossible to avoid all the above worst cat food ingredients in commercial foods. Read the labels and seek cat foods that have fewer of the less beneficial ingredients.

When starting your cat out on a new food, be vigilant and note if it reacts negatively to it. Always look for natural foods with real meat as its first ingredients. Cats require lots of protein, and meat provides the best kind of protein.

Think; what would a cat be eating in the wild, and seek to offer a diet that replicates that!

If you want to check ingredients on the internet – you can usually find ingredient listings on Chewy.com


Home Cooked Diet For Cats (Feline Feast or Folly)

home cooked diet for cats

Many people question why pet owners tend to buy commercial foods for their feline rather than opting to a home cooked diet for cats, offering natural fresh meats.

The main reason is it is way easier to open a can of cat food or pour kibble, than preparing a homemade meal for a cat. But also, cat food is formulated to offer a balanced diet for felines. It has more nutrients required by cats than just ‘meat’.

The interest in homemade food for cats is on the rise. It is important to realize, however, that homemade pet food does not always mean healthy.

Let’s delve into why this is so…

Obligatory Carnivores

Home Cooked Diet For Cats vs Canned FoodsCats are obligatory carnivores. They do require essential nutrients in meat to live. Without meat they will get ill.

Cats need more than just the ‘muscle meat’. Most people, when giving fresh meat to their cats, only offer ‘muscle meat’ and think that this is all they require to survive.

When cats hunt, they do not selectively eat only the mouse steaks or bird fillets. They eat much more of their prey, including the organs, intestines and bones. Pretty much everything!

Minerals from bones

Cats get much, if not all, of their calcium from bones (and other minerals). Cat stomach acids leach these minerals out of the bones.

The bones are frequently enveloped and regurgitated in hairballs – as well as whatever fur or feathers the cat may have also swallowed. If some bones end up passing into the lower digestive tract they are typically already demineralized and softened.

That does not mean that a cat can never get harmed by bones. Or that it is a good idea to offer your cat bones from a cow, or large chicken bones – especially if they are cooked.

The bones that cats can manage to eat safely are small. They need to be small enough that they can chew through them. Think mouse sized!

What happens when giving cats a home cooked diet for cats with just meat?

can cats eat chicken bonesA mistake that well-meaning people make is the feeding of unbalanced homemade diets.

That is because when making cat food from scratch, many people fail to balance the meat with the correct amount of calcium, forgetting that in the wild, a cat would be eating both the meat and bones of their prey, thus providing a proper calcium-to-phosphorus ratio.

A cat diet too heavy in tuna, liver, or liver oil (such as cod liver oil), can lead to vitamin A toxicosis, resulting in bone and joint pain, brittle bones, and dry skin.

A diet too rich in raw fish can destroy vitamin B1. This can cause muscle weakness, seizures, or even brain damage. If a cat owner wishes to make their pet’s food, they need to understand and follow a properly balanced recipe.

This is similar to well-meaning people rescuing and raising wildlife. For example, with baby owls: when fed just meat, the owlets’ bones don’t develop properly. There have been instances where hand raised owlets have been found to be in such a poor state that their soft boned legs are unable to support them. Owls eat a similar diet to cats in the wild. They also consume all parts of their prey’s body.

Rather than a home cooked diet for cats, what about a raw diet?

In addition to the risk of nutrient deficiencies, raw diets pose other risks for cats. Any bones not completely ground up could cause intestinal blockages or even lacerations.

Plus, raw foods are more likely to be contaminated with harmful bacteria like Salmonella, E. coli and Listeria. The food requires careful consideration with storage and refrigeration.

A true home cooked diet for cats

A true homemade diet for cats must include much of what a feline in the wild would eat: muscle meat, organs and bones. Uncooked wild prey is high in protein and moisture. It also contains essential substances that are found in meat, such as taurine, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals.

Are all commercial cat foods good for your cat?

Throughout our website we review many different cat foods. When looking at ingredients it is clear that there are many excellent commercial cat foods on the market carefully formulated by animal nutritionists and provide a full spectrum of nutrients to keep cats healthy.

Also, there are some that we feel don’t offer a healthy balanced diet, or have ingredients that are not naturally found in a cat’s diet. Some cat foods are bulked-up using grains and vegetables, which are not ideal for carnivorous cats.

It is important to read the ingredient list to identify what is in the food and where it is sourced from. Artificial coloring, flavors and preservatives may also be harmful. Seek foods with natural additives.

The first ingredient should always be a quality real meat. Avoid meat meal substitutes.

Also, seek foods that include organ meats and have a range of essential ingredients such as amino acids, minerals, taurine and vitamins.

If giving your cat tinned foods with oily fish, then look to also provide foods that don’t contain fish. This will reduce the risk of vitamin deficiencies.

Refer to our ‘Cat Food Appraisal Tool’ to better understand what to look for in a quality cat food – and more importantly, what to avoid!

Final thoughts

Whether you choose to buy a quality commercial pet food or decide that a home cooked diet for cats is best, it is essential to do your homework to ensure the food is safe and offers a well-balanced diet.

To add variety to your cat’s diet, you could consider offering your pet a mixture of home cooked and commercial foods. That way you’ll cover all bases and keep your cat interested!


Can Cats Eat Dog Food? (What You Need to Know)

is dog food good for cats

Can cats eat dog food? It is one of those reoccurring questions most veterinarians hear from feline owners. Although the straightforward answer to this question is yes, there is more you need to know.

Cats are pretty different from dogs in terms of nutritional needs. So, while a taste of dog food will not harm your cat, it doesn’t add to their dietary requirements.

Can cats eat dog food? What are the benefits?

can cats eat dog foodDogs and cats are humans’ best companions. However, our feline and canine friends are very different regarding behavior and nutritional needs.

Dogs are omnivores, meaning their diet can oscillate between animal and plant products. On the other hand, cats are carnivores which implies that they thrive on a diet of meat-based proteins and animal fats for their body to function optimally.

The implication of this is that a commercial food that is complete and balanced for a dog would be nutritionally imbalanced for cats.

The differences between cat food and dog food

The formulation in cat food and dog food is different. Here is a quick look at some of them;

1.      Protein

Cats are obligate carnivores, so they need high amounts of protein to stay healthy. Unfortunately, while some dog food contains high protein levels, they do not have as many protein concentrations found in cat food.

2.      Taste

Cats cannot sense sweetness due to their low number of taste receptors. For this reason, cat food is specifically designed to be highly delicious for cats to eat.

3.      Taurine

Dog food does not always contain taurine because dogs can produce it themselves. Cats require taurine to survive, and unfortunately, their bodies cannot make it. Cats that lack taurine in their diets may suffer the loss of vision, digestion problems, and weakened hearts. Today, all commercially available cat food has taurine in them.

4.      Vitamin A

Cats need vitamins as a dietary supplement. However, they are unable to produce it on their own. Therefore, while dog food contains vitamin A, this is never enough to support the optimal nutritional requirements of cats.

5.      Niacin

Just like other essential nutrients, cats cannot produce niacin, so they rely on well-formulated cat food for it. Unfortunately, dog food would not give cats the proper levels of niacin they need.

6.      Arachidonic acid

Cats cannot create this fatty acid, so they must rely on specially formulated cat food to get this essential nutrient.

 Is it safe for cats to eat dog food?

Is it safe for cats to eat dog foodA morsel of dog food would not do any harm to cats. However, there is some vital information you need to know;

1.      Every cat is distinct with differing tolerances

A cat’s tolerance for food varies. While some cats may consume specific food without a problem, others may eat the same and experience several health issues.

2.      Dog food is only safe for healthy cats

Cats with health challenges shouldn’t eat dog food. It can adversely affect their health and not provide the nutrients they need to get better.

3.      Serving size and frequency are important

Cats who develop a long-term habit of eating dog food instead of cat food will be deprived of the nutrients their bodies require, and their health will deteriorate.

Are there foods on the market suitable for both dogs and cats?

Our view shared throughout this article is that commercial pet food products are each formulated for a specific type of animal.

Having said that, there are products sold where the manufacturer claim that their formulas are suitable for both dogs and cats.

Although, we are not an advocate of these products, we have found a product from Wysong that appears to consider the ingredient requirements for felines as well as canines in their recipe.

Wysong Canine Feline Dry Pet FoodThe Wysong canine/feline dry food is high in protein and has included probiotics, vitamins and minerals, and taurine. Its first ingredient is chicken meal, not real chicken meat (which would be our preference).

The ingredient list indicates 15% fat from chickens. This is a high fat content, which may not suit inactive cats or cats that are prone to obesity.

Pet owners have given it an average rating of 4.4 STARS.

Wysong Canine/Feline Formulated Dry Food


Life stage and pet food

The Association of American Feed Control Officials helps monitor and regulate the pet food industry.

AAFCO collaborates with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to determine which pest food are considered complete and balanced for a particular life stage.

AAFCO-certified foods are whole and balanced for the life stages indicated. Feed felines only AAFCO-approved cat food. Scrutinize the food label for information on life food information.

Choose a food label for growth or all life stages if you have a kitten, pregnant cat, or nursing cat. There are three main groups of life stages in the pet food industry. They include:

  • Growth
  • Maintenance
  • All life stages

Cats have specific overall protein, vitamin, and nutritional needs, which vary throughout their life stages.

Fast-growing kittens require more nutrients and energy sources, whereas older healthy cats require more protein to help keep their muscles in good shape as they age.

Due to its low protein and other nutrient deficiencies, dog food cannot sustain a cat in any of its life stages.

What food should cats eat?

Cats need to consume a high-quality diet to stay healthy. Commercial cat food comes in various forms: dry, canned, and raw.

These are very different from dry, canned, and natural dog food. You can feed your cat an all-wet diet to keep her hydrated and reduce carbohydrate intake.

Cat food is usually lower in carbohydrates than dog food. The reason is that cats do not require carbohydrates to thrive, and a high carb intake can lead to diabetes and obesity in cats.

Interestingly some cats prefer dry food to wet food. You would have to gradually transition to wet food if you want your cat to eat a healthy and complete diet.

Some feline lovers are turning to raw food to feed their cats. Those who advocate raw food for cats argue that the diet is similar to what cats eat in the wild.

Although many cats enjoy eating raw food, there are risks associated with feeding raw meat. Many cats can digest and tolerate food-borne pathogens in raw food.

However, humans in the home can get exposed to these pathogens due to cross-contamination.

What should you do if your cat eats dog food?

An occasional bite of dog food by your cat shouldn’t be a source of worry. However, you would have to observe your cat for problems such as weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, inappropriate defecation and urination, and other signs of illness.

If you notice your cat eating large amounts of dog food frequently, you should seek advice from your veterinarian. In addition, your cat may require an examination and lab test to assess her overall health.

Make it difficult for your cat to find dog food by keeping it out of their reach. Remove bowls of leftover food and avoid free-feeding your cats and dogs in the house.

Can cats eat dog food? Final Thoughts

The best way to meet your cat’s nutritional needs is to provide them with high-quality cat food.

While dog food is not harmful to cats, it lacks the dietary supplements to support healthy living in our feline friends.

Can Cats Eat Human Food? (Beware of 6 Toxic Foods)

is human food safe for cats

The urge to toss a morsel of your favorite food to your cats can be overwhelming. Your cat’s affection could motivate you to share that sandwich with your feline friend. But can cats eat human food?

If you are pondering this, our guide will help you know what human food cats can eat and the foods you must avoid sharing with them.

Can Cats Eat Human Food? Is It Safe For Cats?

can cats eat human foodHuman foods are not meant for cats. Although some human foods are harmless to cats, others pose a serious risk to your cat’s health.

A simple taste of some human food could be life-threatening for your cat. Generally, cats require complete and balanced cat food. Therefore, human food should serve as occasional cat treats and not form your cat’s main diet.

Human foods that are safe for cats

The following human foods are safe for cats:

1.      Meats

Meats such as beef, chicken, liver, turkey, and lamb are safe for your cats. You must also ensure the meat is cooked as raw meat is known to carry parasites and bacteria that could affect your cat’s health.

2.      Fish

Fish are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are suitable for your cat’s overall health. Cats are attracted to fish, so serving them as occasional treats is not harmful to their health.

However, ensure it is well cooked, and do not forget to remove bone particles from it before feeding your cat. Like meats, avoid feeding your cats fresh fish as they may carry harmful bacteria.

Note: Some cats do not do well to be fed too much fish. We have published an article that discusses fish allergies in cats.

3.      Vegetables

Although cats are obligate carnivores, they can still benefit from plant-based food in their diet. Vegetables contain high amounts of vitamins, fiber, and water, so feeding them to cats is not bad.

You can give your cats some safe vegetables such as peas, carrots, asparagus, cucumber, and steamed broccoli.

4.      Whole grains

Some cat owners consider grains as just fillers. However, grains are a rich source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids.

Some grains also provide readily digestible protein. Although cats are natural carnivores, their digestive system can process carbohydrates from grains.

Whole grains, including corn, oat, and brown rice, contain a good amount of protein and are safe for cats to eat.

It is not a requirement that cats should eat grain for the added fiber. Cats get all the fiber they need from meat.

5.      Eggs

Cats can enjoy a morsel of scrambled or boiled egg. Eggs are packed with amino acids and protein, making them a healthy treat for your cats. However, avoid feeding your cat raw eggs as they pose a risk of Salmonella infection.

6.      Fruits

Snacks that cats like to eatThe chances that cats may enjoy a fruit meal varies. Cats have very limited sweet taste receptors, so not all cats may enjoy eating fruits.

However, if your cat is attracted to fruits, quite a few are helpful to them. They include bananas, blueberries, strawberries, apples, watermelons, and pumpkins.

Fruits are a rich source of vitamin A and C, potassium, and fiber. However, most fruits contain a high amount of sugar. Because of this, you should feed them to your cats in moderation. Permanently remove peels and seeds from the fruits before feeding them to your cats.

We have a full article devoted to this question: Can Cats Eat Fruit?

Fruitables sells a tasty, low calorie, crunchy cat treat with a recipe to include superfruits.

7.      Cheese

Most cats are lactose intolerant, meaning they lack the enzyme that helps process lactose. Although cheese is a dairy product, you can use them as occasional treats for your cats.

Human foods to give with caution

·         Potatoes

Some cat food manufacturers add potatoes to their products. This is because potatoes are a rich source of potassium, vitamin B, and C.

The drawback of potatoes is that it contains solanine which is toxic to cats. However, solanine fades away when cooking, so you can feed your cats moderate amounts of this veggie. Avoid constantly serving your cat fried potatoes because of their high-fat content.

·         Avocadoes

Avocadoes harm some animals, including poultry, rabbit, and goats. Although no evidence suggests avocado is detrimental to your cats, you should feed them in only moderate amounts.

·         Tomatoes

The skin and leaves of tomatoes contain solanine which is toxic to cats. If you must include tomatoes in your cat’s diet, ensure it is fully ripe.

·         Peaches

You can give your cat a small portion of peach, as too much of it can cause stomach upset and diarrhea. Peaches contain high amounts of sugar and are pretty difficult to digest, so you must feed your cat cautiously.

·         Bread

You can safely feed your cat’s small amount of bread. However, the raw uncooked dough is harmful to your cat, so you must avoid it.

·         Peanut butter

Although peanut butter packs high amounts of protein, you should give it to your cat in small quantities. Peanut butter is high in fats which can contribute to diabetes and obesity in cats.

·         Tuna Fish

Tuna fish serves as a great source of protein for cats. Tuna contains high amounts of unsaturated fat, so you must feed your cats in minimal amounts. So can cats eat canned tuna meant for humans? We have devoted a whole article to this question HERE.

Human foods you should avoid when feeding your cats

Some human food contains toxins that could be harmful to cats.

1.      Grapes and raisins

Grapes are well known to cause gastrointestinal and kidney issues in dogs. Although no concrete evidence supports that these fruits have the same effect on cats, it is better to err on the side of caution.

2.      Cherries

The parts of cherries, including pits, stems, and leaves, are poisonous to cats.

3.      Oranges

Orange seeds, stems, and leaves are toxic to cats. Similarly, citrus fruits like grapefruits, lime, and lemons are acidic and can disturb your cat’s digestive system.

4.      Onions

Onions are toxic to cats, so you should avoid them in your cat’s diet.

5.      Milk

Most cats are lactose intolerant as they lack the enzymes in their digestive system to digest it. Some common symptoms of drinking milk in lactose-intolerant cats are vomiting, diarrhea, and liver problems. Learn more about ‘Can Cats Drink Cows Milk?’ HERE.

6.      Chocolate

will chocolate make cats sickChocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, which is harmful to your cats.

Unlike humans, cats are unable to easily metabolize (break down) theobromine, which leads to a build-up of the substance leading to fatal consequences. The darker the chocolate, the more it contains theobromine.

Learn more about why chocolate is bad for cats HERE.

7.      Alcohol

Alcohol and cats do not mix. Therefore, ensure you keep all alcohol products far from the reach of cats.

Can Cats Eat Human Food? Final Thoughts

Can cats eat human food? The short answer is; yes in moderation, however, there some foods to avoid sharing with them.

Not all human food is harmful to cats. But others, such as chocolates and grapes, can be toxic to them.

Contact your veterinarian immediately if you discover your cat has eaten toxic human food. Do not forget that human food should be given as occasional treats to your cats and not as an essential part of their diet.

Can Cats Eat Raw Meat? (Read Before You Feed)

is a raw meat diet healthy for cats

Can cats eat raw meat? Absolutely. Cats are obligate carnivores. So it is understandable when feline lovers stick to a raw diet for their cats.

However, many experts believe that placing your cat on a raw diet causes a significant health risk for you and your pet.

In recent times, there has been a growing resentment toward commercial pet food by many feline lovers.

As a result, more cat owners are turning to homemade diets to feed their cats. If you decide to try raw feeding, it is best to discuss it with your veterinarian first.

Your vet would help ensure that the diet is complete and balanced and address the health and hygiene risks associated with a raw diet.

What is a raw food diet?

can cats eat raw meatA raw food diet for cats entails feeding them uncooked animal products, meat, and sometimes raw offal and bones.

Raw food diets are usually homemade, as many cat owners prefer to know the ingredients that make up their cat’s food.

However, commercial forms are available in many pet stores. Commercial raw food diet typically comes in complete and complementary diets.

A complete diet will contain the proper balance of nutrients your cat requires to survive on this diet.

On the other hand, a complementary diet will be given to your cat in combination with another diet. Many animal nutritionists do not recommend a homemade raw diet for cats.

The reason is that homemade diets can be very inconsistent regarding whether they sufficiently meet your cat’s nutritional requirements.

As a result, a homemade diet should only be fed under expert guidance and might require additional supplementation to avoid deficiencies.

Can cats eat raw meat? What are the benefits for your cat?

Cats depend on animal food products to thrive. However, cats are mainly carnivores, unlike dogs, so they can only tolerate plant-based products in low quantities.

Cats require a diet that is high in animal protein and moisture. In addition, raw meat comprises of amino acids such as taurine, fatty acids, and other vital minerals and vitamins.

Advocates of raw food diets believe that cooking meat can change or reduce these critical substances cats need to function optimally.

The idea for many raw food adherents is to create a biologically appropriate diet similar to what a cat would eat in the wild.

These advocates have maintained that feeding cats raw meat has several benefits, such as shinier coats, healthier and cleaner teeth, prevention of obesity, and improved general health.

While these benefits are not disputed, there are genuine concerns about the safety of raw diets for cats.

Is raw meat safe for cats?

Before deciding on feeding your cats raw meat, you must look at the safety risks, which include:

1.      Parasites and bacteria

Raw meat may contain parasites and bacteria that pose a severe health risk to your cat and yourself. Your cat can pass to you by shedding them all over the home.

While cats may not have a problem digesting raw meat, the presence of pathogens in them could cause life-threatening infections. Therefore, the essence of cooking food is to eliminate most of the pathogens in raw meat.

2.      Bone pieces could be dangerous

A raw diet for cats may contain bone offal. The implication is that small bone fragments can get stuck in your cat’s digestive tract.

Bones can also cause teeth damage and airway obstructions in cats.

3.      Raw meat diet may be nutritionally deficient

Although cats thrive on animal-based products, raw meat diet may not have the complete and balanced nutrients required by your cat.

An incomplete diet can cause a severe health risk for your cat in the long run. The biggest challenge in preparing a homemade raw diet is ensuring it has complete and balanced quantities of nutrients.

Inconsistency in the properties of nutrients in a homemade raw diet increases the risk of nutrient deficiency which may affect your cat’s health.

Wild cats will consume small animals in their entirety (bones, organs, skin, fur, feathers etc). By doing so they are are digesting a range of nutrients; nutrients that may not be available if only eating raw meat on its own.

How to prepare a raw meat diet for your cat

It would help if you found a professional to assist you in developing a complete and balanced diet that would be helpful for your cat.

Your veterinarian recommends special supplements to ensure your cat gets the nutrients needed to stay healthy.

The following ingredients can be used in a raw food diet;

  • Raw meat from muscles or organs (you should include meat from poultry, rabbit, and fish)
  • Raw bones
  • Eggs
  • Supplements

You would need equipment and supplies such as meat grinders, a cutting board, glass mixing bowls, disposable gloves, and a refrigerator or freezer for storage.

Raw Meat Patties

DIY Cat PattiesIntroducing your feline to meat patties is another way to help them stabilize their innate composition as obligate carnivores. If formulated appropriately, they are a terrific high protein meat cat food that can be integrated with commercial wet and dry cat food, adding variety to a cat’s diet.

We have a whole article dedicated to cat patties HERE. It includes several excellent cat patty recipes that you can make at home, as well as reviews of commercially available patties for cats.

Safety tips for feeding your cat raw meat

The following guidelines are helpful to help you avoid the risk of getting an infection from your cat or the raw food:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Disinfect everything that comes in contact with raw cat meat, such as utensils, bowels, and surfaces.
  • Separate natural cat food in the freezer or refrigerator from other food.
  • Use different prep areas for cat food and human food.
  • Ensure to wash your hands thoroughly after you pet your cat.

Can cats eat raw bacon?

Although cats can consume raw bacon, it does not benefit their health.

Bacon is not toxic to cats but is high in salt and fat, so it is best to use it as a treat rather than a regular part of your cat’s diet. Make sure the bacon is fresh.

Can cats eat raw pork?

Cats can eat raw meat consisting of pork. However, be wary that consuming raw pork risks parasites. If your cat must be fed raw pork, ensure it is fresh and seasoning free.

Can cats eat raw beef?

Raw beef is not harmful to cats. So yes, cats can eat raw meat, but it must be in limited amounts.

You must know that raw beef can cause food poisoning. As a result, you must ensure that it is fresh and free of any seasoning that could harm your cat’s health.

Kangaroo meat

For our viewers who reside in Australia, kangaroo meat is a popular raw meat fed to cats and it is readily available in supermarkets across Australia. It is a quality lean meat product, high in protein and delicious to cats. Fed in combination with other cat foods is recommended. Ensure it is kept fresh in a sealed container in the fridge.

Final Thoughts

Can cats eat raw meat? Certainly.

Cats require a high protein content to meet their nutrient requirements. So feeding them raw meat might seem to be a good idea. However, discussing this with your vet before placing your cat on a raw meat diet is best.

You may be interested in an our article ‘What Meats Can Cats Eat?‘.

5 Best Purina Urinary Tract Cat Foods (Reviewed)

Purina One Urinary Tract Health Wet Cat food

Nestle Purina Pet care is a world-renowned pet food company that produces some of the best foods for cats with urinary tract issues. This article independently reviews the best Purina urinary tract cat foods.

With over 18,000 employees and 500 scientists, including nutritionists. The company has been in business for over 80 years and has a long history of producing high-quality products trusted by pet owners and veterinarians.

The company wrote this on their website “We shape the future of Health and Well-being for pets & people through three simple pursuits. Pets Are Our Passion, Safety is our Promise, Innovation is our Pledge”.

Those drives led to their success in providing the best care for pets.

Best Purina Urinary Tract Cat FoodsPurina Urinary Tract Cat Foods are specifically designed to meet the needs of cats with urinary tract issues and help prevent or reduce urinary tract infections.

The foods contain high-quality ingredients and no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. In addition, the food is highly digestible and has a high level of natural proteins, making them an excellent choice for cats with urinary tract issues.

This article will briefly review four of the best Purina Urinary Tract Cat Foods, along with a top pick urinary tract cat food from Iams (for a comparison).

5 Best Purina Urinary Tract Cat Foods

ProductFeaturesRatingPrice on AmazonPrice on CHEWY
Purina One High Protein Dry Cat Food Urinary Tract Health FormulaPurina ONE High Protein Dry Cat Food Urinary Tract Health FormulaDry food
All breeds sizes
High protein
Antioxidant Veterinarian recommended
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Purina Pro Plan Urinary Tract Wet Cat Food Chicken EntreePurina Pro Plan Urinary Tract Wet Cat Food - ChickenWet food
Real chicken meat
All breeds sizes
Low dietary magnesium
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Purina Pro Plan Urinary Tract Health Wet Cat Food Ocean Whitefish EntreePurina Pro Plan Focus Classic Urinary Tract Health Formula Adult Wet Cat Food Wet food
Ocean Whitefish
Low dietary magnesium
4.5Amazon Buy Cat FoodChewy Buy Cat Food
Iams Proactive Urinary Tract Health Dry Cat food ChickenIAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Adult Urinary Tract Health Dry Cat Food with Chicken Cat KibbleChicken
Dry kibble
Omega 6 & 3 fatty acids
All cat breeds Calcium & potassium
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Purina One Urinary Tract Health Wet Cat food Beef and Liver RecipePurina One Urinary Tract Health Beef & Liver Pate Wet Cat FoodAdult
Wet food
2.25 pounds
Urinary tract health
Beef & Liver
4.3Amazon Buy Cat FoodChewy Buy Cat Food


Review of Our Top Picks

Here is the break down of our top picks

1.     Purina ONE High Protein Dry Cat Food, +Plus Urinary Tract Health Formula

Purina One High Protein Dry Cat Food Urinary Health Formula

Purina ONE High Protein Dry Cat Food, +Plus Urinary Tract Health Formula is a unique blend of nutrients that help support your cat’s urinary tract health while providing high-quality protein to help maintain lean muscles.

The formula contains targeted magnesium levels to help reduce the risk of struvite crystal formation and promote a healthy urinary pH. It also has added vitamins and minerals, including antioxidants, to support a healthy immune system.

DHA, an omega-6 fatty acid, helps support cognitive development and vision. This high-protein kibble is made with real meat and no poultry by-product meal for a taste cats love.

Feed your cat Purina ONE High Protein Dry Cat Food, +Plus Urinary Tract Health Formula as part of a complete and balanced diet to help keep her looking and feeling her best every day.


  • High-quality protein
  • Reduces risk of struvite crystal formation
  • Supports a healthy urinary pH
  • Helps to maintain urinary tract health
  • Supports the immune system
  • Helps build strong muscles and a healthy heart


  • Causes excess gas in some cats

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2.     Purina Pro Plan Urinary Tract Cat Food, Wet Cat Food Gravy, Urinary Tract Health- Chicken

Purina Pro Urinary Tract Wet Cat Food Chicken Entree

Purina Pro Plan UR urinary tract cat food wet is specially formulated to help reduce the risk of crystal formation in the bladder, leading to feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD).

It contains high levels of magnesium to help maintain proper pH balance in the urine, and chicken is the primary source of protein to reduce potential struvite crystal formation.

Additionally, this urinary tract health cat food wet provides complete and balanced nutrition for adult cats and has a delicious gravy recipe your cat will love.


  • It is specially formulated to reduce the risk of FLUTD.
  • High levels of magnesium help maintain proper pH balance in the urine
  • Chicken is the primary source of protein
  • Complete and balanced nutrition for adult cats
  • It helps build the immune system


  • Some cats don’t like the taste or texture of this food

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3.     Purina Pro Plan Focus Classic Urinary Tract Health Formula Adult Wet Cat Food 

Purina Urinary Tract Health Wet Cat Food Ocean Whitefish

Purina Pro Plan Focus Classic Urinary Tract Health Formula Adult Wet Cat Food is a great option for cats needing extra urinary health support.

This formula contains high levels of protein and low magnesium levels to help reduce the risk of urinary tract infections. In addition, the food is enriched with vitamins and minerals to support overall health.

The delicious ocean whitefish flavor will have your cat returning for more. So if you’re looking for wet food that will support your cat’s urinary health, Purina Pro Plan Focus Classic Urinary Tract Health Formula Adult Wet Cat Food is a great option.


  • High levels of protein
  • Low levels of magnesium
  • Enriched with vitamins and minerals
  • Delicious fish flavor
  • 100% balance diet
  • It promotes an ideal body condition


  • Some cats don’t like the smell

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4.     IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Adult Urinary Tract Health Dry Cat Food with Chicken Cat Kibble

Iams Proactive Urinary Tract Health Dry Cat food

IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Adult Urinary Tract Health Dry Cat Food with Chicken Cat Kibble is a nutritious, balanced meal that helps support your cat’s urinary tract health.

The chicken kibble is enriched with taurine and prebiotics for overall health and vitality. With its high-quality ingredients, this food provides your cat with the nutrients they need to stay healthy and active.

IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Adult Urinary Tract Health Dry Cat Food with Chicken Cat Kibble is also a veterinarian recommended for cats over the age of one.

So if you’re looking for nutritious and delicious food that will help support your cat’s urinary tract health, look no further than IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Adult Urinary Tract Health Dry Cat Food with Chicken Cat Kibble.


  • Enriched with taurine and prebiotics
  • High-quality ingredients
  • Veterinarian recommended
  • Complete and balanced nutrition
  • Supports health
  • It helps reduce the risk of struvite crystals formation
  • Well priced


  • Can cause stinky gas in cats

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5.     Purina One Urinary Tract Health Beef & Liver Pate Cat Food

Wet cat food for uti health

Purina ONE Urinary Tract Health Beef & Liver Pate Cat Food is formulated to help reduce the risk of UTIs and keep your cat’s urinary tract healthy.

This delicious pate is made with natural beef and liver and contains essential nutrients like vitamins A and E. Plus, magnesium is low to help maintain a healthy urinary pH balance.

So if you’re looking for a nutritious option to help support your cat’s urinary health, consider Purina ONE Urinary Tract Health Beef & Liver Pate Cat Food.


  • Formulated to help reduce the risk of UTIs
  • Made with natural beef and liver
  • Packed with essential nutrients
  • Low in magnesium


  • Pricier

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Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for cat food to support your cat’s urinary health, any options on this list would be a great choice. There are plenty of nutritious and delicious options, from wet to dry food.

So find the perfect fit for your feline friend and help keep their urinary tract health with one of these marvelous foods.

What Causes Hairballs In Cats? (Food Suggestions)

Maine Coon Cat can sometimes have hairball blockages

Cats are remarkably skilled at keeping themselves clean and barely require bathing. While this innate behavior in cats helps their overall hygiene, it may pose a health problem for our feline friends. This leads to the what causes hairballs in cats?

Cats love self-grooming from time to time. However, when grooming, they can swallow loose hair resulting in a cat hairball. Hairballs are usually harmless to cats.

But if you are wondering what causes hairballs in cats, the symptoms, and how to help cats with hairballs, you would find this piece pretty enlightening.

What exactly is a cat hairball?

What Causes Hairballs In Cats

A cat’s hairball is a build-up of dead hair and digestive juices in the cat’s stomach. It is pretty standard for cats to swallow hair during grooming.

Every cat grooms itself by licking its fur. Their tongues contain tiny barbs that snag the strands as they shred. Due to the design of their barbs on the tongue that faces backward, cats have little choice but to swallow the hair they groom.

Typically, the hair swallowed usually passes through their body and gets eliminated. However, there are times when the hair is unable to make it past the intestinal tract.

Hairballs are pretty harmless but could become fatal if the hair becomes hardened and cause a blockage in their intestinal tract.

Hairball Control Recommended Cat Food Quick Review

ProductFeaturesConsPrice on AMAZONPrice on CHEWY
Hill's Science Diet Hairball COntrol Dry Cat FoodHill’s Science Diet Hairball Control Dry Cat Food4.5 STARS
Vet recommended
Clinically proven
1st Ingredient chicken meat
No by-product meal
Omega 3 & 6
Contains grains
Kibble size large
Picky eaters may not like
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Hill's Science Hairball Control Wet Cat FoodHill’s Science Diet Hairball Control Wet Cat Food4.3 STARS
Premium food
Vet recommended
1st Ingredients real chicken & turkey
Omega 3 & 6
High fiber
Picky eaters may not like
Unusual texture
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Iams Proactive Health Hairball Care Dry Cat FoodIams ProActive Health Adult Hairball Care Dry Cat Food4.6 STARS
Complete & balanced nutrition
Vet recommended
No fillers
First Ingredient chicken meat
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Merrick Purrfect Bisto Hairball Grainfree Dry Cat FoodMerrick Purrfect Bistro Grain Free Hairball Control Dry Cat Food3.7 STARS
Omega 3 & 6
Complete Diet
Natural fiber
No artificials
1st Ingredient real chicken meat
Picky eaters may not like
Small kibble
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Nulo Hairball management dry cat foodNulo Hairball Management Turkey & Cod Recipe Dry Cat Food3.5 STARS
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First ingredient turkey meat
Fiber- natural miscanthus grass.
Kibble very small
Picky eaters may not like
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Symptoms of hairballs in cats

You may notice the following symptoms when your cat is trying to bring up a hairball;

  • Retching
  • Gagging
  • Vomiting with food or fluid
  • Dry cough
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Diarrhea and constipation
  • Weakness or lethargy

What Causes Hairballs In Cats?

A hairball is caused by loose hair that has been ingested but not passed through the intestinal tract.

Cats spend a lot of time licking and grooming their fur. The loose or dead fur that sticks to your cat’s tongue is swallowed, and the hair is digested and eliminated through the feces.

However, hair can build up in the stomach, forming hairballs. Your cat may vomit its hairballs with food or fluid.

Several factors such as extreme grooming, long coats, and shedding contribute to cats swallowing loose fur. The loose fur then turns into a hairball which may cause intestinal blockage in cats.

Excessive grooming and anxiety or allergens in cats

Cats develop hairballs when they groom. However, excessive grooming can signify anxiety in response to a sudden change in the cat’s environment.

Similarly, excessive grooming can also be a result of allergens or food sensitivities. So, if your cat is grooming too much, take your cat to a vet for a complete examination.

Hairball diagnosis in cats

You can detect if your cat has hairballs if you find vomit with hair, food, and fluid in it.

Similarly, loss of appetite, and lethargy associated with frequent vomiting with hair loss, could be an indication of intestinal blockage. To rule out any other condition, your veterinarian would conduct a physical exam to confirm the hairball.

Your vet would likely ask about your cat’s medical history and how frequently they cough up blood.

Several other blood tests and radiographs also are ordered by your veterinarian to check for an intestinal blockage in your cat. Although hairballs in cats are pretty harmless, an intestinal blockage could be fatal if left untreated.

Hairball treatment for cats

There are several available hairballs in cats. However, your veterinarian would recommend a treatment plan according to the severity of the condition.

Hairball preventative measures

laxatone hairball remedy for cats
Laxatone Hairball Remedy available on AMAZON.

To keep hairballs at bay, your veterinarian may use a hairball preventative that serves as a lubricant. The product is designed to help your cat pass the hairball through the intestinal tract. An example of a hairball preventative is Laxotone.

·         Brush your cat’s fur frequently

Because of the excessive grooming, your cat licks and swallows the loose hair. Therefore, brushing your cat’s hair several times per week will reduce the amount of hair she consumes. In addition, brushing the fur removes loose or dead hair before your cat can swallow it.

·         Dietary Alteration

Changing your cat’s diet may help in passing and eliminating swallowed hair. Your veterinarian may recommend a fiber-rich diet. Fiber helps keep the digestive tract functioning, which felines need to pass swallowed hair through their body effectively.

·         Surgical Extraction

Hairball Soft Chews Treats for Cats
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Based on the severity of the hairball, your vet may recommend surgery to remove the hairball from the intestinal tract. Surgery is only considered if the situation is complex and life-threatening.

·         Discourage over grooming

Excessive grooming causes cats to swallow more hair, leading to more hairballs. If your cat spends too much grooming, try to break it up with a game or a cuddle. You may also want to give your cat a new toy to engage her in other grooming.


At what point do cat hairballs become dangerous?

Hairballs are generally harmless in cats. However, you should take your cat to the vet immediately if she displays the following signs;

  • Extended gagging, retching without producing a hairball.
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Excessive nibbling on grass
  • Lethargy
  • Constipation and diarrhea
  • Swollen or sensitive stomach

Ensure you provide urgent medical attention to your cat once you notice any of these disturbing signs.

Do some cats produce more hairballs than others?

Persian cats are prone to hairballs

Cat hairballs are a natural part of their grooming routine and are usually not a cause for concern. Younger cats and kittens have fewer hairballs because they are less picky about grooming.

On the other hand, older cats may have become more selective and produce more hairballs. Although fluffy cats are excellent companions, they are more prone to frequent hairballs.

Some cat breeds, such as Persians and Maine coons, naturally produce more hairballs. The reason is that their hair accumulates into clumps rapidly.

How frequently do cats get Hairballs?

Hairballs should occur in cats occasionally, usually less than once a month. Most swallowed hair usually passes through the digestive system and comes with feces.

What Causes Hairballs In Cats? Final Thoughts

Cats love to stay clean by grooming. However, while grooming, they swallow loose hair, which becomes hairballs. While hairballs are harmless, they may pose a danger for your cat if it causes intestinal blockage.

Regular vet visits and constant brushing of your cat’s fur would help prevent any fatal consequences of grooming.

What Causes Urinary Blockage In Cats?

UTI problem in cats

Urinary blockage in cats can be a severe emergency, especially if the symptoms have gone unnoticed. The condition might see you paying unscheduled visits to the vet with your cat. So, what causes urinary blockage in cats?

Here is what the experts say.

Why urinary blockages may occur in cats

what causes urinary blockage in cats

Inflammatory plugs cause urinary blockages or obstructions to urine flow through the urethra.

The urethra is a tube that leads from the urinary bladder to the outside of the body. A recent study showed that about 1.5% of cats had been diagnosed with urethra obstruction at veterinary teaching hospitals in the last 19 years.

Similarly, a study of cats with urinary blockages revealed that 60% had urethral inflammatory plugs, 20% had stones, and 5% had urethral structures or cancer.

Both male and female cats can develop urethra blockages. However, male cats are more prone to the condition due to their narrow urethra.

·         Inflammatory urethral plugs

Idiopathic cystitis, urinary tract infections, or a reaction to urinary crystals or stones are common causes of urethral inflammatory plugs.

Although the plug can be found anywhere along the length of the urethra, it is commonly seen at the tip of the penis in the distal urethra.

Crystalline material has been seen on the prepuce of male cats in some cases.

·         Urinary crystals

Urinary crystals are formed when minerals in urine solidify. Struvite is the most common type of urinary crystal.

Urinary stones are composed of various minerals and range in different sizes. For example, urinary stone sizes could vary from a size of a grain of sand to the size of a pea.

·         Bladder stones

Urinary stones in cats are typically made of struvite or calcium oxalate. When the PH of the urine becomes too alkaline or too acidic, these stones can form.

One of the common risk factors for urinary blockages in cats is the presence of bladder stones.

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Symptoms of urinary blockages in cats

Enrofloxacin antibiotic for urinary infections
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Regardless of gender, urethra blockages or obstruction symptoms are the same. The signs of a fully or partially blocked urethra in cats include:

  • Difficulty in urinating in or around the litter box. This might be mistaken for constipation and straining to defecate.
  • Crying or howling in and around the litter box.
  • Producing tiny drops of urine or non at all.
  • Lethargy and hiding
  • Weakness and mental dullness
  • Licking at the genitals or around the base of the tail.
  • Vomiting
  • Avoiding being touched around the abdomen.

The symptoms of urinary blockage may vary depending on the severity of the condition. For example, cats with a partial blockage may appear uncomfortable or in pain, forcing them to spend excess time in the litter box.

The signs become more severe as the condition worsens to a complete urinary blockage, and the cat cannot pass urine.

The cat may experience life-threatening complications at this stage, including kidney failure. The cat may die within 24 to 48 hours if symptoms are untreated.

Common health complications of urinary blockages in cats

my cat has a urinary blockage

Some of the common health complications of urinary blockages include:

  • Kidney failure
  • Cardiac arrhythmias
  • Urethral lacerations or tears
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Urine in the abdomen
  • Bladder rupture

Diagnosis of urinary blockage in cats

Blood work is performed on cats who show signs of urinary tract obstruction. The procedure is designed to check kidney function and see if there is any evidence of infection or any other systemic illnesses.

A urine sample may be evaluated for crystals and sent in for culture. Cats with recurring infections would require x-rays of the abdomen to determine whether stones or other materials are present in the kidney or bladder.

Finally, your veterinarian may inject contrast materials into the bladder during X-rays to determine if there are any anatomic causes for straining and bloody urine.

How is a urinary blockage in cats treated?

Urethral Blockage Support for Cats
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The treatment of urinary blockages in cats aims to clear the obstruction and prevent it from recurring.

Similarly, the veterinarian would focus on assisting your cat while the obstruction is removed and also handle any underlying causes.

The treatment procedure may see your veterinarian passing a urinary catheter to bypass the blockage or flushing the urethra with sterile saline.

An antibiotic may be prescribed if there is an associated urinary tract infection. Following the removal of the urinary blockage, your cat will most likely spend several days in the hospital for monitoring.

Your vet may also use intravenous fluids to flush out the uremic toxins. Before discharge, your vet would ensure that the cat can urinate independently.

Bladder control and Urinary Support for Cats
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After removing the obstruction, your vet will investigate and treat the underlying cause. Your vet may recommend medications and dietary changes to prevent urinary tract infections and dissolve urinary crystals.

Surgery may also be necessary to remove stones or repair a urethral blockage. In addition, cats with recurrent urinary blockages could be made to undergo a surgical procedure known as perineal ureterostomy.

This procedure entails making an incision in the area between the anus and scrotum (perineum) and creating a new opening for the urethra.

Tips for preventing urinary blockages in cats


Now you know what causes urinary blockage in cats, you must learn to prevent the reoccurrence of the condition.

There are several precautions you must take to ensure your cat is safe. A urinary diet would be pretty helpful if your cat has struvite stones.

This diet would help to reduce crystalluria and also dissolve the stone. Another way to reduce the risk of further urinary blockage in cats is to increase their water consumption.What causes UTI blockage in cats

High-risk male cats should be fed at least 50% of their daily calorie intake. The aim is to increase water consumption and produce slightly dilute urine that help reduces the risk of urethral obstruction.

Final Thoughts on what causes urinary blockage in cats

What causes urinary blockage in cats may include urinary crystals, stones, or inflammatory plugs.

The condition can be lethal if the symptoms are not detected early. The best way to prevent this condition is to feed your cat a high-quality diet that includes half the daily amount in canned food forms.

Can Cats Eat Chocolate?

is chocolate safe for cats to eat

Its widely known that chocolates are toxic to dogs. But what about cats? Can cats eat chocolate?

Sharing a chocolate bar with your cat is a bad idea as it is harmful to cats. Chocolates pose a severe health risk to cats and may become life-threatening if consumed excessively.

Why is chocolate bad for cats?

will chocolate make cats sick

In answering the question ‘can cats eat chocolate?‘, we first need to understand why chocolate is harmful.

Cats and chocolates don’t mix. The reason is that chocolate contains two primary ingredients that could risk the lives of cats.

These two ingredients include theobromine and caffeine. Unfortunately, theobromine can be pretty deadly to cats.

Interestingly, theobromine is harmless to humans but toxic to cats, dogs, and rabbits.

Unlike humans, cats struggle to metabolize (break down) theobromine, which leads to a build-up of the substance and cause fatal consequences.

It is believed that the darker the chocolate, the more theobromine it contains and the more toxic to cats it would be. Caffeine can also be very harmful to cats.

Cats do not need to consume much chocolate to experience problems. So, it would help keep your chocolate bars far from your cat’s reach.

How much chocolate is toxic to cats?

Theobromine has a toxic dose of 200mg/kg in cats, but different types of chocolate contain varying amounts of theobromine.

Dark and baking semi-sweet chocolate is more dangerous to cats than milk chocolates. Because white chocolates do not contain cocoa solids, it does not pose a risk of theobromine and caffeine toxicity.

Unlike other chocolate types, white chocolate contains deficient levels of the chemicals required to cause toxicity in cats.

Baking powder is primarily used for making confections. However, it only takes 0.2 oz baking powder to harm your cat. For semi-sweet or dark chocolate, it takes 0.5 oz for a cat to consume a toxic amount of them.

Milk chocolate has less amount of theobromine and caffeine than most chocolate types. As a result, a cat only needs to consume slightly more than 1.1 oz to reach toxic levels.

Symptoms of chocolate poisoning in cats

The degree of a cat’s symptoms after eating chocolate is frequently determined by the amount of chocolate consumed and the type of chocolate ingested.

Among the different chocolate types, milk chocolate has the lowest potential for toxicity. On the other hand, Baker chocolate is known to have the highest potential for toxicity due to its high concentration of active ingredients caffeine and theobromine.

can cats eat chocolateThe following are symptoms of chocolate poisoning in cats;

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Restlessness
  • Muscle rigidity
  • Increased heart rate
  • Heightened temperature
  • Seizures
  • Increased reflex response
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Coma

While some of these symptoms can easily be noticed by the pet owner, others can only be detected by a veterinarian.

Chocolate poisoning diagnosis in cats

If you suspect your cat may have consumed chocolate or showing signs of chocolate poisoning, take her to the vet as quickly as possible.

Your veterinarian may perform a thorough physical examination and other relevant lab tests. These tests may include a chemical blood profile, a urinalysis, an electrolyte panel, and an ECG to check if your cat’s heart is functioning optimally.

Your vet may induce vomiting if your cat is diagnosed with chocolate poisoning. The aim is to prevent the harmful ingredients in chocolate from causing further harm.

Intravenous fluids can also be administered to keep the cat hydrated and weaken the toxic elements in the chocolate.

How is chocolate poisoning treated in cats?

The kind of treatment your cat will receive for chocolate poisoning is dependent on some factors, including;

  • How much chocolate has your cat ingested?
  • The type and severity of your cat’s symptoms.

Stabilizing your cat to address clinical signs is the first step in treating chocolate poisoning. Next, cats experiencing tremors or seizures are given medications to stabilize them.

Your vet may want to clean the cat’s stomach once the cat is stable. However, your cat may vomit on her own, or your vet may decide to induce vomit.

Another treatment option available for chocolate poisoning is the use of activated charcoal. This device acts like a magnet to attract toxic substances, carrying them through the gastrointestinal tract and out of the body.

Your vet may also admit your cat to the animal clinic for effective monitoring and other supportive therapies.

However, this would depend on the severity of your cat’s symptoms. You would be asked to observe and closely monitor your cat once they are home. You should call the vet immediately if you notice a deterioration in your cat’s health.

While most cases of chocolate poisoning in cats do not cause long-term problems with the proper treatment, you must immediately act fast by seeking medical help.

How to prevent chocolate poisoning in cats

The following are tips you could use to prevent chocolate in cats:

  • First, do not feed chocolates to your cats. Also, ensure children in the house and visitors know not to.
  • Keep all chocolate and chocolate-containing products out of reach from your cats by storing them in high or locked cupboards.
  • Ensure you keep your cat away from parcels and gift items as you never can tell if someone might send you a chocolate treat.
  • Avoid the use of gardening mulches containing cocoa shells.

Are there alternatives to chocolates for cats?

Temptations Cat Treats
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Can cats eat chocolate? No. But what about alternatives to chocolates? Rather than feeding your cat chocolates, you can find specially formulated feline-safe treats to give your cat.

Your cat would love cat treats due to their excellent taste, appealing smell, and numerous health benefits.

Alternatively, seek out non-toxic snacks that your cat may like.

Other toxic food for cats you must avoid

Apart from chocolates, there are other human foods you mustn’t feed your cats. They include;

  • Sheba Meaty Tender Sticks Cat Treat
    Click here to view on CHEWY.

    Raw eggs

  • Grapes and raisins
  • Bread dough containing yeast
  • Oranges and other citrus fruits
  • Onions and garlic
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine


Final Thoughts

Can cats eat chocolate? No.

Cats are pretty picky in their feeding habit. However, they still have cravings for foods that may be harmful to their health. So feeding your cat chocolate can have adverse effects on their health.

Always consider the safety of your cats by consulting your veterinarian before adding any new food to their diet.

What Causes Diabetes In Cats?

Diabetes Miletus in cats

The cells in a cat are similar to those in humans, and they require sugar in the form of energy. The glucose in the blood needs insulin to get access to cells. So, what causes diabetes in cats?

Diabetes Miletus in cats is a relatively widespread endocrine condition that is more common in aging cats. Diabetes is estimated to affect between 0.2 and 1% of cats during their lifetime.

The good news is that the condition is treatable and preventable. Let’s take a detailed look into what causes diabetes in cats.

How did my cat develop diabetes?

What Causes Diabetes In Cats

Diabetes is when the cat’s body cannot adequately produce or respond to insulin. The implication is that your cat would be unable to process glucose (blood sugar) effectively.

Insulin binds to cells and signifies the appropriate time to absorb glucose. As a result, cells receive vital fuel and reduce glucose levels in the blood by absorbing glucose.

Blood glucose levels are typically high in Type 1 diabetes due to decreased insulin production.

Similarly, glucose levels are also high in Type 2 diabetes because cells in the body do not respond adequately to insulin.

Cells in type 1 and 2 diabetes are unable to access the nutrients they require because insulin cannot transport sugar from the bloodstream into them.

However, type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes that affects cats. Other common causes of diabetes in cats are:

  • Obesity
  • Chronic inflammation of the pancreas
  • Destruction of pancreatic beta cells.

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Diabetes risk factors in cats

Risk factors associated with diabetes:

  • Age: Cats become more prone to diabetes as they increase in age
  • Gender: Male cats are more likely to develop diabetes than their female counterparts.
  • Obesity: Obese cats are four times more likely to develop diabetes than normal-weight cats.
  • Breed: Burmese cats seems to have a higher risk of developing diabetes than any other breed.
  • Physical activity: Lack of physical activity may also put your cat at risk of developing diabetes.
  • Medications: Using glucocorticoids to treat other illnesses is a crucial risk factor for diabetes in cats.

Symptoms of diabetes in cats

symptoms of diabetes in cats

Diabetes in cats can be classified into two types. It includes the rare diabetes insipidus (DI) and the more prevalent diabetes Mellitus (DM).

Although they have similar symptoms, their primary causes are vastly different. The following are the clinical signs of diabetes in cats:

  • Increased thirst and urination
  • Weight loss regardless of a good appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Neurological symptoms include walking with the hooks of the hind legs on the floor

In Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, the cells cannot absorb glucose from the blood and become energy starved.

The body shifts to other sources to get the energy required, breaking down fats and protein to feed glucose-starved cells. The result is weight loss despite an increase in appetite.

Similarly, excessive thirst and urination are also critical signs of diabetes in cats. In addition, high sugar levels can subdue the kidney’s ability to filter glucose, causing sugar to spill out from the blood and into the urine.

This high glucose concentration can attract excessive amounts of water into the urine. The result is increased urine volume, increased urinary water loss, dehydration, and an increase in thirst.

Diagnosing diabetes in cats

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Your veterinarian will conduct several diagnostic tests to diagnose diabetes in cats. These tests are designed to measure your cat’s glucose level.

Other tests that help rule out other diseases and identify any other potentially related conditions can also be done. Some of these tests include:

  • Blood glucose test
  • Complete blood count
  • Urinalysis
  • Urine culture
  • Abdominal radiographs
  • Biochemistry profile

Generally, diagnosis of diabetes is performed if your cat has:

  • High blood sugar (hyperglycemia)
  • Sugar in urine (glycosuria)
  • Weight loss despite good appetite
  • Increased urination and thirst (polyuria)
  • Polydipsia

High glucose levels in your cat’s blood could indicate diabetes. However, stress can temporarily raise your cat’s glucose level.

So you may have to repeat testing as soon as possible to confirm the diagnosis. A fructosamine test may be required o help differentiate between stress-caused glucose levels and diabetes in cats.

Your veterinarian may recommend other tests to help rule out other diseases contributing to your cat’s clinical signs. These tests may include a thyroid test to rule out hyperthyroidism, a urinary tract infection test, and a pancreatitis test.

Treatment of diabetes in cats

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Treatment of diabetes in cats entails several measures. The main goal of diabetes treatment in cats is to;

  • Restore normal blood glucose levels
  • Halting or controlling weight loss
  • Halting or reducing signs of increased thirst and urination
  • Averting life-threatening low blood sugar levels due to treatment.

The main steps used in achieving these goals are insulin and dietary therapy.

Insulin Therapy

Injectable insulin has proven to be pretty effective in treating diabetes in cats. Insulin injections are usually given under the skin roughly every 12 hours.

Cat owners can learn how to administer insulin to their cats at home. However, feline lovers must ensure they use the appropriate syringe for their cat’s insulin, as each insulin type has its specific syringe.

Dietary Therapy

Studies have shown that food low in carbohydrates can help to improve blood sugar regulation in diabetic cats. Your veterinarian may recommend prescription food that comes in wet and dry forms and is beneficial for your cat.

Overweight cats with diabetes are monitored closely by a veterinarian for slow controlled weight loss to achieve better control over blood glucose concentrations.


Regular monitoring is a crucial part of treatment for cats with diabetes. In addition, periodic monitoring helps determine the suitable insulin dose for individual cats.

It also helps to avert complications that may arise, including hyperglycemia.


A cat can enter a state of diabetic remission with a comprehensive treatment plan. Remission occurs when the cat can maintain normal blood sugar levels without insulin injections.

Cats who have attained diabetic remission should continue to be fed a low carbohydrate diet and closely monitored.

Final Thoughts

Having a poor diet and obesity are common causes for diabetes in cats.

Although there is no cure for diabetic cats, the condition can be adequately managed with the correct regimen.

Insulin and dietary therapy coupled with close monitoring can help sufficiently control blood glucose levels in diabetic cats.