The 5 Best Supplements for Raw Fed Cats

The 5 Best Supplements for Raw Fed Cats - Photo 1 - Doghaus Blog

Many cat parents have made or are making the switch to a raw food diet for the multitude of benefits it provides. Raw fed cats have lower rates of chronic illnesses, better dental, digestive, and urinary health, healthier skin and coat (and fewer hairballs!), and have better overall emotional and mental health. Much of this is made possible because raw food doesn’t preserve or process any of the whole foods that go into it – steps that may ensure longer shelf life but that strip away nutrition at its source.

But does that mean that raw fed cats don’t require any supplements to their diets? 

We don’t think so, and for two main reasons:

  1. Some ingredients don’t freeze or dehydrate well, so adding them as fresh ingredients is essential for unlocking their nutritional potential and providing your cat with a complete diet.
  2. Supplementing, whether by adding fresh ingredients or appropriate supplements, is a way of individualizing your cat’s food to fit their precise dietary, lifestyle, and wellness needs.
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Like with any diet, make sure that you’re feeding a nutritionally balanced food that’s made from reliably sourced ingredients. In this blog, we’re using Formule Raw’s frozen chicken & mackerel formula. This recipe is made from 100% antibiotic- and hormone-free chicken and mackerel, and is nutritionally balanced for all breeds, sizes, and ages of cats. Even our pickiest eaters love this!

So let’s take a look at our favourite supplements that will boost the nutritional availability of any raw food diet:

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Happy Days Raw Fermented Goat Milk is easy to feed and looks so delicious that we could almost drink it!

1. Probiotics: Goat Milk

Unlike the store-bought cow milk that so many of us are accustomed to, goat milk is more easily digestible and less likely to cause an allergic reaction, thanks to low quantities of a number of proteins found in cow milk that have been linked to allergies. Raw goat milk, which preserves many of its naturally-occurring nutrients, also contains lactase enzymes. This means that even those with lactose intolerance – including cats – can digest goat milk without any issues.

Goat milk is often considered one of the most complete sources of nutrition available. It contains a balanced source of protein, electrolytes, trace elements, digestive enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids, making it a powerhouse of highly digestible nutrition. Raw goat milk that has been fermented – a process that preserves the natural microorganisms within – contains over 200 probiotics that boost digestive function and immune support. And as we’re coming to find out, your cat’s digestive system plays a huge role not only in their overall health, but in their emotional and mental health, as well.

Best of all, this supplement is suitable for daily use, especially for maintenance of chronic issues such as poor digestion and even liver and kidney disease. Or simply add it as a probiotic boost! It’s also great for enticing picky cats to drink more liquids.

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Bonnie & Clyde’s Wild Omega-3 Fish Oil uses sustainably caught wild sardines, anchovies, and mackerel, and doesn’t have any funky fish smell!

2. Essential Fatty Acids: Fish Oil

Fish oil is generally made from fat that’s extracted from fish tissue, but can also be made from the livers of some fish – think cod liver oil. It’s most known for being rich in omega-3 fatty acids, including EPA and DHA, that are more potent than those found in plant-based sources. A healthy ratio of omega-3s has been linked to healthy growth and maintenance of your cat’s heart, brain, eyes, skin, and even has anti-inflammatory properties. It’s an all-around powerful supplement for mobility and overall health, particularly for aging cats.

However, fish oil degrades quickly and doesn’t freeze well, so serving it fresh – preferably right before a meal – is the best way to provide its benefits to your cat. Alternatively, both hemp seed oil and flax seed oil contain a comparable amount of essential fatty acids and are just as beneficial when added to a raw food diet.

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Cranimals is packed full of so many good things that we should all be supplementing our diets with it!

3. Phytonutrients: Fresh Cranberries

Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning that they require meat to survive, let alone thrive; anything else is optional. However, supplementing a diet with select vegetables and fruits can boost your cat’s wellbeing in ways that would otherwise be difficult in a purely meat-based diet.

Phytonutrients found in fresh greens help provide and can even accentuate many of the vitamins, minerals, fibre, and antioxidants that may be otherwise unavailable to a cat in their diet. Barley grass, sweet grass, wheat grass, and oat grass can even help provide the necessary fibre for cats to manage hairballs, and grass left out for them can add a source of enrichment that’ll keep them away from houseplants.

But as cats are notoriously prone to both Urinary Tract Infections and Urinary Crystals, the addition of select fruits and vegetables can make a big difference. Cranberries, for example, are not beneficial for their urinary tract health but for dental health as well. Cranberries are also packed full of fibre and vitamin C, and have one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants found in any fruit or vegetable – which make them great for fighting chronic illnesses and inflammation. 

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Fresh, organic eggs are a meal upon themselves for a cat.

4. Eggs

Whole, fresh eggs are one of the most balanced and bioavailable sources of additional nutrition you can provide your cat, no matter what else they’re eating. Eggs are inexpensive and delicious, but don’t shy away from those that are pasture-raised and organic – you are what you eat, after all, and pasture-raised chickens lay eggs that have a higher nutritional value than conventional eggs, with higher levels of protein, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and even fatty acids.

Eggs can be fed raw or soft-boiled, and are great as added protein after a long day. As an added enrichment, raw, pasture-laid eggs can be fed whole, as the shell and membrane contain healthy amounts of calcium and phosphorous, as well as other minerals and proteins that play a role in maintaining good bone and joint health. 

And for our tiny cats out there, chicken eggs can easily be substituted with quail eggs!

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RawPaw’s Green Lipped Mussel powder is made fresh from whole New Zealand mussels.

5. Green Lipped Mussel

Green Lipped Mussels (GLMs), or New Zealand mussels are a type of shellfish found only along the coasts of New Zealand. What set these small, green-streaked mussels apart from many other sustainable food sources are the extraordinary health benefits they possess: even in a powdered extract form, GLMs contain very high concentrations of Omega-3s, which, as said before, play a role in heart and brain health.

Most importantly, GLMs contain high quantities of glucosamine and chondroitin. Both of these not only reduce inflammation and discomfort from regular wear and tear or from degenerative inflammatory conditions like arthritis, but also help build and maintain healthy cartilage and bone, making GLM a safe and highly accessible form of pain and inflammation management for aging cats. Best of all, this powerful supplement has no known side-effects!

Green Lipped Mussel powder can be fed as a topping to food, mixed into liquids, or even fed as ice cubes.

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Supplementing a cat’s raw food diet doesn’t have to be hard, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t incredibly beneficial. Every cat can at the very least benefit from the addition of probiotics, essential fatty acids, and phytonutrients to help to promote a healthy body and mind.

Because every cat is unique, differences in breed, size, age, personal history, and even dietary preferences will influence what kinds of supplements will be the most beneficial for them. So if you’ve been inspired by any of the supplements here and you’re curious about what you could be adding to your cat’s diet, come visit us at the store! We always get really excited when someone asks us about supplements!

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