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Study raises concerns about raw-food diet for pets

The raw-food movement has grown in popularity among pet owners for a few years now, with people eschewing commercially produced food in favor of raw meats, vegetables, bones, and fruits for their furry family members. But a new study in the Journal of American Science says the same raw diet that works for zoo animals simply isn’t enough for domesticated cats.

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and The Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, in Omaha, Neb., published a new study last week that said cats, in particular, who eat a raw-food diet miss out on valuable nutrients and risk increased pathogens.

Because most raw-diet believers feed their cats trimmed cuts of meat, the researchers said, the felines missed out on necessary fats that their kitties need to be healthy. Those using raw diets should supplement with fats and fatty acids, the scientists said. In addition, a protein-heavy diet can change the microbes introduced to the stomach and increase protein fermentation in the bowels.

Researchers recommended further study on raw cat diets and, for now, cautioned cat owners to use caution in relying on raw food for their pets’ sole sources of nutrition.

Cat owners, have you tried a raw food diet? What do you think about this? Comment below; I’d love to talk more!

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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