Benefits of a Feline Raw Food Diet: Arthritis and Joint Health
Although cats can develop arthritis at any time, they are similar to humans in that they usually acquire it later in life. The symptoms can range from mild to severe and occur without warning. Movement and exercising become increasingly more difficult, which could lead to obesity and other diseases over time. Based on research conducted, a steady diet featuring the essential nutrients has been suggested as a possible prevention of joint problems in cats. Specifically, a diet that includes raw foods improves a cat's ability to guard its body against the onset of arthritis.
Causes of Arthritis in Cats
In general, overweight cats are more prone to arthritis and other joint problems because of the lack in physical activity. Bones and joints require motion to remain strong and flexible. When a cat does not exercise or move regularly, his or her joints are at a risk of stiffening and deteriorating. Another cause of arthritis is that it can be a side effect from a different condition or disease. For example, hyperthyroidism in cats has been known to make them susceptible to weakened joints. Endocrinal and metabolic diseases, such as diabetes, also have a negative effect on joints and bones.
Pain or discomfort is the most obvious symptom of arthritis in cats. If your cat is walking slower or more tenderly, be sure to check and see if they also have a limp. These are all early signs of joint problems and could be accompanied by a cat's reluctance to jumping. Nervousness and/or irritability are two other common symptoms.
Raw Food Diets and Arthritis
A raw food diet is different than dry, pre-packaged foods because it focuses on meat as the main source of nutrition. As a carnivore, your cat requires meat in order to maintain health. The problem is that for most dry foods, the carbohydrates are so high that they interfere with a cat's digestion and nutritional needs. Even the protein that is found in dry foods is derived from plants, which is a drastic departure from proteins and amino acids found in meat. Corn, wheat, soy, and rice are a few of the popular products used in manufacturing cat food, and none of them are beneficial to the way a feline's body functions. How can a raw food diet prevent arthritis? The diets that consist of raw meats allow a cat to strengthen their muscles. In turn, the muscles support joints better and reduce the risk of stiffening. Plus, raw food diets have grounded bones that add calcium to the meat, which contributes to the healthy structure of bones and joints. Obesity is rarely a problem for cats that have a correct diet. Since a combination of more energy and muscle efficiency often results in routine physical activity, cats stay active when eating the right foods. Consult with your cat's veterinarian to see about the positive changes they might enjoy from switching to a raw foods diet, as well as how it would help keep them arthritis-free.