This site is dedicated in loving memory of my beloved Tuffy: August 28, 1996 – July 17, 2004. He is the reason I started a journey of eye-opening discovery into what it REALLY means to be a cat—and the HUGE role that diet plays in their quality of life.
WhollyCat is an informational site designed to cover ALL things cat-related, but with an emphasis on nutrition. My hope is to arm kitty guardians with the knowledge they need to provide the best life for their kitties.
The Beginning of a Journey
Tuffy suffered with Chronic Renal Failure (CRF), now known as Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), for most of his short life. It broke my heart to watch my beloved baby boy slowly leave me. I began a quest to find the best way to treat his disease. I did a ton of research, and started with his diet—the foundation that helps build a better defense against illness. I ditched the kibble that he and his brother Abby had been eating for the previous two years of their life.
Why no kibble? During my research I found that kibble is not a good choice for cats due to the high carbohydrate content and very low moisture. Physiologically, kitties are not thirst-driven like dogs and humans, so eating kibble leads to them being chronically dehydrated, which in turn leads to kidney and bladder disease over time. Their bodies don’t have the means to process carbs, therefore carbs can lead to allergies, diabetes, and other diseases.
I began feeding canned food.
Did you know that kitties are physiologically unique in almost all aspects? For their diet, they have certain requirements that need to be met to keep them in optimal health in order to live long, happy, healthy lives. EXAMPLE: Kitties do not have the capability to create taurine, an amino sulfonic acid, from methionine and cysteine, like dogs and humans do. Additional taurine is a must for kitties!
I firmly believe in a species-appropriate diet for cats. Cats are obligate (strict) carnivores, their diet needs must be met by feeding real meat — not by-products, grains, fillers, and other unnecessary ingredients that may be harmful to our beloved felines.
- My first choice is a balanced raw diet. A balanced raw diet is highly digestible and bioavailable. What this means is, our little carnivore will process the nutrients in the diet very efficiently, with little waste (feces). With an appropriately balanced raw diet, you control what goes into your kitty’s food. For those of you that are open to learning more, click here to read about feeding a balanced raw diet. Yes, ‘balanced’ is here for emphasis a few times: There is more to feeding raw than just throwing them a chunk of meat!
- My second choice is canned foods using human-grade meats, grain-free, minimal (under 5%) or NO vegetables or fruits, and with natural preservatives. A canned food fitting these parameters is not as digestible and bioavailable as a raw meat protein-based diet, but beats kibble hands down. In the canned foods I recommend I look for added ingredients that are not appropriate for cats (e.g. grains, fruits and veggies, carrageenan, etc.). Caveat: No canned food is purrfect, but I try to weed out the best from the rest.
- I strongly and emphatically do not recommend feeding kibble (dry food) to kitties! Cats can never consume enough water by drinking it, therefore, they are always in a constant state of dehydration (they don’t have the thirst mechanism like dogs and humans do). You can find more information here.
Did you know that there are very few herbs that are safe for kitties? EXAMPLE: Slippery Elm Bark (SEB) is one of the “good guys” because of its numerous healing properties and uses. It is prepared as a gruel (the consistency of raw egg white) to help treat nausea due to Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), or anytime kitty’s tummy is upset. For uses and how to make, click here.
Treatment of Diseases and Illnesses
I believe in the use of gentle, natural, holistic and homeopathic methods for treatment of diseases and illnesses—or used for support—when allopathic (veterinary) drugs must be used. You would be amazed at how many allopathic drugs can have a gentler alternative! My recommended products reflect this belief, and they’re what I and others in a large group of fellow cat lovers I know use.
Did you know that “holistic” and “natural” can have different meanings to different people, including pet food manufacturers? I research each supplement, herb, food, or treatment in depth to ensure they are safe for kitties. EXAMPLE: Under the guise of ‘holistic’ or ‘natural’ some canned foods, commercial raw, and kibble contain garlic. Although garlic can be beneficial for humans, it should never be fed to kitties!