A raw food diet differs from a home cooked diet in that the food is given to the cat raw. Advocates of a raw, or natural, diet argue that cooked or processed food is not natural for cats (after all, nature does not cook for cats), and the cooking process destroys necessary enzymes and vitamins in the food.
Because cats have stronger stomach acids than humans do, they are better able to digest raw (or natural) foods. Although it may be hard to convert a cat who is used to a traditional commercial food diet, cats usually can live well on a raw diet. If you are feeding your feline a raw diet, use caution when handling raw meat to avoid exposing yourself to E. coli and other bacteria that may be present in raw foods. Consult your veterinarian for advice and recipes before offering this diet.
If you feed your cat a home cooked or raw diet and go away on vacation, you will have to leave prepared food for him and show the person who is taking care of your pet exactly how to prepare the meals.
All cats and kittens must have access to fresh, clean water at all times. If you live in an area where the water is treated or has high sulfur content, you may want to give your cat bottled water or filtered tap water. Cats have keen senses of smell and taste, and they may refuse to drink water that smells bad or tastes like chemicals.
Make sure to replace the water and wash the water dish every day. After all, your cat can not do it for himself. Depending in your cat's eating habits; you may have to refill the dish several times a day. Some cats drop food bits into it, play with it and knock it over, or shed hairs into it. If this happens, you need to change the water again. A cat will not drink out of a dirty water dish.
Do not panic if your cat or kitten does not look like he is drinking much water. Cats obtain most of the moisture that they require through the food that they eat, and they need less water than most other mammals. Canned food is about 78 percent water, semi moist food is approximately 35 percent water, and dry food ranges from 6 to 10 percent water, depending on the brand.
No matter what type of food that you feed, your cat or kitten always must have clean water available. Cats can become constipated if they do not get enough water. Offering him a bowl of milk is not a substitute for water. Despite the myth, many cats are lactose intolerant.