Cats have been domesticated for over 4,000 years, and their diet has changed dramatically during that time. Today’s cats eat mostly wet and dry cat food, but what did they eat before commercial cat food was invented?
What Kind of Foods Did Cats Eat?
Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning their bodies are designed to digest and use only animal-based proteins. Before commercial cat food was invented, cats mostly ate small prey animals like rodents or birds. They are obligate carnivores, meaning their bodies are designed to digest and use only animal-based proteins. Cats typically eat raw meat as well as fish. This diet is relatively easy to digest and provides all the necessary nutrients.
When cats were first domesticated, their diet probably didn’t change much. They probably continued to eat mostly small prey, supplemented with table scraps from their human companions. However, as cats became more and more domesticated, their diet began to change.
One of the biggest changes came with the invention of canned cat food in the late 19th century. Canned food was easier to store and transport than fresh prey, so it quickly became a popular choice for cat owners. Today, most cats eat mostly or exclusively canned food.
Another big change came in the mid-20th century with the invention of dry cat food. Dry food is more convenient than canned food and can be left out for cats to eat on their schedule. It’s also usually cheaper than canned food, so it’s no wonder many cat owners choose to feed their cats dry food.
How Did Commercial Cat Food Come About?
The first commercial cat food was invented in the late 19th century and made from wheat, meat, and bone meal. This early cat food was not very nutritious, and it didn’t take long for people to realize that cats needed a diet richer in animal-based proteins.
In the mid-20th century, dry cat food was invented. This food was more convenient than canned food and soon became the most popular type of cat food. Today, most cats eat dry food, although many people still feed their cat’s canned food as well.
What Are the Benefits of Feeding Cats Commercial Cat Food?
Commercial cat foods are also very convenient. They can be left out for cats to eat on their schedule and don’t require any preparation. This is a big advantage over natural diets, which can be time-consuming and messy to prepare.
What Are the Disadvantages of Feeding Cats Commercial Cat Food?
One of the biggest disadvantages of commercial cat food is that it can be expensive. High-quality cat foods can cost more than $1 per day, adding up quickly if you have multiple cats.
Another disadvantage of commercial cat food is that it can be unhealthy for cats if they eat too much. Most commercial cat foods are high in carbohydrates, leading to obesity and other health problems in cats.
What Are the Best Commercial Cat Foods?
The best commercial cat foods are those high in animal-based proteins and low in carbohydrates. These foods are more expensive than the average cat food, but they’re worth the extra cost to keep your cat healthy.
Some of the best commercial cat foods include:
- Orijen Cat & Kitten Food
- Acana Wild Prairie Cat Food
- Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Cat Food
- Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Cat Food
- Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free Dry Cat Food
These foods are all high in animal-based proteins and low in carbohydrates, making them ideal for cats. They’re also more expensive than the average cat food, so you’ll need to be prepared to spend a bit more to feed your cat one of these foods.
What Should You Avoid Feeding Your Cat?
There are some things that you should avoid feeding your cat, no matter what type of food you’re using. These include:
- Raw meat: Raw meat can contain bacteria that can make your cat sick. It’s best to cook meat before feeding it to your cat.
- Bones: Bones can splinter and cause internal injuries. It’s best to avoid giving your cat bones altogether.
- Dairy products: Cats are lactose intolerant, so dairy products can make them sick.
- Human food: Some human foods, like chocolate and onions, can be toxic to cats. It’s best to avoid giving your cat any human food, no matter how tempting it may be.
Cats have been eating commercial cat food for more than 100 years, and it’s the most convenient way to feed them. However, some disadvantages to feeding cats commercial cat food, like the expense and the risk of obesity.
If you’re looking for a more natural diet for your cat, there are many raw and home-cooked diets that you can try. These diets can be more expensive and time-consuming to prepare, but they have the advantage of being more natural and nutritious for your cat.