Just for Cats…

Every day, our feline companions are diagnosed with urinary tract infections, thyroid imbalances, diabetes, dental disease, obesity, skin irritations, cancer and renal failure in epidemic proportions.  Why?

In large part because the food we have been told to feed them is creating a heavy burden on their digestive systems, and thereby on their immunity, longevity and vitality.  Just like human food, pet food has become more and more processed over the years. With the addition of GMO ingredients, veterinarians that don’t understand the healing power of good nutrition, and pet food manufacturers that just don’t care about the health and well being of our animal friends, we end up with food on the shelves that is devoid of vitality and healing properties and loaded with difficult to digest, harmful ingredients.

Yes, some cats seem to crave dry food. It’s designed that way, made attractive to cats, who are very scent-driven, by spraying a coating of “flavoring” on the food (once it has been baked into oblivion). The ingredients in most cat foods are appalling, and any beneficial ingredients are damaged or destroyed by the canning and/or baking process.

What is the ideal diet for a feline?

In the wild, felines derive their energy and most of their required moisture from their prey.  From dental structure to the types of enzymes their bodies produce, cats are designed to digest and metabolize high quality, bio-available protein – not carbohydrates and crunchy, baked food.  Cats are obligate carnivores and must eat meat to thrive.  Feeding raw, lightly cooked or rehydrated whole foods creates health and can resolve many imbalances for our feline friends.

Raw foods that are excellent: Rad Cat , Primal , Poultry Necks , Bravo Raw Diets

Dehydrated foods that cats love: Lamb Lung , or other freeze dried treat, Stella & Chewy’s, and Primal Pet Foods are all excellent and best served rehydrated. ZiwiPeak is a food I keep on hand to use as a treat or a small quick meal.  It’s an air-dried food from New Zealand that has a jerky-like consistency.  My cat loves it.   The canine formulas for all of the above are fine for cats, as most of these formulas consist of 90-95% muscle meat, organ meat and bone, and 5-10% organic sprouts, fruits and vegetables – perfect for a cat!  I serve the canine formulas to my cat, as the feline formulas are more expensive and come in smaller packages.  And, hey, they all contain a high percentage of muscle meat, organ meat and bone – perfect for the obligate carnivore.  Feline formulas almost always contain a taurine supplement, which is evidently what sets them apart from canine fare.  It’s important to note that if you feed even small amounts of raw food to your cat on a regular basis, a taurine supplement will not be needed.

Enzymes, flavonoids, vitamins and minerals are all vital to organ function and the daily cellular repair that takes place in all animals. That’s why I formulated Kitty Greens & B’s – just for felines!  Cats LOVE this supplement! Wheat grass, Barley Grass, Nutritional Yeast, Lecithin and Spirulina supply vital macro and micronutrients for the feline physique.  Many other helpful supplements and enzymes can be found here.

Another way to support our felines at the cellular level is to add a once-a-week dosage of the following vitamins. This once a week schedule works because these vitamins are fat soluable.

400 IU vitamin E
10,000 units of Vitamin A
400 IU Vitamin D

Raw egg yolks are super nourishing for cats, so include several a week if possible. Just the yolk, especially for a cat that is healing. Mix it with food, or try it by itself or with a sprinkle of Kitty Greens.

The Veterinarian’s Guide to Natural Remedies for Cats is a very helpful book to have on hand. I also highly recommend getting a copy of The Encyclopedia of Natural Pet Care.  This super helpful and practical book recommends the following “from scratch” meals for a 10 lb cat:

1/4 lb raw chicken or game hen with bones (include the liver when available)
1 pinch of powdered seaweed (kelp, dulse, etc)
1 tsp – 1 Tbs finely minced fresh wheat grass, collard greens or other greens
1 tsp – 1 Tbs finely minced, pureed or pressed raw carrots, peas, beans or other vegetables


1/2 c warm raw milk, yogurt or kefir
1/8 tsp cod liver oil or other oil, or an essential fatty acid supplement
1 Tbs fresh, raw carrot juice

Also recommended:

“Offer raw watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumber, mango, banana, or other raw fruit.  Encourage your cat to eat a variety of fresh, raw foods, no matter how unlikely this may seem.”  Many cats go wild for cantaloupe!

For cats who are out of balance, a whole food diet that includes greens and nutritive herbs can often restore health:

Feeding dry food to your cat can lead to chronic dehydration and constipation.  When the feline body is deprived of moisture, urine becomes concentrated, creating the perfect storm of harmful bacteria in the urinary tract.  This explains the incredibly high incidence of urinary tract issues in cats today.  Think about it! Just feed whole, fresh foods!  LoveMyPet Kidney Bladder Relief is an amazing remedy that works wonders for kidney and bladder imbalances.

For cats who are diagnosed with renal failure, Vetri-Science Renal Essentials for Dogs and Cats can be a life saver.

Vomiting and hairballs are pretty much nonexistent with a raw or whole food diet.  I have a long haired cat, and she has never vomited up a hairball.  I’ve heard the same from others who feed a raw diet.  If your cat is vomiting or has other digestive imbalances, enzymes and probiotics can be very helpful, along with a whole food diet.

Chronic digestive issues cleared up overnight, when one cat was switched from a canned food diet to a combination of freeze dried/rehydrated and raw food. This was a middle aged cat (8 years old) who had been experiencing digestive distress for a number of years (severe diarrhea). Switched overnight to raw chicken, this feline’s digestive issues resolved immediately. The humans in the equation switched back to canned food once the problem resolved, and all the symptoms resurfaced. Thankfully, this cat now eats a whole food diet every single day and is doing very well. I’ve seen the same scenario for many felines.  Adding Animal Essentials Plant Enzymes and Probiotics can be very helpful for digestive support.

Cats with hyperthyroid conditions are using up their nutrients much more rapidly than a normal cat. They are also casting off toxins more intensely as well, thus an oily coat often accompanies this condition.  Nourishing your cat with whole foods and greens while using a natural thyroid formula can be incredibly healing.   Nature’s Herbs for Pets Thyroid Calming formula is an excellent remedy.

Another common feline imbalance, Diabetes, can actually be reversed by simply switching to species-appropriate whole foods and eliminating any dry or canned foods or baked treats. Species appropriate for cats means 80%-90% high quality, bioavailable protein and 10-20% greens.  Remedies I recommend for resolving Diabetes are PetAlive GlucoEnsure and Pet Essences Pancreas Balance – always used in combination with the species appropriate diet.  Diabetes can resolve rather quickly once the diet is adjusted, so be aware and monitor your cat’s progress closely.  I have seen cats whose insulin was discontinued after being fed species appropriate food for just two weeks.

Other factors to consider for feline health and happiness:

Just say NO to vaccinations.  One vaccine for the life of your cat is all that is needed.  Repeated vaccinations can contribute to thyroid imbalances, and cancer is known to develop at injection sites.  Especially for indoor cats, yearly vaccinations are completely unnecessary and often harmful.

Unless your entire neighborhood is completely organic, I recommend keeping your cat inside.   Or build an enclosed “cat-io” where he or she can enjoy the out of doors without being exposed to harmful chemical fertilizers and herbicides.  I see my neighbors using chemicals on their lawns all the time, and I would totally freak out if my cat walked through those yards!

If your cat is demonstrating behavioral issues of any kind, I highly recommend SpiritEssence Flower Essences.   Safe Space for Cats often quickly resolves litter box issues for cats who are peeing outside of the box.  All of these remedies are wonderful and effective.  I’ve seen them work quickly in hundreds of cases.

Cats need playtime and hunting games!  For cats who are finicky about eating new food, having a vigorous hunting game prior to meal time can stimulate their appetite and help with digestion.  Find a lot of cat toys and other fun stuff here.

My cat, Chandra and my little Corgi, Lily adore each other and play well together.  Love them!

Good Health & Blessings
To You and Your Cat,



Bibliography and Recommended Reading

Belfield, Wendell O., and Martin Zucker. The Very Healthy Cat Book: A Vitamin and Mineral Program for Optimal Feline Health. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1983. Print.

Bernard, Michelle T. Raising Cats Naturally: How to Care for Your Cat the Way Nature Intended. Lincolnton, NC: Blakkatz Pub., 2003. Print.

Frazier, Anitra, Norma Eckroate, and Anitra Frazier. The New Natural Cat: A Complete Guide for Finicky Owners. New York, NY, U.S.A.: Plume, 1990. Print.

“HomeGrown Herbalist.” HomeGrown Herbalist. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2014.

Kidd, Randy. Dr. Kidd’s Guide to Herbal Cat Care. Pownal, VT: Storey, 2000. Print.

Pedersen, Mark. Nutritional Herbology: Including the Nutritional Profiles of 106 Commonly Used Herbs and Foods. Bountiful, Utah (P.O. Box 761, Bountiful 84010): Pedersen Pub., 1987. Print.

Puotinen, C. J. The Encyclopedia of Natural Pet Care. Los Angeles: Keats Pub., 2000. Print.

Tilford, Gregory L., Mary Wulff-Tilford, and Mary Wulff-Tilford. Herbs for Pets: The Natural Way to Enhance Your Pet’s Life. Laguna Hills, CA: BowTie, 2009. Print.

Zucker, Martin. The Veterinarians’ Guide to Natural Remedies for Cats: Safe and Effective Alternative Treatments and Healing Techniques from the Nation’s Top Holistic Veterinarians. New York: Three Rivers, 1999. Print.

About Sarah Wadleigh

I am a Clinical Herbalist, Organic Gardener and Nutritional Consultant for people and companion animals. I live in Madrid, New Mexico with my wonderful husband, two little dogs and a big cat. My practice revolves around helping people create health through whole-food nutrition, nutritive herbs, lifestyle and self-awareness. With more than 20 years of experience as an animal nutritional counselor, I offer consultations to improve the health and well-being of our four-legged friends, as well as their humans. We can work together via Skype, in person,or over the phone. Let's create health for ourselves and our animal companions! Contact: sarah@summersunherbals.com
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