No Grinders!

Ground Food is Unnatural for Carnivores!

As long as your cats have teeth, there need be:




involved in their diets…ever!





Your Cat's Teeth Are Nature's Grinders

There are a number of very good reasons to completely avoid ground foods in your cat’s diet. But one of the most important reasons for this has to do with your cat’s teeth. The truth is those teeth are the only grinders your cat will ever need! Nature designed cats’ teeth eons ago, a very, very long time before human beings ever came along with mechanical food grinders, and cats have been using those teeth to successfully grind their own food ever since, for many millions of years.

Nature Feeds Whole Foods

When assembling a diet of whole raw foods for our cats, the idea is to use Mother Nature as a guide to feed them more naturally. But pre-ground food is not what adult cats feed on in Nature. Mushy food is actually quite unnatural for them. That’s because all cats are designed with their very own set of grinders as standard equipment. And those incisors, canines and molars, which are set in a very powerful pair of jaws, are meant to be used for ripping, tearing and shearing through whole raw foods. A cat’s sharp teeth are for slicing apart chunks of raw meat, and crushing edible bones into hunks small enough to be consumed.

It’s perfectly natural for cats to use their teeth to gnaw apart whole raw carcasses, including meaty bones and organs. What’s unnatural is for them to be fed food that’s been reduced from its whole, unadulterated state into a soppy pile of mush. Those sharp teeth in your pet’s mouth are there for slicing and crunching through the kind of whole foods Nature provides - not for lapping up ground pulp. And if your cat doesn’t use those teeth of hers, there’s a chance that she may very well lose them. The unfortunate fact is that if cats do not use their teeth for the purpose they were designed to be used, it’s very possible that those teeth might end up either becoming diseased, falling out or having to be extracted.

Feeding Whole Foods Improves Oral Health

Over time, a regular diet of ground food can cause plaque and tartar to build up on the teeth, and this can cause gum disease, which can lead to a myriad of health problems. Gums that are weak, inflamed and unhealthy can’t support the teeth properly, and cats that are fed ground foods for a long period of time may risk tooth loss.  

Gingivitis and periodontal disease are also an indication of a chronic presence of an increased amount of unhealthy bacteria in the mouth. That bacteria, which is regularly swallowed, in turn affects the entire system. Over time, this can be a major contributing factor in many serious systemic diseases.  

Avoid the Risks of Professional Dental Cleanings

Many people take their cats to the vet for regular teeth cleaning. This procedure is not only costly, but is also very stressful for the cat, and requires anesthesia, which always carries with it some degree of risk. Feeding cats the way Nature intended however, will, in most cases eliminate any need for this procedure. That’s because the natural scrubbing and flossing action of consuming raw meat, raw meaty bones and connective tissue helps to keep teeth white and clean, and gums pink, healthy and strong.


Whole Raw Food is More Digestible

Besides the issue of oral health with regard to whole vs. ground foods, is the matter of digestion. Feeding ground food encourages speedy gulping, because virtually no effort, and so very little time, is needed to consume it. Quickly inhaling ground food allows it to arrive so rapidly into the cat’s stomach, that often there's no time for its necessary digestive acids to be fully excreted. Such meals may end up causing irritation or indigestion, which can mean a greater chance of them either being vomited up, or coming out the other end in a less than desirable form.

On the other hand, one of the great benefits of feeding whole raw food is that it requires some work on the part of the jaws and teeth to hack away at fleshy fibers and crunchy bones, and this takes some time. The time it takes to gnaw away at whole meaty bones to the point where swallow-able sized hunks have been torn off, gives the gut time to activate its gastric juices so that when the food finally does hit the stomach, it has a much better chance of being properly digested.

Why to Avoid Commercial Ground Raw Pet Food

There’s a growing market for prepackaged raw frozen pet food patties these days. Along with the other reasons mentioned here for not feeding ground food to your cats, there are several more very good reasons not to feed these prefabricated products.  

One of these reasons has to do with the control you have over the handling procedures of the food you purchase to feed your pets. Feeding your pets prefabricated frozen ground patties means that you have no idea how the food that went into them was handled, what kind facility it was handled in, what kind of sanitation procedures were in place, or how well it was kept frozen between the time it was assembled and the time it ends up in your shopping basket.  

And speaking of shopping, by and large, these patties are very pricey. Pound for pound, you can get a whole lot more for your money buying whole foods, than you will by spending it on these kinds of prefab patties.






Furthermore, those premixed patties sometimes contain ground bone and organs and sometimes don't, and it’s often unclear exactly what proportions of meat, bone or organs they do contain. Besides that, some of those patties even contain things like vegetables, fruits and psyllium, which are often used as cheap fillers. And since commercial frozen raw pet foods often contain an overabundance of ground bone, (because bones are cheaper than boneless meat) many manufacturers regularly include vegetable matter and psyllium in their recipes because if they didn't, the excessive amounts of bone in their products would cause chronic constipation in pets that ate them.

Conversely, since Mother Nature knows best, she designs her prey animals with just the right proportions of parts right there in each whole critter. So compared to Nature's model, those ground up, frozen processed products, with their often skewed proportions of meat to bone and inappropriate plant based ingredients, are really vastly inferior to a diet assembled from whole, unground raw body parts. By looking to Nature and following her basic guidelines for the average proportions of meat, bone and organs found in her prey critters, we can feed our pets the most healthy and natural diet possible.

Reverse Engineered Commercial Pet Food

Because many people are so used to thinking of cat food as a mushy pile of goop, some folks have even decided to purchase their own electric grinders, at great expense, and grind their own raw cat food according to a recipe. Such an investment of money would be much better spent on high quality whole raw food, as the form of the food we feed our carnivorous pets is key. In addition, grinding can damage some of the nutrients naturally present in raw foods, thereby reducing their availability to your cat. Another benefit of feeding whole, fresh, minimally processed foods is the fact that their nutrients remain essentially intact, just the way Nature made them.

Ground raw food, whether prepackaged or homemade is, in essence, nothing more than an attempt to reverse engineer commercial pet food and as such, it’s unnatural. Nature’s way is always the best alternative.

Finally, as if all this weren’t reason enough not to feed your cat a diet of pre-chewed, ground raw food, consider the overall mental, physical and psychological implications of feeding whole raw foods.  

Feeding whole foods to your cat stimulates him, involving him in the entire process of eating his food much more than if he’s just offered up a bowl of easy to gobble food with a porridge-like consistency. Having to actually use his teeth and jaws in order to eat as his body was designed to, engages your cat in a way that just lapping up ground food does not. Something comes alive in a cat that is fed whole, involving raw foods. If you have such a cat, you understand exactly what this means. And if you don’t, perhaps you will come to see what it means for your furry feline friend, when that carnivorous spark within him comes to life as you start feeding him a diet of whole raw foods.

Reasons to Feed Whole Raw Foods Rather Than Ground


  • Improved tooth, gum and overall oral health
  • Increased digestibility
  • Greater control over food handling and sanitation
  • Less spread of food borne bacteria
  • Less nutrient loss
  • More economical than prefab frozen patties
  • No need to spend money on expensive mechanical grinders
  • The challenge of eating whole foods sparks a cat’s inner carnivore

If Your Cat Has Already Lost Its Teeth

If by chance for some reason your cat does not have all of her teeth and you intend to feed her a raw diet, it will be necessary to grind at least some, if not all, of her food. In this case, please check out the information offered at:   There you can find recipes and advice for grinding whole foods, which must include some bones and organs, to feed your tooth challenged cat. Please do bear in mind though, that there are those cats who no longer have all their own teeth, who may actually be able to gnaw apart fairly large hunks of meat.
















Although a diet of whole raw foods based on Nature's prey model is the most natural, healthy way for our carnivorous companion animals to eat, it is not a cure-all for any or all ailments, nor should it be considered as such. If your pet is ill you are advised to seek out the services of a professional pet health care provider. The material contained on this website is the author's opinion and is shared for informational and educational purposes only. Nothing written herein is intended or should be considered as veterinary advice, and the author assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse by the reader of this information.

© 2010 Linda Zurich All Rights Reserved