Resources: Letting the cat out of the bag — how to feed your carnivore

Molly blossomed on a raw diet.

Cat parents are being assaulted on all fronts when it comes to figuring out what to feed their furry kids. Between an ongoing litany of food recalls and the assault of commercial pet food marketers, it’s impossible to figure out what’s best.

Best advice? Do your homework. The Internet is a treasure trove of resources, both good and questionable. Learn about pet food ingredients, read between the lines of marketers’ messages, and evaluate the needs of your cats. If you choose to make your cat’s food, learn how to do it correctly.

Here is a list of resources to get you going. Please let me know if you have any questions!

Little Big Cat (Dr. Jean Hofve’s web site):

Feeding Your Cat: Know the Basics of Feline Nutrition (Dr. Lisa Pierson):

Dr. Elizabeth Hodgkins’ web site:, plus her book Your Cat: Simple New Secrets to a Longer, Stronger Life

“The carnivore connection to nutrition in cats” by Dr. Debra Zoran:

“What’s Really in Pet Food?” (a widely known paper on pet food and the industry that is regularly updated, originally published by the Animal Protection Institute, now Born Free USA; lots of resources there as well):

Dr. Karen Becker’s website:

Your Cat’s Nutritional Needs: A Science-Based Guide for Pet Owners:

An article from the Journal of Experimental Biology on what cats would choose to eat:

Evolutionary Nutrition for the Cat: EvolutionaryNutritionCats.pdf

The Feline Nutrition Education Society:

Feline Nutrition Awareness Effort:

Feline Outreach: The organization has been dissolved, but the information is till viable.

Tracy Dion’s has lots of information on raw diets and food comparisons.

The American Veterinary Medical Association maintains information on pet food recalls going back to 2009:

Pertains to dogs, but addresses the same issues I’ve discussed here:

Tracie Hotchner’s Dog Talk and Cat Chat at

A good, single source to compare pet food ingredients:
Plus, a good article on reading labels:

The Truth About Dry Cat Food from Blakkatz (Michelle Bernard):

An article about corn in dog food:

Pet Food Ingredients Revealed: Lisa Newman, N.D., PhD, and Mike Adams

Pet Food Politics: The Chihuahua in the Coal Mine by Marion Nestle (University of California Press)

Whole Health for Happy Cats by Sandy Arora

The New Natural Cat by Anitra Frazier (new updated version)

The Complete Guide to Holistic Cat Care by Celeste Yarnell and Dr. Jean Hofve

The Cat Bible by Tracie Hotchner

The Ultimate Pet Food Guide by Liz Palika

Analysis of Toxic Trace Metals in Pet Foods Using Cryogenic Grinding and Quantitation by ICP-MS, Part 1

Analysis of Toxic Trace Metals in Pet Foods Using Cryogenic Grinding and Quantitation by ICP-MS, Part 2:


About ExclusivelyCats
Sally Bahner is an expert in all aspects of cat care: Writer, consultant, speaker, instructor.

6 Responses to Resources: Letting the cat out of the bag — how to feed your carnivore

  1. Love your blog and your resource list! I was wondering if you might check out my cat’s blog, which chronicles her fight with vaccine associated sarcoma.


    • exclusivelycats says:

      Good luck with Chicken. I’ve lost a couple of kitties to cancer, so I know how hard it is. The threat of vaccine-associated sarcoma is one reason why I really limit vaccinations for my cats. Perhaps the odds are high, but the threat is real when it’s your cat.
      They stay inside, they’re not exposed, end of vaccinations. As with nutrition, I hope people are becoming more aware and questioning the status quo.


  2. Pingback: Prescribed vs. commercial: If it’s dry food, think twice « ExclusivelyCats Blog

  3. Pingback: AVMA under fire from advocates of raw pet diets « ExclusivelyCats Blog

  4. Jules says:

    I’m so glad to see a reference to Sandy Arora’s book, “Whole Health For Happy Cats.” She also has a website at that is very informative. My copy of her book is dog…er…cat-eared :), and her website (and forum) are a source of great information. Thank you for including this, Sally! Me, I’ve been feeding a balanced raw diet to my three kitties for a little over seven years now. Your blog rocks!!


    • Thanks, Jules! I was on Holisticat for years and Sandy and I talked every so often. I was the founding editor of The Whole Cat Journal and we had hoped to resurrect it in some form or another. It looks like a lot of sites and blogs have filled the need for nutritional information; we just have to keep getting the word out there.

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