Cat Health Problems

Over the last 100 years, cat health problems have increased in diversity and complexity. There are numerous bacterial and viral infections which cats’ immune systems seem unable to combat these days and for which there is apparently no cure with conventional veterinary medicine. The truth is that pathogens can only survive in an unhealthy individual, as Louis Pasteur said on his death bed.

Dental Disease

The commonest health problem in cats is undoubtedly dental disease, affecting not only the teeth but more importantly, the gums and supporting tissues (periodontal disease). More teeth are lost as a result of periodontal disease than for any other reason; the same is true for humans too! The good news is that this is preventable through proper nutrition and oral hygiene. The raw food cats would normally eat in the wild not only provides the numerous nutrients and micronutrients they require for optimal health, but also exercises their jaws, teeth and periodontal tissues and keeps them entertained.

Tooth Brushing?

Tooth brushing helps to keep the teeth clean but is only required if the cats are fed on processed food, whether it is home prepared cooked food, tinned or dried. When fed on raw food, there are rarely any accumulations of debris on the teeth as all the micro-nutrients are supplied to support the natural self cleaning mechanisms of the mouth and the strongly antibacterial saliva which work together to maintain excellent oral hygiene. The oral cavity is even healthier when chunks of raw meat and raw meaty bones form part of the diet, providing a physical cleaning of the teeth as they cut through the meat and gristle.

Immune System

Given the correct balance of natural nutrients, clean water, exercise, rest and love, most health issues in cats can be prevented. The immune system is extremely efficient at spotting problems and dealing with them before they get out of hand. Unfortunately, most cats are fed on processed food which gives the immune system a lot of work and does not give it the nutritional support it requires for optimal function.

Eating processed food uses up so many enzymes that the digestive system cannot complete its task, so partially digested food particles are absorbed into the blood where they are recognised as intruders by the immune system. The white blood cells attack these particles and complete their digestion in the blood, an effect called digestive leucocytosis. While the immune system is kept busy on this unnatural task, any pathogens or cancer cells or other invaders can pass by undetected. This is a major cause of today’s cat health problems.


Allergies are common cat health problems these days, especially asthma, skin irritations and diarrhoea. Why is this? There are many lifestyle factors working together to contribute to these allergic reactions, including over-vaccination and exposure to toxins, such as unnatural chemicals and processed foods, which over-stimulate and over-work the immune system. We have found that cats fed a raw food diet and Pet Plus are much less likely to suffer from allergies or any other problems. When anything the body regards as toxic is absorbed, the body does everything it can to remove the toxin. The liver is the main organ of detoxification; when this is overwhelmed, toxins are excreted through the mucous membranes lining the lungs and intestines, a process known as vicarious elimination. This damages the membrane allowing toxins in and body fluids out, contributing to the complex processes of allergic reactions.

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5 comments on “Cat Health Problems”

  1. Hi Susanna,

    My cat who is about 4 years old is suffering from Eosinophilic Granuloma Complex. She keeps getting 'rodent ulcers' on her top lips and recently had some kind of large growth at the back of her throat which also seems to be a part of this. The vet typically treats her with steroids and anti biotics. We are feeding her on a Hills dried food which is a hydrolysed formula, in case she has a food allergy. However, in truth we don't know what it is that she is allergic to. It is really distressing seeing her constantly rubbing and itching her lips. As well as the ulcers the skin around the sides of her face often gets inflammed and irritated which is again treated with steroid injections.

    Do you have any suggestions of where we go from here - do you feel that perhaps trying a raw food diet may help? If so, are there certain meats that we should avoid, that are more heavily associated to food allergies - such as chicken?

    I have recently read an article that Essential Fatty Acids can help this kind of condition so I have ordered some and we see if this helps at all.


    Rachel Munt

  2. Hi Susanna,

    I have recently started using the pet plus which both my cats have taken to well, firstly is it ok to sprinkle it on dry food without moistening it?? Also my other cat has HCM and recurring bouts of cystitis is it ok to feed raw food? at the moment he is on Bozita with the pet plus on which he loves. I used to feed him Natural instincts which he was not too fond of but was adv by my vets not to use a raw food in a urinary problem cat?? He now needs a dental and i am trying to get him as healthy as poss and boost his immune system prior to the GA.


    Sarah West RVN

    1. Hi Sarah,

      Thanks for your questions.

      I recommend moistening dry cat food for two reasons. Cats tend to sniff their food. A nose-full of powder tends to make them sneeze violently and isn't the best way of ingesting it! Secondly, the powder might fall off the dry kibble and fall to the bottom of the bowl. Most cats don't eat the entire bowl of kibble at one go so would probably miss out on their Pet Plus.

      I would never recommend feeding processed foods, especially not dried biscuits / kibble and especially not to cats as it tends to predispose them to developing bladder stones or sand and cystitis. Half the point of eating is hydration, so there is absolutely no rationale for feeding anything dry. So I would definitely advise you to feed raw food which could be Prize Choice's minced meat and bone or Honey's Real Cat Food or Natural Instinct, mixed with Pet Plus. I would also give raw chicken wings which they will crunch on and clean their teeth naturally, removing the serious risk of a general anaesthetic in a cat with heart disease (HCM).

      There is no disease situation that does not improve with better nutrition!

      So forget about the dental operation and feed raw chicken wings as well as raw minced meat and bone from whichever source you choose. My cats also love whole raw fish, so I give them a mackerel each about once a week. When sprats and sardines are in season, I use those.

      Let me know how you get on.


  3. Hi Suzanna,
    I have recently been told that my 6 yr old Yorkie needs to have an anaesthetic to have his teeth cleaned but i am really concerned on this being done as he has pancreatitis, can you let me know if there is any other way to clean his teeth without the need of him having to go through this sort of procedure?

    Kind regards


    1. What a great question! I'd suggest the first thing to do is to sort out his pancreatitis, so we need to look at why he has pancreatitis in the first place.
      The main job of the pancreas is to produce digestive enzymes for the digestion of food. In animals fed a processed food diet, the pancreas is abnormally large when compared with the pancreas of animals fed a natural raw diet.
      Why? Raw food contains numerous enzymes and largely digests itself with only a little help from pancreatic enzymes, so the pancreas doesn't have that much work to do.
      On the other hand, when the food has been cooked and processed, all those valuable enzymes are destroyed, so the entire digestive process depends on the pancreas producing massive amounts of enzymes. For this reason, the pancreas of processed food fed animals is enlarged and overworked, thus much more likely to suffer from inflammation, which is all pancreatitis is.
      The first thing to do is address his diet. I'd suggest you add some enzymes to his diet, like Pet Plus. He would also benefit from the numerous other ingredients in the Pet Plus too which will help to support his system.
      Next, gradually change his diet to a raw one and continue with the Pet Plus. I'd suggest you start by adding some raw minced meat and bone, like Darlings, Natural Instinct or Prize Choice.
      Add some liquidized green vegetables, just a teaspoon to start with.
      After a couple of weeks, he could be on a 100% raw food diet of raw meat and bone mince, raw greens liquidized and Pet Plus.
      Then, when he is happy with this new diet, you could offer him a raw chicken wing so he can crunch through the bones. If he manages this easily, the next day you could give him two raw chicken wings, in addition to his minced meal.
      If this goes down well, do the same every day. Chewing through these meaty bones will help to clean his teeth.
      However, if his teeth are so bad that they are loose, he is unlikely to be able to chew the bones, in which case he may need an anaesthetic to remove them, but first of all, get him on the raw food and get rid of his pancreatitis.
      Let me know how you get on.


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