I stumbled across this really informative and beautifully laid-out website by the Feline Nutrition Education Society, dedicated to the proper feeding of cats. I, and thousands of other cat owners and vets believe that a grain-based diet is not suitable for an obligate carnivore like the cat and therefore feed a raw meat based diet. This diet consists of as many parts of an animal as possible, so as well as muscle meat, cats are fed raw bone which helps to balance out the phosphorus in the muscle meat. Too much phosphorus is bad for renal health. Hearts are rich in taurine, something that cats cannot produce themselves but die without, so are fed as part of the muscle meat part of the diet. The rest of the diet is made up of various "innards" such as kidneys, livers, etc. Thousands of cat owners can testify to much healthier pets with renewed vitality. Raw meat is also a brilliant teeth cleaner. Oral health is something that is very important in the prevention of kidney disease and obviously healthy teeth mean a happy cat with that beautiful and impressive set of teeth that characterises this little predator!
I have an article that the owners of this site very kindly published, outlining my experiences of raw-feeding and how I get on with it in Italy.