Salmonellosis can be a scary illness so it’s natural to have worries about handling/ feeding your pet raw meat. After all, contaminated food is the main source for most of its cases (in humans); and unlike other bacteria, Salmonella can survive freezing temperatures. Why is raw food diet still a thing, then?
Cats’ digestive system is quite different from humans. It’s much shorter, as well as more acidic – their stomachs have hydrochloric acid which is about 10 times stronger in concentration than ours. This allows them to digest raw meat and even bones. And since their GI tract is much shorter than our, the food passes through it within hours, not giving any bacteria or pathogens a chance to grow.
Of course, it doesn’t mean that cats are 100% immune to getting sick. What causes most (if not all) cases of salmonellosis in cats is feeding them poor quality food containing carbohydrates. A diet high in carbohydrates inhibits stomach’s acidity – raising pH level up to 4-5 (healthy cat’s pH level is 1-2). A more in detail post will be made soon, explaining why carbs are bad for cats and the science behind it.
Last thing to mention is an article written by the FDA themselves on Salmonellosis where it says “Salmonellosis is uncommon in dogs and cats, but they can be carriers of the bacteria.” So it is more than okay to feed your cat raw food – as long as it is a balanced diet. And remember to wash everything that comes in contact with raw food with hot soapy water, as well as washing your hands thoroughly after meal time and cleaning the litter box.