Raw diets are a contentious topic among cat lovers and veterinarians. What is not disputed is that cats are obligate hypercarnivores who must consume meat in their diet. But why is it that cats can eat raw meat but humans can’t?
Humans have adapted to eating cooked meat which is easier to digest and allows the body to obtain more nutrients. However, we can eat some raw meat such as steak tartare, beef carpaccio, and sushi. But, the meat must be prepared meticulously to reduce the risk of food poisoning or parasitic infection. Pregnant women and immunocompromised people should not eat raw meat.
Cats can and do catch infections from raw meat that can potentially be spread to humans. But healthy cats have better resistance to pathogens in raw meat than humans. There are a number of physiological differences between cats and people.