Although there are opinions for all tastes, some say that a cat should feed as it would if we were not, that is, based on mice, birds and other raw bugs.
So much so that for some time, some defend this diet as the best, known as BARF ( Biologically Appropriate Raw Food ). Trademarks have even emerged that offer this complete and prepared diet.
The benefits of these diets are numerous for cats: more moisture in their food, improved hair appearance, body and mouth odor, less kidney, and other problems. However, of course, there are still many people who doubt.
In this blog, we want to review what is necessary to consider if you’re going to start giving your cat a raw natural diet. For this, we have spoken with the Puromenu experts who have offered to provide us with some guidelines for all those who are considering it.
If you decide to do it, do it well
It seems trivial, but as we said, there are many opinions, and some of them even point to the risk of giving raw meat to our minors, because it will not sit well, because of bacteria, etc. The truth is that in northern Europe and the United States, this practice takes a long time, and there is a lot of information about how to do it correctly. And that implies:
- Use the right raw materials and safely
- Create meals that are complete and give adequate amounts
- Check that everything is going well
Necessary preparation of a BARF diet for cats
We all have notions of what a proper food is for us (whether we follow it or not). From here, we can vary certain things, but we certainly have a pattern.
The same happens in the food for our minions; it is crucial to know what a complete diet should compose for them; that is, what approximate proportions we must offer each food.
Percentage and amount of food types
This is the base formula:
- 70% of muscle meat
- 15% viscera (50% liver and 50% heart, spleen or others are preferred)
- 10% fleshy bones (should be made up of 50% bone), for
- Example chicken necks. You can also opt for a
- 5% calcium supplements, such as ground eggshell or ground bone
- sold as a supplement
- 5-10% vegetable and fruit
- Taurine, about 2g per kilo of meat
From time to time, you can include other supplements mixed with your food, such as fish oil, some blood, and switch to fish instead of meat once a week.
Of course, this is not accurate, and nothing happens if one day we give a little more of one thing or less of another, the important thing is that we offer varied and that, over a period, for example, a week, the amounts are more or less these.
A normal cat living in an apartment could eat between 4% and 6% of its weight of this mixture per day. For example, a cat of 5Kg x 5% = 250g per day.
As advice, to facilitate the task of having this type of food in the amounts described, you can prepare the menu for a month and freeze it, to get the necessary food every day.
Changing our cat to the raw diet takes time
If preparing your meal is not a difficult task, convincing the pussycat that this diet suits him is already something else. The reason is that most cats are very attached to what they know, and if they tried something, they could be a small crusade. The good news is that it can be achieved!
Here are some steps that can help you:
- If your cat eats, I think, it is easier to try to pass it to wet food, such as cans or envelopes. If you already eat wet, work it directly with the raw. It also helps not to leave food available all the time so that you are hungry, but never leave a whole day without eating because, unlike dogs, it is not suitable for them.
- Start very slowly, leaving a little of the new food next to your usual dish until it is recognized and tested
- If this does not work, try mixing it with your typical diet or staining it a little with the new menu, cats are such hygiene fans that they will lick it and mission accomplished!
- Progressively, change the proportions until you only offer the new food
Arm yourself with patience; some cats may be weeks and even months until finally evolving, and even change their mind from one day to another without notice
Take some precautions
Just as we do when feeding ourselves, it is also essential to take a series of precautions for them. We summarize them here:
- Freeze food for a few days to avoid possible bugs and bacteria. In general, cats can tolerate much more than we can, but it doesn’t hurt to lend them a hand.
- Always give them raw food. The grace is that it keeps all the vitamins, minerals and enzymes they need, in addition to water
- Especially at the beginning, tell your veterinarian what you want to do and propose periodic monitoring, for example by blood tests