Raw Food

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Bones, Raw Meat and Fish

It is difficult to trace the origin of the "BARF" diet, although it is possible the Pottenger study may have been an influence, in part. The BARF diet has been around for awhile, and first became popular among dog owners and breeders. It is also sometimes called the "Biologically Appropriate Raw Food" diet. Proponents of the BARF diet suggest giving cats raw, meaty neck bones or wing tips in sections, either whole, or ground. The BARF diet has also evolved into other raw food diets which are more attuned to cats' particular needs. There are a number of variations of these diets, but the essential basics remain the same:

  • raw muscle meat, along with organ meat from the same source, i.e., chicken, beef, lamb
  • raw bones (neck and back bones in poultry), either ground or whole
  • added supplements, including, but not limited to cod liver oil, fatty acids, enzymes, and taurine

Some raw food proponents also add other ingredients:

  • fresh, raw vegetables, including broccoli, carrots, squash, and potatoes
  • raw fruits (apples, cranberries, and bananas are frequently mentioned)
  • grain, such as barley, oats, or brown rice (whole, ground, or sprouted)

Purists argue that these added ingredients are not necessary, and that they do not represent the kinds of food a cat will seek out in the wild. On the other hand stories abound on the Cats Forum of cats eating and apparently enjoying things like corn-on-the-cob, cantaloupe, and grapes. I personally would not give any cat fruit.
Since many people simply have neither the time nor the resources for preparing a raw food diet for their cats "from scratch," several companies offer powdered supplements which, when added to raw meat, organ meat, and water, provide a nutritionally complete raw food diet. Although a bit more expensive than some of the premium cat foods, these supplements are convenient, and go a long way in ensuring optimum health for your kitty. My own Top Picks for raw diet supplements are shown in this article.

When Time is Limited

Commercial raw meat frozen and freeze-dried diets are also available. They are great time savers. You only have to defrost the frozen foods, warm slightly to take off the chill, and serve. The freeze-dried diets are reconstituted with warm water and dinner is served.

A Totally Coastal Diet

A good quality dry Complete food is available at all times, to snack on through the day. I personally serve the following listed items to my Pixies(including the kittens). These are not expensive cuts, nor take a lot of preparation, and will cost less than a tin of cat food.

  • Ox Liver
  • Raw Chicken wings, chop in chunks and serve
  • Diced Turkey thigh
  • Poussins
  • Pork Mince
  • Turkey Mince
  • Diced chicken for casseroles
  • Whole diced Rabbit or Pigeon

Whole wild rabbit or Pigeon, are given as a supplement once a week. This is so they can also have some Fur and Feather in their Diet. Pigeons are given with roughly plucked leaving only a little down feather, I get my butcher to do this for me. The rabbit is supplied mail order, however on occassions I have arranged this too through my butcher.
I know your probably thinking yuck, but whole Rabbit with Bones and Fur, and Prepared Pigeons is the closest they'll get to what nature provides. It really helps with the digestion and teeth. It's not the most convenient, so now and again as a treat would be better than not at all.
I have found the "BARF" inclusion to be very beneficial, and feed my Pixies and my moggies on this.

This diet is intended for all cats and even dogs, for optimum health. At the end of the day it's your decision, it is not specialist requirement for Pixies, they will eat the same as any other cat.