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Balanced Raw Food Diet For Cats

Essential Supplements For A Raw Food Diet

RAW FOOD DIET for cats: the BARF diet

We get a lot of questions about which supplements are best for your dog or cats raw food diet. Which natural pet supplements are necessary for a balanced meal? How do you choose quality, whole food meal toppers? This week, were looking at our four favourite essential raw food supplements for cats and dogs and their benefits as the perfect addition for a truly balanced raw food diet.

Just because its a cliche doesnt mean it isnt true: everyone is different, and we all eat differently! A healthy and active 25 year old has different nutritional needs than, say, a toddler or a senior. The same is true for our pets: theres no one-size-fits-all solution to nutrition. Even the most well-rounded meals can use a little extra pizzaz to make them perfectly suited to your perfectly unique petso lets dig in!

Extra Feeding Tips When Transitioning To Raw Food

  • If your cat is rejecting the raw food, try different brands until you find something he likes. If youre still having problems, try feeding him when he is the hungriest, like first thing in the morning.
  • The magic elixir. If your cat is picky and fussy, do try adding nutritional yeast to the food to help encourage him to eat. Just sprinkle a little over the food. Most cats like the smell and taste so theyll eat it. My feline team absolutely adore it and will ask for it on their meals!
  • Never leave uneaten raw meat food in your cats bowl. If he does not eat all of his food in a reasonable amount of time, put it back into a container and refrigerate to keep it fresh. Raw meat will begin growing bacteria very quickly if not kept cool.
  • When grinding your own meat, always buy fresh, not ground meat. Fresh meat has a lower surface area so its less prone to bacterial contamination. You may also want to invest in a good set of kitchen knives and shears to make preparing the meals easier.
  • Always practice safe handling techniques when preparing raw meat meals for your cat. Improperly handling raw meat can cause food borne illnesses in humans, so be careful and clean up immediately. You dont want to take any chances of making yourself or your family sick while trying to improve your cats diet.

Which Foods And Ingredients Are Necessary In A Balanced Cat Diet

Many consumers have heard that fruits, veggies and grains are needed, in addition to meat, to form a truly balanced cat food diet. But, these additional ingredients can actually be more harmful than helpful for cats.

Fruits, veggies and grains are great for humans and other animals, but adding these ingredients to cat food adds soluble carbohydrates that cats simply dont need. Expert veterinarian and animal nutritionist Dr. Patton meaning that cats thrive on a meat-based diet thats free of carbohydrates.

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Best Raw Cat Food Brands

Apart from those brands that we have mentioned in our above best raw cat food list there are some other preferable brands as follows:

Darwin raw cat food

Darwins cat feed is self-proclaimed as one of the best currently. The thing that makes it renowned and popular is its ingredient selection process. Darwin infuses all-natural products, 100% meat from any protein source with no added hormones, filler, or antibiotics, organic fruits and vegetables all human grade. Darwin also has in-house experts to examine and prepare a tailored custom diet for your cat.

Dr. Marty raw cat food

Founded by Dr. Martin Goldstein as his clients call him, Dr. Martys has become a premier brand of pet food. Their range of cat diet is revered by many clients all over the United States. Being a renowned veterinarian doctor for more than 40 years, Dr. Marty, with his range of cat food, is scientifically examined for the best interest of your pet cats.

Steves raw cat food

Steves natural food is a premium brand that comes under some pioneer brands that sell feline food. Providing only premium quality cat food allows the better protein and fat synthesis in our pets body which is this brands motive. They add whole red krill for added omega fatty acids for cats to devour. Steve enhances a cats immune system by adding nutrients and enzymes to its diet.

Animal Based Insoluble Fiber

Benefits of a Raw Diet for Cats

PMR ratio guidelines fail to include fiber-based foods, which would be present in true whole prey feeding. Therefore, including an animal-based fiber source to Franken Prey feeding methods is recommended. Foods that include fur or feathers provide insoluble fiber to the diet to promote colon health.

Traditional PMR ratios do not provide an animal-based fiber ratio guideline. However, 2 to 5% by weight of furry or feathered ingredients is a good recommendation to include in daily meals. This will help provide 1-2% fiber in the diet. Be sure to account for any bone and meat that is also provided by the furry ingredients.

It is important to note that the 2-5% ratio refers to the furry ingredients as a whole, which will also include the skin and tissue in the weight. Do not feed the weight in fur or feathers alone. Appropriate sources of fur can include: rabbit feet, rabbit ears, rabbit heads, feathered poultry heads or legs, raw or safely dried animal skin with fur.

When furry or feathered ingredients are not accessible, it is recommended to include a fiber source such as psyllium husk in PMR diets at 1.25 tsp per pound of food.

Nutritional Deficiencies

When PMR ratio diets are fed without including specific whole foods, the diet will be deficient in several essential nutrients. The ratio guidelines for PMR are category terms and cover a variety of ingredients that provide different nutrients essential to health.

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How To Prepare A Barf Diet For Cats

Preparing a homemade BARF diet for your cat can be a complicated process when youre first getting started. However, once you know how to safely prepare the raw food, it will just take some practice.

First, you must make sure that you have the right ingredients to create a complete and balanced raw diet for your cat. It can be challenging to make the switch from purchasing pet food at the store to preparing it all in your kitchen. Education is key here because you need to ensure that your cat is getting all of the proper nutrients for a complete and balanced diet. Homemade raw diets include the following ingredients:

  • Meat
  • Water
  • Supplements

The Feline Nutrition Foundation and CatInfo.org offer recipes and step-by-step instructions for preparing a BARF diet. You may also want to consider supplementing your homemade raw food with complete and balanced prepared raw food, dry food or wet canned food from a pet store.

Second, proper handling, serving and storage of the food is an absolute must. Since youre using raw ingredients, there is the potential for cross-contamination of bacteria to humans if the correct steps are not taken. The CDC encourages pet owners to follow these guidelines when preparing a homemade BARF diet for cats:

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Transition Slowly From Dry Cat Food To Wet

Chances are you currently feed dry kibble.

Hopefully, you know that cats cant thrive on dry food only.

Or you wouldnt be here

Kibble and raw do not mix well. Your cat is unlikely to take to raw food right away.

Transitioning to wet food will make it much easier for both of you.

3 good-quality wet food options on Amazon:

Make a plan to transition cat food from kibble to wet. This should be over 20 days for each meal.

My eBook course has a spreadsheet that does the work for you and tips for feeding picky cats.

If your cat is seriously addicted to kibble, I recommend transitioning to Ziwi Peaks air-dried food first.

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Why Is It Important For Cats To Get Their Water Intake From Their Food

Water is an important nutrient for the overall health in all animals including humans. Cats, by nature, have a low thirst drive. They evolved from a desert environment and adapted to survive by getting most of their water intake from their food. Cats who eat dry food are not getting enough water. Even when they are drinking from a water bowl, their low thirst drive does not make them drink enough. This is why it is important for them to get their water from their food, like they would from an ancestral diet. A mouse, and most other prey, consist of about 75% moisture.

Stop All Grains And Starches

Raw Food Diet for Kittens and Cats – Beginners guide

Cats and dogs are carnivores. Their digestive tracts are uniquely geared to meatbased proteins. Theyre not meant to eat diets that include starches and grains. All brands of cat biscuits contain corn, soy, wheat or rice and most tinned, wet food contain gelling agents and grains. Also stop bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, kumara, pumpkin etc. This is very important!

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Pros: What Are The Benefits

Now we know what makes up a raw food diet for cats, but how is it beneficial for their health exactly?

There is a wide range of benefits such as increased energy due to the higher levels of protein or improved digestion from the lack of carbohydrates from grains normally outside their natural diet.

Raw meat also contains higher levels of taurine, an amino acid, which keeps your cats heart healthy and is found to fight against eye problems. Also the presence of natural fatty acids in the raw meat help to improve and maintain the quality of your cat’s fur giving it a healthy shiny appearance.

Are Raw Diets Safe

There are a couple of ways to examine this question. First, we can ask ourselves if commercial pet food is safe? Numerous pet food recalls have occurred over the past few years and many pets have died from eating commercial pet foods contaminated with melamine and other toxins. Some pet food recalls have involved Salmonella found in dry food. Believing that mass produced foods are uniformly safe is a big leap of faith, in my opinion.

Second, we can look at the reality of how a cats anatomy and physiology were designed to eat and digest raw meat. Cats have a more acid stomach pH and a shorter gastrointestinal tract, making them less vulnerable to many types of food-borne bacteria. I remind my clients that cats lick their bottoms every day, and do just fine! Third, it is not difficult to create balanced diets that are safe from a nutritional perspective. Using a variety of recipes and meat sources is the best way to ensure that your cat gets all the nutrition she needs.

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Who Should Buy Raw Cat Food

Anyone with a cat in their house, vicinity, or rescue shelter should buy raw cat food. Raw cat nourishment is an excellent dietary fulfillment for felines. Raw food may or may not be beneficial for all cats, but it gets digested easily for every cat. If you are someone who is a cat parent and has a full-time job, raw cat feed can be an easy go-to option to feed your cat timely to avoid any deficiencies in its body. Existing deficiencies can also be a trigger to buy raw cat food to replenish every nutrient that kittens lack.

How Does A Raw Cat Food Diet Lead To Balanced Nutrition

Chicken Basics Raw Cat Food

A true raw cat food diet is made from meat, vital organs and bones. This diet matches what cats ate in the wildwhich is why this approach to nutrition is . Back in the day , the Alpha, or leader of the group, had first dibs on vital organs and the best meat. So, by feeding your cat a true, balanced raw diet, youre promoting them to Alpha of your family and giving them the best of the best.

Heres four reasons why raw cat food with no added carbs is exactly what your pet needs:

  • A raw diet provides cats with an essential amino acid called taurine. This amino acid is important for vision, digestion, muscles and your cats immune system.
  • Added carbs from grains, fruits, veggies, legumes, etc. tie up taurine and prevent cats from absorbing it from their food.
  • Carbs can contribute to a higher risk of obesity in cats.
  • A low-starch diet encourages natural bacteria in the digestive tract to create B vitamins, which are vital to the nervous system and immune system, and further support healthy digestion.
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    Raw Food Diets Are Great For Senior Cats

    Whether you choose a frozen raw option or a freeze-dried raw option, raw diets are easy to eat even if your older kitty is missing teeth or has mouth problems. Raw diets also contain a high moisture content so you can feel confident that your cat is getting proper hydration from their meals which is so important for kidney function.

    Tip No : Natural Doesn’t Mean Organic

    When it comes to pet foods, there are no official definitions for the terms “natural” and “organic.” But the two are not the same. “Organic” is about how a food source is grown and processed. Work is now under way to develop guidelines for the use of the word “organic” on cat food labels.

    Continued

    “Natural” may mean the product has no artificial flavors or colors. Few pet foods ever use artificial flavors. Artificial coloring isn’t necessary other than to make the product look more appealing to the owners. Some manufacturers may use the term “natural” to indicate that there are no artificial or added preservatives, but, again, use caution here if you’re buying dry cat food.

    Another label to watch out for is”100% All Natural.” But the Pet Food Institute says that most complete and balanced cat foods have vitamins and minerals in them, and those additives are usually man-made. Labels can say “Natural with added Vitamins and Minerals,” however.

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    How Can You Be Sure Raw Food Covers Your Cats Nutrition Needs

    Nutrition, including determining how many calories a pet should be taking in, is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor, Dr. Coates explains. Even if youre following a recipe to the letter and feeding the prescribed amount, adjustments may need to be made.

    With raw diets, it is very hard to feed a diet that is completely balanced and contains all the needed vitamins and minerals for your pet to stay healthy, says Dr. Sara Ochoa, DVM, a small animal and exotic veterinarian in east Texas and a veterinary consultant for doglab.com.

    In fact, a study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association in May evaluated the nutritional adequacy of home-prepared diets. It found that a large portion of the recipes for cats lacked the recommended essential nutrients.

    One meal wont be a big problem, but a whole diet switch can be a problem. If a pet eats a diet that is lacking in the essential nutrients for a long period of time, they can have major medical problems due to this deficiency, Dr. Sara Ochoa explains.

    Consult a veterinarian before starting a raw diet. They can help you develop a meal plan that provides the appropriate nutrients for your cat, taking into account your pets lifestyle, age, activity level, and other relevant factors.

    Cat Raw Food Diet Buying Guide

    How to Prepare a Raw Diet for Cats

    Any pet, especially cats, are tiny animals that need extra care to address their health concerns. A regular and daily supply of food and diet may not contain some vital proteins and minerals that our puss needs for its healthy life. Moreover, cats are different one that we usually see in our houses which are domestic cats, and the others are wild cats. A raw meat diet for cats may be preferable for wild cats, but you need to take significant measures in feeding it to your domestic cats. Thats why you need to know a lot more than raw cat food or diet. For that purpose, you will have to go through this frozen raw food for cats buying guide.

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    Complete And Balanced Raw Food Diets

    One of the biggest mistakes owners make with raw food diets is not making sure the diet is complete and balanced. Some people just feed “all meat and bones” or a wide variety of meats without actually paying attention to the calorie, fat, protein, and nutrient content. Do not assume your cat is getting everything needed for good health by simply feeding “as much meat as desired.” Over time, an incomplete diet can lead to serious health problems for your cat.

    You may think that random raw meat is healthy because feral cats and strays can subsist on this, but it’s important to remember that wild animals have shorter life expectancies than domesticated pets. Part of this is due to diet. That’s why it’s important to follow a vet-approved recipe that is complete and balanced.

    When developing your cat’s raw diet, consult with your veterinarian about recipes that offer complete and balanced nutrition for your cat. Know that many vets will not recommend raw diets due to the risks involved. If you feel strongly about trying a raw diet and your vet is not flexible at all about raw diets, seek out a veterinarian who is experienced with raw diets. Better yet, find a veterinary nutritionist with raw diet experience.

    Key Raw Pet Food Ingredients & Their Benefits

    Fish

    Fish boasts many benefits when added to your pets raw diet, and is especially good for those that are sensitive to other protein sources. High in Omega-3 and essential fatty acids, fish is good for maintaining heart health, improving skin conditions and achieving a shiny, healthy coat. The Omega-3 found in most types of fish also helps to keep dogs and cats calmer and more focused.

    Berries

    A mix of delicious berries is a healthy addition to any raw diet, providing vitamins and minerals. Though not essential, adding fruit and veg to your pets diet on occasion is a great way to ensure that all-important variety and balance is achieved.

    Chicken

    Chicken is a great source of protein and is an easily digestible meat. As well as offering various nutritional benefits, its also a great base meat for mixing with other protein sources as it isnt too rich.

    Offal

    Offal offers a varied source of nutrients, with each type providing its own benefits to your pets raw diet, including:

    Livers High in protein, liver is also a good source of iron which helps to promote healthy energy levels and endurance. We advise not to feed too much liver as it is very rich and could cause upset tummies!

    Kidneys Also high in protein, kidneys are also low in fat yet rich in iron and B vitamins.

    Hearts Full of amino acids and a high in protein, hearts help to maintain muscle and aid endurance in working dogs and offer a good source of taurine.

    Turkey

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