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If you have a cat at home, you will know how much he enjoys eating. As soon as he listens to his bag of food or sniffs the can of wet food, your kitten goes crazy and does not leave you alone until he sees the food on his plate.
However, ¿Have you ever considered giving your cat a natural diet, based on raw foods and free of flours, chemicals and dyes? Maybe it sounds crazy to you or you can't find the reason to do this, that's why at AnimalWised we want to talk to you about the BARF diet for cats.
For years to this day, this diet has become very popular among feline owners, especially among those whose cats are prohibited from consuming processed food for various reasons, or those who choose to feed their animals with a natural diet. ¡Find out what it is about!You may also be interested in: BARF diet for dogs - Ingredients, amounts and 5 recipes Index
- The origins of the BARF diet in cats
- Why is the BARF diet defended?
- How to do a BARF diet for a cat?
- Example of a BARF diet for cats
- Benefits of the BARF diet
The origins of the BARF diet in cats
The name of the BARF diet has two meanings: Bones and Raw Food, which means "bones and raw food ", and Biologically Appropriate Raw Food, which is the name given to this diet in Spanish, abbreviated ACBA, which means "Biologically Adequate Raw Food ".
This type of feeding was implemented by Ian Billinghurst in 1993, although the name BARF is due to Debbie Trip.
The idea of this diet is that the cat can have a diet as similar to what you would have in the wild, based on raw meat, bones, organ meats and a small portion of raw vegetables.
It is assumed that by feeding in this way the cat will have all the nutrients it needs to be healthy, in addition to avoiding the harmful effects that processed foods can bring, due to the amount of chemicals and flours that they bring, since they can cause diseases, allergies and even generate obesity.
After Billinghurst published his theory, many veterinarians, researchers and, over time, protectionists and advocates of the organic way of life, have chosen to feed their cats this type of diet, promoting and spreading this natural way of giving it. to eat animals as the most appropriate and natural.
Why is the BARF diet defended?
The philosophy that this type of diet follows appeals to the fact that, despite all the adaptation process that cats went through until they became a domesticated species, the structure of their organism remains the same, so the digestive system processes protein better, that is, meat, carbohydrates, a component that processed food contains in excess.
Besides, chemicals and grease that contains processed food can cause diseases in some cats, such as pancreatitis and kidney stones, for example, with which more natural recipes are recommended, so the BARF diet becomes an excellent option in these cases.
How to do a BARF diet for a cat?
Between sixty and eighty percent of the food must be composed of raw meat, be it chicken or turkey, with wings, neck, etc. Just a ten percent vegetables grated raw, such as carrots, celery, zucchini and some fruits, and even cooked squash, foods that cats enjoy very much. Remember that it is important to review which are the recommended fruits and vegetables for cats to avoid possible poisoning.
In addition, it is necessary to add between fifteen and twenty percent of lamb, duck or rabbit meat, for example, a couple of times a week; fish and organ meats (heart, liver, kidney, among others) once a week; about five eggs a week, and maybe some extra vitamin supplements. Among the supplements, taurine is necessary, an essential component for the cat's diet, which must be consumed daily. Taurine can be ingested by eating heart, or with supplements.
The idea is mix all the ingredients without cooking, and give the adult cat about two servings a day, and the puppy about four.
Avoid raw pork, cruciferous and excess starches, flours and cereals. The fish must be refrigerated before preparing the food, to kill possible bacteria. If you like, it is possible to take the same measure with the rest of the protein. If bones are added, they should be with some meat, and always raw, because when they are cooked they can splinter and drown the animal.
Example of a BARF diet for cats
If you are interested in starting to feed your cat with the BARF method, here is an example of how to identify the portions:
- 1/2 kilo of chicken or turkey meat, between breast, wings, neck, etc..
- 400 grams of heart, either beef, chicken or lamb
- 200 grams of chicken liver
- 300 grams of grated vegetables (zucchini, carrot and pumpkin)
- 1 egg
- Fish oil
Preparation of the BARF diet:
Chop meat and bones very well, either at home or by asking for them cut when you buy them. Place in a container and add the heart, vegetables and egg. Mix the ingredients very well integrated to the meat. Add a little fish oil, a source of omega 3, according to the weight of your cat. You can use, for example, salmon oil.
Separate into portions with plastic wrap and store in the freezer. From the night before, start defrosting the portions that you will need the next day, to serve them to your cat at room temperature.
The idea is that you can vary the ingredients. Once a week, instead of using liver, add fish; when you don't have a heart, add taurine in supplements; alternate the vegetables you use.
If you prefer to add taurine as a supplement, you can add it directly to the serving at the time your cat is going to eat it, to prevent the components from "oxidizing " and it is easier for you to calculate the appropriate amount according to the weight of the animal.
You must not use no seasoning, no salt, no oil, no sauces or something similar, no garlic, chives, garlic porro, or onion. Your cat does not need this, and they can be toxic to him or cause allergies.
Benefits of the BARF diet
exist many benefits of the BARF diet for cats that you should assess if you are thinking of modifying their eating habits:
- You will provide your cat with a natural diet, the most similar to that of wild cats, with the necessary nutrients in sufficient quantities (protein, taurine, fats, vitamins and amino acids), and without the harmful effects that processed food can bring, due to chemicals, preservatives and high proportions of flour and cereals.
- You will avoid problems of overweight, obesity and lethargy.
- The coat will be brighter,
- The joints will be healthier, avoiding diseases.
- Without carbohydrates, the stool will not have a bad smell.
- The cat will regain its active attitude.
- Raw food has large amounts of water, so you will reduce your fluid intake.
If you are interested in introducing your cat to the BARF diet, consult with your veterinarian on the portions and supplements required according to their weight and the needs of the animal. Twice a year he performs stool tests to rule out the presence of parasites, although with proper refrigeration and regular deworming this should not happen.