Raw

The point of feeding a raw diet, is to feed your cat the most species-appropriate diet. You are trying to feed it what cats have eaten in nature for thousands of years. In nature cats would normally eat  mice, rats, and small birds. These little animals are made up of 80%-85% meat, 10% bone and 10% organs (liver being half of that). Whichever type of raw feeding you choose, these proportions should be kept in mind…for all the reasons noted in The Carnivore Connection to Nutrition in Cats.

There are different ways of feeding raw, and I found this out the hard way:

Prey model – feeding your cat whole small animals like: rats, mice, small chickens, Cornish hens, fish, rabbit. This is the closest to what the cat would eat in nature, but it can be quite yukky for the guardian (BTW I do not believe that we OWN our pets, so I prefer the term  ‘guardian’ over ‘owner’…I read it somewhere and it made sense)

Frankenprey model – feeding your cat a variety of whole animal parts (lamb heart, beef liver, chicken feet etc). I like this model because it gives the guardian more control and it may be cheaper and more convenient in some cases, for example when certain meats are on sale.

Ground whole animals – the commercial raw pet food is usually sold like this. If you decide to go this way, check if the bone is included. I once bought commercial frozen raw food (venison) and the bone was not ground in it. At that point you have to either add bone meal, crushed egg shells or feed your cat small raw bones. I am not crazy about this model simply because LuLu won’t touch it. She ate minced meat once and she regurgitated right away. So I did some research and found that the problem with minced meat is that much more of it is exposed and so it becomes more dangerous. Also, I do not have a grinder although I am planning on getting one to grind bones which are the best source of calcium. I have to add that none of my cats touched the mentioned commercial frozen food.

Variety of raw (minced/whole/home-made recipes) – This is what we use: a mix of recipe homemade frozen food and whole parts like chicken ribs, beef chunks, pieces of raw fish, raw egg yolk. An excellent resource is The Feline Nutrition Education Society . I like this model the best because I believe in variety.