There are three ways to feed a raw diet – commercial, homemade, and whole prey – and each has pros and cons. Commercial foods are convenient and typically no more expensive than “high end” manufactured diets, but they’re still commercially produced and run the same quality control risks. Homemade diets require a bit more preparation, but are typically less expensive than the other options and provide complete control over ingredient mix and quality. Whole prey is usually the most expensive, but provides the highest nutritional profile possible and is by far the easiest to prep and feed (just thaw and serve!).
Raw feeding your house-cat: What’s all the fuss about? An overview of the reasons we should be feeding our cats a natural diet as opposed to the more popular commercial diets.
Raw Feeding Your Cat: Just the Basics. A quick outline of the different raw feeding methods and their pros and cons.
‘Dem bones, ‘dem bones, ‘dem… scary bones! A discussion on the importance of feeding whole bone and the accompanying risk-to-benefits ratio.
A Prey Model Raw (PMR) Feeding Primer A detailed “How-To” for prey model and whole prey feeding methods.
Click here for a PMR raw feeding calculator. You can use to this to determine how many ounces of meat, bone and organ to feed in a frankenprey menu; just input your cat’s weight, your desired weight percentage (usually 3%), and the number of days over which you wish to balance the diet (usually 7).
My PMR weekly feeding schedule (before I switched to whole prey). Feeding frankenprey entails less initial preparation than grinding, minimal or no supplementation, and fewer tools, but it requires strict adherence to a feeding schedule to ensure the proper nutrient balance is maintained. Writing your schedule down and keeping it somewhere handy helps keep “diet drift” under control and ensures that oh-so-important nutrient balance doesn’t get distorted.
My current whole prey menu plan. Includes fairly easy to source extra large adult mice, small adult rats, DOCs (day old chicks), two week old quail, as well as not so easy to source pinkie rabbits.
Switching a Cat to Raw Food flowchart For our visual readers! A flowchart depicting the basic steps to transition a cat from kibble to raw. Courtesy of our friend, Dakota Bawden, founder of the raw food store, True Carnivores. New!
An overview of commercial raw products. With tremendous thanks to Laurie Goldstein, a good friend to CatCentric, for pulling this information together, I’m pleased to present a comparison of the most widely available commercial raw products on the market today. As you review this data, keep in mind that commercial raw products should be given the same careful attention to their ingredients and quality control as you would give to any commercial food you were considering for your cat’s menu. Grains, fruits and vegetables should be kept to minimal levels (no more than 5%) or, preferably, not fed at all. Synthetic and plant-based supplements should also be avoided and, since a balanced animal-based diet naturally contains all the nutrients cats need, a long list of supplements may indicate a food lacking in meat, bone or organ products and should give you pause. In addition, careful attention must be paid to the meat and bone percentages, as bone is less expensive than meat – making it attractive to pet food manufacturers – but can cause constipation if it exceeds 7-10% of a cat’s diet. Rotating commercial raw products is highly recommended! If you have any questions about a specific product, always go the product website for the most current updates.
Sourcing Products for Homemade Cat Food A list of online and local sourcing venues and suggestions for whole prey, prey-model/frankenprey and ground diets.
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Created 03/26/12; Updated 05/20/16