First steps to BARF for Cats
BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food Diet) guarantees an incredibly high nutrient intake and is certainly one of the best ways to healthily feed a cat. No matter if you are a homebody or an adventurer, the small hunters need a large amount of meat to meet their biological needs through a proper diet plan. Eating in the wild consists of mice, birds, fish and insects, so it is our responsibility to get as close as possible to this combination of proteins, fats, carbohydrates and fibre. In addition to the raw meat, the correct high-quality supplementary feed for cats can help to put together a species-appropriate nutritional plan. So, make sure the little tigers do not lack any nutrients and at the same time you are able to avoid synthetic additives, thereby sparing your cat.
Cats need 25-30 g of meat per kg of body weight (bw) / day
95% meat, including fat and bones, makes up the bulk of the meal as the cat is a pure carnivore.
Within the meat portion a cat should get between 8-15% fat, or it can be replaced by lard or salmon oil, which contains valuable omega 3 fatty acids and the cat essential arachidonic acid. The required amount of meat should include some offal such as liver (with 3-5%); kidney (5-10%); lung (5-10%); rumen / poultry stomachs (5-10%). The greater proportion is therefore muscle meat (head meat, skirt meat, heart, breast meat.)
Furthermore, 1/3 of the meat should be meaty bones in the form of wings, necks (chopped or whole) or other rolled bone.
If the animal cannot digest this amount, one resorts to natural calcium supplements in powder form such as eggshell powder or calcified seaweed in the specified dosage.
Generally, for guidance: Calcium: 80mg / kg bw / day | Phosphorus: 70mg / kg bw / day
Add to that 5% fiber such as raw, pureed vegetables and fruits and nutritious vegetables such as parsnips, carrots, zucchini, cucumber and others. Please avoid nightshade plants such as tomatoes or potatoes. You can easily grate and stir the vegetables over the meat – that’s how picky cats can be. When cats eat mice and day-old chicks, the coat or feathers naturally make up the dietary fibre.
Taurine sources for BARF – cats
The taurine needs of a healthy cat can be met by different natural sources, such as self caught prey, because fresh blood is one of the best sources of taurine. Hearts are also rich in taurine, preferably chicken, fed several times a week.
Taurine-rich foods, contents per 100 grams (Source: www.novamex.de).
- mussels, fresh 240 mg
- tuna 70 mg
- oysters 70 mg
- lamb, filet 47 mg
- beef, fillet 36 mg
- chicken leg 34 mg
- cod 31 mg
Green lipped mussel powder is a healthy alternative as it contains natural taurine. In addition to the BARF feed, a knife tip of the green lipped mussel powder daily is sufficient, thus ensuring that the cat optimizes its daily taurine intake with this additional, natural source.
In nature, cats catch 6-12 mice a day, with an average taurine content of 70mg, which makes it relatively clear that over-supplementation of taurine does not occur as rapidly as undersupply. A deficiency and the associated deficiency symptoms must be taken very seriously. If you are unsure whether your cat will be well supplied with taurine, green lipped mussel powder is ideal for supplementing the daily barf diet.
Moisture content and how much to feed your cat
80% moisture is recommended in the feed, which is possible with a pure wet food / barf feeding. Dried vegetables / herb flakes such as Naturavetal Top-Fit-Mix flakes should be soaked with water and then added to the food. If the cat is not accepting the conversion, you can put the flakes in goat’s milk from our pasture fed goat’s milk powder.
Sometimes, nutrients may be fed in the form of herbs, algae (Spirulina or Chlorella) or brewer’s yeast. You can add them individually or together.
Cats who go about as they please and catch their own prey should be fed a reduced quantity. Ultimately this should be considered with observation, if a cat is putting on weight then reduce the feed and vice versa. It would be ideal to feed your cat 3-4 feedings a day, but 2 meals would be sufficient. The food should not stand for any length of time. It then becomes unappetizing for the cat, because unlike a dog, it is not a scavenger.
For the holidays, when the cat-sitter does not know how to put together the BARF menu or to make everyday life a bit easier, – just pick up a few Felins Plus menu rolls. With their very high meat content, the menu rolls are ideal as a barf supplement or when you are short of time and barf feeding is not possible. They are available in 4 different flavors, providing a lovely selection for all tastes.
To calculate the desired amount of ingredients for your cat.
|Calculation example of the amount of feed required per day|
|A cat weighing 4kg (normally active)||= 110g total amount of food per day|
|8% fat = 8,36g||= 104,5g meat|
|33,3% meaty bones = 34,83g|
|4% liver = 4,18g|
|5% kidney = 5,96g|
|5,7% lung = 5,96g|
|7% rumen = 7,32g|
|37% muscle meat = 38,67g|
|5% fibre = 5,5g|
Our recipe suggestions can give you some ideas for getting started with the Cat BARF. For ease of reference, the grams are rounded in the following recipes.
A weekly feeding plan for BARF Cats
- 35g minced chicken wings
- 4g of beef liver
- 5g chicken kidney
- 6g bovine lung
- 7g bovine rumen
- 38g chicken breast with 8 g skin (as a fat alternative: Felins Plus salmon oil or krill oil)
- 5-6g of zucchini
- + 1 tsp. Green lipped mussel powder as a natural healthy source of taurine
- 8-g goose fat
- 35 g minced chicken necks
- 4g of duck liver
- 6g bovine lung
- 7g of leafy stomach
- 44g chicken hearts
- 5-6g carrots
- + Felins Plus goat's milk powder mixed in lukewarm water for an extra dose of energy, for example, during recovery
- 8-9g goose fat
- 35g chicken carcasses
- 4g chicken liver
- 5g of beef kidney
- 6g bovine lung
- 46g turkey breast / chicken stomach
- 5-6g parsnips
- + Felins Plus salmon oil to contribute valuable omega 3-6 and 9 fatty acids in high quality.
Feeding information for BARF
For allergy sufferers or sensitive cats, we generally recommend that you vary the recipes and control the animal meat to one species per day/week. For healthy cats, however, it is quite possible to vary different types of meat during the week or even in a meal. The recipes serve as a guide or stimulation for new ideas and to provide a variety in the bowl.
Pure variety BARF ideas
For all recipes you can add to the meal, a ½ teaspoon of dry goat’s milk powder mixed with warm water. This has proven itself to be helpful in breeding preparation, after operations such as castrations or as added support following illness.
Felins Plus Poultry & Fish cold-pressed dry food, provide a variety and cats like to chew on the healthy pieces. All Felins Plus foods are easily combinable with BARF or with the menu rolls, however, we recommend keeping the dry food always below 20%.