The term "barf" is an abbreviation for "organic raw feeding". In the following, we will tell you what the nutrition method is and how you really bared your cat.
What does bass mean in cats?
The Barf nutrition concept describes the attempt to get as close as possible to the natural diet of a wild cat. However, raw meat alone is not enough for bartending. Feeding raw meat means a lot of responsibility: Because in order not to do anything wrong, in-depth knowledge of the eating habits and nutritional needs of cats is essential.
Which meat is suitable for barf?
In the case of the barf, essentially the muscle meat as well as the heart and stomach are fed. The other organs are called offal and can also be given to cats. With the exception of pork and wild boar meat, which can be contaminated with the life-threatening Aujeszky virus, any type of meat can be used for felling cats.
More than just meat: how do I get my cat properly?
When cats hunt mice and other prey in nature, they eat not only the muscle meat, but the whole animal. That is why it is not enough for cats to just put chopped, raw meat into the bowl.
The barf feed of cats is not exclusively made of meat. There are also important minerals and vitamins. It may also be necessary to supplement taurine if there is not enough of it in the meat.
The nutrients necessary for cats that have to be added when feeding raw meat are available as supplements. The dosage has to be done according to the recipe and has to be exactly right so that neither deficiency symptoms nor excess supplies result from it.
Nutrients in barf feed for cats
The supplements are offered as powder or drops, among other things. They either contain individual nutrients that you can put together individually for your animal. This can be useful, for example, if not only raw meat, but also raw bones, offal, fish or small amounts of vegetables get into the bowl.
Bones already contain sufficient calcium, offal is rich in vitamin A and vitamin D. The latter is also found in large quantities in fish.
In addition, there are also ready-made mixtures that combine all the important vitamins and minerals that a healthy cat needs to live. Such mixtures only need to be weighed and added to the meat. This is very practical for barf beginners.
How many nutrients your cat needs depends on factors such as age, weight and your pet's activity. If in doubt, you should always speak to your veterinarian and find out more about your cat's nutritional needs before you decide to switch to barf.
What nutrients do cats need as carnivores?
Cats are pure carnivores and therefore need different nutrients than people who are omnivores ...
Is raw feeding harmless?
Unless you carefully gather information about what your cat needs in advance, Barf is relatively safe. If in doubt, have a veterinarian who is well-versed in cat nutrition or a barf nutritionist for cats tell you in advance.
It is important - as already described above - that you never feed raw pork or wild boar. The reason for this is that the so-called Aujeszky virus can occur in pork, which is fatal to your cat.
Otherwise, healthy, adult cats can handle germs like salmonella on raw poultry well. As carnivores, cats have a short digestive tract and a very aggressive stomach acid, so that germs are killed or do not remain in the digestive tract long enough to cause damage.
Nonetheless, when raw feeding you should make sure that the ingredients are absolutely fresh and that the preparation is perfectly hygienic in order to minimize the risk of illness. Wash your hands carefully before and after preparation, always rinse the bowl and cookware thoroughly and hot enough.
Tip: Use different knives and cutting pads for the barf and for your own food - humans cannot fight off salmonella as well as cats.
Alternative finished barf: what is important?
In addition to fresh meat, there is also so-called ready-made barf, where raw meat is already mixed with all the necessary supplements. This has the advantage that even barf beginners with the right finished barf cannot do much wrong.
However, it also has the disadvantage that finished barf is not always of high quality and it is difficult for laypeople to see whether the food is really optimal for cats. Make sure you have a precise declaration of the ingredients and composition on the ingredient list of the product. In addition to muscle meat, innards and bones should also be included, as well as taurine.
The ingredients and analytical values must be precisely broken down and labeled. Anything that sounds inaccurate or general should make you skeptical. In addition, rice, potatoes or pasta have lost nothing in the barf, as well as fruit, vegetable oils, seeds and nuts. The vegetable portion must not exceed 5 percent.
Attention: Finished barf is occasionally offered for dogs and cats - the four-legged friends, however, have a different nutritional requirement than their cat. Dog food is unsuitable for cats in the long run.
Cats barked for beginners - that's how the switch works
Her velvet paw doesn't know you want to do her a favor with the barf. In the beginning, she will therefore probably be suspicious of the change in feed. Proceed cautiously and mainly feed the usual cat food first.
For beginners, it is advisable to give 80 percent of the usual food and 20 percent of raw meat without supplements. In this way, you do not have to weigh and measure anything for the changeover, but you can slowly get your cat used to the taste of raw meat.
Tip: Try to use your cat's hunting behavior and natural curiosity to make the switch. Throw away a raw piece of meat, for example, so that your wild catch has to "catch" it. Or, as if by chance, drop a suitable piece of meat while cooking or lie on the work surface so that your velvet-pawed hunter believes that he is stealing the food.
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