You’ll need to consider which type of raw food will best suit you and your cat once you’ve made the decision to transition your cat to a raw food diet. You can either purchase a pre-packaged commercial raw food or prepare your cat’s meals from scratch yourself in your home kitchen. If you decide to go the traditional route check out our Top Five Cat Foods for 2015.
Commercial Raw Food Diet for Cats
Commercial raw food can be an expensive way to feed your cat a raw diet, but it’s a quick and easy option. It really is as simple as just opening a packet of food and transferring the appropriate portion amount into your cat’s bowl. It is usually frozen in portion sizes, which you can defrost as and when you need it.
- There is no handling of meat, offal and bones.
- You don’t need to add additional supplements since it usually contains all the nutrients and other essentials your cat needs.
- You often have to buy commercial raw pet food in large quantities, so if your cat does not like a particular brand or product, you’re stuck with it.
- A commercial raw food diet doesn’t work your cat’s jaw or teeth since it is often very soft.
It was important to pay close attention to the list of ingredients. I discovered a few raw food products claiming to be suitable for ‘dogs and cats’, but which included onion and garlic (known to be toxic to cats) or yogurt (which can cause issues for cats that are lactose intolerant). Make sure to read the labels and know exactly what you’re feeding your cat, especially if they have health issues. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
Homemade Raw Food Diets for Cats
A homemade raw food diet is made up of raw meat, offal and raw bones. Preparing your cat’s food from scratch can be time consuming, but it is less expensive.
- It is less expensive than commercial raw food.
- You know exactly what is going into the food and what your cat is eating.
- Having to handle raw meat or handling offal.
- You need to work out the right balance of raw food and nutrients to make sure your cat is getting a balanced diet.
- It can be more time consuming.
Once you get into a routine in preparing homemade raw food, the process becomes easier and more streamlined. You just need to figure out the proper balance of nutrients and vitamins. Once you figure out the proportions, you will appreciate knowing what exactly your cat is eating.
Ground Raw Food Diet
This is the most popular method of feeding raw. This works well for cats that transition from a commercial wet food diet. The meat, including bones and fat, supplements, and egg yolk goes into a meat grinder, which will make a ground food for your cat. This method is cost effective. You will, however need a powerful meat grinder to grind the bones. You can also add chunks of raw meat to keep your cat’s teeth healthy and jaw strong.
Prey Model Raw Food Diet
The prey model diet is supposed to replicate the proportions of an actual prey animal in a pet’s diet. This includes whole rabbits, chickens, game hens and turkeys. People believe cats are natural carnivores and these are the only ingredients needed in their diet. The diet recommends 80% meat, 10% bone, and 10% organs. It can be time consuming to calculate the proportions. Some also add small amounts of vegetable matter to simulate the consumption of stomach contents of prey animals. There is less preparation and added supplements than the ground food method.
This diet is beneficial to your cat’s teeth and jaw since meals are usually chunks, which your cat will need to gnaw on until they are bite-sized.
Whole Prey Raw Food Diet
Whole prey is feeding your cat whole prey animals rather than butchered meat. While this method requires almost no preparation, it can be difficult to feed your cat whole animals.
This method is best for outdoor cats that are used to hunting prey. Indoor cats may not know what to do with this type of food.