Tuesday, 15 September 2009

BARF - more than just a sound effect

Today was day one of the raw diet. I have to admit I was more excited than anyone has any right to be over cat food.

Allow me to elaborate. Over the course of the last few weeks in the lead up to Kitten Day I have been researching cat food amoung many other things. It is an interesting subject to in a certain frame of mind and a little shocking. Did you know that Whiskas dry cat food is a whopping 4% meat? Read the packet. It is, for the most part, meat flavoured cereal. Although they add lots of lotions and potions and powders to it to make it complete this is still not a natural diet for a cat as they are obligate carnivores and as a result much of this food is not digested. So off I went in search of something better!

Enter stage left, Biologically Appropriate Real Food, more commonly known as BARF. Now, it's obvious the marketing peeps had no input in THAT one. I mean, come on. Barf? Hardly appetizing. Anyhow, I digress. The central concept of this philosophy is that a cat's diet should resemble their natural wild diet as closely as possible. This appeals to the biologist in me. On the basis that I have been investigating raw feeding.

Food4-cats makes this amazingly easy. You see, you cannot just feed a cat mince from a supermarket and expect that to be okay. Oh no, that would be too easy! See, that's just muscle meat, and in the wild she would be the bones, skin, fur, organs, and all these things have a value. Bones for calcium. Offal for taurine. Skin for oils and vitamins. This website however provides carefully balanced packs of whole ground animals including the right balance of meat to organs to bone and skin meaning you just scoop it out the packet with all (well, quite a bit of) the ease of a tinned food. Just defrost a few days worth then warm a little in the microwave.

So today we tried it. First attempt, may I say, 30 seconds in a microwave is too long. I tried the beef variety first and it turned into a badly cooked hamburger.  Second attempt, 10 seconds. Success! Slightly warm, body temperature, perfect. So down the mince goes onto the floor. And is immediately gobbled. Or at least half of it is. Another lesson - feed a little less.

So much to my joy it seems Lily like raw food! Or the raw beef at least. Chicken, pork (not sure about that one on health grounds) rabbit, wild rabbit and beef & kidney left to go and I can't help bouncing just a little.

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