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Biologically Appropriate Raw Food

© Written by Valvador

The Base

The idea of BARF is to feed cats the way nature wanted them to be fed. BARF is all about fresh and natural products – no synthetic or chemical features take place in BARF.
The first and most important thing is physical state of the feed. Cat’s digestive system is designed by nature to absorb the water during the process of digestion. That’s why it is so important to keep the irrigation of the feed on the level that we can find in cat’s natural prey – which is 72%-75%.
The second (but not less important) thing is to keep the food properly balanced. To provide valuable feed to the cat, we need to follow some guidelines, which were made based off the analysis of a cat’s natural prey. The perfectly balanced meal for any cat is a mouse. And that is the goal that we try to reach while composing BARF meals – to make the meal as close to the mouse as possible.

Whole Prey Model

The Whole Prey Model is almost perfect. In this model, we use the whole body of an animal to feed our cat. If it is a small animal (for example: mice, chicks) that would be a cat’s prey in nature, that’s perfect. But it can also be bigger animals (for example rabbits) that we cut in half or more and feed to our cats in portions. Important thing is, that in this model we shouldn’t take anything out of the body – we feed the entire body with everything inside and outside, including bones, feathers, fur, internal organs etc. If your cat can’t digest any of these – it will be removed from the digestive system by vomiting. It may happen especially at the beginning of the diet and might disappear over time.
In this model usually we don’t need to use any supplements, because we use every part of the body of the prey, but it is recommended to add some unsaturated fatty acids, as the balance of the fatty acids is usually unsettled in the bodies of farm animals. The perfect supplement is salmon oil, that we should add 10ml of the oil per every 1kg of the meat or 1ml of the oil per every 1kg of the cat’s weight. It is also good to add an egg yolk to the meal every couple of days. Some people advise to also add taurine to this model of diet, as it is essential microelement in a feline’s diet.


This model is a little bit more complicated, but it gives us assurance of what our cat gets, which is important when we feed allergic or temporally or chronically ill cats. It also gives us the opportunity to feed our cats naturally if we don’t have the possibility (or simply we don’t have the guts!) to feed whole prey to our cats. In this model, we use natural supplements and calculators to turn the meat that we can buy (beef, chicken, turkey etc.) to create a mouse.
To achieve this, we need to follow a few features:

Protein = 50-65%
Fat = 20-38%
Water = 72-75%
Carbohydrates = 5% or less
Fiber = 0,7%

The next thing is the balance of vitamins and microelements. A few of the most important are:

Calcium ~ 7949mg
Phosphorus ~ 6995mg
Calcium : Phosphorus ~ 1.15
Sodium ~ 5962mg
Potassium ~ 7949
Sodium : Potassium ~ 1,2-1,8
Iron ~ 149mg
Iodine ~ 1490µg
Taurine ~ 5962mg
Vitamin A ~ 49680 IE
Vitamin D ~ 745 IE
Vitamin E ~ 289 IE
Seems complicated, right? But it’s not! Believe me and keep on reading.

The Supplements

In BARF we use only natural supplements. They are not always the supplements that cat would catch and eat in nature, but they replace the organs of the prey that we can’t normally buy and feed to our cats. Usually we can only buy meat of muscles and a few kinds of organs – like heart, liver, stomach; of which heart and stomach are pretty much muscles and shouldn’t be treated like 100% organs. If we are lucky, we can buy lungs or kidneys. But still we lack the rest of the parts of the prey – brain, spleen, thyroid, blood etc. That’s why we need to use the supplements that will make the meal even.
There are various kinds of supplements and it would take a lot more time than I’ve got to write and you’ve got to read to name them all. That’s why I will name only those that I use while preparing meals for my cats.
Egg yolk – natural vitamin bomb. I use one per every 1kg of the meat.
Liver – natural supplement of Vitamin A.
Salmon oil – natural supplement of unsaturated fatty acids. I use the oil of wild salmon (Grizzly), because it also gives me the source of Vitamin D. In this case (while using Grizzly), the converter I wrote about before (10ml per every 1kg of the meat etc.) is not any longer actually! We use only the amount of the oil that will provide the appropriate amount of Vitamin D in a cat’s diet.
Seaweed powder – natural supplement of iodine.
Brewer’s yeast – natural supplement of B Vitamins.
Dried blood – natural supplement of iron.
Eggshells powder – natural supplement of calcium. If you use bones often, you don’t need this supplement.
Himalayan salt – natural supplement of sodium. I don’t use the salt that you can buy at the grocery, because it’s full of chemicals and synthetic iodine which is not neutral to an animal or human’s health.
Taurine – it’s taurine itself. It’s probably the most important ingredient of a cat’s diet. The feline can’t survive without it!
If you don’t want to buy all the ingredients at the beginning of your adventure with BARF, you can also begin with the mix called Easy Barf. You can buy it online and it contains most of the supplements, but you will still need some other ingredients (like taurine) and some knowledge, to prepare a decent meal with EB.

The Meat

You can use the meat of any animal that you can buy, it just needs to be fresh, tested and raw. Varity is always indicated. 50-60% of the meal should be the meat of the muscles, the rest of it is organs and bones. The meat can’t be too rich in protein or too low in fat – beef chuck would be better than tenderloin, chicken leg better than breast etc. The proportions between protein and fat should be as close as possible to 2:1 and the amount of protein per 1kg of cats weight should be around 5-5,2g. If you use pork meat, be sure it’s not infected by Aujeszky’s disease.

The Doubts

Don’t be afraid of bacteria like salmonella etc. – it is not a treat to the digestive system of a healthy cat. Nor are the bones, as far as they are raw. The important thing is not to feed dry food to the cats while feeding raw meat or bones. Dry food changes the pH in a cat’s stomach and makes digesting of the bones or deactivating of the bacteria almost impossible – if your cat eats dry food, bacteria and bones are serious threat to their health.
You may also be worried about parasites, especially when you feed with whole prey model. If you are concerned about this, you can always deworm your cats with natural methods that are safe to a cat’s health, for example using herbs (like tanacetum) or diatomaceous earth.

The Calculators

You probably are wondering – how the heck can I make a proper meal? It may seem impossible, but there is an easy answer to the question. There are more than a few BARF Calculators that you can use to prepare the recipe of the perfect cat’s meal.
Unfortunately, most of the calculators that I know are in German, but as the calculators use basic vocabulary, you can easily translate it on your own.
:bulletblack:… (this one is in polish)
The database is every calculator slightly different, and so are the details of the guidelines – it is recommended to use alternative various kinds of calculators.

The Recipes

If it’s too complicated for you to make your own recipe you can always use any of the recipes that are available online.

Here are some of my recipes that I made with Barfny Świat’s Calculators:

No 1 – Chicken
Approximate amount of food per day: 37g per every 1kg of cat’s weight
1000g Chicken leg with skin, without the bone
100g Chicken hearts
50g Chicken stomach
2 Egg yolks
35g Chicken Liver
14g Grizzly
1,9g Seaweed powder
2,3g Brewer’s yeast
22,5g Dried blood
6,8g Eggshells powder
4,7g Himalayan Salt
2g Taurine
406g Plain water

No 2 – Beef
Approximate amount of food per day: 37g per every 1kg of cat’s weight
1000g Beef, fat meat
150g Beaf heart
2 Egg yolks
42g Beef Liver
11g Grizzly
1,9g Seaweed powder
2,3g Brewer’s yeast
15,6g Dried blood
7,7g Eggshells powder
5,3g Himalayan Salt
2,5g Taurine
440g Plain water

No 3 – Turkey
Approximate amount of food per day: 37g per every 1kg of cat’s weight
1000g Turkey leg with skin, without the bone
100g Turkey hearts
50g Turkey stomach
2 Egg yolks
30g Turkey Liver
14g Grizzly
1,9g Seaweed powder
2,3g Brewer’s yeast
15,7g Dried blood
6,7g Eggshells powder
4,7g Himalayan Salt
3g Taurine
320g Plain water

No 4 – Rabbit & Goose & Chicken
Approximate amount of food per day: 37g per every 1kg of cat’s weight
700g Rabbit (meat)
250g Goose (meat with skin)
150g Chicken heart
2 Egg yolks
35g Chicken Liver
14g Grizzly
1,8g Seaweed powder
2,2g Brewer’s yeast
18,6g Dried blood
7,6g Eggshells powder
6,5g Himalayan Salt
3g Taurine
450g Plain water

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Here are all the "rarer" cat breeds we've covered over the past few years in case you've missed them or simply to refresh your mind. We would have liked to continue doing these for you but due to the shortage of cat breeds compared to dog breeds there were only so many to cover that were even considered rare enough.

Nebelung - May 2011

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Chinese Li Hua - February 2013

Australian Mist - March 2013

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Donskoy - August 2013/Chartreux - September 2013

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Hey! I was wondering if you could share this with your group?
My cat of 9 years had some kind of tumor filled with puss hanging from his ear! It was removed & we can't pay off the vet bills :/ we also need medicine money for little maxy' without the medicine the infection would start again. The only way we could get it is from a loan & that's our last resort. If you could share maybe someone out there would be generous enough to help ^~^
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