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Barf Diet for Cats - Getting Started



This article is not a guide to follow to the letter, take the articles as a starting point to find the best path for you and your friend.

If the cat is not healthy you will have to contact a nutritionist who will formulate a diet  barf suitable for your cat and its problem . 



Kittens and some adult cats instinctively recognize natural raw food the very first time it is offered to them. Unfortunately, however, most adult cats who are offered a raw meat and bone diet tend to   be unenthusiastic and need some encouragement. Change can probably be a bit problematic and therefore we need to know how to move. Do you usually shake the packet of fish croquettes before pouring them into the bowl? What do you tell the cat when it comes running? Food rituals may be different, but the timing, taste, texture, sight, sound and smell all play a role. Your cat is most likely attached to these strong stimuli, and you, as the care giver, have probably gotten used to the way that works best for you. You literally fueled the addiction. Now imagine the future with your lithe feline crouching hunting chicken necks, quail and whole raw fish. If your cat is young and healthy, you can initiate the change… however, if your cat is overweight, has dental or other problems, you may want to consult your vet before starting a different diet. Preventing access to food for 12 hours is an essential first step. Instead, starting a once-a-day routine, say at 6 p.m., the biological clock will soon synchronize and its anatomy, physiology and behavior will line up, at the same time, in the kitchen. Once the new routine is established, the transition to the new food can begin. There are several “tricks” that can be useful both individually and in combination. A hungry cat will most want to sniff, lick, and eventually eat the new food, so cut back on the amount of canned or dry food. (Do not leave your cat without food for more than 20 hours). Establish only one food, such as chicken, that you want your cat to get used to. The taste and texture of raw food are two things you need to get your cat used to. (Chewing on the bones comes next). Then cut a few strips of chicken and cover them in the bowl with the food on the market. In the following days the quantity of raw meat and decrease that of the croquettes. When raw meat is fully accepted, try increasing the size of the pieces until the chicken necks and wings completely replace the chicken strips. Over the next few days, keep giving less and less commercial food, increasing the amount of raw food. Another trick   is to lightly sear the meat (never the bones!) In the pan or under the grill.You can try mixing the liquid from the canned fish with the meat or sprinkle it with crumbled croquettes. You could tempt your fussy feline by making deep cuts in the skin and flesh of chicken wings and bobbins and stuffing them with canned food. You can try tying a chicken wing to a string and playing catch it. If you have multiple cats, they compete and learn from each other. Perseverance pays off, and ten days is enough time for a difficult cat to switch to the new diet. It is best to get your cat used to eating chicken before introducing quail, rabbit, fish, birds or similar food into the diet. In that case, another dose of patience and tricks may be needed…  

Rule # 1: This is not a competition
It is critically important that the transition to a new healthy diet occurs very very slowly.
The cat has a unique metabolism. If you make dietary changes too quickly, there is a good chance that the cat will simply stop eating, because the new food does not meet its wishes.

If you fast, you run the risk of developing a life-threatening condition called hepatic lipidosis, also known as fatty liver disease . 
That's why you shouldn't even consider making an instant switch from old food to a healthier one. Despite what you may believe, your cat doesn't necessarily eat when hungry. It is known that cats can also starve to refuse a certain type of food.

If your cat refuses to eat and develops liver lipid, it will be very tiring to try to save it, and there is no guarantee of success. The last thing you want is a deadly sick cat, a very high vet bills, or the terrible sorrow of losing your furry cat . 
Please take this advice seriously. Switch very slowly to a healthier diet for your cat calmly. If your cat is a "tough guy" be prepared to spend at least six months, or even a year, switching to the raw food diet. Your consistency, determination, patience - a lot of patience - and even the tricks, one day will pay off . 


Rule # 2: given a choice, the cat will make the wrong one.
There are lots of comments on the HealthyPets forum (which we thank!) From cat owners begging for help in getting their pets to eat better quality food.
The point is that the cat is not instinctively inclined to eat healthy food, and this is even more true if it is used to fatty, resulting and poor quality foods. Faced with the choice between his usual processed, very fatty, salt-filled croquettes and a meal that is suitable for the species, alive and raw, your strayed cat will choose the first and turn up his nose at the food he has in really need it for his own good.

Your feline companion is an obligate carnivore. If he lived outside alone, he would hunt and eat mice. Cats are "programmed" to eat mice because mice provide exactly the type of protein and amount of fluids felines thrive on . 
How many of us in the field of animal care, including the American Association of Cat Practitioners (AAFP), who encourage cat owners to switch their pets from dry to wet food, do so because wet food is more like to your cat's natural diet. This reduces biological stress, which in turn reduces the potential for disease.

Many dry cat foods are inexpensive. They certainly are affordable. And they sustain life. But they are neither biologically appropriate nor appropriate for the species . 
Feline renal failure - an all too common, debilitating and sometimes fatal condition - is often encountered in cats that have lived in chronic dehydration for their entire lives due to a dry food diet.



DAILY QUANTITY, suggested:  

Kittens: 80-100 gr / kg CURRENT weight / al of (divided into 3 to 4 meals per)  
Adult cat: 30-40 gr / kg IDEAL weight / above (divided into 2 meals per day)  
Pregnant / lactating cat: 60-80 gr / kg weight al di


If the cat loses too much weight, it is remedied by giving more food, and / or by inserting foods with a higher fat value, if the cat gains too much weight it is remedied by giving less food.


15-20% bones  pulpose (OP)  
15-20% heart 

8-10% liver

4-6% other organs

58- 44% boneless meat (CSO)  

WARNING: Raw pork is ALWAYS recommended, as cats are very susceptible to Aujezsky's virus, a 100% lethal disease.

The percentages indicated above are purely guidelines, they are adjusted according to the needs of each individual subject.

For neo-barfists the pulpy bones (OP) can be: chicken necks, chicken wings / bats, chicken carcass, quail carcass, rabbit carcass.

The thighs of the above-mentioned animals are harder / denser, and once the cat can digest the softer OPs well (observe the possible presence of ossicles in the faeces and / or vomitings in an assairicurrent way). Eventually, at the beginning, the hardest OPs can be crushed by hitting them with a heavy hammer. (Covering the OP with a rag, to avoid splattering of meat)

Boneless meat (CSO) could be of any type, for example breast / rump of chicken / turkey, stew of beef, lamb, dianitra, head of beef, etc etc. The choice is wide.

Organs: you can administer hearts, livers, gizzards (durelli) of chicken, turkey, rabbit, duck, guinea fowl, beef, veal, lamb etc etc… The liver consists of approx. 3-5% of the total menu, the heart approx. 8-10% of the total on the menu, the rest of the organs can be gizzards (durelli), kidney, lung etc, so on and on and on and on.

Also could be included in the diet: oily fish (sardines, mackerel, salmon etc) whole eggcrude, with shell, dairy products, fish oil, some green tripe, some raw vegetables and blended or cooked and NOT blended (both not necessary, but if likes can be offered without any problem). The fish, if desired, can be given in the measure of approx. 5-10% of the total amount. Prefer blue fish, as it is rich in omega 3. (Fish maximum about 10%, of which maximum about 5% blue fish)

The more the type of CSO and OP varies, the better it is for the cat's health. For example,   you could have a rabbit or duck meal (OP), adding horse, lamb or beef (CSO), chicken organs, an egg and yoghurt. Again, this is just an example !!!! Nothing prevents you from diversifying and balancing instead over a week or two.

Considering the fact that the cat is a predator of small prey, such as mice, birds, rabbits / hares, insects, reptiles, lizards, etc. we try to imitate this supply as much as possible. In any case, the cat can also eat beef, lamb, deer and other large animals  CSO.

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