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Girl Meets Cats Quick Tip #2: How to Properly Balance a Raw Diet for Cats

Category: Quick Tips
February 4, 2016

Girl Meets Cats Quick Tip #2: How to Properly Balance a Raw Diet for Cats | When feeding cats raw food, it is important to follow raw guidelines so the diet is in proportion, thus avoiding and preventing serious health consequences. | girlmeetscats.com

When starting out as a raw feeder, you may find yourself confused at the somewhat different guidelines in the Frankenprey/Prey Model Diet, so we are here to break it all down for you.

In the wild, cats and dogs eat live, freshly-caught prey---birds, snakes, rodents, rabbits, etc. To mimic this diet, raw feeders will use the 80/10/10, the 80/10/5/5, or the 75/15/10 guidelines. Although these values may look different, they are actually variations of the same feeding rules. I will mark each bullet point in a rule as a pro or a con.

THE 80/10/10 RULE: 80% RAW MEAT/10% RAW BONES/10% RAW ORGANS

  • Basic and simple (PRO)
  • Raw livers almost exclusively make up the 10% raw organ category (CON)
  • Other internal organ are missing (CON)

THE 80/10/5/5 RULE: 80% RAW MEAT/10% RAW BONES/5% RAW LIVERS/5% RAW SECRETING ORGANS

  • Includes secreting organs (kidneys, spleens, thymuses) (PRO)
  • Raw liver amount reduced to better mimic wild prey (PRO)

THE 75/15/10 RULE: 75% RAW MEAT/15% RAW BONES/10% RAW ORGANS

  • More bone and less raw meat content may lead to constipation (CON)
  • Raw livers almost exclusively make up the 10% raw organ category (CON)
  • Other internal organ are missing (CON)

THE 75/5/10/5/5 RULE: 75% RAW MEAT/5% RAW HEARTS/10% RAW BONES/5% RAW LIVERS/5% RAW SECRETING ORGANS

  • Raw hearts, which are commonly overlooked, have own category (PRO)
  • Raw bones are in the 10% range to avoid possible constipation (PRO)
  • Includes secreting organs (kidneys, spleens, thymuses) (PRO)
  • Raw liver amount reduced to better mimic wild prey (PRO)

The 75/5/10/5/5 Rule is my personally-created and followed raw feeding guideline. I don't know if it is used by anyone else, but it works well for my guys. Here, you're not overloading on raw livers or raw bones. Remember that organs and meat are high in phosphorus and bones are high in calcium, so it's crucial to balance both minerals in any diet. Organs are high in vitamins, so you can't just feed a diet of raw meat and bones. EVERYTHING MUST BE IN PROPORTION.

This feeding rule makes room for secreting organs which are essential. The best part is that raw hearts are now in the mix. Hearts are muscles and are a part of the raw meat category (so, they're technically a component of each rule), but when raw feeders buy whole raw poultry or protein parts like thighs, wings, drumsticks, etc., the organs have been removed. When you grind homemade raw food, hearts need to be added back in and most people forget.

Girl Meets Cats Quick Tip #2: How to Properly Balance a Raw Diet for Cats | When feeding cats raw food, it is important to follow raw guidelines so the diet is in proportion, thus avoiding and preventing serious health consequences. | girlmeetscats.com

For cats, raw hearts are essential---they need dietary taurine that they CANNOT manufacture internally like humans or most dogs. Taurine is found in dark raw muscle meats, especially the hardworking heart. Taurine is also easily degraded in the freezing/handling processes, so add generously, but not too much as to skew the guidelines. For example, if you are grinding a total of 100lbs of raw meals, you would need 75lbs of raw meat and 10lbs of raw bones OR 85lbs of raw meat and bones combined (whole raw chickens). You would also need 5lbs of raw hearts, 5lbs of raw livers, and 5lbs of raw secreting organs (kidneys are easiest to find) for a total of 100% and 100lbs.

Girl Meets Cats | Discussing raw feeding, natural care, and life with cats. | girlmeetscats.com

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