Raw Feeding

The single most helpful resource I have found on the web is on SavannahCat.de. Unfortunately, if you don't read German, it isn't going to be of much use to you. I have translated the Nutrition pages into English (with permission), because I think it is a great pity that this really excellent information is not available to English speakers.

You can download a printable copy of this page in .pdf format; highly recommended so you can sit comfortably, browse and make notes.

Table of Contents

I Cat Nutrition
Why Raw Feeding?
II Mouse -vs- Commercial food
The Natural Diet, Commercial Food
III The 10 Biggest Fallacies
Myths accepted as Truths
IV Feeding Methods
Table scraps and/or Vegetarian food, Dry food, Canned food, Self-cooked, Raw food
V Nutrients
Proteins, Fats, Carbohydrates, Vitamins, Minerals, Water
VI Raw Feeding
Proteins, Fats, Plant Proportion / Fibre, Vitamins, Minerals, Water
VII Preparation and Feeding Tips
Basic Considerations, Accessories, Preparation, Feeding Tips, Feeding Errors and Inappropriate Foodstuffs
VIII Recipes
Basic Recipe, Basic Recipe “Plus”, Recipe with Bones, Recipe with Whole Chicken (gutted)
IX Food Conversion
X Links and References
General Information on Nutrition, Information on Raw Feeding, Preparation and Recipes, Tables, Data and Calculations, Commercial Food.
XI References

I Cat Nutrition

So far, there is very little information about the natural and appropriate nutrition of the cat in the German language. We therefore decided to collect together and summarize our knowledge and experiences. Our website should to this end encourage thinking about how we can feed our cats a healthy, near-natural and species-relevant diet. It contains information on the nutritional requirements of the cat, the various feeding options including commercial food, and hints on how one can healthy raw feeding aspect/look. The text however does not claim to be exhaustive and saves the cat owner neither the sole responsibility nor the necessity of acquiring knowledge which is absolutely essential, in order to nourish the cat with a healthy and balanced diet with raw food (BARF = Biologically Appropriate Raw Food).

Who visits our Nutrition pages for the first time, we recommend to them to read the individual pages in sequence. At the end of each page, follow the link to the next chapter. There is also the option to print the text (except for links and references) and to read in peace offline.

Why Raw Feeding?

Nearly 20 years ago we fed the first raw food to our cats in the form of day-old chicks and from time to time beef stew, because many breeders were doing this. Soon we began however, our thoughts about cat food to make and our questions to place, that nowadays are more relevant than ever. The answers to these questions still convince us that a natural type of cat nutrition is healthier. We gradually changed our cats completely to raw food and have not repented it up to today.

Would we nourish ourselves exclusively with cornflakes and tinned goods, enriched with artificial vitamins, because nutrition experts state that this is the healthiest and most balanced food?

Despite all the assurances of the experts we would surely have doubts over whether this diet is too one-sided and unhealthy. Probably we would not hold out for three days, because we would get cravings for something different, such as fresh fruit or vegetables. Why do so many cat owners treat their pet thus, while they nourish themselves with a fresh and varied diet, and serve their cats the same dry food possibly life-long?

How is it that the original diet of the cat is so different from the commercial food?

Because the food manufacturers do not try to produce optimal food for cats - that would be too expensive. The proportion of high-quality proteins in the prey of cats is almost always much higher than in commercial food. Particularly in dry food are there very many carbohydrates in the form of grains/cereals - a cheap supply of calories, which takes the place of animal protein. The manufacturers also test in their laboratories with animal experiments, how high the minimum requirements are to the food, without deficiency symptoms or signs of disease showing up in the cats within a certain period. The product should be as economical as possible to manufacture/produce and look and smell acceptable to the buyers. A majority of the money is invested in advertising and sales strategies rather than into the quality of the food. Even if it is said that commercial food is balanced and healthy, the {long-term consequences/after-effects} of many years feeding show up in “Field trials”, in which most cat owners partake/participate, in that they buy the praised/touted food.

Why are there so many different types of cat food, ranging through Kitten, Adult, Senior, Hair&Skin, Sensitive, Hairball, Light, Less Active, In- and Outdoor, Oral Care or whatever their names are, although all cats eat the same in Nature, no matter how old they are and which requirements they are exposed to?

In Nature the cat adjusts to all demands/stresses, in that they eat less or more evenly from the same food, that is to say, prey animals. This is not possible with commercial food since the standard product of all manufacturers, the food for adults, these requirements, such as the growth of young cats, does not do justice. Through the gift of commercial food, problems often show themselves in age such as obesity or kidney disease. The manufacturers attempt to compensate for these problems with new products/varieties, that they themselves have caused, and thereby earn yet more money.

How come older animals become overweight, while young stud cats stand under stress or lactating cats become dry?

Since commercial food covers the calorie need, but not the need for high-quality animal parts, enzymes and natural vitamins, a lack develops which the cat seeks to adjust with an increased food intake, because its body says that the needs are not being met. As a consequence, there is naturally a higher intake of “empty” calories that are converted and stored in the body as fat. One thinks of cornflakes or the concept of nourishing oneself only from chocolate, our bodies would also say to us that something was missing. Cats fed on raw food will seldom become fat in old age. Under stress such as pregnancy or lactation it shows up that commercial food is not able to provide enough available essential nutrients, as nursing cats are not in a condition to take up and process so much food. One has himself already become so accustomed, that it is seen as normal for cats to lose weight during the breeding of their young. That is by no means normal nor natural. With a balanced raw-food diet mother cats will not be rickety/shaky and have lots of milk.

How is it that so many cats suffer from coat problems, digestive difficulties, tartar, inflamed gums, food intolerances or allergies?

In order to remain healthy and to develop a beautiful coat and a firm musculatur physique, the cat needs high-quality food ingredients, including highly-digestible proteins, essential fatty acids and natural vitamins and minerals in the correct composition. In our opinion commercial food is too inferior to fulfill these requirements/needs. It is assembled from many individual components, to which things like grains, fibres or artificial additives belong, that do not correspond to the diet of the cat in Nature, and incompatibilities and allergies are the result. One of the most common phenomena in recent times is inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD/Inflammatory Bowel Disease), which exhbits, amongst other things, chronic diarrhea and vomiting and can have a life-shortening effect. Mostly the cause will not be treated, but rather only the symptoms, in that the affected cat receives, for the rest of its life, a very expensive elimination diet available from the veterinary or even be treated with cortisone. The fact that dry food does not help against tooth and gum problems has perhaps already got about, otherwise so many cats would not therefrom suffer, although they regularly take dry food, and the manufacturers would not develop extra products like the so-called Oral Care.

Why do so many cats get metabolic illnesses like Diabetes, Pancreatitis, Liver disorders or urinary tract infections and kidney disease?

This has mainly two reasons: commercial food contains many ingredients which are either difficult to digest or are unusable by the cat, that must be processed by the body, whereby many waste products result. In particular the usually high cereal content represents a major problem for the cat's metabolism and digestion apparatus, which is a carnivore with very specific food requirements. Even if the manufacturers and sellers time and again deny: studies show that cats which are fed with dry food do not drink enough. That means a constant light dehydration of the body as well as a reduction and concentration of the urine, which stresses the kidneys and the urinary tract.

Why do veterinarians recommend commercial food, although they are daily confronted with these diseases?

Veterinarians do not receive comprehensive training in cat nutrition. The information that they receive komes often from the animal feed industry, for example training courses that are held by the commercial food manufacturers and are constructed from their own principles and studies. Most veterinaries have no time beyond that to acquire special knowledge about the nutrition of cats. Therefore it is simplest for them to recommend commercial food, especially since they frequently sell it themselves and thereby make money. Their main focus lies, also like mostly in the human medicine, in the treatment of diseases. Prevention is predominantly limited to expensive vaccinations. Nevertheless, there are in recent times more and more veterinarians who concern themselves with the topic / deal with the issue and recommend a balanced raw food.

How is it that nowadays cats are classified by the animal food industry as seniors/elderly from 7 years old, although cats can be over 20 years old?

Often, the consequences/impact of wrong nutrition shows itself in cats of this age, sometimes even already earlier, such as obesity and organ damage. These problems are represented by veterinarian and food manufacturers as normal and age-related. Of course, the advertising effect also plays a role, since one can sell an expensive food for “Seniors” or a “Light Food” for weight reduction. Unfortunately, these foods contain still less protein and yet greater amounts of grains and fibres, which is a still larger burden/stress than the normal food for the organism of the older cat.

Why do small wild cats in Zoos not receive commercial food, but rather fresh, raw fare?

Because zoologists have now established that one cannot nourish wild cats with commercial food, without the animals becoming ill or even dying. The fact that our house cats are considered as domesticated plays no role here, because the organs, the metabolism and the digestive tract have not been modified/mutated through domestication.

II Mouse -vs- Commercial Food

The Natural Diet

In the course of evolution the cat has found its niche in Nature, in which it has adapted extremely to its environment and specialised in small prey animals such as mice. But rats, rabbits squirrels, birds, lizards, fish and insects also belong to its repertoire. This food is raw, contains a high proportion of proteins and fats, which are almost exclusibely of animal origin, a very small proportion of carbohydrates and all necessary enzymes, natural vitamins and minerals. The cat is a desert animal and not accustomed to drinking water, since it normally supplies its moisture needs/requirements from the prey animals. All the internal organs as well as the very short intestine are adapted for these types of food. In contrast to people or dogs, cats can synthesize only a few nutritional components like individual amino acids, fatty acids and vitamins, nor obtain food from plants.

“...In the course of evolution each animal species has adapted to the given food conditions in its habitat. Our cats have also adapted themselves in their development process to the natural food supply. Therefore need they a species-appropriate diet that corresponds to the conditions in Nature...” Vitakraft

Commercial Food

Commercial food is strongly processed, cooked, sterilised and, if required, dried. Proteins, enzymes and vitamins are thereby altered or destroyed. Whilst the natural diet of the cat contains only about 1 to 5% plants from the stomach/intestinal tract of the prey animals, roughly up to 80% grains are in commercial food, depending on the type. The metabolism, the internal organs as well as the short intestine of the cat are not able to adequately break down and utilise carbohydrates. The animal portion consists often wholly or eo a high degree of inferior by-products. But even if that is not the case, the proportion of high-quality animal products in commercial food is not sufficient to cover the needs of the cat. In most commercial food types is contained considerably fewer proteins and fat than in the mouse. The raw protein content in commercial food comes partially from vegetable components such as grains or starch/gluten; furthermore the proteins are strongly denatured through industrial processing, which further decreases the digestibility. Synthetic vitamins, minerals and amino acids must to the feed be added, often are also harmful preservatives, coloring materials or sugar included. In our opinion there is at present no commercial foods which are high-quality enough, in order to fulfill after the model of Nature the nutritional requirements of the cat completely.

“... as a veterinary surgeon I cannot recommend grain-based cooked food (commercial cat food), knowing that it causes degenerative diseases. Therefore the food that I recommend is raw, whole food. The evolutionary diet of the animal in question ...” Dr. Ian Billinghurst, Vet.

The table below shows average values of the mouse in comparison to some common commercial food types, sorted by protein content. Only complete foods for adult cats were considered; the values refer to the dry substance/material and were rounded to whole numbers.

It is remarkable that, on average, dry food types exhibit a lower protein and fat content than wet foods, and very many carbohydrates, without exception. To take into account is that the carbohydrate proportion is always lower than the vegetable/plant components actually existing in the food, since the fibre content is not considered and cereal products also contain protein and fat besides carbohydrates. The proportion of plants, consisting mainly grains, is therefore at least 50% with the dry food types; however, depending on the variety, it can amount to 80%. Thus all dry food deviates strongly from the optimal values of the mouse, whilst many wet foods approximate these, even some of the so-called cheap brands.

However, these data do not suffice to form a comprehensive judgement over the quality of the ingredients and also the applicability/usefulness of the food types - except for the varieties with a high proportion of carbohydrates, since the cat generally utilises carbohydrates badly. As with the analysis, the contents specification of a food must be considered in order to assess its quality. For example, what's the use if a variety contains muscle meat and no animal by-products, but at the same time far too much grain, which in our eyes makes the food unsuitable/inappropriate. Therefore the labels of commercial food should be carefully studied in detail. You will find further information on cat food and the nutritional needs of cats on the pages Fallacies, Feeding Methods, Nutrients and Links.

Comparison (i. TS) Mouse -vs- Commercial food Protein %Fat %Carbohydrate %
Mouse 55 - 60 23 - 30 3 - 8
Wet Foods
Animonda Classic 59 24 6
Leonardo Wild 57 24 8
Whiskas Classic 56 22 9
Lux/Shah 51 30 8
Felidae 50 32 5
Iams Chicken 50 34 8
Precept 45 23 16
California Natural Chicken 41 27 20
Vivaldi Poultry 31 34 30
Dry Foods
California Natural 41 18 30
Innova 40 23 28
Pro Plan Chicken 38 17 34
Nutro Choice 36 21 35
Iams Chicken: 36 24 31
Felidae: 35 22 34
Sanabelle Adult 33 17 42
Brekkies 31 9 50
Royal Canin Indoor 30 14 43

III The 10 Biggest Fallacies about Cat Nutrition

The myths of the animal food manufacturers, now uncritically accepted as truth

1. Fallacy: commercial food is complete and balanced and contains everything that the cat needs.
Unfortunately, commercial food does not guarantee the cat the long, healthy life which the producers promise. Most degenerative dieases that one finds in pets are the result of a life-long feeding with cooked and commercial food. The fact that diseases of the internal organs and the metabolism as well as allergies strongly depend on nutrition is ignored and are described as age-related illnesses. There is no commercial food that is so balanced that one could feed it exclusively life-long. If this were so, each food would contain exactly the same ingredients, which is not the case. A little while ago it was established in a consumer test that the calcium-phosphorus balance in a much-advertised canned food was not correct, it contained too little calcium. There are many such examples, some food contains also too much or too little vitamins, some of which are harmful through overdosing. Many varieties contain ingredients, that in the actual dose are not denoted as toxic, however there is no evidence on the long-term effects. An example of this are herbs or plant extract such as yucca, aloe or alfalfa, recently being included in the food. These may have a medical use for certain diseases, but are however sometimes listed as toxic for cats and should not be consumed daily by healthy cats. No one knows what the effect will be if these additives classified as medicines are consumed by the cat day after day for years. If one only a single food gives, one risks a deficiency or an overdose of individual components. In Nature the cat obtains all that he needs in a varied/diversified diet. Through a variety of prey animals of different species and varying ages, he obtains a balanced diet over time/period.
2. Fallacy: Veterinary surgeons recommend commercial food, therefore it must be good.
Unfortunately, most veterinary surgeons have almost no nutritional training. The information and training which they get, they receive mostly from the food industry. Since veterinarians also earn a part of their money with the sale of these foods, there is for them no reason to concern themselves more closely with the nutritional issues. From this explains itself also the fact that most veterinarians the diseases, that they treat in the practice, not as diet-related classified, but rather as a predisposition or as a symptom of old age. Finally/eventually can a veterinarian schlecht admit, that an illness through the years-long consumption of a food is resulting, that he himself sold.
“... The sad truth is that commercial food helps to provide veterinarians with patients ...“ Dr. Billinghurst
3. Fallacy: Too much protein is unhealthy for the cat and stresses the kidneys.
This is another assertion of the industry in order to excuse the low, poor-quality protein content of their food. In contrast to humans, the cat is made to take and digest large quantities of high-quality protein. Mice, other small animals and meat contains virtually always substantially more protein than commercial food. Whereupon is the organism of the cat adjusted, this relieves the kidneys and the metabolism. What can strongly stress the kidneys are inferior proteins and grains, because the cat can only partly use these, and large quantities of indigestible materials must be channeled through the body and excreted unused.
4. Fallacy: The cat needs carbohydrates as an energy source.
This argument is often used to excuse the high grain proportion in commercial food. Meanwhile, most manufacturers admit that the cat does not need any carbohydrates in its diet. In comparison to animal products, grain is a cheap energy source in the form of starch, and that is the only reason why it is contained in food. As previously mentioned, the cat utilises carbohydrates badly, it usually obtains the entire energy requirement from animal protein and fat, and metabolism is arranged/equipped to do so. Grain in food is used by the food manufacturers, not the cat.
5. Fallacy: The cat has, in the course of domestication, adapted to commercial food.
Certainly in the course of domestication and breeding some external characteristics of the cat such as body type, hair length or colour and nature have been lightly changed by the hand of man but the metabolism, digestion and internal organs were not involved, there was never a reason for this. On the contrary, in the past and partly today cats were ultimately kept because of their good qualities as mouse-catchers. A change of metabolism or gut would therefore not have been very useful, as afterwards the cat would suddenly need different or additional food to prey animals. A natural selection in this direction also never took place, as was the case during the evolution that took thousands of years and whose course brought about the cat's specialisation on small prey animals. Commercial food has only been available for about 100 years, and this time-frame is far too short to effect a change or adjustment.
“... From an evolutionary point of view our current housecat breeds barely differentiate themselves from their ancestors, the carnivorous hunters and desert inhabitants they were...“ Royal Canin
6. Fallacy: Dry food cleans the teeth and prevents tartar.
Very many cats, which are fed with commercial food, sometimes get tooth problems or gum disease, although they regularly or even exclusively eat dry food. Already for some time the manufacturers no longer advertise with the statement that dry food is good for the cat's teeth. Instead, they now turn to manufacturing extra products specially for the cleaning of the teeth, since they ascertained that dry food does nothing for the healthy maintenance of teeth and gums. Additionally, the food crumbs are much too small and are partially swallowed whole. Who observes once how a cat a prey animal or large piece of meat with bones chews, sees immediately the difference. Further detailed information on the disadvantages of dry food are to be found under Feeding Methods.
7. Fallacy: Self-made food is not suitable and causes deficiency symptoms.
Here the manufacturers always assume that one feeds the cat either table scraps or pure meat without further supplements. That would indeed by unbalanced and unsuitable. However, it is certainly possible to offer the cat a home-made diet which is fresh, high qaulity, balanced and prepared after Nature's model. Thousands of cat owners who have successfully fed their cats for over 30 years with a balanced, healthy raw food diet, have proved this.
8. Fallacy: In order to self-manufacture cat food, one must be a nutrition expert.
Nevertheless, we accomplish our own varied supply of fresh food quite well without having completed a study in nutrition. Cat nutrition is not a mystery, as the food manufacturers always want to fool us into believing. Common sense and a basic knowledge of the nutrition teachings about the requirements of the cat and the food components are sufficient. If one considers that the cat is nourished completely differently from people and what it eats in the wilderness, and understands what one feeds and why, and takes some time in order to deal with the subject, it is not so difficult. Certainly, one does not have to be a scholar/scientist in order to do it.
9. Fallacy: One should never feed raw flesh, since it contains bacteria and parasites.
One can read and hear this blanket scaremongering almost everywhere. Also on many internet sites and in books this statement or similar is repeated without giving an explanation or rationale. Salmonella, Protozoa and Worms are mostly mentioned in this connection. Oddly enough, these parasites spread mainly to cats who are fed on commercial food, so that sources of infection other than raw food seem to play a substantially larger role. Firstly, one should be aware that the cat's natural prey animals are not sterile. If they were so dangerous, wild cats would surely already be extinct. The fact of the matter is that not all meat is automatically tainted or infected with something bad. Even if this were the case, the cat is considerably better equipped for this purpose than humans, since raw meat is simply a part of its natural diet. Due to their short intestines through which the food quickly passes, cats are very resistant to salmonella and other bacteria. Worms are reliably killed by freezing the product. An exception is Aujeszky's disease, and therefore one should not feed raw pork in affected countries. In nearly 20 years of raw feeding we have not had a single case of illness due to the raw food diet.
“... Evidently cats are very resistant to salmonella infections, as disease outbreaks now rarely come (Salmonellosis) ...” Kraft and Dürr, Cat Diseases Clinic and Therapy
10. Fallacy: One should never give bones, because they splinter.
This is just another example of misrepresentation of facts. Through cooking, bones will become brittle and splinter, which could be dangerous for cats or dogs; in this case the warning is justified. However, raw bones are flexible, relatively soft and do not splinter. Otherwise would it hardly be possible that millions of carnivores live just peachily, and they consume prey animals with bones. For almost 20 years we have fed whole or chopped raw bones without anything yet happening to our cats.

IV Feeding Methods

Our assessment ranges from Absolutely Not Recommended to Highly Recommended:
Table scraps and/or Vegetarian food – Dry food – Tinned food – Self-cooked food – Raw food

Table scraps or Vegetarian food: Absolutely Not Recommended

Advantages: None

Disadvantages: These possibilities are not species-appropriate and are not worth discussing/out of the question, therefore go we only marginally on it. In former/earlier times in rural areas it was for all quite usual to give the cat scraps from one's own meal, this perhaps a dish of fresh milk. Although one should not forget that these cats caught a substantial part of their food besides/on the side, the food from table scraps was assuredly a less than optimal form of nutrition. Vegetarian food was lately by vegetarian and inexplicably/incomprehensibly ausgerechnet by animal rights advocates promoted/publicised, although this food is completely unsuitable and ill-making for a highly specialised carnivore like the cat with its special dietary requirements. In order to protect/safeguard {animals ready for slaughter}, one takes {into account/in purchase} that other animals will suffer and become ill. A vegetarian diet for cats is to be advocated neither morally nor animal welfare legally. Who for ethical reasons is not in a position to give his cat a species-appropriate diet, should in all fairness to all animals opposite these principles to observe/abide by, to respect the needs of the cat and accordingly to/on the Katzenhaltung abandon/forgo.

Dry food: Not Recommended

Advantages: For the cat itself we see no benefit. For the cat owner are lower costs, ease of handling and storage, little work and less odor-formation to mention.

Disadvantages: The shelf-life is stated as many months, which should be viewed with caution, since the contained unsaturated fatty acids with natural preservation through vitamins can quickly oxdise, especially if improperly stored. Mold / fungus growth and the toxins resulting therefrom are likewise a common problem.

Dry food represents excluding the above-mentioned obvious feeding-error the most unnatural diet for the cat. It is strongly denatured, since it is dried in addition to the usual processing processes. Often cheap, inferior ingredients such as animal and plant by-products are contained as well as harmful additives such as preservatives. Through processing, fatty acids and amino acids are altered and/or destroyed. Enzymes, vitamins and antioxidants are destroyed by high temperatures, so that extra mineral supplements, trace elements, vitamins and amino acids must always be added.

For technical processing reasons, dry food must contain a high proportion of cereal products and fibre, so that it gets structure and is generally malleable into biscuit form. Effective advertising will often mention the seemingly-high protein content, which however largely comes from the contained grain. Upon another reason, for the cat defective/incomplete amino acids than those from animal protein offer/provide plant proteins a worse digestibility for cats. Moreover, grains cause through the high carbohydrate content in the form of starch/strong problems, since the cat as a strict carnivore is not in a position to adapt its metabolism to high quantities of carbohydrates. The consequences can be obesity, diabetes, liver diseases or pancreatits. In addition, it comes that a high carbohydrate content in the diet still further reduces the digestibility of proteins. Depending on the variety, dry food for adults contains in the dry substance between 28% and 50% carbohydrates, which corresponds to a plant portion of 50% to 80%, whereby also the so-called Premium types without exception have a too high carbohydrate content of 28% to 43%, whilst Kitten food often contains somewhat less.

Of course should one also not forget that foods with different moisture contents cannot be directly compared one with another. If one calculates the protein content of so-called Premium dry foods and canned food auf the dry matter/substance um, almost all canned foods, but in particular the better sorts, contain more protein and fat as well as less carboydrates than the high-quality dry foods. A comparison table is to be found in chapter II Mouse -vs- Commercial Food.

Dry food does not clean the teeth, even if it asserted again and again. On the contrary, strong/starchy deposits/remnants of the dry food stick themselves on the teeth as a tough, sticky coating. Um a correct chewing allow/enable, are the biscuits often too small and will even sometimes simply be swallowed whole. Since there are many cats who consume dry food and develop tartar, the manufacturers have, for some time, brought so-called “Oral Care” products onto the market which are supposed to eliminate this problem. Who observes, how a cat eats a prey animal and how long and thoroughly it chews thereon, immediately sees the difference, because cats are created by nature to chew many large pieces rather than small dry food biscuits.

The largest drawback/disadvantage of dry food is however in our view the small water content of 8 to 10%. As previously mentioned, the cat in the wilderness is seldom dependent on extra water, since its water needs are allayed from prey animals which, on average, contain 70 to 75% moisture. If the cat is fed with dry food, it is constantly being compelled to drink water, against its nature. Since cats due to their evolution no pronounced sensation-of-thirst develop, they usually only drink if it is absolutely necessary and dehydration has already begun. This is briefly nullified with the intake of water before the cycle begins again. This stresses the entire organism, especially the kidneys and urinary tract. A cat would have to drink a minimum of three times the amount of water the amount of dry food absorbed, to get to the moisture content of 70 to 75 % in a natural diet or canned food.

Even if this is vehemently denied by the dry food producers and sellers, in several studies was it proven that cats take up too little liquid, if they are fed with dry food rather than wet food. In one study it was shown that the volume of urine is reduced by half when feeding dry food. Further studies show that cats which are already sick with struvit crystals exhibit/show a lower cure/healing rate as well a significantly higher relapse ratio, if they are treated with dry diet food instead of canned diet food.

To compensate for the lack of liquid the urine is more strongly concentrated, which has the consequence that the bladder is emptied less often due to the small urine volume. Since the formation of crystals comes more easily in concentrated urine, additionally supported through the longer stay of urine in the bladder, the formation of struvit or oxalate stones is favoured. In previous studies, indications have been found that the magnesium content in food in conjunction with a lower quantity of urine and an alkaline pH value of the urine, that accrues through the high plant content in the diet, leads to struvit crystals. Therefore has one drastically lowered the magnesium content in dry food, and so a permanent shortgage of this important trace mineral exists that can lead to deficiency symptoms. Additionally, one now attempts to acidify the urine with appropriate/analogous ingredients in the food in order to lower the pH value. This has the consequence that the occurrence of calcium oxalate stones has recently increased, which form in an acid environment.

Struvit stones as well as oxalate stones occur frequently; and there are ever more cats that develop both forms consecutively or simultaneously. The resulting bladder infections and kidney diseases arise likewise more frequent. Nowadays, one goes on the basis of numerous studies which assume that a reduced fluid intake and consequently a reduced urine volume plays a major role with the incidence of urintary tract diseases, whilst urine pH value and magnesium content of the food do not seem to be as crucial/pivotal, as was once accepted.

“... Despite the misleading advertising, dry food can create substantially more problems than it eliminates. The manufacturers make the pet owners believe the opposite, since literally billions of sales revenue are at stake. Dry food, packed ready to feed, is specially designed for the convenience of the owner, not for the pet ...” Dr. Dorsie Kovacs, Vet.
“... In Nature, cats eat a diet that is rich in protein and low in carbohydrates. A requirement for carbohydrates is not known, which means that a cat can live very well on a carbohydrate-free diet ...” Waltham Institute's website
“... Canned foods generally are best to provide a protein-rich, low-carbohydrate dietary combination. Most dry foods are energy-dense and have greater carbohydrate concentrations (... ), because starch is necessary to manufacture the kibble. The typical nutrient characteristics of canned foods formulated for kittens are 45 to 55% protein (DM basis), 8 to 15% starch (DM basis) and 15 to 25% fat (DM basis) with little dietary fiber (< 1% DM basis). These characteristics are not far removed from that of the natural diet of cats ...” The Carnivore Connection to Nutrition in Cats, D.L. Zoran, DVM, PhD

Canned food: Recommended

Advantages: Firstly to be mentioned is the ease of handling and the shelf-life of about one year. The moisture content of 70 to 80% is a big advantage, since cats are naturally accustomed to get their moisture needs from their diet. On average, canned food contains more protein and fat and less carobydrates than dry food, and comes also in this point against the natural nutrition of the cat. The dry matter in canned food contains between 0 and 30% carbohydrates, with only a few of the reputable premium varieties containing particularly high amounts of carbohydrates, thus exhibiting a high plant proportion. One should therefore carefully study the labels and choose varieties containing a high proportion of animal ingredients, without too many by-products and without (or with very little) grain. The brands and varieties should be alternated, especially/particularly in order to avoid an over or under supply of minerals, trace elements and vitamins, since there is no complete, optimal commercial food, and the ingredients differ considerably (to an extent).

Disadvantages: There are large variations in quality and, with few exceptions, the majority of canned foods defined as a complete food contain in the dry matter/weight fewer proteins and fats than the natural diet of the cat. Cheap, inferior ingredients such as animal and plant by-products are often included, as well as harmful additives such as preservatives, taste amplifiers or sugar, which is nearly always the case with so-called Supermarket varieties. Fatty acids and amino acids are altered and/or perish through processing and sterilisation, and enzymes, vitamins and antioxidants are destroyed by intense heat. For these reasons, and because the ingredients are unbalanced from the start, mineral supplements, artificial vitamins and amino acids must be added, especially taurine, whose takeup is reduced through the Maillard reaction resulting from the manufacturing process.

Cats must usually eat relatively large amounts of canned food, depending on the quality and energy density, in order to cover their nutritional requirements, which especially applies to the low-priced varieties. Many unusable elements must again be separated, so that the cat excretes large quantities of foul-smelling faeces. The food itself smells very intensive; if a can is opened, the smell spreads itself everywhere. The food consists of a soft mash which promotes dental disease, since the cats normally clean their teeth through chewing. High-quality canned food is relatively expensive.

Self-cooked: Recommended

Advantages: The biggest advantage is, of course, that one knows exactly what is in the food, since one has bought high-quality ingredients oneself. One can use a high proportion of good-quality meat with only a few plant ingredients, preferably vegetables. One should cook the meat briefly in as little water as possible, and utilise the cooking water in the food. If this food is balanced proportionately with supplements, the quality is surely better than commercial food. The moisture is included in the food, which suits the nature of the cat. One has the possibility to give the cat large pieces of meat, which promotes dental health, although probably not to the same extent as raw meat, since cooked meat is softer and can be fibrous. Provided the food is balanced, it is to be recommended. For sick cats with with seriously impaired immune system, to which one perhaps no raw food would like to give, this form of nutrition represents an alternative to commercial food. For healthy cats there is in our view no reason, the food to cook. It can however be helpful, this temporarily to do, if the cat indeed cooked, but yet not raw would like to eat. Hints are to be found under Food Conversion.

Disadvantages: It is time-consuming and labour-intensive the ingredients to chop and cook. Through the cooking procedure are important enzymes, vitamins and proteins destroyed, altered or pass into the cooking water. Cooked protein is for the cat not so easily utilised and harder to digest than raw. It belongs already very good knowledge thereto, the food appropriately to supplement, important are amongst other things vitamins, minerals and taurine. Under no circumstances should one give cooked bones, since they become brittle and splinter through the cooking process, which can cause injuries. Self-cooked should be stored for a maximum of up to 2 days in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer, the shorter the better.

Raw food: Highly Recommended

Advantages: A varied, balanced raw food conforms as far as possible to the natural food of the cat and is in our view the healthiest and most species-appropriate feeding. It has a natural moisture content which matches the needs of the cat and satisfies its water requirement through the ingested food. The entire body is specialised to ingest and process quantities of very high-quality animal food. It has been found that cats digest raw food substantially faster and with less residue than commercial food. Since the ingredients of raw food are used very efficiently by the body, no metabolic stress develops because it does not have to process and eliminate any badly utilisable or indigestible materials with the thereto associated decomposition products.

It is therefore no surprise that cats get along with very small amounts of this food and accordingly eliminate little faeces, which is well formed and hardly smells. Raw food provides a natural way for the correct pH value and the correct concentration of urine. The species-appropriate food contains natural vital proteins, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and antioxidants in a balance and composition that cannot be simulated in the laboratory with individual low-grade ingredients. One can buy ingredients such as fresh meat and vegetables, and know exactly what the prepared food contains. Although raw food is significantly superior, it is generally not more expensive than premium commercial food.

The effects of a healthy raw diet on the general condition are obvious: the cats are in the best of condition and show a balanced nature, an invigorated, lean and muscular physique as well as healthy skin and shiny coat. Feeding-induced problems such as tartar and gum disease do not develop at all. Most cats fed with raw food have gleaming white teeth, especially if they get the opportunity to regularly chew pieces of meat or pieces of bone. But even if the cat, when converted at a later age, does not like to chew large pieces, raw feeding seems to have a positive effect on the teeth, probably because no food scraps containing starch or sugar stick to the teeth, which is mostly the case with commercial food.

This form of nutrition optimally supports the immune system, and the cat exhibits a small susceptibility to diseases and parasites. Breeders have found that cats remain healthy and strong during the kitten-rearing phase, and have a lot of milk for each. Kittens, who receive their first solid food in the form of raw food, are spared from the often-occurring problems such as diarrhea that can occur through the feeding of commercial foods or babyfood. The strong young kits grow up to be healthy, robust cats.

Meanwhile, thousands of cat and dog owners, who have already experienced thirty years or more partly raw feeding, have proven that so-called civilisation-diseases such as diabetes, pancreatitis, liver or kidney function disorders, urinary tract diseases, hormone disturbances, digestive problems and/or allergies do not develop with a proper raw food diet and, after conversion to raw food, a few of these illnesses can even be cured.

Unfortunately, many people only start thinking about the correct diet for their cats when proverbially the child has fallen into the well and the cat is already sick. Even if raw feeding can benefit the healing process with some diseases, it should not be seen as a treatment or cure for sick cats, but rather as a healthy and species-appropriate form of nutrition that helps the cat to stay healthy, and does not permit diet-induced problems and diseases to arise in the first place.

Disadvantages: One should firstly occupy oneself with the subject and acquire fundamental basic knowledge about nutrition teachings and the special dietary requirements of the cat, because unbalanced raw food can do more harm than good. Also it is connected with some work to procure the fresh ingredients and to produce the food. Fresh raw food will keep in the refrigerator for 2 days at the most, frozen should it no longer than 2 to 3 months be stored, the shorter the better.

A little nostalgia from my first cat book in 1974 “All about cats”, by Bärbel Gerber:

”... In Nature, the cat nourishes itself with all warm-blooded small animals, from mouse and young birds; fish and invertebrate animals occasionally come thereto. What the wild and feral cats regard as their natural food, should we also offer our housecats: meat! Meat, and surely raw and in fresh condition, is the main diet of the cat. (...) Large amounts of plant food are to be avoided. The cat could not utilise it, would get instead digestive troubles. About 10% plants to meat is correct and will very gladly be taken. (...) Where poultry hatcheries are in the area, a very good cat food can br cheaply purchased, namely day-old chicks. The cat may be given whole day-old chicks. (...) And yet the commercial food reaches not to meals from fresh meat and fresh foods. It tastes to the cat in the long run also not. Therefore, commercial food should be considered more as a reserve and ease-opportunity. When travelling, on holidays and Austellungen commercial food is most convenient …”

V Nutrients


Cats require a high protein content in food. They utilise proteins as an energy source, but amongst other things also for the building of body tissues and for the maintenance of glucose levels in the blood. Unlike humans, cats are not able to adjust their consumption to little protein in food, which means that they reduce their body's protein (muscle mass) if not enough protein is supplied in the diet. Therefore the protein need of cats is substantially higher than that of dogs or people. They are dependent on animal ingredients/components such as meat, because only these contain protein in sufficient amounts and for the cat highly-digestible form as well as all amino acids including taurine and arginine, which they need to live.


Fats are an important energy source and taste-enhancer of food. Fat is essential, in order to ensure the intake of fat-soluble vitamins. It provides essential fatty acids, which however partly only in animal fats contained, therefore are these always to be preferred to plant oils.

In plant oils missing for cats vital/essential fatty acids, while each according to type, e.g. in olive oil, substantial amounts are contained, which is not essential for cats. Most plant oils exhibit unfavourable types of fatty acids and more polyunsaturated fatty acids than animal fats, which are more suitable for cats. In particular plant oils such as sunflower and safflower oils contain high quantities of linoleic acid, so that it comes possibly to an oversupply, which in turn can lead to too little of other essential fatty acids being absorbed. For this reason, however, high quantities of chicken fat are also not suitable, since it likewise contains very much linoleic acid. In contrast to humans, the cat is not able to form arachidonic acid from linoleic acid, nor to form in several steps eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) from linolenic acid, therefore these must be taken up with the food.

The fatty acids must be present/available in the right proportions to each other in the food, and here in particular the ratio of Omega 6:Omega 3 is to be noted. Wild animals, thus also the prey animals of the cat in Nature, have an Omega-ratio of 4:1 to 5:1, which is considered as optimal. Fat from animals such as poultry or beef, that are raised conventionally and therefore fed on grain, contain little Omega-3 fatty acids, that that the ratio can lie around 20:1 or over. It is conceivable that this also applies to commercially-farmed food animals such as mice and rats, which are fed with ready-grain mixtures. Grazing animals which eat gress exhibit a better ratio. Therefore it is more favourable for cats if they get lamb, beef etc. from pastured instead of conventional sources. Generally is meat from free-range animals more suitable. Meat from wild animals such as deer, hare or game birds as well as rabbit have likewise a food ratio of these fatty acids.


Cats are missing some of the enzymes required to adequately break down carbohydrates, since their natural food contains very little carbohydrate. The cat does not need carbohydrate, since its energy is normally gained solely from proteins and fats, which are available in sufficient quantities in the diet of natural prey animals. That shows itself also in the lack of amylase as well as in the low acitivity of glucokinase (GCK) and the inability to adapt to these high quantities of carbohydrates in the diet. It makes sense nevertheless to feed a few vegetables, seeds or sprouts, since the cat finds a small amount (between 3 to 5 %) of plant matter in the stomach and intestines of its prey animal and apparently draws a use for it. Plus/Besides one can with the contained fibre, comparable/similar to the dietary fibre for us humans, also something that in the food missing the skin of the prey animal to replace/substitute. We use no grains in our food preparation, since it is found either not at all or only in tiny amounts in in the stomach contents of prey animals. For many cats is grain incompatible; besides which it provides/supplies undesirable “empty” calories in the form of starch.


Vitamins are vitally essential for the maintenace of all bodily functions. They are involved in various processes and perform many tasks, among other things cater they for the bulding of bone, good vision and a functioning metabolism. Also for a good immune system play they an important role. Vitamins are sensitive and are partially destroyed through processing, storage or freezing. A shortage leads to deficiency sumptoms, but also an oversupply of individual vitamins can lead to physical problems and diseases. A healthy cat can synthesize some vitamins in its intestine. However must it all vitamins,except vtamin C, which is not essential for cats, regularly with the food take up. If a cat freshly consumes its prey, it gets all necessary vitamins.

The fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, K are stored in the body and may not be overdosed, since they can accumulate themselves. The cat is dependent on obtaining vitamin A from animal sources. It is not in a position to convert the vitamin A-precursor beta-carotene present in plants into the active form of retinol. Vitamin A is mainly stored in the liver. Cats can only use Vitamin D3, which occurs exclusively in animal materials. It is for the most part in fatty tissue stored, fish is rich in vitamin D. Vitamin D2, which occurs in plants, is for the cat not usable.

Water-soluble vitamins are vitamin-B complex, vitamin C and biotin. With the exception of vitamin C, they are not stored and therefore a deficiency quickly develops if it is not regularly supplied.


Minerals are inorganic substances and consist of quantities of elements such as calcium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, magnesium and trace elements such as iron, zinc, copper, manganese and selenium,to name but a few. Minerals are imporant for the bones, the nerves, the metabolic proteins, the activity of enzymes and hormones and the maintenance of osmotic equilibrium in the body. They are very stable and are not destroyed through freezing or heating, however they can escape into the cooking water with the cooking process. Calcium and phosphorus play an important role for bone structure/building. The calcium:phosphorus balance can lie between 9:1 and 1.4:1, where 1.1:1 to 1.2:1 is regarded as optimal. However, it depends not only on the correct ratio, but also on the amount of the minerals, since not only calcium and phosphorus but all the major and trace elements are dependent on each other and should be present in the correct ratios to each other. An excess or deficiency of a substance can the intake/absorption of another impair, since the da die interaction/reciprocity, also with some vitamins, is very complex. Raw bones are a natural source of important minerals including calcium.

Sodium, together with chlorine and potassium, regulates the hydrologic/water balance, which is the osmotic pressure of the body fluids; it is important for the nerves and is involved with the transport of nutrients in the body. It is also indispensible for the formation of gastric/stomach acids. It is important to strike a balance between sodium and potassium: pure meat contains sufficient potassium but, in contrast, sodium is only marginally present; larger quantities are present/found in blood, bones as well as kidneys. Also to make/establish this balance again, when feeding without bones and blood, sodium chloride (salt) {NaCi} must be added.


Water is an essential of life and is important for the proper function of the heart, circulation and kidneys, heat regulation and the transport of oxygen and nutrients. The cat is a desert animal and gets along with little additional water, if the diet contains 70% moisture, as is the case with the natural prey animal. Since cats in the course of evolution have specialised to cover the majority of their water requirements through diet, they do not develop a pronounced sensation of thirst. If the food contains little moisture, dehydration threatens the cat, since they normally drink too little water to compensate for the fluid deficit. In order to avoid/prevent dehydration and the therefrom resulting diseases, should the cat a diet offered, that a natural moisture content has, as is the case for example with raw food.

VI Raw Feeding

Anyone who takes the idea seriously of feeding his cat with raw food, must absolutely fully engage with the topic, and acquire comprehensive knowledge about the dietary requirements of the cat and the practical implementation of making the food oneself. Our website offers a good introduction to the topic, but we make no claim to completeness. The information in chapters V Nutrients, VI Raw Feeding (this page), VII Preparation and Tips and VIII Recipes belong together. Additionally, further information and numerous links to interesting websites can be found under X Links.


Meat Animals:
A prey animal consists of approximately 50% muscle meat, the remainder is made up of skin, fur/feathers, fat, blood and other body fluids, bones, tendons and internal organs. The protein content of various meat types do not differ much from each other. Variations in the original substance result mainly through different water and fat content. Pure muscle meat supplies the essential amino acids, but contains much more phosphorus than calcium, and little sodium. These minerals are mainly found in bones, tendons and blood. The same is true for many trace elements and vitamins.
  • Can be fed whole and/or in large pieces: mice, rats, day-old chicks (offered frozen by pet shops or in the Internet for reptile owners), quail, pigeons, spring chickens, fish, seafood or meaty bones such as chicken necks and wings.
  • Meat with bones, minced: the above-mentioned, provided the cat is not yet accustomed to eat whole animals or large pieces. Additionally chickens, ducks, partridge, pheasant, rabbit, hare.
  • Unsuitable bones as too large, therefore only minced or chunked meat: veal and beef, horse, lamb and sheep, goat, deer, pig (only in Aujeszky-free countries), turkey, goose, emu, ostrich.
Offal is rich in vitamins and minerals, and also contain other important ingredients such as taurine, which is found in large quantities in heart. Offal should comprise approximately 10% of the food ration, with the liver portion amounting to not more than 3 to 5% of the total amount of food, on account of the high vitamin A content. Other viscera/entrails such as stomach (some cats may even warm to green tripe), kidneys and lungs can be fed in small pieces from time to time. Heart, on the other hand, is actually a miscle and can be given in large amounts.
Raw Eggs:
Can be fed from time to time, egg yolk in particular contains valuable vitamins, proteins and fats. If day-old chicks that already contain egg yolk are regularly given, no additional eggs should be fed.
Milk products:
One can from time to time give natural yoghourt or quark, which we do without however, since it is a processed product which contains few nutrients, e.g. no taurine and few vitamins, and in Nature adult cats do not prey on milk products.
Much taurine is present/contained in brain, eyes and gall bladder (which usually cannot be fed), but also in heart, turkey meat from the leg, and mussels/scallops and crabs. Taurine is also in muscle meat, whereby the values vary here, dark meat contains more taurine than light. There is little data on the taurine content of the mouse as well as various foodstuffs. Taurine could lose digestibility through storage and freezing. To prevent a deficiency, one should supplement with 1,000 mg taurine per kg food, sometimes even 2,000 mg will be recommended. With these quantities, an overdose is impossible.


The fat content of the food should be neither too high nor too low and on average be ca. 10%. In the body is fat to a large extent under the skun stored, but also in fat deposits, which are distributed through the whole body as well as found in the meat. Lamb or beef is often streaked with fat, while with poultry the fat mainly lies under the skin, but little is found in the meat.

The best and most natural is the use of raw fat, which in the animal and/or the meat (variety/type) is contained/included. Depending on the variety, and depending on which parts are used, must however fat be supplemented. This can be achieved directly by the addition of various fats and oil. Animals fats are to be preferred to plant fats. If plant oils are given, they should be cold pressed and be of high quality. All oils are bought only in small amounts/quantities, stored in the cool and dark and soon used up, since unsaturated fatty acids oxidise quickly. More favourable is it always, the balance thereby to achieve, that one meals of fat and lean animals / meat varieties alternate. An overview:

Animal / Meat type lean 2 - 6 %middle 7 - 14 %fat from 15 %Supplement
Mouse X no
Rat X no
Day-old chicks X no¹
Quail X no¹
Pigeon X X no
Fish X X no
Chicken, with skin X no
Chicken, without skin X yes
Duck X no²
Goose X no²
Turkey X yes
Rabbit X yes
Hare X yes
Beef X X X yes³
Horse X yes
Lamb X X no
Pork X X no
Emu X yes
Ostrich X yes
1: with middle to fat types vary
2: with lean types vary
3: depending on type lean to fat; beef fat contains a high proportion of saturated fatty acids

Animal fats:
Lard such as goose, duck, horse or pork, butter, 1 - 2 tablespoons per kg, often one can also get raw fresh goose, lamb, beef or horse fat.
Fish types such as salmon, mackerel, herring or sardines contain high amounts of unsaturated fatty acids, especially the essential Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA; with regular doses of these fat-rich fish one can correct the somewhat unfavourable Omega-balance of many types of meat from conventional breeding. They are also a good source of Vitamin D. We feed raw, fatty fish once a week.
Salmon oil:
If the cat does not eat fish, one can fall back on salmon oil capsules as a substitue, but one should ensure that the oil smells fresh and only slightly fishy, since fish oil quickly goes rancid. Fish oil or salmon oil, preferably with Vitamin E, 1-2 capsules / 500-1000 mg per kg of food and/or per week.
Plant oils:
As occasional additions are suitable: cold-pressed wheat germ oil, corn/maize germ oil, evening primrose oil and and borage oil, 1-2 tablespoons per kg of food. Some oils, especially wheat germ oil, contain natural Vitamin E, which must be taken into account when giving vitamins.
DHN Vita-Derm oil, composition: fish oil, borage oil, natural Vitamin E, 1-2 teaspoons per kg of food.
Velcote, contains Vitamins A, D and E, 1 teaspoon per kg of food.
Lupoderm, contains Vitamins A, D and E, 1 teaspoon per kg of food.

Plant Proportion / Fibre

The plant proportion ideally consists of 3 to 5% of the food, and should never exceed 10%. Vegetables should be finely shredded with the food processor or a grater, and mixed with the food. One can freeze the vegetables together with the meat, if one really has little time. However, it is better to freeze small portions separately from the meat, e.g. in ice-cube containers or mix fresh into the food before serving. Salad, sprouts or grass should, in principle, only be given fresh. Seeds and nuts contain more protein and fat, and can therefore account for the oil proportion for the meals that include seeds instead of vegetables. Seeds should not be contained in each meal, but rather more frequently than alternately. They are only used in small amounts and should be freshly ground each time before feeding. So long as commercial food is being given alongside the raw food, the plant proportion can be omitted.

Raw or lightly steamed: carrots, tomatoes, paprika/peppers, cucumbers, squash, zucchini, broccoli. Only raw: various leaf salads, sprouts, grass from the garden.
Seeds and Nuts
Wheat germ, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, nuts, from time to time in small amounts.
Wheat bran
Pure fibre, should be soaked in water.


We cannot offer the cat food as fresh as how she finds it in Nature, if she catches a prey animal and immediately consumes it. It is therefore safer to use vitamin supplements to prevent a deficiency. It is important to ensure that the water soluble vitamins, above all the B-complex vitamins, are strongly represented, and not too many fat-soluble vitamins (A, D) are included, since it is here that an overdose can come. In particular, a too-high Vitamin A content in the nutrition is critical. Thereupon is a special attention to be paid if a multi-vitamin preparation and liver are fed, which contains lots of Vitamin A. Vitamin E should be supplemented, especially in the use of unsaturated fatty acids. Vitamin C can be synthesized by cats themselves and therefore needs not to be added to the food. As with everything, variation is also important here; several preparations should always be used in rotation. Additionally, it should be noted that many mineral and vitamin supplements already contain sufficient amounts of calcium and sometimes phosphorus in order to supplement meat. These preparations are for feeding with bone and, depending on how high the proportion of bone is in the diet, are not or are only partly suitable for supplementation.

Vitamin Supplements (partly with Mineral and Trace elements)
Depending upon the feeding method, various products such as Centrum or preparations with a similar composition are suitable:
Kitty Bloom VM900+3 Nekton Catfortan
Marienfelde Vitakalk Trixi Aufbaukalk Murnil
Yeast flakes Vitamin-B-Complex Vitamin E


If one uses small whole animals with bones, or a sufficient part of the nutrition consists of meaty bones, further calcium additives are unnecessary. To be taken into account is that bones contain much calcium, but also much phosphorus, therefore a too-high bone proportion should be avoided. Small prey animals such as mice contain 5% bone, whilst for example rabbits can contain 8 to 10%, and chickens, depending on type and meat content, 12% or more. When feeding, the bone amount of the cat's natural prey animal should be kept constantly in mind, so that a percentage of pure bone from 5 to 10% is appropriate. Particularly with gutted chickens, the bone content of ca. 20% is too high and must be supplemented with additional meat. If meat without bones is fed, a calcium preparation must in any case be added, besides the trace elements and salt.

Calcium Additives:
In order to compensate/adjust for the phosphorus content in meat, one gives a calcium preparation, if one feeds no bones in addition. Here also variation is an imperative requirement, as there are indications that calcium carbonate can have an alkalising effect on the pH value of the urine. Kalac, Calcium carbonate, Calcium citrate and egg shells contain no phosphorus, whilst bone meal contains Calcium and also Phosphorus. Crucial for the dosing is the elementary Calcium as well as the weight of the product, therefore always first weigh.
With this calculator one can compute how much of the respective calcium preparations are needed: www.pristine-paws.de/ke_calc.htm
The following data only shows average values:
  • Calcium carbonate: 5 grams (ca. 3 teaspoons) per kg meat
  • Calcium citrate: 9 grams (ca. 4 teaspoons) per kg meat
  • Crushed Eggshells: 5 grams (ca. 1 teaspoon) per kg meat, dried and ground in a coffee grinder
  • Kitty Bloom Kalac M34: 5 grams (ca. 1 teapoon) per kg meat
  • Bone meal: no indication is possible here, since various preparations differ in their calcium and phosphorus content, therefore always read the label! Consider the sodium content and, as with bone feeding, give correspondingly less salt.
Pure meat contains too little sodium and should therefore be supplemented with salt. As a rule of thumb: 5 grams / 1 teaspoon to 1 kg pure meat, or 2.5 grams / 1/2 teasoon to meat with bones. If whole animals including bones and blood are fed, no additional salt is supplemented. When adding salt one must pay attention to whether sodium is already contained in the various supplement products. The most suitable is unrefined natural salt such as crystal salt or sea salt. In unrefined natural salt all existing minerals are still preserved in their natural state, whereas they are filtered out through refining.
Seaweed meal:
With a balanced and varied food composition including good Multivitamin and Mineral preparations, one normally requires no additional supplements except for/besides the above-mentioned. Otherwise one can also sometimes use seaweed meal, which is rich in vitamins and trace elements.


If the diet has a natural moisture content of ca. 70%, how the cat finds in his prey animal, she needs little additional water. Nevertheless, a full waterbowl should naturally always be available, preferably not directly beside the food but rather at some distance, e.g. in another corner or another room. Tap water is not recommended if it contains chlorine or is very hard. Still bottled water or distilled water which, like rainwater, contains no minerals, is often more suitable.

VII Preparation and Feeding Tips

Basic Considerations

There are different possibilities for raw feeding. All have one thing in common: a high proportion of high-quality raw animal ingredients. One can prepare food from whole chickens, ducks, turkeys, pheasants, rabbits etc. One can feed whole day-old chicks, quail, mice or rats, parts with bone such as duck or chicken necks and wings, or rabbit parts; all are excellent for dental health. Raw whole fish can also be given from time to time, but not more often than 4 to 5 times in a month.

Food animals such as mice, rats and day-old chicks can be obtained frozen in pet shops or the Internet; they are usually bought by reptile keepers. Day-old chicks, fresh or frozen, can be obtained from poultry breeders. It concerns the male chick that the breeder of laying hens finds no use for and therefore must be killed. They are usually sold cheaply to zoos, falconers or cat food manufacturers.

It is also possible to feed raw meat with appropriate supplementary products or a combination of meaty bones and chunks of meat. Here the above-mentioned species may be used, but also meat varieties of which one cannot feed the whole animal because they are too big, such as beef, lamb, horse, deer, emu, ostrich or, conditionally, pig.

It is important to balanced the self-made rations as well as feeding as much variety as possible, in order to avoid an under- or over-supply of individual nutrients. Not every meal must be completely balanced, though the supply should be given with all the nutrients over a timeframe of a few days.

Firstly, it should be considered which type of raw feeding is feasible/achievable for oneself. Not everyone wants to feed whole, un-gutted animals, and often it is not easy to obtain these. Furthermore, one needs a good meat grinder if one would like to use larger animals with bones such as chickens or rabbits. If one begins at first only with meat, one should nevertheless plan to sooner or later also give raw bones from time to time, since these, in contrast to calcium preparations, are not processed and also contain other important minerals and trace elements besides calcium. The attached sinews and cartilege are likewise difficult to substitute.

Now we are already at the next step of the considerations: what is missing from the whole animal with the type of feeding on which one has decided and/or that is applicable to the moment in question? It is helpful with these trains of thought to bear in mind that the cat in its natural habitat eats whole prey, with few exceptions. The less one uses from the whole animal, the more one must supplement, and the more carefully must one pay attention to the balance. The following table gives an overview:

Type of Feeding What is missing? How to replace?
Whole un-gutted animals, with head, feet, skin, blood, the intestine is usually removed (not with small animals that are eaten whole) Feathers / Fur Fibre-rich vegetables or bran
Intestines with contents Vegetables, sprouts, seeds
Possibly skin, e.g. in rabbits Fat and oil, vitamin supplements containing Vitamin D
Possibly losses due to storage / freezing Vitamin supplements, taurine
Whole gutted animals in addition to the above:
Head, feet, innards, glands, stomach with contents
in addition to the above:
Innards, egg yolk, trace elements, taurine, possibly seaweed meal
Blood Natural salt
Parts with skin and bones i.e. necks, wings, drumsticks in addition to the above:
Calcium-Phosphorus ratio is not balanced
in addition to the above:
je nach dem zusätzliches Fleisch
Meat without skin and bones in addition to the above:
Bones, bone marrow, tendons, cartilege
in addition to the above:
Calcium, more salt
Skin Fat and oil, vitamin supplements containing Vitamin D

If one is not in a position to regularly prepare meals for the cat onself, it is recommended to give a variety of high-quality tinned foods and, from time to time, to feed raw pieces of meat, which also serves to maintain dental health. As long as the meat portion of the total food ration does not exceed 20-25%, with somewhat less for growing and lactating cats, it is generally not necessary to give supplements.

In our view, a higher raw food proportion is preferable or, even better, feeding wholly without commercial food. The conversion must take place slowly and the cat be already accustomed to several kinds of meat and the various additives, before one can entirely dispense with commercial products, since the cat derives vitamins and minerals from it as long as it does not yet eat the various supplement preparations in the raw food. Full details on this are described in chapter IX Food Conversion.


Jupiter Fleischwolf 863.500
  • Sharp knife
  • Meat axe / cleaver (these are cheap at jumble sales, flea markets or on eBay), sharpen regularly
  • Possibly poultry shears
  • Thick board of hard natural wood, the best is beech (not oak, as it contains tannin)
  • Several dishes, freezer bags or boxes, possibly rubber gloves
  • Kitchen scales with grams
  • Food processor / shredder or fine grater, to grate or purée vegetables
  • Coffee grinder and/or nut mill for seeds, nuts or eggshells
  • Meat grinder: Small amounts can be turned through a hand-powered meat grinder. For larger quantities one needs an electrical model with motor circuit breaker and steel insides. not plastic! Apart from large industrial mincers, the following household mincers have proved themselves to be suitable (prices from €100 to €200. Best to take the large-holed disc.
    Kenwood MG 450 or PG 520, Braun Power Plus 1300, Moulinex Charlotte HV6

Note on Grinders: I did this the hard way. First I tried an old Spong hand mincer, but not for long. Secondly I tried to use the mincer attachment on my (expensive) Bosch Mum 86 Küchenmachine, and nearly burnt the motor out on chicken necks. After that I did some research, and found that the Jupiter Fleischwolf 863.500, manufactured between 1960 - 2006, is known as "The Best" for this particular job. I picked mine up on eBay for €150. It's a real star, munches through the thickest turkey legs. I wouldn't be without it. My local butcher sends the discs to get sharpened by his pet Sharpening Man.


The preparation should if possible be done in an area that one afterwards can clean well, e.g. the kitchen, otherwise if necessary cover the walls with newspaper. This is mainly recommended for the chopping apart of fleshy bone parts, all other work such as mincing or cutting of meat proceeds quite cleanly. Thoroughly wash down the animals/meat to be processed under flowing water; after the work is done, clean all equipment carefully.

If the food is to be frozen it is better to freeze the vegetables separately; add the frozen and/or fresh vegetables shortly before serving. The same goes for all other ingredients such as fats/oils, taurine, vitamins, which should not be frozen with the meat.

All ingredients should be as fresh as possible. Fresh food can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, in the freezer no longer than 2 to 3 months, the shorter the better.

Only with water does the volume correspond to the weight (100 ml weighs 100 grams); with all other items there are considerable differences. Therefore always weigh ingredients, especially supplements.

Tip: If one does not have scales which exactly weighs grams or milligrams, then take 100 grams and count the teaspoons or tablespoons. 100 grams divided between ? teaspoons = ? grams per teaspoon. Now one has a measure that can be used in future, provided the same spoon is always used.

Furthermore, attention must be paid to whether different items/elements such as e.g. fats, trace minerals or vitamins are already supplied with different/various components and additives in the food, so that a risk of over-dosing could result. Examples of this are fatty acids, which can be already sufficiently present in the animal parts, in addition in the oils as well as also seeds, minerals in bones and additionally in supplements, vitamins in liver and additionally in oils or vitamin preparations, etc.

Feeding Tips

It is most important to vary all components of the diet in order to avoid deficiencies or overdoses of individual substances. For this reason, one should not just always follow a recipe. All ingredients should be as varied as possible, ranging from the animal species (hens, turkeys, rabbits, mice, etc.) over the age / gender (chickens, laying hens, day-old chicks etc.), the body parts (breast, drumstick, abdomen, heart, stomach, neck etc.), the fats, the vegetable portion up to the supplements.
Adult cats get 3 to 4 meals, young animals are fed 5 to 6 times per day. For small cats it is better to eat several meals than only 1 or 2 per day as is often recommended, and is more common for large cats or dogs.
Feeding Quantity:
This strongly depends on age, activity and body type of the cat as well as the energy density of the food. The approximate raw food quantity amounts to 30 to 50 grams per day and kg of body weight. Young animals and active stud cats as well as pregnant and lactating cats need more food than neuters.
Defrost frozen food slowly in the refrigerator. Has one once forgotten, one can as an exception thaw it out at room temperature, carefully in a warm water bath or baking oven on the lowest setting. It is difficult to defrost food in the microwave without it getting too hot in places and inadvertently destroying nutrients. The effects of microwaves are still very controversial.
The food can be served quite chilly, then it keeps somewhat longer. Should the cat not tolerate this, one can warm it up carefully in a waterbath; the cats prefer food at body temperature. Food scraps are removed at the latest after one hour, since the raw food can spoil quickly.
Rearing Young Animals:
Kittens normally need no special food and, from the 4th week, can receive the same raw food as the adults - after all, in the wilderness there are no special mice for cat babies. Nevertheless, one should note that adolescent cats have a higher requirement for calcium and phosphorus as opposed to adult animals; this is potentially not covered when feeding pure meat with a calcium supplement which contains no phosphorus. Young cats should therefore also get minced bones, bone meal or dicalcium phosphate, which contain phosphorus as well as calcium. Minced food and minced day-old chicks with their soft bones are highly suitable, perhaps initially somewhat chopped up. Unlike other foodstuffs, this food will be spontaneously accepted. The little ones stay spared of the well-known problems such as diarrhoea that so commonly occur with the transition from mother's milk to commercial or baby food. If the kittens eat well, one can allow the meat pieces to become gradually larger so that they become accustomed to chewing. From the 12th week smaller parts of chickens or rabbits with bones can be given.
Probiotic Products and Enzymes:
For healthy cats these are usually not necessary, however they can help with food conversion / change of diet or digestion problems.

Feeding Errors and Inappropriate Foodstuffs

Raw food diet with a high grain portion or suitable for dogs:
Cats are not small dogs, and their special dietary requirements should be respected. Cats have a substantially higher protein requirement than dogs, so that the plant proportion in some cat food recipes for 20 to 40% is too high, for this 3 to 5% is appropriate. In contrast to dogs, cats can only obtain some vitamins and essential amino and fatty acids from animal sources. Cats react sensitively to grains and herbs in the diet. Whilst dogs eagerly take and tolerate old meat, the food for cats must always be absolutely fresh.
One can allow dogs to fast, but this is completely inappropriate for cats, since their metabolism is adjusted to take small meals regularly throughout the day. Fasting can cause problems of the metabolism and the organs, especially for old and overweight cats, for example fatty liver disease (Hepatic Lipidosis).
Mixing raw food and commercial food in one meal:
One should not give raw food and commercial food together at one meal; an exception is the limited time-span of the Food Conversion. The cat may have difficulty in adequately absorbing the food components, since commercial food and/or cooked food takes longer to be digested. That means that the raw food lingers longer in the stomach and intestines than is usually the case. In the worst case it could lead to an increase in undesirable germs, although we have not yet heard of a case. If one regularly feeds raw and commercial food side by side, it is ideal to allow a few hours to elapse between the individual different meals.
Mixing different meat varieties in one meal:
This cannot be directly called a feeding error, we recommend it but it is not necessary. Some cats do not tolerate mixtures so well, then it is better to feed the meat types separately. Otherwise, one can mix meat of different sorts, so long as the cat tolerates it, but it should also be considered that cats like variety and enjoy it if each meal does not taste the same. Hence, one should generally avoid always processing the same types of food mixture, since many cats are fussy if each day they receive the same thing.

If one cannot obtain innards/offal of the same species of meat, it is better to take these from another species than wholly omit them, as long as the cat will tolerate it.

It can also be helpful when Converting to Raw Food to mix an unknown type of meat that the cat may not yet like with their favourite meat, in order to accustom them to it.

Pure Meat without bones and Supplements:
Too unbalanced, the calcium-phosphorus ratio is not correct (also see Table above).
Bone proportion too high:
A pure bone content of 5 to 10% is sufficient. With too much bone will too much calcium and phosphorus be taken up; also, too much collagen, which is found in bones and is indigestible for cats, could affect the digestive system negatively. The consequence may be that the cat suffers from constipation and the balance of other minerals, trace elements and vitamins is no longer in tune, or the cat gets too little protein through the decreased meat portion. Poultry such as chicken reaches a bone ratio of 12% or more depending on how fleshy it is; with exceptional chickens the ratio can even lie at 20%, so additional pure meat should be given, as already mentioned elsewhere.
Raw pork from countries not free from Aujeszky Virus:
The pathogen is lethal to cats.
Too much raw fish:
Raw fish can contain thiaminase, which destroys Vitamin B1 that is taken up in the same meal, therefore give no more than a maximum of 1 to 2 fish meals per week. Too much oily fish such as tuna or salmon causes steatitis, a disease which results in a dangerous inflammation of the body fat through a Vitamin-E deficiency.
Too much liver:
Danger of over-dosing from Vitamin A, not more than 3 to 5% liver should be fed.
Cod liver oil:
At most in tiny quantities, rather not to be recommended because of the risk of overdose of Vitamins A and D.
Too much egg yolk:
Diarrhoea and risk of overdose of Vitamin A.
Too much egg white:
The raw egg white in eggs contains an enzyme (avidin), which in the intestine limits the absorption of biotin, therefore it should not be given too often.
Many adults cats get diarrhoea because they lack lactase, an enzyme which breaks down the lactose in milk.
Bulb plants such as onions, leeks, garlic:
Toxic to cats, can cause anemia.
Raw potatoes, raw beans, grapes, raisins, avocados (certain types):
Spinach , Swiss chard, red beets, sweet potatoes, parsley:
Contain more oxalic acid than other vegetables. Oxalic acid binds calcium and can promote the formation of oxalic acid calculus. Caution is required especially with spinach.
Green parts of solanaceous plants such as tomatoes and peppers:
Contain toxic solanine, which is not contained in the ripe, mature, fully-coloured fruits, these can therefore be fed after removing the green leaves {chlorophyll?}.
Herb and plant supplements such as yucca, aloe vera, ginseng:
In our opinion, these medicinal plants should not be given without reason, because we regard them not as food but rather as medicines. Many herbs also contain essential oils, which are toxic for cats.

VIII Recipes

These recipes are intended as an introduction to Raw Feeding. We make them available here as exemples, in order to give you an idea how healthy cat nutrition can look. In order to avoid bias, a recipe should not be fed constantly, nor should the recipes be used again and again unchanged. All ingredients should be changed frequently, to bring variation into the cat's diet. Each cat tolerates or likes individual specific foodstuffs better or worse. Therefore it is important to observe your pets carefully, to have the possibility, the suggested recipes to be able to customize to the individual needs of your cat. The recommendations on this page are meant for healthy cats; sick cats can have other nutritional requirements.

Generally, one should not blindly follow a recipe without understanding why one is feeding what, but rather to inform oneself further, and tune the diet to the circumstances of the cat. In time, one will develop one's own food plan, with which one offers everything to the cat in varied meals, what it needs.

Before using these recipes, it is imperative that you read chapters V Nutrients, VI Raw Feeding and VII Preparation and Feeding Tips, which contain important information and guidance notes.

Basic Recipe

— Simple recipe for the start-up —

Meat 1,000 grams Muscle meat (alternate meats with different fat contents)
Oily Fish once per week
or 1 - 2 capsules of Salmon oil (500 - 1,000 mg)
Fibre / Roughage
50 grams vegetables
or 1 - 2 teaspoons wheat bran (optional, if commercial food is given on the same day)

Minerals /

Trace Elements /


Calcium supplement:
1 teaspoon (5 grams) Kitty Bloom Kalac M34
or 1 teaspoon (5 grams) Eggshell powder
or 3 teaspoons (5 grams) Calcium carbonate
or 4 teaspoons (9 grams) Calcium citrate
1 teaspoon (5 grams) unrefined natural Salt
2 teaspoons (5 grams) Kitty Bloom VM900+3
or 1 Capalette Centrum A-Z
1,000 milligrams of Taurine per kilo of food
or 150 – 200 milligrams per day per cat
Water 100 ml


Mix the water with the salt, calcium, vitamins and, if applicable, salmon oil.

Mix in the chunked / minced meat, the finely-chopped vegetables and/or the pre-soaked wheat bran; refrigerate for early consumption.

If the portions are to be frozen, mix the meat only with the salt and calcium, and freeze in portions; freeze the vegetables separately, and only add the remaining supplements shortly before serving.

Good Appetite!



Basic Recipe "Plus"

— the Basic Recipe slightly expanded —

900 grams Muscle meat
100 grams Offal (the portion of Heart may be somewhat higher; Liver not more than 3-5% of the total food portion; from time to time Stomachs, Kidneys, Lung, etc.)
Fat / Oil, depending on the fat content of the meat
or oily Fish once per week
or 1 - 2 capsules of Salmon oil (500 - 1,000 mg)
Fibre / Roughage
50 grams vegetables
or 30 grams Sprouts
or 30 grams Seeds
or 1 - 2 teaspoons wheat bran

Minerals /

Trace Elements /


Calcium supplement:
1 teaspoon (5 grams) Kitty Bloom Kalac M34
or 1 teaspoon (5 grams) Eggshell powder
or 3 teaspoons (5 grams) Calcium carbonate
or 4 teaspoons (9 grams) Calcium citrate
1 teaspoon (5 grams) unrefined natural Salt
Multi-Vitamin / Trace Element supplement (with high Vitamin-A content only half the dosage)
more frequently, use only Vitamin-B-Complex or Nutritional Yeast
from time to time Sea Algae powder
200 IU Vitamin E per kilogram of food
or 30 IU per day per cat
or 200 IU per week per cat
provided it is not already contained in the Vitamin-supplement or Salmon oil.
1,000 milligrams of Taurine per kilo of food
or 150 – 200 milligrams per day per cat
Water 100 ml


Mix the water with the supplements.

Mix in the chunked / minced meat, the finely-chopped vegetables and/or the pre-soaked wheat bran; refrigerate for early consumption.

If the portions are to be frozen, mix the meat only with the salt and calcium, and freeze in portions; freeze the vegetables separately, and only add the remaining supplements shortly before serving.

Enjoy your meal!



Recipe with Bones

— when bones are used, no additional Calcium supplement is needed;
and also reduce the Salt content —

650 grams Meat, if necessary with a portion of Offal
350 grams Chicken Giblets and/or Necks, Wings
Fat / Oil, depending on the fat content of the meat
or oily Fish once per week
or 1 - 2 capsules of Salmon oil (500 - 1,000 mg)
Fibre / Roughage
50 grams vegetables
or 30 grams Sprouts
or 30 grams Seeds
or 1 - 2 teaspoons wheat bran

Minerals /

Trace Elements /


1/2 teaspoon (2.5 grams) unrefined natural Salt
Multi-Vitamin supplement (if it contains Trace Elements, only give half the dose);
more frequently, use only Vitamin-B-Complex or Nutritional Yeast
from time to time Sea Algae powder
200 IU Vitamin E per kilogram of food
or 30 IU per day per cat
or 200 IU per week per cat
provided it is not already contained in the Vitamin supplement or Salmon oil.
1,000 milligrams of Taurine per kilo of food
or 150 – 200 milligrams per day per cat
Water 100 ml


Put the bones and meat through the mincer.

Add the finely-chopped vegetables

Mix the supplements with the water and add to the mixture.

Keep refrigerated.

If the food is to be frozen, it is better to add the vegetables and supplements shortly before feeding.

Good Appetite!

Note: Meat and pieces of meat with bones can often be fed in larger pieces.



Recipe with whole Chicken or Rabbit (gutted)

♦ This recipe can also be used for non-gutted animals including blood: use 750 grams Chicken / Rabbit and 250 grams additional Meat, Salt reduced accordingly, Vegetables are optional ♦

Meat / Minerals
500 grams Chicken/Rabbit, gutted, with Heart and Liver, without head, feet, blood - how one usually buys it in the shop
500 grams additional Meat, depending upon the meat content of the above animal, with a small portion/percentage of Offal
Oily Fish once per week
or 1 - 2 capsules of Salmon oil (500 - 1,000 mg)
Fibre / Roughage
50 grams vegetables
or 30 grams Sprouts
or 30 grams Seeds
or 1 - 2 teaspoons wheat bran

Minerals /

Trace Elements /


1/2 teaspoon (2.5 grams) unrefined natural Salt
Given in turns:
or Yeast flakes
or Multi-Vitamin preparation
From time to time:
Trace Element preparation
or Sea Algae powder
200 IU Vitamin E per kilogram of food
or 30 IU per day per cat
or 200 IU per week per cat
provided it is not already contained in the Vitamin supplement or Salmon oil.
1,000 milligrams of Taurine per kilo of food
or 150 – 200 milligrams per day per cat
Water 100 ml


Wash the chicken/rabbit and chop into 2-3 cm sized pieces and put it through the meat grinder.

Either mince the additional meat or chop roughly into pieces for chewing.

Mix in the salt.

Pack into portions and freeze.

Finely-chop the vegetables and mix together; freeze in daily portions, for example in an ice-cube tray.

To Feed:

Defrost the chicken/rabbit mixture and the vegetables, mix the supplements with some warm water, add all together and serve.

Bon Appetit!

IX Food Conversion


X Links

General Information on Nutrition

The Carnivore Connection to Nutrition in Cats
Much acclaimed JAVMA article on cat nutrition by Debra L. Zoran, DVM, PhD
Nutrient Requirements of Cats and Dogs
An online book on the Nutritional Requirements of Cats and Dogs; 2006
Max House Feline Nutrition
Information on the Food Requirements of the Cat
Cats are Different
The most important differences between cats and dogs concerning the requirements for food
What’s Really in Pet Food
Articles about ingredients and manufacturing methods of commercial food products.
Cat Food Uncovered
Again, tasty details.
Food not Fit for a Pet
Report by veterinary meat inspector to the US Dept. of Agriculture. Read this only if you do not feed your pet commercial foods.
Pottenger’s Cats – A Study in Nutrition
The famous study of several generations of cat: a comparison of healthy cats on raw foods and those on heated diets. Behavioral characteristics, arthritis, sterility, skeletal deformities and allergies are some of the problems that are associated with the consumption of cooked foods. You can buy it here.

Information on Raw Feeding

Raw food diet and alternative therapies; holistic treatments, homeopathy
Why a Raw Diet? Good article, easy to read and understand.
Basics and Rawfeeding Options: Recipes, Prepartion, Tips and more.
Abyssinian Homepage - Nutrition
Lots of information on Cat Nutrition; Tables, Data and Facts
TCfeline Raw Cat Food Premix
Good website: premix, recipes and more.
Website on raw feeding, many links and information mostly for dogs
The German BARF website for dogs; very good information about the advantages of raw feeding (German).
For those who are interested in the acronym:
Biologisch Artgerechtes Rohes Futter ⇔ Biologically Appropriate Raw Food
Shirley's Wellness Cafe
A lot of good information, Studies, Links - well worth reading
Feeding Cats for Health
The BARF Diet
Website of Dr. Ian Billinghurst
Elimination of Common Diseases In Dogs and Cats Through Diet Alone
Summary of a study on the elimination of disease symptoms only through raw food, Dr. William Pollak

Tables, Data und Calculators

Nutrient Requirements of Cats
Tables on the minimum requirements of Vitamins and Minerals
USDA Nutrient Database
Here you can enter individual foods and receive an analysis of the ingredients
This calculator computes the calcium and other requirements for various meats; you get the measurement quantity for each calcium supplement (German)
Nutrient Composition of Whole Vertebrate Prey
Article from The National Agricultural Libary, a most excellent resource.
Also see their Companion Animals section.

XI References

  • Aikkarach K, Pongtorn S, Prapaisri P. Sirichakwal, Visith C, Sommart P. Chicken Bone Calcium Extraction and its Application as a Food Fortificant. Mahidol University Annual Research Abstracts 637, 2000
  • Buffington CA., Rogers QR., Morris JG. Effect of Diet on Struvite Activity Product in Feline Urine. Am. J. Vet. Res. 1990, 51
  • Clum JC, Fitzpatrick MP, Dierenfeld ES. Effects of Diet on Nutritional Content of Whole Vertebrate Prey. Zoo Biology 1996, 15:525 537
  • DiBartola SP, Buffington CA, Chew DJ, McLoughlin MA, Sparks RA. Development of Chronic Renal Disease in Cats Fed a Commercial Diet. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1993 Mar 1;202(5):744-51
  • Dierenfeld ES, Alcorn HL, Jakobsen KL. Nutrient Composition of Whole Vertebrate Prey (Excluding Fish) Fed in Zoos. 2002
  • Dieter JA, Stewart DR, Haggarty MA, Stabenfeldt GH, Lasley BL. Pregnancy Failure in Cats Associated with Long-term Dietary Taurine Insufficiency. J Reprod Fertil Suppl. 1993;47:457-63
  • Dobenecker B, Zottmann B, Kienzle E, Zentek J. Investigations on Milk Composition and Milk Yield in Queens. The Journal of Nutrition Vol. 128 No. 12 December 1998, pp. 2618S-2619S
  • Freytag TL, Liu SM, Rogers QR, Morris JG. Teratogenic Effects of Chronic Ingestion of High Levels of Vitamin A in Cats. J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr (Berl). 2003 Feb;87(1-2):42-51
  • Funaba M, Matsumoto C, Matsuki K, Gotoh K, Kaneko M, Iriki T, Hatano Y, Abe M. Comparison of Corn Gluten Meal and Meat Meal as a Protein Source in Dry Foods Formulated for Cats. Am J Vet Res. 2002 Sep;63(9):1247-51
  • Funaba M, Uchiyama A, Takahashi K, Kaneko M, Yamamoto H, Namikawa K, Iriki T, Hatano Y, Abe M. Evaluation of Effects of Dietary Carbohydrate on Formation of Struvite Crystals in Urine and Macromineral Balance in Clinically Normal Cats. Am J Vet Res. 2004 Feb;65(2):138-42
  • Gayle J, Allen ME. Alternative to Commercially Processed Diets for Felids. National Zoological Park Washington, Crissey SD. Chicago Zoological Society
  • Hashimoto M, Funaba M, Abe M, Ohshima S. Effect of Chronic High Protein Intake on Magnesium, Calcium and Phosphorus balance in Growing Cats. Exp Anim. 1996 Jan;45(1):63-70
  • Hickman MA, Rogers QR, Morris JG. Effect of Processing on Fate of Dietary [14C] Taurine in Cats. J Nutr. 1990 Sep;120(9):995-1000
  • Hickman MA, Rogers QR, Morris JG. Taurine Balance is Different in Cats Fed Purified and Commercial diets. J Nutr. 1992 Mar;122(3):553-9
  • Kienzle E, Factorial Calculation of Nutrient Requirements in Lactating Queens. The Journal of Nutrition Vol. 128 No. 12 December 1998, pp. 2609S-2614S
  • Ekcharoensuk C, Osborne CA, Lulich JP, Pusoonthornthum R, Kirk CA, Ulrich LK, Koehler LA, Carpenter KA, Swanson LL. Association between dietary factors and calcium oxalate and magnesium ammonium phosphate urolithiasis in cats. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2001 Nov 1;219(9):1228-37
  • Markwell PC., Buffington CA., Chew DJ., Kendall MS., Harte JG, DiBartola SP. Clinical Evaluation of Commercial Acidified Diets in the Management of Idiopathic Cystitis in Cats. J. Vet. Intern. Med. 1998, 12:222
  • Markwell PJ., Buffington CT., Smith BHE. The Effect of Diet on Lower Urinary Tract Diseases in Cats. The Journal of Nutrition Vol. 128 No. 12 December 1998, pp. 2753S-2757S
  • Mellen, JD, Husbandry Standards for Keeping Small Cats in Captivity. Disney's Animal Kingdom, Lake Buena Vista, FL
  • Seefeldt SL, Chapman TE. Body Water Content and Turnover in Cats Fed Dry and Canned Rations. Am J Vet Res. 1979 Feb;40(2):183-5
  • National Research Council, Nutrient Requirements of Cats. National Academy Press, 1986
  • Pessinger C, Untersuchungen zum Phosphor-Bedarf adulter Katzen. Universität München, Diss. 1996
  • Rule DC, Broughton KS, Shellito SM, Maiorano, G. Comparison of Muscle Fatty Acid Profiles and Cholesterol Concentrations of Bison, Beef Cattle, Elk and Chicken. Department of Animal Science, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Universiti degli Studi del Molise, Campobasso, Italy
  • Stratton-Phelps M, Backus RC, Rogers QR, Fascetti AJ. Dietary Rice Bran Decreases Plasma and Whole-Blood Taurine in Cats. J. Nutr. 132:1745S-1747S, June 2002
  • Zoran DL. The Carnivore Connection to Nutrition in Cats. JAVMA 2002, Volume 221, No. 11