What is a raw diet for cats?

A raw diet for cats entails feeding fresh and uncooked animal product. Cats are obligate carnivores, evolving from preying on smaller animals, rodents and birds. A complete raw diet for cats should include muscle meat, organ, bones and a small amount of plant matter. This model of raw feeding typically goes by the acronym of BARF, referring to “Biologically Appropriate Raw Feeding,” which in other words means, feeding your cat the way nature intended.

Benefits of the raw diet for cats

There are so many benefits to a complete raw diet, some of the health benefits associated with an evolutionary diet are:

Superior joint and bone health
Strengthened immune system
Improved skin and softer, shinier coat
Healthier teeth gums and fresher breath

Reduced stool volume and odour

Enhanced reproductive health

Reduced body odour

Increased resilience to parasites via enhanced immune function

Species appropriate feeding made convenient

Based on the evolutionary diet of wild cats, our raw food for cats is developed for the specific needs of felines. Big Dog for cats is nutritionally balanced with mixed proteins to provide a varied diet, and will leave them purring with delight.

When it comes to an evolutionary raw food diet, it’s about quality over quantity. We don’t just want your cat to meet the bare minimum for survival, we want them to thrive! At Big Dog we believe that nature gets it right which is why we don’t add anything synthetic to our diets. Natural ingredients when eaten as part of a varied diet provide both complete and balanced nutrition throughout a cat’s life.

Big Dog Cat Food is also high in amino acids that are essential for cats, meaning they need these solely from their diet. Arginine and taurine are the key essential amino acids to ensure are in cat food in appropriate amounts, because cats don’t produce these amino acids naturally.

According to the National Research Council, the daily dietary taurine requirements for cats for growth and health maintenance is 320mg/kg of food per day and we easily meet these needs.

Big Dog Raw Diets for Cats are formulated with the following levels of Taurine per kg of food and easily meet these requirements.

Chicken - 700 mg/kg
Kanga - 720 mg/kg
Turkey - 825 mg/kg

Are bacteria problematic?

The number one query when it comes to raw food is, “isn’t there higher levels of bacteria present?” and the answer is yes, absolutely. Unless raw food has been sterilised, which often reduces the nutrient levels as much as the bacterial load, there will most certainly be higher bacterial counts when compared to cooked foods.

Are these bacteria bad? For our cats, no they aren’t. They have shorter digestive systems than we do which are designed for foods to enter and exit quickly, not ferment like in a human digestive system. This reduces the time bacteria can sit in the system, replicate and thrive. Furthermore, cats have highly acidic digestive systems which neutralise bacteria and dissolve bone, therefore more than capable of handling raw food.

Does the handling of raw pet food increase the risk to our families? No more so than prepping raw food in our own homes before cooking. It is fundamental that when handling any raw food that safe food handling practices are followed, including washing hands, kitchen tools and work-spaces following preparing raw food to ensure the risk of cross-contamination is eliminated.

In conclusion

We believe that nature always gets it right, and for thousands of years nature has shown us through the evolution of our cats that a raw food diet principally based on meat is what is required for our cats to ensure a long and healthy life.

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