Is BARF Good For Cats? Pros And Cons Of Raw Cat Food Diets

Wondering whether fresh raw meat is good for cats? 

There have been many debates among cat parents on whether BARF diets are suitable for their feline friends. 

Even when the benefits of feeding raw outweigh its risks, many are still worried about starting this diet.

So, we discuss the pros and cons of BARF diets and see how this meal can benefit your cat.

Pros of feeding BARF

Here are some of the advantages of providing your cat with a BARF meal:

Improves digestion

Did you know that cats have short digestive tracts? 

The shorter tracts mean that it is more acidic, allowing them to process raw food efficiently. Additionally, a BARF meal consists of fresh raw meat, fruits, and vegetables. Since there are no added preservatives in their food, it will be a lot easier to digest as well.

Increases water intake 

Water is vital, not only for us humans but also for felines. It plays a crucial role in helping cats digest and absorb nutrients better.


Photo by Engin Akyurt from Pexels

Since raw cat food has a high moisture content, your cat will stay hydrated through its meal, even if it doesn't drink liquids that often. 

Less stool 

When you feed your cat a BARF diet, you will observe that they produce less stool. This is related to significantly improved digestion. Therefore, there is notably less waste in your kitty's pad. This is a plus point for you as there will be less to clean when you're changing its potty.

Better dental health

Did you know that one of the main causes of periodontal diseases in cats is the growth of tartar? Tartar refers to hardened plaque formed on different regions of the teeth, causing inflamed gums and gingivitis.

A BARF diet can help an animal's oral health dramatically. For example, utilising raw, meaty bones as part of a raw food diet is critical for your cat's oral health. This is because natural enzymes in bone-in meats break down plaque, preventing food from sticking and hardening to the teeth.

Less diseases and longer life

Preliminary studies are showing that cats on fresh diets have more anti cancer markers and antioxidants in their blood. They appear to be younger physiologically and develop less diseases such as diabetes. 

Cons of feeding BARF

There are however some risks that come with feeding BARF; which are:

Risk of bacterial infections

Bacteria and parasites, like salmonella, can be found in raw meat. If you or a family member is very young, very elderly, or immunocompromised, hazardous bacteria are a significant concern. 

Additionally, many cat parents are wary of raw feeding their pets because they are afraid of their cats being ill due to harmful microorganisms. 

There is a chance of this happening, but it isn't as serious as you think. Cats have a far more robust immune system than humans, and what would make us sick can sometimes have little or no impact on them.

Cross-contamination 

Similarly, handling and preparing raw food for your cat entails some cross-contamination risks.If not properly managed, E.coli and salmonella are bacteria that may be present in BARF meals and can be discovered in your cat's faeces. 

This can be an issue if there are household members who have weakened immune systems.

As such, it’s important to prevent the risk of bacteria spreading with proper food preparation. 

You can also reduce cross-contamination by serving raw food to your pet in stainless steel bowls and washing up their bowls as soon as they're through eating, so bacteria doesn’t have a chance to infect anyone.

Nutritional imbalance

Any homemade cat food, even BARF diets, runs the risk of nutritional deficiencies. Because you aren't a feline nutritionist, cat meals you make at home may unlikely be as balanced as something formulated commercially.

With a raw diet, getting enough calcium and phosphorus might be difficult. Ensuring that the nutrients are absorbed adequately by your cat can also be challenging.

This is why many pet parents prefer to buy pre-prepared raw meals. So, do give PetCubes' Raw Cat Food a try. Our meals are made by experts who use fresh ingredients to ensure your cat gets all the nutrients it needs every meal.

What raw food is best for cats?

There are many raw foods that can be included in your cat's meal. Here are some of the best raw ingredients for cats:

  • Chicken 
  • Venison 
  • Beef 
  • Duck 
  • Raw egg 
  • Broccoli 
  • Salmon 
  • Tuna 
  • Carrot 
  • Sweet potatoes 

Can I feed my cat raw meat from the grocery store?

Yes, you can but, check the packing labels to ensure that the raw meat is fresh and meets pet food quality standards. 

Another plus point of buying your supplies from a grocery store is that the meats should be clear of contamination because retailers must follow federal safety rules before selling them. 

You can also get raw cat food from a trusted seller. For example, you can try out PetCubes’ Raw Cat Food that is prepared and produced at our facility, which is approved by the Singapore Food Agency (SFA).

We also use blast freezers to ensure your cat’s food is of fresh quality after production.

Conclusion 

A BARF diet is highly beneficial for your cat. Give it a try today, and you see how healthy and active your feline becomes!

 

Reviewed by: 

Dr Francis is one of the top wildlife nutritionists in Asia. Originating from Montreal, Canada, he left at 21 to pursue his Masters and subsequently a PhD in wildlife nutrition at Oxford Brookes University. Instead of taking the path of common animal science to learn about farm animals, or through the veterinarian space and taking a certificate in nutrition, he took the road less travelled to dive deep into the world of animal ecology, metabolism and nutrition.

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