BARF diet for cats: definition, pros, and cons

barf diet raw food

More and more cat owners are starting to use the BARF diet to feed their cats. Not only is it ideal for a cat’s nutrition, but it also is associated with many other benefits. But what is the BARF diet? Is this diet really well-suited to a cat’s nutritional needs?

What is the BARF method?

To begin with, BARF stands for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. It is a diet that was invented by the Australian vet, Ian Billinghurst. The diet is for domestic pets, such as cats. BARF consists of feeding animals meals that are based on meaty bones, offal and raw meat. The aim is to provide animals with a diet that more closely resembles their diet out in the wild.

What foods are included in the BARF diet?

The BARF diet offers felines the prey they would normally hunt on their own if they were in their natural habitat and were not domesticated. Luckily, these foods are relatively easy to find. You can find them in large quantities at supermarkets, malls, markets, and butchers. For the meat, you have the choice between mice, rabbit, chick, guinea fowl, turkey, and quail.

Supplements are also added to this diet. The role of these supplements is to balance their diet and provide them with the nutrients they need. These include vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, etc. The supplements are to be given at regular intervals according to their specific needs. Some examples of supplements include vegetables, fruits, fish, eggs, oils, yogurts, and brewer’s yeast.

Foods that are not recommended

The BARF method eliminates seed-based meals their diets. This is because the body digests them slower. Cereals contain a lot of starch, a complex carbohydrate which, when ingested in large quantities, can damage a cat’s health. It is important to keep in mind that cats are carnivores, and do not need a diet with a high intake of this.


You can freeze the ingredients used to prepare a BARF diet to store them. This process allows you preserve meals, improve their quality level and keep them ready to eat. It helps conserve vitamins, proteins, and other nutrients that the meals contain. In addition, freezing the food makes it useless to use conservators, which guarantees the natural character of these meals. When it’s time to feed your cat, all you have to do is defrost it with a microwave or a pan under low heat.

Is the BARF diet really suitable for a cat?

Unlike humans, cats are strict carnivores. Humans are omnivores. Their digestive system is perfectly adapted to raw foods. They can eat raw foods for as long as you like without having it weaken or degrading their health. In addition, it’s better quality than kibble and wet foods. It is for this reason that the BARF diet is appreciated.

BARF provides essential nutrients

The BARF diet includes fruits as well as vegetables, as their natural prey are in general fruit-eaters and herbivores. In the wild, when cats would eat their prey, they would unknowingly ingest some plant-based food in the process. The goal of this is to give them the nutrients they need so that they do not have any potential deficiencies.

To feed your pet correctly thanks to the BARF diet, follow the natural diet that’s right for your cat. To do this, take into account various essential factors such as your cat’s age, size, weight, activity levels and nutrient requirements.

Starting the BARF diet

When it comes to preparation, you can create recipes with the right ingredients. It’s best to vary the dishes to prevent your cat from getting tired or bored of their food. This will make sure they get the nutrients they need.

If you prefer not to prepare the meals yourself, you can visit suppliers who specialize in BARF foods. Their products are natural and ready to use. You also have the possibility of serve your companion as soon as your buy it or at the hours that they normally eat.

When you have doubts about the quantity to give them or their real needs, it’s important to consult a vet. This professional will be able to examine your cat and determine the best ingredients for them so that you can feed them better.

barf diet for cats kibble
BARF refers to Biologically Appropriate Raw Food.

The advantages of the BARF diet for cats

This diet offers your feline all the nutrients they need. Moreover, it reduces the risks of an upset stomach. This is because the diet is naturally adapted to a cat’s digestive system. With the BARF diet, your companion assimilates their various foods faster and better. With the BARF diet, their transit will be optimal and their colon will be in good condition. As a result, they are more likely to be from various disorders, such constipation, vomiting and foul-smelling flatulence. In addition to this, their stools will become drier, and give off fewer unpleasant odors. Their stool will also be smaller.

Better health for your cat

Thanks to the BARF diet, your cat will be in better form. Their growth will speed up and their appearance will change. Over time, muscles will grow in the jaw, shoulders and neck, and their figure will become more imposing. Their immune system will also be reinforced and their vital functions will become more efficient. This helps it to remain in good long-term health, to age slowly and to last longer.

Because of the foods that are given, cats will be forced to make extra efforts. For example, they will need to use their teeth to pull the meat or gnaw on the bones that make up their diet. Unlike kibble and wet food, which they can ingest easily, they need to use more energy to eat these meals. This reinforces the solidity and augments the strength of the jaw. Their teeth will be more clean, which promotes good hygiene. Tartar appears very little and their breath will smell better.

A more beautiful coat with the BARF diet

The BARF diet is an excellent way to take care of your pet’s skin. The dishes are high in essential fatty acids and protein. When they are eaten regularly on a long term basis, it allows a cat’s coat to become more shiny and their epidermis to become better protected against a multitude of skin issues. Among these skin issues, we can identify ringworm, feline acne, systemic diseases, allergies, and external parasites.

When it comes to entertainment, the BARF diet can keep your cat amused. As cats are very playful, these moments of tasting can transform themselves into moments of distraction. The meals are more complex to eat, which will keep them from getting bored. It also helps keep them fit, happy, and fulfilled.

The disadvantages of the BARF diet

The risks of contamination is one of the major disadvantages of the BARF diet. The ingredients of this diet can sometimes contain impurities, micro-organisms and harmful pathogens. Their consumption could make your cat sick or create serious sanitary problems.

The BARF diet can also represent a threat for your health and that of your children. As soon as you introduce this into your house, you can enter in contact with bacteria or dangerous parasites. It’s for this reason that you need to be really careful about the hygiene and be very careful if you adopt this diet for your cat.

Some felines reject the BARF diet because of the ingredients that make it up. This refusal can be observed at the beginning or at a more advanced stage of the diet, causing a significant nutritional imbalance in their bodies. You cat can, however, not show any sign proving the rejection.

How do I integrate the BARF diet into my cat’s diet?

To start to feed your cat a BARF diet, verify the compatibility of it by consulting an experienced vet. Many people opt for self-preparation of raw meals, as this allows them to guarantee the reliability of their meals.

This decision implies a huge responsibility when it comes to the choice of ingredients, the different doses, and the way it which it is made. If you don’t know how to feed your cat this successfully, you run the risk of intoxicating your cat or deficiencies.

The preparation of a qualitative BARF meal requires time and energy. You need to accord particular care when preparing the dishes. It’s this that assures the well-being as well as the health of your cat.