Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Raw Feeding

What is raw feeding? BARF used to be a term used to apply to feeding a raw food diet to dogs and cats. BARF is an acronym for Bones and Raw Food, which is a pretty broad description of a dog or cat diet, but that’s the term that was used. Now, the hot term is “whole prey model” something I have particular issue with. Unless you are feeding whole prey animals to your dog or cat, which most people do not and will not do (because it’s gross and it is really hard to source intact critters), you are not feeding whole prey. You are feeding bits and pieces of many different animals.

Then there's those horrible people who add supplements or follow recipes.

My cats are blessed with the option of hunting for themselves, which most of them do. Many do not eat the animals they catch. They have a wonderful time playing with them, but I frequently find petrified mice carcasses under the couch or behind the refrigerator. They seem to like to eat birds more than rodents. I really hate coming home to a kitchen full of feathers, but I recognize that what my cats catch and consume is far superior to what I can prepare and feed them.

Wish I could get the local Mexican meat market to carry whole, unskinned, ungutted, cows so I could drag one home and put it on my kitchen floor for the crew to dine on, but that isn’t going to happen. Heck, it’s hard enough to source chicken hearts, never mind whole animals to feed to my dogs and cats.

A few days ago, Simon (one of my American Shorthairs) caught and killed a rather large field rat. It must be quite a battle for these cats to catch and kill rats of this size. A few months ago, one of my black females dragged in a rat the size of a squirrel. Luckily it was dead when she brought it in. Simon deposited the rat in the living room and when about his business. Kessie discovered the dead rat and decided it was a great toy. After a while, I put her up in her crate with her new toy and sat down to watch some TV. A few minutes later, I heard crunch, crunch, crunch coming from Kessie’s crate. She was eating the rat. I thought about taking it away from her, but again, if she wanted to eat it, then all the more power to her. Hopefully she can convince her new kitty friends to supply a few more rats for her dining pleasure.

I can only imagine what would be said/thought if I told Kessie’s breeder that she ate a rat for supper.

I have often considered raising mice for my cats, but that’s too much darned work and mice are impossible to herd and I’ve decided if Gel can’t manage it, I don’t want it.

I don’t know, between restricting what you can call feeding your dog or cat a raw meat diet and insisting that “healthy” dogs don’t need training (see the entry in Gel and Kessie’s blog for Wednesday, January 17, 2007), what’s the World coming to?