Raw Food For Cats

Understand Your Cat

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Real Food, Raw Food for Cats!

I have prepared this page to give a general idea of the bones and raw cat food diet (often called BARF) my own Ragdoll cats and kittens are fed. While the very best cat food for our kitties is to feed them raw, whole prey, that is not an option for me – because nothing like that is available, (and I probably couldn’t do it anyway) so I try and get as close to the natural with my raw food for cats as I can.

Raw food for cats

The Prey Model Diet

Commonly referred to as a Prey Model Diet, what I attempt to do is to approximate the “whole” of a prey animal, by using what parts are available to me. Sometimes, coming from a world where we are used to just pouring some dry cat food into a bowl or opening a can, it can be confusing to start feeding raw food for cats. Hopefully this page will give you some ideas.

The main things to remember are:

  • plenty of variety
  • feed big chunks and bones often
  • try and follow the recommended ratios for feeding a cat raw food (below)
  • raw food for cats should be as fresh as possible

Now please understand that this page is only my personal “What” of raw food for cats! The “Whys” and “Hows” are very well explained at this website: Raw Fed Cats (apologies, this site is no longer available), and this wonderful site will give you a good basic understanding of the principles. If you are more inclined to feed minced meats, here is a good webpage with step by step instructions on how to prepare your own raw cat food: Cat Nutrition – Pictorial

Raw Cat Food – Recommended ratios

This is a general guide to feeding a “Prey Model Diet“. These proportions are relatively the same in almost every prey animal that carnivores are designed to consume, and the percentages are, approximately:

  • 80 – 85% meat, fat, skin, sinew, connective tissue etc.
  • 10 – 15% edible bone
  • 5 – 10% organs with half that amount being liver (if fed daily this would only equal about the size of a grape or two).

These percentages, although approximate, should serve as the basic guidelines for a raw cat food / BARF / Prey Model Diet. These exact proportions don’t really need to be fed at each and every meal, but rather should combine to comprise the overall cat diet over the course of time. In simple terms this equates to; mostly meat, a little edible bone, a little organ, some skin, cartilage etc., and fat.

I suggest that you set aside a contained place for your Kitty to eat his raw cat food meals. This is simply because cats tend to carry their food to a comfy place to eat it (and it is rather nasty to sit on a piece of raw liver on your favorite chair!)

I use a large cage which is actually a dog crate. It has a plastic floor for easy cleaning. But I do put in a little carpet scrap mat for dining comfort, as my cats definitely prefer a soft surface when they are eating. You can a towel instead, which is easily popped into your washing machine. Some people use a large pet carrier to feed their raw cat food in, and others simply put their cat into the laundry or bathroom with the raw meal, because the surfaces are easy to clean.

Pictured below is one of my raw feeding places for my Ragdoll Cats. This is actually a “dog crate” and works perfectly. The plastic bottom is easily cleaned and the whole crate folds away easily for storage.

Ragdoll Cats with their Raw Food


Cats Raw Food

Waiting For dinner

The Best Food For Cats - 6

Still waiting …


If your cat is new to raw cat food, don’t (for example) go out and buy a whole raw beef carcass, as he might not like beef! Buy very small portions of lots of different meats and offer these.

If you have trouble getting your cat to eat raw cat food, I recommend you join a free internet discussion group: RawCats Discussion. There are many experienced and helpful people in this group who give up a huge amount of their time just to help newbies to feed the best cat food to their felines. You can ask questions and will get helpful, informed answers.

Also you could Google: BARF diet for cats or Natural food for cats or Prey Model Diet for Cats, and you should find lots of information.

Raw Food For Cats - Get a Free Diet Plan

Raw Food for Cats – Ideas

Here are some of the things my Ragdoll Cats and Ragdoll Kittens eat… just to give you ideas

If the idea of feeding a raw cat food diet grosses you out, try and remember that the best cat food for your kitten is something that is a natural food for cats. Your kitten’s excellent health and longer life will make it worth the effort!

As bought

How I serve it

How they eat it


Whole Raw Chicken

I whack these whole raw chickens up into cat-sized pieces as on the right. Smaller pieces for smaller kittens mouths and larger for the grown-up cats.

Much better than just feeding raw chicken wings or necks as a whole meal, as there is a better meat to bone ration.

I make sure to only buy small chickens, so the kittens are able to eat the bones. Bigger chickens have tougher bones.

raw food for cats

Raw Chicken Pieces

Raw Chicken Pieces

Chicken Wings & Necks


Good for kitty’s jaws, but not a lot of actual meat – so don’t feed these as a sole source of food too often.

On older chickens, the skin can be very tough, so you may need to remove some so kitty can get at the meat.

For kittens I thump them a few times (the necks – not the kittens!) to flatten and make easier to get into their mouths.


9 week old kitten


Chicken Drumsticks

When transitioning a cat to raw food, you may have to whack the knobbly bits of bone to crush them a bit to release the smell of the marrow and get the cat started off.


I usually cut from bone out thru meat to enable cats/kittens to get their mouths around these.


Ragdoll Kitten eating Chicken Drumsticks


Chicken liver

Raw chicken liver is adored by my cats!

Remember though – not to overdo the liver.


Raw chicken liver, raw cat food


Raw Beef


Most cats love to eat raw beef – I cut it up into chunks and strips.


Raw Cat Food - Beef

Ragdolls Eating Beef


Raw beef tongue for cats

Really tough and good for a jaw workout – but this grosses me out so much-I have to get someone else to prepare it.

Cut it up into chunks and strips.


Lamb Heart

Heart is a rather tough meat, so it is great for building jaw strength on transitioning cats.Heart is much loved by all my kitties. Treat it as both muscle meat and/or organ, I feed it twice a week or so as a whole meal. Very high in Taurine, which cats need a lot of.

Eating Raw Lamb Hearts


Lamb Off-cuts

Cut into strips to enable them to fit into little kitten mouths.



Ragdoll Kitten eating Raw Lamb off cuts


Lambs Fry (liver)

Raw liver is an essential part of a cat’s diet to provide Vitamin A and many other nutrients. Liver should make up around 5% of the overall diet of cats. Over feeding of liver can cause runny poops, and also can cause Vitamin A toxicity.

Raw Lambs Fry


Lamb Kidney

Treat kidney as the “organ” part of diet. I normally mix it in with a mince mix, because some cats don’t like it on its own. When feeding organ meats for the first time, only use very small portions until your cat’s tummy gets used to it, otherwise the cat may through it up.

Raw Lamb kidney


Raw Pork Roast …don’t chop it up Mum, we’ll just eat it as is!

Most of the cats adore pork meat. I chop it up into large hunks – if I get a chance! Pork is not really an appropriate meat for cats though, so it is only a rare treat here.



Ragdoll Loving Raw Pork


Pork Ribs & Rashers

Fed just as you see them. Pork Rashers – I cut lengthwise for little kittens as the skin is quite tough.

Pork Ribs – The cats will strip almost all of the meat off, and some will chew through the bones as well.


Pork Ribs & Rashers


Raw Fish

Raw Fish – Feed whole, or chop into cat sized pieces if it is a large fish.

Fish is not a natural part of a cat’s diet, so don’t feed too often, as an occasional treat is plenty.



Much loved by my Ragdoll Cats, but very expensive here in QLD where rabbits are illegal.

If it is available to you, rabbit is an excellent all round meat for general feeding.

Being a small game animal, it is high on the best foods for cats list.


Ragdoll Eating Rabbit Pieces


So use your imagination – if its meat – give it a try. You can see by the concentration on my Ragdoll Cats faces that they really love meal-time here! Raw food for cats really is the best food of all!

And here are some very “occasional” cat treats…


Whole prawns – definitely feed these outside or contained, the cats love to play with them as much as eat them!


Cooked leftovers – remember to never feed any bones that are cooked!


Canned Tuna or Salmon – in Spring Water


Duck, goose, emu, ostrich, quail, pigeon. All excellent if you can get them.


An Easy Raw Food Stand-By

There is now a fantastic range of RAW food for cats on the market – both frozen and freeze dried. How is that for convenience!

These products also makes the handling part of feeding a raw diet to your cat easy to start off with – especially the organ part! Take a look at some of the product line here – I think they are pretty awesome and am tickled to see this type of raw food product available, as healthy choices for our cats.

 Frozen Raw Pet Food Complete Ground Turkey Raw Chicken Hearts Freeze Dried Green Beef Tripe Chunks Freeze Dried Complete Beef Pet Food Freeze Dried Complete Chicken Pet Food Freeze Dried Chicken Treats Freeze Dried Beef Liver Treats


There is a lot of information available about raw food for cats and dogs on Dr. Ian Billinghurst’s Bones and Raw Food website. Although the word “BARF” certainly does not have pleasant connotations in New Zealand and Australia LOL, the acronym BARF (or B.A.R.F.) has become one of the better known names for a raw cat food or raw dog food diet.

BARF, although much better than most commercial cat foods, is however not the ultimate in raw food for cats – as there is a lot of vegetable matter recommended and added to the products. And as of course you must surely know by now – your cat is an obligate carnivore 🙂 But Dr Billinghurst’s information on WHY you should try raw food for cats and dogs, is great.







  1. Carol November 22, 2018
  2. Julie January 14, 2019

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