There are many pre-made raw products out on the market as well as recipes on the internet. Some follow a true carnivorous way of feeding while others unfortunately do not. In this series we will be evaluating various products and raw recipes based on a true carnivorous diet….Prey Model or Franken Prey model Raw Feeding.
The Nutrition Code will be analyzing each recipe or product based off of a Prey Model Raw style of feeding. What does this mean?
Prey Model Raw is a way of feeding our cats, dogs and ferrets using nature as our guide. Prey Model Raw includes:
Whole Prey as well as chunked meats, organs and bones from various animals also known as Franken Prey . We base this off of the ratio 80% meat, 5% liver, 5% other secreting organs and 10% bone (the ideal ratio of a prey animal) This also excludes the use of fruits, veggies or grains
as well as artificial supplementation (pills, tablets, premixes etc.)
In this series no brand names, products or websites will be provided (unless completely avoidable). The Nutrition Code does not wish to name bash or product bash others. Therefore, when evaluating products and recipes please utilize information and tips provided to make an educated decision on whether or not a product or recipe is appropriate for your cat, dog or ferret.
“I use the following ratio when making our raw:
2/3 of the total mix should be chicken, bones and all (uncooked)
Of the 2/3 chicken, 1/3 of that should be organ meats such as chicken livers and chicken gizzards, hearts
1/3 of the mix should be beef, we use beef stew meat from Wal-Mart
(actual amts/weight of each is up to you depending on how much you want to make, we use 10 whole chickens, and about 6lbs of the stew meat and that makes about 8-10 gallons of mix and feeds all our cats for about 3 months)
2 small containers of plain yogurt, non-flavored
2-4 jars of squash baby food
1 can of 100% pure pumpkin
Kitty Bloom – we add about 1⁄4 tsp per serving “
*direct copy and paste
“Chicken, bones and all”
This is the first ingredient recommended. Chicken is a great meat to start out with. Not only is it inexpensive but it’s easily found as most grocery stores and other meat suppliers readily have it. They also ready carry parts of the chicken like liver and gizzards since there are many human dishes that include them.
Unfortunately, “Chicken, bones and all” is a tad undefined. Are we talking about a whole chicken? Just leg quarter or drum sticks? How about wings? The reason why it is so important to define this is because there is a certain amount of bone that should be given daily or balanced throughout a batch. A whole chicken is about 32% bone, while the leg quarter is 27%, the drumstick is 33% and the wings are 46%. Not having the right ratio could a) cause constipation or b) result in hypercalcemia which can cause a whole slew of other problems.
Later the creator of this recipe does mention whole chicken when they talk about beef, but if the raw feeder doesn’t read the whole recipe, the wouldn’t know that’s what is recommended.
Next the creator mentions organ meats which they refer to as chicken liver, chicken gizzards and chicken hearts. In raw feeding and not just Prey Model Raw only secreting orders like liver, brain, pancreas, spleen, reproductive organs etc. are considered organ meats. Anything else like gizzards, heart, lungs, tongue etc. are considered muscle meats and should be included in the 80% meat section NOT 5% liver or 5% secreting organ section.
With this diet also being meant for cats it should be noted that the amount of heart added should be around 15% of the meat section. Heart is a great source for taurine which is essential for cats as they cannot produce it themselves. Although taurine is available in smaller amounts in other meat parts it is the most abundant in hard working muscle meats such as heart, tongue, shoulder and thigh meat. Since this recipe implies that the meat is not mainly muscle meat it is essential that some kind is added with heart meat being one of the easiest sources.
Beef is the next ingredient in the recipe. Beef is a good source of muscle meat and provides a whole profile of nutrients that is hard to get all in one protein course.
Small Containers of plain yogurt, non flavored
Many people believe that yogurt should be added to the diet of cats for their “probiotic effects”. Unfortunately, now a days most commercial yogurt no longer has probiotics in it or at least the amount you would need to make a different in the gut flora. Even the creator says “Adding yogurt may or may not be beneficial”.
In order for yogurt to beneficial as a digestive aid there needs to be at least 10 or more strains and 20-40 billion organisms per serving to be effective. Not only does it need to actually need to contain probiotics but yogurt is often very high in sugar which can not only lead to diabetes, weight gain and feed into cancer, but there is absolutely no requirement for sugar in the diet of our carnivore companions. Some add yogurt to increase calcium or provide another protein source. If you are feeding a balanced and complete diet there is no need to add addition calcium. This can result in hypercalcemia or problems with the growth, development and repair of bones in the body. Yogurt protein wise is not a quality protein source. Cats are obligate carnivores, but the quality of the protein is the most important consideration for choosing a protein source. Feeding a commercial processed dairy product is not one of them. Finally, most cats are lactose intolerant and after weaning no longer have a strong ability to break down lactose as they no longer produce significant amounts of lactase.
The size of the container is also not defined so is this the individual kiddie cups or the adult sizes?
2-4 jars of squash baby food and 1 can of 100% pure pumpkin
Cats are obligate carnivores. This means they are OBLEGATED by physiological and anatomical design to consume meat, organs and bones. Cats do not have the digestive enzymes to break down plant material which include amylase and cellulase. Although the pancreas does produce a VERY small amount of amylase the amount of carbohydrates (fruits, veggies or grains) in this recipe would heavily tax the body. Their digestive tract is also extremely short, only about 3x time their body length so food stuff moves through their systems very quickly leaving ittle time to utilize nutrients from low bioavailable foods that are not meat, organs or bones. Pumpkin and other squashes are vegetables and despite being pureed they are not readily available for use by the feline body. Many who feed pumpkin believe that it is to prevent diarrhea or aid in stomach upset. Pumpkin however can have both a firm effect AS WELL AS a laxative effect. Furthermore it does not fix the problem (especially if you do not know what is causing the diahrrea) it only masks the symptoms.
Kitty Bloom – “we add about 1⁄4 tsp per serving”
Kitty Bloom is a vitamin mix available to many cat breeders that is included in their raw food recipes. Just like any supplements, it is meant to “fill in the gaps”
Although their website says product is MADE in the USA but this does not mean ingredients are SOURCED from America.
Per lb of product
Vitamin A 1,000,000 IU
Folic Acid 100 mg.
Vitamin D3 100,000 IU
Inositol 5000 mg.
Vitamin E 4,000 IU
PABA 100 mg.
Vitamin C 4,500 mg.
Vitamin B12 8,000 mg.
Riboflavin 800 mg.
Pantothenic Acid 4,200 mg.
Niacin 6,250 mg.
Choline Chloride 30,000 mg.
Thiamine (B1) 750 mg.
Pyridoxine (B6) 400 mg.
Biotin 5 mg.
Taurine 51,393 mg.
This product also includes cheese which as mentioned before is not appropriate for cats.
Be weary as most supplements are artificially made in laboratory settings, contain petroleums and tars or are extracted with harsh chemcials. Most vitamin and mineral supplements also partially assume the diet is devoid of nutrients. While most commercial dry and wet foods are due to the cooking process raw diets are not as they are completely unadulterated (as long as you are using human grade food. Using a supplement could great unbalance your companions diet. Furthermore premixes such as this product do not take into account the individual pet they base their amounts off of the average pet which most companions either are above or below this standard. With a premix you may be over or even supplementing your companions.
A Prey Model Raw diet (and most raw diets) consist of 80% muscle meat 5% liver 5% other secreting organ and 10% bone. Based off of numbers and pictures provided by the creator of this the recipe is as follows:
Keeping in mind that 2/3 of the total recipe should be chicken with 1/3 being “organ meats” so 1/3 chicken 1/3 organ meats
65 lbs whole chickens (20.8 lbs being bone and 44.2 lbs being meat
65 lbs of “organ meats” (less assume 1/3 of that is liver, 1/3 of that is gizzards and 1/3 of that is heart or 21.6 lbs of each)
6 lbs of beef stew meat
64 oz Plain plain yogurt, non-flavored
15 oz can of pumpkin
16 oz of squash baby food (mentioned in the recipe but in the pictoral step by step says 4 jars)
About 142 lbs
93.4 lbs of meat
21.6 lbs of liver
20.8 lbs of bone
1.9 lbs of plant matter
4 lbs of dairy products
This equates to:
1.3% plant matter
2.8% dairy products
These ratios aren't horrific but based on a Prey Model Raw diet:
Meat should be at 80% which should include more heart since it’s not just chicken thigh meat being used here
The liver content is pretty high. Because of the risk of Vitamin A toxicity it is recommended to only feed 5% liver and 5% other secreting. With the addition of the supplement containing so much Vitamin A this is concerning
The bone content is a bit high as well. It should only be at 10%. Consitpation can occur with high amounts of bone content as well as an unbalance of calcium/phosphorus levels. Considering the vitamin premix calcium and phosphours I would be worried about skeletal and malabsorption problems as the higher levels of calcium interfere.
There is no need to be feeding the plant matter (squash and pumpkin) nor the dairy products. If one wants to emulate plant matter in the diet, feed whole prey.
This recipe recommends grinding together the whole mixture. Unfortunately, grinding is one of the worse preparing methods for raw. Whole prey is top than chunked meats than grinding. Grinding increases the surface area of the meat not only does this mean it’s more prone to bacteria, but it also means more is exposed to the air. This is not good for oxygen sensitive ingredients like taurine which can more quickly be depleted. In addition, it does not maintain as good oral health especially if the bone the being ground too. Raw meaty bones are abrasive enough to scale the teeth and the meat on it acts as a floss. To keep the teeth clean, free of plaque and tartar cats must be able to extensively chew their meat, organs and bone.
Overall this diet isn’t completely horrible but there are definitely changes that need to be made with the ratios including eliminating the squash, pumpkin and diary products. The premix also should eliminated. If the ratio is followed and protein sources are rotated there is absolutely no need to include artificially vitamins and minerals into the diet.