I recently learned of a new (or at least new to me) diet for dogs and cats, the prey model diet. This diet involves shunning commercially manufactured pet foods and switching your cat or dog to a raw diet of meat, edible bones and organs. Supporters of the prey model diet insist that it delivers improved oral health, better digestion and stimulates their pets psychologically. They reason that dogs and cats are natural carnivores and therefore require nothing else to fulfill their nutritional or dietary needs.
Whole carcasses are provided whenever possible. This may include whole rabbits, quail, chickens, ducks, turkeys and game hens. Cats on the prey diet may be fed whole mice, rats and fish as well. In general, 80 percent of the diet is made up of meat (including fat, skin, sinew and tendon), 10 percent is edible bone, and the remaining 10 percent is comprised of organs (of which half should be liver).
According to wildlife investigators, the rising popularity of the prey diet has resulted in a surge of illegal raw wild game sales online. Pet owners who elect to feed their pets in this way are advised to ensure that they buy raw game from legally permitted sources (not off Craigslist or eBay). Local butcher shops and ethnic markets are often good resources.
Personally, I plan to stick to Wellness wet and dry food (plus Greenies) for my suburban wildcats. While they enjoy the occasional sliver of raw salmon or tuna, they all turn up their noses when offered a bite of raw beef or a morsel of chicken liver. I can only imagine the baleful glares I would receive if I served my princesses a dead rat.
What type of diet is your pet on? Let us know in the comments!