Nature's Prey Model

The Ultimate Raw Diet




Looking to Mother Nature as a Guide

The basic premise of feeding a raw diet to domesticated cats based on Nature's model is that it resembles, as closely as possible, the natural, species appropriate diet that Nature herself has been providing for all small species of cats for millions of years.

The anatomy and physiology of every cat, whether domestic or wild, is that of a meat eater. Felines have evolved over countless generations to be carnivores, so they are naturally designed to consume and digest the whole, raw carcasses of prey animals. For this very simple, basic reason, feeding cats a steady diet of cooked, canned or kibbled commercially manufactured, so-called pet “foods” is clearly not a species appropriate diet for them. Such an unnatural, inappropriate diet puts a strain on a cat’s entire system and may very well, over the course of time, take a serious toll on the health of cats being fed this way.

The closer we can approximate the raw diet that Nature has designed felines to eat - a diet they have been eating successfully for eons - the more natural, digestible and appropriate their diet will be. And the closer we can come to modeling our cats’ diets this way, upon Nature’s ideal, the more the natural benefits of eating this way will impact their overall health and well being.

A whole raw foods, or prey model, diet for cats can be comprised of a combination of a variety of whole, raw, small carcasses, (for example small game hens, chickens, duck, quail, rabbits, mice, rats and/or fish) along with a variety of different parts of other, larger carcasses, (such as things like turkey, lamb, goat, pork, ostrich, emu, elk, venison and/or beef) which are fed over time in the relative proportions that are found in the average prey animal. The idea is that the overall diet be comprised of a similar ratio of body parts that Nature uses to make up whole carcasses.

Basic Proportions of a Prey Critter

These proportions of body parts are relatively the same in virtually every prey animal, and the percentages of these ratios are, approximately:

  • 80–85% meat (besides boneless muscle meat, this can and should also include things like fat, skin, sinew, tendons, cartilage and any other soft connective tissue etc.)
  • 10% edible bone
  • 5-10% organs (with half that amount being liver)

These percentages, although approximate, should serve as the basic guidelines for your cat’s diet. These exact proportions do not need to be fed at each and every meal, but rather should combine to comprise the overall diet over the course of time.

To make up for the fact that most all of the raw meat that’s readily available to us to feed our cats does not come from wild, pastured or foraging animals, whose flesh would naturally contain a greater concentration of the vital nutrients that cats require for good health, but instead is farmed for human consumption, it’s important when feeding a prey model diet to provide as much of a variety of different kinds of meats as possible.

Variety is Key

Since we can only approach Nature’s way of feeding and never truly reproduce it, one way we can compensate for this is to feed as much variety as possible. The more different kinds of raw carcasses, boneless meats, meaty bones and organs we feed our cats, the greater the variety of nutrients we will be offering them.

Another important reason to include variety in the diet is because cats can have a tendency to latch onto certain foods if they’re fed the same thing all the time. Some cats can get so stuck on one type of food that they’ll refuse to eat anything else. So to prevent this from happening and to provide a variety of high quality nourishment, it’s best to make sure your cat’s diet is as varied as possible.





Although a diet of whole raw foods based on Nature's prey model is the most natural, healthy way for our carnivorous companion animals to eat, it is not a cure-all for any or all ailments, nor should it be considered as such. If your pet is ill you are advised to seek out the services of a professional pet health care provider. The material contained on this website is the author's opinion and is shared for informational and educational purposes only. Nothing written herein is intended or should be considered as veterinary advice, and the author assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse by the reader of this information.

© 2010 Linda Zurich All Rights Reserved