Title:Barf - nur ein vorübergehender Trend oder eine echte Alternative zum industriellen Katzenfutter?
Aim of this thesis named „Barf- only a temporary fashion or a real alternative to commercial cat food?” was to get an impression if raw feeding of cats is only a temporary fashion or if it has the potential to become an alternative broad -based feeding method within the next few years. In an empiric survey 30 cat owners and 30 veterinarians where interviewed as random sampling. The analysis of the data was made tabular, the sampled data was stated in absolute numbers and percentages. The most important results are: 1. The feeding method barf is known by 100% of the veterinarians and almost 47% of cat owners have already heard about it. 2. All veterinarians have raw feeders in their clientele, one third of cat owners know someone who is feeding raw. Significant more dogs than cats where known by the vets to be fed raw. This shows that raw feeding in dogs is much more popular yet (because it´s known and done for several years) than the more complicated raw feeding of cats. 3. Most of the cat owners are willing to pay up to 2 Euro per day for the food of their cat. Hence they are often feeding substandard feed while believing that they are doing something good for their cats. 4. Possible reasons for veterinarians to recommend raw feeding is the criterion that the raw feed was of higher quality than the food that was fed until then. The other criteria are to raise the health-related quality of life of the cat, to strengthen the health and to temper or heal a disease. For a small amount of cat owners the cheaper price in comparison to the normal food is a criteria to change into raw feeding, but also in this group the criteria of raising the health -related quality of the cats life, to strengthen the health and to temper or heal a disease are more important.Approximately the same number of interviewed vets and cat owners stated that prefabricated mixed and deep frozen or canned raw food could be a reason to think about changing into raw feeding. The differences in the statements of both groups are their hidden agenda: The vets want to prevent malnutrition while the cat owners think about their own convenience. 5. The advantages stated from both groups were that you know what you are feeding, that raw feeding is appropriate, natural and healthy and that there are no dyestuffs, food fillers, preservatives or sugar in the food. There were no significant differences in the statements. 6. The most important disadvantage pointed out by veterinarians as well as by the cat owners is the preparation of the raw food. But also in this case both groups have valid but different reasons to state their point of view. The cat owners are too convenient to spend time on the formulation while the veterinarians see the danger of malnutrition due to wrong composed rations. The survey showed that most cat owners feed canned and dry food because it´s convenient and because they assume to do something good to their cats with it. Doubts if the food is well-balanced and high quality raise up if the cat is affected by a diet-related disease. Untill then most of cat owners are willing to spend time on composition of cats food and to change over to raw feeding to improve their cats state of health. As long as there is no complete supplemented deep frozen raw food for cats available as long the raw feeding of cats will stay a marginal phenomenon used by dedicated cat owners and owners of cats with diet-related diseases. But if already supplemented raw food for cats will be available this kind of feeding will surely get an alternative feeding method for the average cat owner.