Lately we have started to use the service to get food delivered to our home instead of going to the store and pick it up ourselves. It saves so much time and energy to do more fun stuff!
This time we tried out delivery from an all organic vegetable box and was astonished over the freshness of the veggies and the very good assortment that we got.
Spinach and other greens, parsnips, carrots, cabbage, root celery, garlic, onion, tomatoes, chili pepper and mini bell peppers. And not to forgot, the two perfect avocados!
It’s extra nice that the veggies comes delivered in a nice wooden box, that you return back to the delivery man next time. We have chosen to have a box like this delivered once every second week for now and complementing with veggies from FRAM when needed.
Since it was our first delivery we got a nice welcome package with the box as well. Sea salt, olives, apple cider vinegar and a really tasty olive oil!
Later Oliva enjoyed the box as well. Boxes are the best thing in the world!
Our friend, Klara found that Gröna gårdar has a BARF-box containing basically all the pieces of meat, including tendons, that they can’t sell for eating, but which is perfect for our pets. Gröna Gårdar (~Green farms) is a company specializing in selling grass-fed organic beef and lamb’s meat here on the West coast of Sweden, the boeuf tartare that we do are usually on meat from them. Their meat has this wonderful flowery taste and no wonder since the animals are allowed to grace freely on their farms. It feels really nice to be able to give Olivia and Neo some real meat that is also not suitable for human consumption, in that way it is also much more environmentally friendly. That together with the economical aspect of buying regular meat to our cats have been our main concerns, so it is nice to finally find a way to deal with that!
Anyhow, we thought we would give the BARF-box a try and last week we went to pick it up at a supermarket in town. Gröna Gårdar distribute their meat boxes to a selected number of stores around Gothenburg, so we actually took the car to get there and especially to get back home with the 10+ kg of meat. In addition to the BARF-box, which in an of itself contains 10 kilos of meat and tendons, we also ordered a cow’s heart. The heart is sold per piece and we were a bit reluctant at first, since we it seemed quite expensive to pay almost 200 kr for a heart, but when we picked it up we were really surprised with the size of it. Slightly over 4 kg (!). It was huge! So, in the end it was actually not at all that expensive, per kilogram that is…
Our main issue is really that we only have a small freezer, which usually is packed with the meat that we ourselves consume, but we had prepared and it was almost empty before we got the delivery of the BARF-box.
We split the meat and tendons from the BARF-box into smaller batches before freezing them. The heart we cut up in small pieces and distributed in smaller batches as well.
Since we had to stock up on food for the cats we also made a completely fresh batch of BARF. For this we used about 1 kg of meat and tendons from the BARF-box and an additional 700 g of heart as well as 1.5 dl bone meal and some water to dissolve and spread out the bone meal.
After chopping the meat, tendons and heart into pieces of about 2 x 2 x 2 cm we mixed them with the bone meal and the water and then split up in glass jars for storage.
Since it is really important that cats get all different amino acids we also add a small piece of liver when serving the barf. At the moment they get slightly more than 50 g each twice a day and a small piece of liver (~5 g) in the morning. They seem content with it this far. One huge positive aspect is that they have to spend some time chewing the pieces now rather then just gulping it all up and almost swallowing the meat whole as they did before with the minced meat.
Two reflections: It seems we have found our source of meat for the cats! There will definitely be more BARF-boxes in the future. The cow’s heart taste delicious. No, it was not only for the cats ;).
It was a while ago you got to see us making the BARF for Olivia and Neo. This time we had some special ingredients that we hope they will enjoy.
The batches we make last about two weeks, where each cat gets around 60 g of BARF for each meal. That might however be a bit too much considering that Olivia leaves parts of her portion every now and then which Neo then eats and he really doesn’t need more food… So, we figured that we would reduce the amount to 50 g, as a trial. The great benefit here is that the batch will last longer. But, also hopefully Neo won’t over eat as much.
Anyhow the ingredients are:
1 dl bone meal
500 g minced hen meat
500 g minced meat
150 g liver
1-3 dl water
Extra, like heart, kidneys, etc.
We usually make two sets of the above mix. One of them fits nicely into our bowl, so rather than having a hard time mixing the BARF when making a double batch we just prefer making it twice in a row instead.
This time we used some venison tongue as well as heart as the “extra”. The heart is something that we ourselves like to eat, so the cats only got half of it. The tongue however has a really peculiar texture that almost makes it difficult even chopping, so we left that for the cats to enjoy!
As usual we just mix all the ingredients and add water until the bone meal is nicely integrated with the rest. Then we weight it and put it in glass jars containing an even number of portions to make it easy to keep track and store.
So far they seem to enjoy this batch. Sometimes they get a bit picky when a new batch comes along, but that does not seem to be the case this time. So, the venison tongue seems to have been put to good use.
Olivia and Neo continue eating their BARF food, even though they’re a bit skeptical to the last batch that we did. Unfortunately we haven’t been able to find out why… Sometimes they’re just too much cats! Find the basic recipe here.
But now it was time to do a new one. Instead of using the large amount of minced meat that we usually do I decided to use pieces of loin of pork and chicken wings. The largest bones in the chicken wings went to the freezer waiting to become bone broth since the cats haven’t learned how to eat them. However, the smaller ones that I was able to chop with the knife went into the BARF batch. Interesting to see whether or not they will try to eat that.
BARF with chicken wings
650 g of minced meat, chocken wings and loin of pork
50 g of chicken liver
150 g of pork heart
150 g bone meal
20 ground psyllium seed
The bone meal and psyllium husk is mixed together with the minced meat with enough water to make it go together. The other pieces of meat was chopped in quite large pieces. Add the BARF mixture by portion size into jars and store in the freezer.
Caution: Never give cooked bones to your pet, only raw ones! If they are cooked they easily split into sharp bits that can damage their guts badly. The raw ones have another texture, which doesn’t pose the same potential problems.
In the beginning when we had just got the cats they were not very energetic and spent most of their time either asleep or hiding. However, as they have become more and more accommodated to us and to the apartment as well as getting art appropriate food they have also started to become more restless and full of energy. The main disadvantage of having indoor cats and especially whilst living in a relatively small apartment is that it is difficult for the cats to stimulate themselves. They do indeed chase after one another, but that is definitely not as much as they should move about in the wild.
To help activating them we try to play with them as much as possible. We have some dedicated toy, but for some reason they seem to enjoy everyday things better. Why not let Neo chase a branch of lemon balm..? A reasonable thing for a cat to want do chase, don’t you think?
The favorite among all things has to be wires. Wires of all kinds. Ball of yarn and similar things. Here we have Olivia playing with a pompom.
Hopefully we do a sufficiently good job with playing with them, but in the future we hope to have more room for them to be able to play on, explore and enjoy.
Time again to make more food for Olivia and Neo! As you know, they get BARF.
The last batch was not that appreciated, with a lot of minced hen meat and also kidney from deer. Hen and kidney meat are really not their favorites… Can’t blame them for their dislike of kidney though, it has a really special taste.
But for this one, they got only things that they really enjoy. We use only organic ingredients to get the highest quality and to keep an ethical and environmental aspect to it.
Tasty BARF for cats
450 g pigs heart
150 g beef liver
200 g loin
1750 g minced meat of pork and beef
450 g bone meal
80 g ground psyllium seeds
Simply mix the minced meat with all the bone meal and psyllium seed until it’s mixed. You’ll need to add water to be able to make it go together. Chop the other meat parts into large pieces so that the cats have something to chew on. Put ready portions in jars, i.e. weigh the correct amount your cat is suppose to eat each day, and then store in the freezer.
The psyllium seed doesn’t add any essential nutrition but it is really good food for the cats gut bacteria that helps them to stay healthy. Just like our guts need som resistant starch to thrive.
When the weather is reasonable and we got the time, we take Neo out to our backyard.
He gets a bit scared but very excited and amused at the same time. Understandable after spending your 6 years living inside closed doors.
Neo and Olivia have been with us for almost a year now. Before that they lived with an old lady that got sick and the cats was left to a secondary home before we adopted them. Olivia was picked up from the street as a kitten but after that they have spent their lives together indoors.
Olivia is absolutely terrified of being outside, so we leave her inside when taking Neo out. She enjoys being on the balcony, but does not at all enjoy going further than that. We believe that Neo is really benefiting from the stimulation he gets from being outside though and try to take him out whenever the weather permits.
Since we’re living in the middle of the city it would be to dangerous to let him run free outside, so we need to keep him on a leach. He doesn’t exactly enjoy it but it’s better than not being out at all.
This evening the light was particularly nice and Neo really does match well with the green grass background. Don’t you say?