What is meatpoint.io?
meatpoint.io is an automated science-grade BARF calculator.
Our MPD (Meatpoint Diet) BARF formulas provide complete calculations for nutritionally balanced raw diets. Recipes are carefully prepared based on specific nutrient requirements from NRC, FEDIAF & AAFCO's guidelines.
Ingredient data comes from official US, European and Australian food databases supplemented with research papers and data from supplement manufacturers.
Olga Lasek PhD
Faculty of Animal Sciences, Agricultural University of Kraków
Jarosław Kański PhD
Faculty of Animal Sciences, Agricultural University of Kraków
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Step 1: Cat, the cat's needs and supplementation
First, you need to add the necessary information about your cat. The information needed to calculate the recipe is the cat's weight and the determination of caloric requirements based on the cat's activity, condition, age and reproductive status.
- Kittens in two different age classes and two different activity levels
- Adult cats in 5 diet energy requirement classes
- Pregnant or lactating queens
- obese cats, in need of weight loss
- slightly overweight cats, low-activity neutered cats,
- low activity uncastrated cats; neutered cats,
- non-neutered cats, highly active neutered cats, slightly underweight cats,
- very active cats, sexually active cats, skinny cats.
Please remember that the energy requirements of adult cats are largely an individual issue and the model chosen is only the best approximation currently known. Below, a more detailed description of the formulas on the basis of which we adjusted the above energy (caloric) levels of this diet.
Cat's Daily Energy Requirement (DER) is expressed as:
DER = MER * BW0.67
Maintenance Energy Requirement (MER) is resting energy requirement, Body Weight (BW) is the body mass in kg (lbs), and BW0.67 is the metabolic body weight (please note it's nonlineary relation to BW). MER depends on the maturity and physical activity of the cat.
Cat named Dot, average physical activity, adult cat weighing 4 kg (8.8 lbs)
- MER = 75 kcal/kg0.67
- BW = 4 kg
- BW0.67 = 2.53 kg0.67
- DER = 75 kcal/kg0.67 * 2.53 kg0.67 =~ 190 kcal
Cat named Count, average physical activity, adult cat weighing 8 kg (17.6 lbs)
- MER = 75 kcal/kg0.67
- BW = 8 kg
- BW0.67 = 4.03 kg0.67
- DER = 75 kcal/kg0.67 * 4.03 kg0.67 =~ 302 kcal
Cat named Princessa, very high physical activity, adult female cat weighing 5 kg (11 lbs)
- MER = 100 kcal/kg0.67
- BW = 5 kg
- BW0.67 = 2.94 kg0.67
- DER = 100 kcal/kg0.67 * 2.94 kg0.67 =~ 294 kcal
For those who would like to dive in deeper in the topic:
- FEDIAF (‘Nutritional Guidelines’ - FEDIAF, The European Pet Food Industry, 2021, section 7.2, page 48)
- NRC (‘Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats’ - National Research Council, 2006, pages 28-48)
- Interesting meta-analysis: Energy requirements of adult cats, 2010
Step 2: Choosing a supplement set
The user must compose a set of supplements from the available products.
We use following supplements in our recipes:
- Iodine (algae)
- Calcium (we recommend using calcium citrate)
- Vitamins B (brewer's yeast)
- Iron (blood meals)
- Vitamin E
- Omega fatty acids
- Sodium (non-iodized salt)
- Phosphorus (bone meal - only in some recipes, we don't allow usage of bones because of difficulties with phosphorus measurements - more about phosphorus in step 4)
- Vitamin D (very rarely needed to meet fediaf/nrc norms, higher levels of vitamin D could lead to calcium tooth resorption)
- Magnesium (optionally)
- Copper (optionally)
- additionally supllements that aren't a part of BARF's MPD formula are available as custom ingredients
Are we missing a supplement you want to use? Please contact us, preferably with a photo of the supplement's composition attached to the conversation.
Step 3: Choosing the ingredients
You should start with determining the intended number of days for the recipe. Then choose a cat (it's possible to make a recipe for more than one cat but only if they have the same energy requirement class aka 'shape') and a set of supplements. You also need to determine what percentage of the meat weight (weight of meat and offal, but not including the liver) should the offal weight account for. This number should be determined based on the cat's preferences (if you don't know what to choose - start with the default value). Then choose a liver (the main vitamin A supplement), two types of offal and two types of meats.
This set of raw ingredients allows MPD to correctly balance the desired crude protein to crude fat ratio in the diet. The choice of the second meat is dynamically updated (based on the other choices made) to ensure that the correct recipe is calculated efficiently.
The most accurate science sources:
- The omnivorous dog dogma and carnivorous cat connection - W. H. Hendriks, 2014
- Geometric analysis of macronutrient selection in the adult domestic cat, Felis catus. - Hewson-Hughes AK1, Hewson-Hughes VL, Miller AT, Hall SR, Simpson SJ, Raubenheimer D., 2011
- U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
- Frida Food Data - National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark
- LGC Nutrient analysis of chicken and turkey
- Meat, Poultry and Game Supplement
- Taurine concentrations in animal feed ingredients
- & others
Step 4: Balancing the recipe
In literature, the nutrient requirements of a cat are expressed in relation to 1000 kcal ME, MJ ME or 100 g DM, where ME is Metabolisable Energy, MJ is 'megajoule' and DM is the weight of the food's Dry Matter. In MPD, we use values for 1000 kcal ME. Depending on the cat's MER, the nutrient requirements vary. As a result, an example of 10 g of a moderately active cat's food will have not only a different energy density but also a different density of nutrients (including supplements) than 10 g of a very active cat's food. Only cats with the same MER can share the same meal calculated according to the MPD rules.
All the ingredients (raw & supplements) are balanced in an automated process that determines the weight of all ingredients according to the set constraints. Balancing is carried out in the process of adding ingredients while maintaining the assumed crude protein to crude fat ratio, calcium to phosphorus ratio and many more.
The calcium to phosphorus ratio is crucial to the long-term health of cats as Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is recognized as a major health cause of death for adult cats. CKD is often a result of a diet with an incorrect calcium to phosphorus ratio (too high in phosphorus) and the dehydration that often results from eating an unnaturally dry diet. In 2020, FEDIAF reduced by half the minimum recommended level of phosphorus in the diet of adult cats.
- ‘Nutritional Guidelines’ - FEDIAF, The European Pet Food Industry, 2021
- ‘Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats’ - National Research Council, 2006
- Chronic Kidney Disease in Aged Cats: Clinical Features, Morphology, and Proposed Pathogeneses - CA Brown, J. Elliott, CW Schmiedt, SA Brown, 2016
- Observation about phosphorus and protein supply in cats and dogs prior to the diagnosis of chronic kidney disease - L. F. Böswald, E. Kienzle, B. Dobenecker, 2017
Step 5: Result presentation
Successfully calculated recipe is presented in 3 sections:
- A summary containing input settings (number of days, offal percentage) with a daily portion of food for each cat. The daily portion contains information about the calorific value and weight. The amount given should be divided between all meals during the day and covers the cat's total nutritional requirements.
- List of ingredients with weights. Some supplements may have their weight omitted - which means they should not be included. If you don't have a subscription weights of most of the ingredients will be hidden. All presented ingredients must be included in the prepared mixture in the exact weight. Below the ingredient list, you can find the total weight of the recipe, broken down by weight of ingredients and the weight of added water, to allow space saving in a freezer. If you freeze without adding water - you'll need to add the missing amount after defrosting.
- Audit report of the calculated recipe. Meatpoint.io's verifies the obtained values against the cat's nutritional requirements based on current scientific sources. The report presents key values and some of the nutrition-related ratios. The report may present information on the underestimated or overestimated value of the non-supplemented nutrient value. Such discrepancies are still safe, but long-term feeding of recipes with the same information / warning should be avoided.
When you feed your cat with meat-only diet (or meat with offal only) you'd most probably harm your cat because such a diet is not properly balanced and lacks many nutrients. Please notice that in the wild cats feed with chosen prey fragments of their own choice. Farmed animals' differ in nutritional values from wild animals.
Properly balanced raw feeding diets are intended for cats whose life expectancy is well above the average of wild cats.
Sick, allergic or extremely picky cats may require gradual introduction of supplements and such process should be controlled by a cat dietitian. The basic version of the application doesn't support creating such diet mixtures.
Simple explanation: portions for each cat consist of an optimal amount of nutrient requirements, i.e. for an overweight cat mixture will have a different supplementation for each 100 g than for a very active cat.
There are many "BARF calculators" with many differences that's why detailed comparisons could be done only between exact implementations.