11 easy homemade cat food recipes for your furry pals

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Whether you’re a master chef or a cooking novice, you can successfully prepare homemade food that your cát will love. All it takes is an understanding of the process & the necessary ingredients khổng lồ create complete & balanced meals.

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Read on for a close look at how to lớn properly make your own cat food.

Raw vs. Cooked Homemade cat Food

Benefits of Preparing Homemade mèo Food

What Nutrients vày Cats Need?

Equipment & Tools for Preparing Homemade cat Food

The Cost of Homemade mèo Food

Safety Concerns & Tips

Homemade mèo Food Recipes

What vì Vets Have lớn Say

Frequently Asked Questions

Raw vs. Cooked Homemade cát Food

You can choose to lớn prepare raw cat food, cooked cát food or a balance of the two. Each option will require the following ingredients:

MeatOrgansBoneFatEgg YolksWaterSupplements

To be considered truly raw, the meat is not processed using any heat. Cooking with heat can cause the meat to thua nutrients, which is why raw feeding is considered to lớn be very beneficial. However, if you are concerned about feeding your cat uncooked meat because of the potential for bacteria, Lisa A. Pierson, DVM and owner of CatInfo.org advises that you can also partially cook the meat.

The type và source of the meat may also influence your decision. Pierson chooses to lớn feed rabbit 100% raw, but partially bakes chicken and turkey whole thighs. “I never feed poultry from any source in the raw form since it is more apt khổng lồ be contaminated with harmful bacteria,” she writes. If you purchase pre-ground poultry, it should always be fully cooked.

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Benefits of Preparing Homemade cát Food

Homemade mèo food offers several notable benefits:

You have complete control over the ingredients in your cat’s food. Some commercially available cat food brands include ingredients that aren’t necessary for your cat, such as vegetables, fruits or added grains. By making your own cat food, you can prioritize the meat, vitamins và minerals that your cat needs.You can freeze large batches. Pierson recommends preparing enough food for three to four months. However, be sure not to keep homemade cát food in the freezer longer than four months since nutrients can degrade over time.

Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they thrive on diets that are rich in animal protein, making homemade raw diets especially beneficial. Raw diets:

Contain low carbohydrate levels, which can help prevent obesity & diabetesAre high in moisture, helping your cat get adequate hydration that promotes kidney healthProvide efficient protein levels due vị a lack of heat processingPromote dental health by decreasing plaque buildup, tooth loss and gum disease

What Nutrients vì chưng Cats Need?

When it comes lớn homemade cat food, preparing complete và balanced recipes is an absolute must. In the wild, cats can get all of the necessary nutrients by feasting on the entirety of their prey, but modern cats need supplemental vitamins và minerals.

Below is a danh mục of the supplements needed for homemade cat food. You can typically find these at specialty grocery stores, health food stores or online retailers. The supplements are the same that are intended for humans, only the amounts will vary.

Feline-Nutrition advises purchasing these supplements:

TaurineWild Salmon Oil or Wild Caught Small Fish OilVitamin EVitamin B-ComplexLite Salt Containing IodinePsyllium Husk Powder

Cats have evolved to get their hydration from the prey they eat, which is why they don’t have a natural thirst drive lượt thích dogs. Raw meat that is used in many homemade recipes provides an excellent source of hydration, but you should also have fresh water available at all times.

You’ll also want to make sure khổng lồ get the freshest, highest chất lượng meat possible for your homemade mèo food recipes. Don’t remove the fat from the meat; it’s important for nutrient utilization, cell integrity & metabolic regulation.

Bones và Calcium

When preparing homemade cat food, what do you do with the bones?

Pierson explains on CatInfo.org that cats cannot live on meat alone — they also need calcium. Homemade cat food then needs to include a proper calcium-to-phosphorus ratio. If cats were khổng lồ eat prey in the wild, they would be consuming a good balance of calcium (from the bones) and phosphorous (from the meat).

The bones should be ground with the meat, or you should địa chỉ cửa hàng another source of calcium and supplements if you’re only using meat. It’s crucial khổng lồ include the right amount of bone because too much can cause constipation or an obstruction khổng lồ the urethra. “I suggest just using poultry thighs which will lower the bone nội dung of the food since the thigh is the meatiest part of a bird’s body toàn thân that contains a bone,” says Pierson.

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Equipment & Tools for Preparing Homemade cát Food

There are several essential tools you’ll need before you can start preparing homemade cát food. Here’s a helpful list from Feline-Nutrition:

Meat Grinder (one that can handle bones)Ear Plugs (in case your grinder is too loud)Sharp KnivesMeat CleaverMixing BowlsPoultry ShearsKitchen ScaleLarge Cutting BoardsFreezer SpaceLatex or Nitrile GlovesNewspaper or Plastic Covers for Your Work AreaFreezable Plastic or Glass Containers, or Ziploc Freezer Bags

The Cost of Homemade mèo Food

When you’re determining how much a homemade diet will cost, there are a ton of factors khổng lồ consider.

Depending on what you already have in stock in your kitchen, you may need to buy some of the equipment và tools we listed above. However, most of these items will be one-time expenses.

The meat is one area where there will be a lot of variabilities. Cost will depend on:

The Type of Meat: For example, chicken is often less expensive than rabbit, & organic meat will have a higher price tag than non-organic.Where the Meat is From: A local farm may offer better prices than a specialty store.How Much Meat You Need: Consider the number of cats you have và their appetites. This will tell you how much you need lớn buy and how often.

Don’t forget the supplements. These may be expensive at first, but you can get a lot of use out of them, and they are invaluable khổng lồ your cat’s health. You’ll also need ingredients lượt thích eggs và salt that can be purchased at your local grocery store.

Safety Concerns & Tips

Homemade raw diets can potentially pose health and safety issues if not prepared correctly. Here are a few safety tips to lớn keep top of mind:

Pre-ground meat must be thoroughly cooked because it’s possible that surface bacteria can be ground into the meat.Always clean and disinfect all food preparation areas.Wash your hands with soap và water after handling ingredients.Deep clean all tools và equipment that were used to lớn prepare the homemade mèo food.Always be aware of the kích cỡ of the bone pieces in the food. Large pieces can get stuck in your cat’s mouth or could cause them to lớn choke.Before switching khổng lồ a homemade diet, take your mèo to the vet for a dental exam. Healthy teeth are essential for chewing the chunks of meat that are present in homemade diets.Make sure that the recipes you are preparing are complete and balanced. Feeding your mèo unbalanced meals can cause health risks due khổng lồ a lack of essential nutrients.

Homemade mèo Food Recipes

To help you start your transition khổng lồ homemade cát food, take a look at this recipe from Lisa A. Pierson, DVM.

Note: Always consult your vet before making any changes to your cat’s diet. Your vet can also help you create a homemade food plan that’s tailored khổng lồ your cat’s particular health needs.

3 pounds of whole fowl or rabbit, including bones, organs and skin1 cup water2 eggs (use raw yolks & lightly cook the whites)2000 mg wild salmon oil400 IU vi-ta-min E (powdered E in capsule size works)100 mg vi-ta-min B-complex (start with a smaller amount when beginning a homemade mèo food diet as the vi-ta-min has a strong odor)2000 mg taurine, powdered¾ tsp lite salt with iodine (when using chicken parts)Liver (add 4 oz if the meat you are using does not include organs)Psyllium (add when first introducing a homemade or raw food diet khổng lồ your cat)

What vị Vets Have to Say?

Homemade cat food can be a healthy alternative khổng lồ store-bought options, one that more closely mimics a cat’s natural diet — but what bởi vì the experts have to lớn say about it?

Karen Becker, DVM, author, & pet nutrition educator và formulator, is in favor of homemade diets, provided they supply the right combination of essential nutrients. Says Becker:

“As an integrative wellness veterinarian who understands the vital connection between nutrition and health, I applaud all pet parents who make the commitment to prepare và feed only a homemade diet to their pets. But here’s the rub — if you’re going the homemade route, you must bởi vì it right. Và by right, I mean balanced. A growing problem in my practice is pets with compromised health as the result of being fed an unbalanced homemade diet.”

Jennifer Coates, a DVM with over 25 years of experience in veterinary medicine & animal welfare, seconds Becker’s statement and advises pet parents khổng lồ be judicious about which homemade cat food recipes they follow.

“Unfortunately, many recipes for homemade mèo foods contain too little or too much of one or more important nutrients,” says Coates, citing a 2019 study of home-prepared diets for cats.

When looking for homemade cat food recipes, Coates encourages pet parents khổng lồ look for those provided by board-certified veterinary nutritionists và to follow them khổng lồ the letter. “Research has shown that, with time, many pet parents make substitutions in the diet and/or completely stop including vital ingredients, lượt thích vitamin & mineral supplements,” she adds.

“The best pet food recipes will include very precise amounts of specific ingredients, and will include added sources of vitamins and minerals such as calcium, B vitamins, iron, zinc, & essential fatty acids,” says Cailin R. Heinze, a board-certified veterinary nutritionist & Chief Academic Officer of the Mark Morris Institute. “While a ‘whole foods’ approach where every nutrient comes from food, not supplements, is appealing, it is nearly impossible to lớn meet all of your pet’s nutrient needs without adding concentrated supplements.”

Heinze cautions pet parents against using vitamin & mineral supplements marketed for pets, instead recommending that they seek out specific veterinary supplements or multiple human supplements. Lượt thích Coates, Heinze emphasizes the importance of consulting a board-certified veterinary nutritionist to lớn identify the right balance of ingredients & supplements for your pet.

Finally, for pet parents looking to make the switch from store-bought khổng lồ homemade cát food, it’s important lớn be realistic.

“If you’re interested in feeding your cats home-prepared food, you have lớn go into this extremely carefully và you have to spend a lot of time learning,” says Andrea Tasi, a Washington, DC area vet who specializes in feline healthcare and feeds her own cats a homemade diet. “This is not easy. For people who want khổng lồ feed their cats less-processed foods, I don’t think they should be making their own food first step.”

Instead, Tasi recommends that pet parents interested in making the transition start by researching commercial pet food brands that offer “pre-pasteurized, balanced, frozen, raw food diets.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can I transition my cát to a homemade raw diet?

A: Slow, phased transitions tend lớn work best with cats, since they are notoriously picky with their food. The most important thing is to be patient. You can start the transition from less processed food by phasing in small amounts of homemade raw food & slowly increasing the amount until they are completely transitioned. You can also reviews this transitioning guide from the Feline Nutrition Foundation for more tips.

Q: Are there alternatives to homemade raw diets that provide similar benefits?

A: There are commercially prepared raw meals that are available in pet stores. Freeze-dried & dehydrated options offer many of the same benefits as raw diets because they either completely avoid heat-processed ingredients or contain ingredients that have gone through very minimal heat processing. 

Q: How can I make sure my homemade mèo food is complete & balanced?

A: It’s best khổng lồ follow recipes to a T to ensure that you’re including the right amount of ingredients. You can find recipes from CatInfo, Feline-NutritionCatNutriton. When in doubt, consult with a veterinary nutritionist.

RAWZ is an advocate for the benefits of feeding homemade raw diets. However, we also understand that raw feeding may not be right for everyone. That’s why we’ve spent years working with leading veterinary nutritionists lớn develop “the next best thing khổng lồ feeding raw.” Our minimally processed mèo food can be offered as your cat’s main source of food or as a supplement lớn a homemade diet, all in the convenience of a dry food package or wet food cans.