We Avoided Foods That Contained Animal By
Animal by-products are one of the most misunderstood ingredients in cat food.
Most people have responded to the AAFCO definition of byproducts with the same sort of nausea that you might feel if served a platter of these ingredients at a restaurant. And yet much of the products that fall into the definition of by-products are highly-nourishing parts of an animal carcass that your cat would love to eat. And theres nothing disgusting about that.
Digestibility and quality control are the real problems with animal by-products. These vaguely-specified ingredients may be produced from any number of animal parts from any number of different animals.
A former AAFCO president once emphasized how loosely regulated these ingredients are that You dont know if its cattle or sheep or horse or Fluffy.
Besides not knowing what type of animals contributed to the by-product stew, you dont know if it contains more wholesome liver or nutritionally void chicken feet. If you want to ensure maximum protein digestibility, avoid meat by-products and other vaguely-named ingredients like meat, poultry, and meat and bone meal.
Halo Rabbit & Garden Greens Recipe Review
Halo is a cat food brand that is best known for being associated with the celebrity Ellen DeGeneres. The popular talk show host took partial ownership of the brand in recent years, but they have been producing pet food for far longer than that and were first founded in 1986.
You can discover the full history of the Halo Brand in our Halo Brand Review.
While many cat food brands tend to make their recipes generic, Halo has many different specialty recipes, including some for Kittens, Senior Cats, and cats with allergies and sensitivities.
The above Rabbit recipe is a prime example of this and is designed for cats with Sensitive Stomachs, which an increasingly common issue.
A large portion of Rabbit is joined by a smaller portion of Chicken and Chicken Liver. As we mentioned earlier, organ meat ingredients such as the Liver can improve palatability and provide additional nutrition.
Another notable addition in this recipe is a small portion of Eggs. Eggs are extremely nutritious and underutilized in pet food. One of their best traits is that they are extremely bioavailable, which means a cats digestive system will waste very little of the nutrition value.
Like most of the other wet cat food recipes mentioned here, this recipe from Halo does not contain a notable quantity of plant-based content which closely aligns it to a cats natural diet.
Easy Homemade Cat Gravy
Once youve mastered our base recipe, you can start experimenting! If you are looking for something a bit more delectable for your sweet kitty, learn how to make cat gravy with these 6 nutritional recipes!
Once you have prepared the base recipe, please resist the temptation of giving the cat any bone. Please never give your cat a cooked bone!
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Tuna Ball Cat Food Recipe
There is a name for cats who simply cannot get enough tuna Tunaholics! This hearty cat food recipe is one to keep on hand as your cat is sure to hang around the kitchen and meow at your feet to request for more. These ingredients are likely ones we always keep in our pantry which makes this a simple and easy go-to recipe!
We Looked For Foods That Were Free Of Potentially Harmful Ingredients And Additives
The Best Cat Food Is Free Of Carrageenan.
This natural seaweed extract is a great binder and thickener for canned cat food, but it has a bad reputation. Studies have shown that carrageenan creates inflammation in the body and may exacerbate cancer.
The Best Cat Food Doesnt Contain Artificial Ingredients.
Artificial flavors are unnecessary if the food is made with nourishing meat ingredients. No cat needs artificial colors. In addition to being unnecessary, food dyes are tied to behavioral issues and cancer development in both humans and animals.
BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin are popular preservatives that are associated with serious problems. Most pet foods have replaced them with natural alternatives including Vitamin E , rosemary extract, and other antioxidants. Although ethoxyquin rarely appears on the ingredient list, it may enter your cat food as a fish preservative.
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Food Theyll Go Wild For
Untamed is the best way to give your cat the whole meats they need to thrive.
“The experts at Untamed are changing the future of cat food.”
“Keep cats healthy and happy.”
“Untamed makes it easy to serve mouth-watering, wholesome meals.”
“I had never heard the cats meow as loud as when a can of Untamed was opened.”
We Gave Preference To Moisture
Our cats ancestors were desert dwellers. They lived in arid environments where fresh prey was often the best source of moisture. A mouse is about 70% water and a fine source of hydration for a desert cat hours away from the nearest watering hole.
Because fresh water was scarce, early wild cats evolved to have low thirst drives and a natural inclination to get their water from the moisture-rich bodies of their prey. This means that they typically dont drink enough water to compensate for moisture-depleted dry food.
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Ziwi Peak Rabbit & Lamb Recipe Review
Ziwi Peak is well-known in the ultra-premium pet food space as the world leader in the air-dried/freeze-dried niche. These products are eye-wateringly expensive but are second to none when it comes to nutrition and simplicity.
You can learn more about Ziwki Peak and air-dried cat food in our Ziwi Peak Brand Review.
However, many neglect to learn more about the brand, including the fact that Ziwi Peak also has a large and varied range of wet/canned pet food. This wet food range includes some recipes that use less common meat ingredients like Rabbit.
The above NZ Rabbit & Lamb Recipe contains a mix of Rabbit and Lamb meat as well as a range of organ meat ingredients such as Lamb Lung, Lamb Liver, and Lamb Kidney.
These organ meat ingredients are excellent additions to a cats diet and can greatly enhance the flavor of the recipe, as well as provide several beneficial vitamins and minerals that may not be present in traditional meat cuts.
Outside of this Rabbit and Lamb content, the recipe contains no other notable ingredients, especially plant-based ingredients. This ensures the proportion of protein and fat is vast and more than sufficient for even the most active cats.
How To Get My Cat To Eat Homemade Cat Food
It will be easier to switch a cat from canned food to raw or cooked. Typically, the transition takes about a week. You start serving food in 20/80 ratio, then 40/60, 50/50, and replace the old food gradually. However, the process of transition may take months dont give up. Some pet owners suggest starting with raw/cooked food treats, such as chicken wings.
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What About Fresh Cat Food Delivery
If you love the idea of homemade cat food but youre not ready to take the leap, consider a fresh cat food delivery service as a steppingstone.
In an age where you can have just about anything delivered right to your door, pet food is no different. Companies like The Farmers Dog and Spot & Tango ship a months worth of fresh dog food to your home and fresh cat food companies are gaining speed as well.
Nom Nom offers fresh cat food formulated by board-certified veterinary nutritionists like Dr. Justin Shmalberg. Their recipes are designed in accordance with the nutritional levels established by AAFCO Food Nutrient Profiles and they send you individual bags of food pre-portioned according to your cats calorie needs. Simply open the thawed pouch and pour it right into your cats bowl.
As a quick side note, AAFCO stands for the Association of American Feed Control Officials. One of AAFCOs roles is to regulate the sale and distribution of animal feeds and animal drug remedies, as stated on the AAFCO website. AAFCO also ensures that a pet food meets minimum nutritional requirements.
If you really want to feed your cats carnivorous side, wed recommend Darwins Natural Pet Products. This fresh, raw pet food delivery company offers fresh frozen meals made from 100% real meat with raw bone, formulated specifically for obligate carnivores.
Hound & Gatos 98% Rabbit Review
While relatively unknown, especially to pet owners who only shop at large retail pet food stores like PetSmart or Petco, Hound & Gatos are an extremely high-quality pet food brand and appeal to cat owners who want to spare no expense for their feline friends.
Hound & Gatos wet pet food recipes contain 98% meat content which is unprecedented and ensures that there is an insignificant portion of plant matter present.
You can read more about Hound & Gatos, including other steps they take to be one of the highest quality pet food brands available in our Hound & Gatos Brand Review.
This is critical to cats, given that they are obligate carnivores and thrive best on a diet high in animal or fish-based content without large portions of vegetables or grains.
The above Rabbit recipe from Hound & Gatos only contains two notable ingredients, the first and most obvious being Rabbit.
Thanks to this huge portion of rabbit, the recipe offers a minimum of 11% protein and 7% fat which is extremely high for a wet cat food formula.
Outside of this Rabbit, the formula contains a small portion of Agar-Agar, which is commonly found in wet pet food recipes and is used as a binding agent to give the food a consistent texture and appearance.
It is also worth noting that Hound & Gatos have another recipe that contains Rabbit which is their Paleolithic
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How Much Does The Real Meat Company Cat Food Cost
The Real Meat Company promises quality meats at an affordable price. They say their foods cost 10% 25% less than their closest competitors.
If you have a 10-lb cat, Real Meat cat food will cost about $1.39 to $1.90 per day. Though we dont know the companys closest competitors, their food is similar to Ziwi Peaks air-dried products, which cost about $2.68 per day.
Smalls Fresh Cat Food Best Overall
The Smalls Fresh Cat Food is the best overall cat food made in the USA. All Smalls cat food varieties are made in the USA, sourced from the USA, and even cooked in USDA-certified kitchens. In other words, every aspect of Smalls Fresh Cat Food takes place in the US.
The fresh human-grade foods are all prepared in Chicago, Illinois. Meanwhile, the freeze-dried raw foods are made in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and the kibble is made in Brainerd, Minnesota.
Better yet, the Smalls cat food even meets the USDA requirements for human consumption. What this means is that your precious feline gets food that is such high quality that even you can eat it. The same cannot be said about most other cat food brands.
All Smalls cat foods are made primarily from animal protein sources and are free of any fillers, by-products, and artificial additives. You have your choice between chicken, turkey, and beef recipes, as well as two textures.
The only potential downside of this food is that it is more expensive than other varieties, but it is well worth the price. Because every step of the making of the food happens in the US, you can trust this food is safe for your furry friend.
The only reason this missed out on our top spot is that the ingredients arent premium quality. That means this contains chicken by-product meal, and the first ingredient is whole ground corn, not meat. But as the best value dry cat food made in the U.S.A., this is definitely your best bet.
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Is Homemade Cat Food Healthy
To make sure your cat gets all the vitamins and minerals it needs, its diet must be complete and balanced. This is a science and not based on what foods your cat likes best or on internet recipes from people without the proper veterinary credentials.
The safest and healthiest homemade diet for your cat is one that you create with a board-certified veterinary nutritionist. Most veterinarians arent board-certified veterinary nutritionists: Ask your vet for a recommendation, or use the American College of Veterinary Nutritions online directory.
If done correctly by a board-certified veterinary nutritionist, a homemade diet is good for cats or better said, a cat can do just as well on a homemade diet as a commercial diet, says Joe Bartges, DVM, PhD, professor at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine and a board-certified veterinary nutritionist. If a homemade diet is done poorly or incorrectly if it is not complete and balanced, for example then it would not be good.
When formulating a homemade diet for his cat clients , Bartges often uses chicken and turkey, sometimes fish produce like mango and pumpkin and carbs including rice, couscous, or tapioca pearls for texture, even though cats dont have a carb requirement.
Bartges feeds his two 4-year-old cats a homemade diet of chicken, kale, fish oil, a vitamin-mineral supplement, and a probiotic.
The Pros And Cons Of Homemade Diets
Choosing a diet for your cat can be difficult at the best of times, but it can be even more of a challenge when you are considering making it yourself.
The benefits of homemade cat food are significant, but your cat will only receive those benefits if you choose a properly balanced recipe and prepare it correctly. Homemade cat food isnt a simple switch, but it may well be worth the effort.
Before you make your final decision, consider the pros and cons of homemade cat food.
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The Best Dry Cat Food In 2022
Fiercely independent yet loving and loyal, cats are undoubtedly some of the best animal companions one could ask for. But no matter how self-sufficient, our feline friends need all the help they can get when it comes to their diet. To remain healthy, fit and happy, cats need proper nutrition, one that is not only appetizing but also complete and balanced, specifically crafted to support their particular nutritional needs. But with so many brands and recipes to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to start. Luckily, youre in the right place as our panel of cat experts and lovers has compiled a list of some of the best dry cat foods currently on the market to help point you in the right direction.
Tuna & Mackerel Feast
Since we have been living in Kathmandu I have continuously seen Mackerel flavored cat food on the shelves in local pet shops. We never tried it before so I bought a little tester to see what Yoda would think and he loved it. So we came up with this short recipe to treat your kitty a nice, fishy evening meal. You may want to give him a tic-tac after
What Youll Need:
- 1 cup canned unsalted mackerel
- 2 cups canned unsalted tuna in water
- 1 tablespoon organic brown rice, cooked
- 1-2 tablespoons of chicken or beef broth
Feel free to adjust these recipes to fit your cats special needs. You can double up on any of the meats or substitute one out for another. These recipes are simple to make because most likely you already have the ingredients in your cupboards or larder. Beware, mackerel and tuna is not the best meat option for cats, especially over the long-term.
However, please note that these recipes are not intended for ill cats or should, in no way, be used for long-term purposes or as a substitute for their regular diet .
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Why You Should Trust Us
Over the last year, weve written in-depth reviews of over 115 cat food brands and hundreds of formulas. We spent hours researching, contacting pet food companies, and analyzing labels. With the help of our cats, we also got hands-on experience with a few foods.
Between reviewing specific brands and researching feline nutrition, weve learned which brands and products are worth buying and putting in your cats bowl.
Based on that experience, weve chosen the 10 products described below as the best cat food you can buy in 2021.
Recipes To Help Prevent Diseases Or Medical Conditions
Cats are prone to most of the diseases and conditions that affect humans, and diet can play a large part in the management of those conditions. These recipes were created by veterinarians and/or nutrition experts, and are deemed safe. However, in all cases related to feline health, please check with your veterinarian for approval before trying these recipes, and your cat’s condition should be closely monitored while using these diets. We’ll start with a common, and not-too-serious condition.
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Raw Rules Food For Cats
There are two main rules for feeding cats. When you follow these, youre working with the cats natural nutritional patterns.
After seeing so much success with switching our cat Bob to a raw food diet for kidney disease, friends and family and readers have been asking me about a recipe for kittens and healthy cats.
The only change to the Feline Kidney Care Raw Food recipe is that I used bone-in chicken in place of the beef, as it contains the healthy fats from the skin as well as bone bone that cats need to grow and maintain bone health. Cats with kidney disease need to limit their phospherous, but cats without kidney disease should NOT limit phosphorous and should include bones in the diet.
Is this recipe enough taurine? I wasnt sure, since taurine in the chicken heart may degrade when its frozen, and my chicken hearts come frozen. Since taurine is so essential to cats, I sprinkle powdered taurine, 1 pinch, on each container of his food .