Homemade Food For Cats
If youre like me and not comfortable feeding a raw food diet to your cats but still want the best, be in control and know what exactly goes into your cats food then consider cooking it or buying it pre-made yourself.
I like to keep their food as minimally processed as possible.
I actually buy my cats food from a company called NomNomNow.
They prepare all their food fresh and deliver within 2 days still ice cold.
Ive been using them for about three months now and I dont see myself ever going back solely to canned food.
The biggest thing here is cost, especially with 4 cats. I still supplement using Crave cat food for variety or when the fresh food runs out.
What Treats Can I Safely Feed My Cat
Everybody loves to treat their pets, and as a vet, I always calculate a treat allowance into a meal plan for cats. In order to make sure your pet doesnt end up overweight, you should definitely consider their calorie allowance when it comes to treats. Nutrition experts recommend that no more than 10% of your cats daily calories come from treats, and dont forget to take those calories out of your calculations for daily food allowance!
As for what sort of treats there are lots of cat treats on the market that are suitable- as a vet I like to opt for dual-purpose treats such as those that help with dental health or hairballs. Id definitely steer clear of human food though, as flavorings and ingredients can be toxic to cats, and it can be really hard to find out how many calories are in a small bit of tuna.
Tip No : Focus On Nutrients Not Ingredients
Dont spend too much time trying to decipher that ingredient list. Animals require nutrients, not ingredients,” says Sherry Sanderson, DVM, PhD, University of Georgia, College of Veterinary Medicine. You should be most concerned about the nutritional value of the end product, and less concerned about the ingredients that get you there.
This is where the label’s Guaranteed Analysis comes into play. It lists nutrients found in cat food.
In general, cats need a variety of nutrients to survive, including protein, water, carbohydrates , vitamins, and minerals.
The specific nutrients depend on your cats life stage, among other things. But the way nutritional information is presented has often sparked debate. Some say current pet food labels, in general, are confusing and misleading, and one consumer advocacy group has called for a total overhaul of the labeling rules.
Why the controversy? Cat food manufactures are only required to list the minimum and maximum amounts of four nutrients: protein, fat, fiber, and moisture.
- They must list the minimum amount of crude protein and crude fat.
- They must list the maximum amount of crude fiber and moisture.
For example, a box of cat food may read: Crude protein — 32%. That means it contains at least that much protein. It could have more, but no less.
Manufacturers may voluntarily include information about other nutrients, such as ash, magnesium, and taurine, which is a must for cats.
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Instinct By Natures Variety Raw Boost Grain
This unique recipe from Instinct by Natures Variety is a good option when transitioning onto a raw diet or when you want to introduce more raw food into your cats diet but they are too fussy to go completely raw. It does this by mixing Instincts high-protein kibble with raw, freeze-dried meat chunks.
In the chicken recipe, the freeze-dried meat chunks are chicken and chicken liver but it seems that the recipe does not include bone, which is an essential part of a raw diet. This is mixed in with kibble made from chicken, turkey, and fish meal. While meal may contain much of the muscle, bone, and organ meat that we want for our cats, when companies use meal rather than grinding their own meat, they cannot be sure what is in the meal.
Also, the meal has been baked to create the kibble, taking away some of its essential nutrients. Kibble also requires carbohydrates for texture. This recipe uses peas and tapioca, which are a relatively good carbohydrate choice for cats, certainly better than grains, soy, or potato.
The kibble is enriched with a variety of essential vitamins and minerals that cats need including zinc, selenium, vitamin A and E, ascorbic acid, omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, and Bacillus. As well as moderate fiber levels, it is enriched with probiotics to boost digestion health.
Finally, if you are thinking about transitioning, or arent ready to go fully raw, try Instinct by Natures Varietys mix of high-protein kibble and freeze-dried meat chunks.
Homemade Cooked Cat Food Recipe
Lets not leave our cats out from eating freshly cooked food like we humans do.
It doesnt take that much more time, it cost a bit less than buying pre-made and we can freeze it.
Lets get some of the benefits out of the way:
- Sautee rabbit in the olive oil
- Sprinkle with herbs and add vegetable stock, bringing to a boil.
- Reduce heat and cook through.
- Add chopped veggies and return to the oven for another 45 mins.
- Let cool to room temperature and serve.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge, or freeze
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What Do Cats Need To Eat Meat
Cats need a source of high-quality protein in their diet.
They are carnivores and living on a vegan diet will not give them the nutrients they need to survive.
Basic foods your cats need to eat:
Honestly, the confusion between feeding raw or cooked cat food is the quality control.
When deciding to go raw or cooked for your cats, comes with some risks.
What Are Raw Diet Alternatives
While there is no perfect substitute for feeding a truly raw diet, the goal of providing the best nutrition possible can be approached in various ways.
Sometimes thought of as synonymous with raw diets are freeze-dried and dehydrated diets. The aim of feeding this way is to avoid heat-processed ingredients, or to achieve as minimal heat damaged nutrition possible. With RAWZ, weve worked with a team of animal nutritionists to develop raw-inspired, minimally processed nutrition options for cats.
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Best Raw Food For Cats
All cat parents want the best care for their babies- in terms of cat foods, toys, and accessories. To ensure that they are receiving all the required nutrients for healthy growth, you should know about all cat food options to make an informed decision.
You might think that your baby with soft fur is very calm and sweet, but in reality, they are predatory in nature. The household cats usually exhibit this attribute while chasing small animals like mice, insects, or simply, their toys. This means that they require a diet that fulfills their internal hunter demands. The diet for cats can only be met by providing them with the best raw cat food.
Foods That Are Toxic To Cats
There are some known foods that are toxic/poisonous to cats and should never be fed to them, these foods are: grapes, raisins, chocolate, onions/garlic, bread dough , alcohol, xylitol, caffeine, liver, trimmings, and human medicine. Do note that xylitol can be found in yogurt and sweet foods as a added sweetener. In addition, you should never offer your cat human medications.
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My Assessment Of Powder + Meat Mix Meals
- Can be slightly more expensive than ready to serve raw food meals, but it depends on the brands you purchase
- I feed TC Felineto my cats as a backup plan for meals .
- This method is a good way to switch it up for your cats and make mealtime fun for them.
- Its a super easy method of feeding raw. Just mix pre-made powder, water, fresh egg yolks and choice of meat and stir. Easy peasy.
- Highly nutritious. TC Feline sources their ingredients from very high quality sources.
- I recommend adding appropriate supplements to these raw meals for your cat. Ask your vet what supplements would benefit your cat. **
- TC Feline is available in Canada and the US. . And no, I am not affiliated in any way with TC Feline. I just love their wonderful product.
The Dangers Of A Raw Diet For Your Cat
In recent years there has been a heightened awareness that consuming undercooked meats present a risk for exposure to potentially deadly infectious organisms. In contrast, there has been a resurgence of interest in feeding cats raw diets. Advocates stress the fact that in their wild state animals eat uncooked and unprocessed foods. The reasoning Ive heard is, It closely approximates the diet cats would get in the wildthe diet to which their physiology is naturally attuned.” Wild cats do eat a varied diet in the wild including organs, brains, small mammals, birds, fish, snakes other reptiles, insects and occasionally stomach and intestines of mice and other rodents. Some people believe that raw food or so called “BARF” diets are better for pets because the food is not processed and is perceived to approximate a cats evolutionary “natural” diet. Though there may be some nutritional value to feeding raw foods or eating them ourselves there are significant health concerns to be aware of that make this diet dangerous. Just because wild animals eat raw meats does not imply that these foods are safe!
What do the experts say about feeding pets raw diets?A number of professional associations have condemned the practice of feeding raw food to dogs and cat:
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What Is A Raw Food Diet For Cats
A raw food diet usually includes raw muscle meat, organ meat and ground bones. The most common meats included in raw cat foods are chicken, fish and eggs, but other meats may also be included. Although a raw food diet may seem to resemble the diet of a wild cat, it may not be appropriate for domestic cats, who often have a much longer life expectancy.
Purina Pro Plan Critical Nutrition Cat Food Best For Weight Gain
Whilst the vast majority of cats are overweight, there are a few who need a helping hand with their weight gain. This is especially true of cats who have been ill, or who have recently been rescued. This food is high calorie at 208 kcal/5.5 oz can, meaning even cats who struggle to eat much should be able to get their daily calorie allowance. Its even been formulated with a smooth consistency in case syringe feeding becomes necessary.
Please note it is very important to follow your veterinarians advice when it comes to your cats weight. Most healthy adult cats do not need to gain any weight, but if youre not sure then your vet will be able to tell you whether theyre at an ideal weight or not, or you can read our guide below. If you think your cat is losing weight you should also take them in for a check over, as many medical conditions can contribute to weight loss, and simply feeding more will not correct the problem.
Wherever Ive worked as a vet, we always have this on the shelf or in the back office. Not only is it ideal for inpatients being fed after surgery but its ideal for cats presented with vomiting and diarrhea, as it is easy to digest.
- Stew texture can result in pickiness
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Cat Diet And Their Teeth
In a study comparing feral cats eating a wild diet and domestic cats eating commercial dry and canned diets, there was no difference in the degree of periodontitis in either group. Calculus accumulation was present in both groups but less in cats fed commercial diets. Other factors such as breed, age, chewing behaviour and general health may have a considerable influence on the prevalence of periodontal disease.
Transitioning To Raw Pet Food
The length of your pet’s transition process to raw food will depend on their overall health, digestive issues, and how finicky they may be.
A healthy dog with no signs of digestive issues could be transitioned within a week by just gradually adding more raw food and less of the original food to each meal.
Cats may take longer since they tend to be more discriminating about their food and can become habituated to dry food specifically. Cats on dry food only should be transitioned to 2 meals per day of wet cat food first, then slowly transitioned to raw starting with as little as ¼ – ½ teaspoon of raw mixed in with their wet food and gradually increasing the amount of raw food over the course of 2-3 weeks or more. Some cats may prefer the raw on its own, and you can offer them a teaspoon or so before offering their regular meal to see if they show interest.
Pets with digestive issues will need a very gradual transition. It may be best to very lightly cook the food for the first week also, then gradually cook it less and less until you are feeding it completely raw. Start with no more than 1/8 of one meal as raw or lightly cooked raw, and increase gradually over the course of at least 2 weeks.
Cats Are Hunters But The Drive To Hunt Is Independent From The Drive To Eat
Feeding more food doesn’t stop cats from killing birds or mice it merely results in weight gain. Cats eat many small meals a day, they eat alone and have a small stomach, resulting in a lower intake of carbohydrates per meal. Feeding twice a day or having the bottomless bowl of food is not a ‘natural’ way for cats to eat.
How Much Raw Food To Feed A Cat
Feed approximately 2-3% of your cat’s weight daily, and split this between two meals. A 10 lb. cat would receive 1.5 to 2.5 ounces per meal. Again, this will depend on the individual cat’s activity level and metabolism. To calculate the appropriate amount of food to feed your cat, take your cat’s weight in pounds and multiply by:
Then, take the total and multiply by 16 to get the correct number of ounces to feed each day. Be sure to split the number in half if you are feeding twice a day.
Many cat parents prefer small patties or medallions when feeding their cats.
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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.
Prepared Raw Food Meals For Cats
Commercial Raw cat food simplifies the process of researching, prepping, and making sure your cat has a nutritious and balanced diet. They usually come in frozen portion sizes, so you typically know how much you should feed your cat.
It can be a more expensive option, but if you dont have the time, it is an excellent option to consider if you still want to feed your cat on a raw diet.
Any reputable manufacturers follow the guidelines of the Association of American Feed Control Officials . Any commercial cat food, being Raw or not, has to match the standards created by AAFCO, so you can be sure they will be balanced and nutritious meals for your cat.
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Are Raw Diets For Cats Safe
In addition to the risk of nutrient deficiencies, raw diets pose other risks for cats. Any bones not completely ground up could cause intestinal blockages or even lacerations. Plus, raw foods are more likely to be contaminated with harmful bacteria like Salmonella, E. coli and Listeria. These foodborne pathogens can cause a variety of problems for cats, including diarrhea and vomiting. In severe cases, the results can be fatal. According to a study by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration , these bacteria arent just a risk for your catthey also pose a threat to you and your entire family.Your cat can spread the bacteria from her food either by grooming herself and then interacting with you or through her feces.
Natural Organic And Human Grade: Are They Meaningless Buzzwords
Until recently, the description scientifically formulated was a popular pet food marketing catchphrase. People wanted to imagine their cats food as being formulated by scientists in a sterile laboratory.
Todays cat food consumer has a different ideal. Theyre looking for food thats gently crafted, fresh from the farm, non-GMO, natural, and based on real meat. Thanks to the back to nature trend, the number of natural or organic cat food labels has skyrocketed. Numerous brands capitalize on the premium natural food concept.
But are they healthy for your cat?
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