What Does Your Cat Need In Its Diet
Given that cats are obligatory carnivores, they need:
- Ample protein from fish or meat
- Amino acids such as arginine and taurine
Carbohydrates like corn and rice in minuscule amounts are perfectly fine. However, it isnt necessary for your furry friends diet.
However, the right amount of carbohydrates will ensure that your cat is energetic throughout the day and even decrease the overall cost of making homemade, wet cat food.
Turning Dry Cat Food Into Wet Cat Food
Before we begin, keep in mind that youll find the same flavors in wet food that you have in dry cat food. So, making wet food from dry may not even be necessary.
However, if thats not a good option and your cat hates wet food, it may help to turn dry food into wet, so your cat can become used to having the same flavors, just in a different texture.
There are different methods of turning dry food wet. Lets go through each one.
Cooked Vs Raw Homemade Cat Food
If youre not just thinking homemade, but raw homemade cat food, you have a few extra concerns to address.
The contamination rate of raw animal parts deemed fit for human consumption is truly shocking. For example, the US Department of Agriculture estimates that approximately one-quarter of raw chicken parts in human food production facilities are contaminated with Salmonella and/or Campylobacter bacteria.
While healthy cats may be able to fight off many foodborne diseases, young, old, or sick animals often cant. Additionally, pets who appear healthy can act as carriers and spread infections to people.
Some raw food proponents also advocate for the inclusion of whole raw bones in homemade cat foods. While raw bones are less likely to shatter than cooked bones, chewing on any large bone puts cats at increased risk for broken teeth and gastrointestinal injuries.
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Why Should You Make Your Own Homemade Cat Food
For starters, you will know exactly what’s in your cat’s food because you put it there yourself. Dry kibble tends to be loaded with carbohydrates and plant based proteins.
Worse, it is often contaminated by bacteria, fungal mycotoxins and even vermin and their excretions. You want better nutrition for your cat.
Dry food also does not have a high enough moisture content for cats. Many people remember the mass pet food recalls in 2007 after many unfortunate animals experienced renal failure after eating contaminated food. If you cook your cat’s food yourself, you will know exactly what she’s eating and, almost as importantly, what she’s not eating.
Now let’s talk about costs. Will it be cheaper in the long run to cook your own cat food? That all depends. Are you using chicken or rabbit? Unless you own a warren, chicken will usually be cheaper.
Are you getting your ingredients from Whole Foods, a typical grocery store or the farmer’s market? Do you want to use supplements? Just how much does your cat eat? How much should your cat be eating? Do you prefer organic? Will you be willing to do your own prep work? All cats are different.
When considering how much your food bill will be for your cat, it’s a good idea to weigh it against a possible vet bill. Cats that eat healthy have better health and won’t need to see a vet as often. Plus, healthy cats are happy cats.
Increase Cats Interest In Dry Food
Trying to get a cat to eat dry food when he or she does not want to can be a challenge. Instead, you can turn that dry food into wet food to make the transition easier. The food doesnt have to be completely wet either. You can set it into different stages of softness as a way of tapering the transition to wet foods.
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Keep Your Cats Bowl Clean
Cat food, whether its dry or wet, leaves a residue, even if you wash it with water.
Firstly, if you use a plastic bowl, replace it with a ceramic or stainless steel bowl. And wash it regularly and properly as you would with your plates. Cats are more sensitive to smells and tastes. If your cats bowl is improperly cleaned, that will make the food smell foul.
As opposed to dry food that will not transfer much flavor, wet food will become less appealing to them.
How To Feed Cat Wet Food While Away
Its natural for pet parents like you to worry endlessly about your furry pets especially when you leave them at home alone to go to work or to travel. You can prepare both wet and dry cat food, hire a cat sitter, request your neighbor to look after your pets, or you can purchase an automatic food dispenser to keep your pets well-fed while youre not at home. Lets take a detailed look at these options.
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Make Sure You Have The Time To Commit To Making Cat Food
Preparing a homemade diet for you cat requires extra time .
You can make life a little easier by making a week or twos worth of food at a time and freezing meal-sized portions. Thaw the food in the refrigerator overnight and then warm it to body temperature before feeding.
Homemade food should be discarded after two hours at room temperature or after a few days in the refrigerator.
Awesome Homemade Cat Food Recipes That You Need To Prepare
Do you want to make sure that youre feeding the right food to your cats? We will be talking about homemade cat food recipes that you can make at home. Although canned and dry foods are more convenient, there might be some chemicals that can endanger the health of your pet cats.
According to Cat Nutrition, the best food for your cats should be balanced, raw, and free from grains. After learning this, I began searching for the best cat food recipes that I make at home. If youre curious to know what they are, check the list below.
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Recipes Adapted From Home Prepared Dog And Cat Diets
The following recipes have been adapted from Home Prepared Dog and Cat Diets by Donald R. Strombeck, DVM, PhD. The book contains 200 recipes, but you have to search through it to find those for cats. It’s still an excellent book for your library if you are starting to feed your cat a home-prepared diet.
Cat Food Recipes For Tasty Fish Entrees
Learning how to make cat food is fun, and it’s very rewarding when your cat finds the food irresistible. Cats love the flavor of fish, so they’ll enjoy these entrees. However, keep in mind that cooked meat entrees should be a treat rather than a replacement of your cat’s typical diet long-term. Feeding your cat only these recipes can lead to health problems. For more information about dietary needs, allergies, and an overall guide to digestive health concerns, check out LoveToKnow’s eBook called Happy Tummy Cat, written by a veterinarian to guide you in keeping your cat’s digestive system as healthy and happy as can be.
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Homemade Cat Food Recipes
Creating your own cat food is a sure way to know the exact ingredients of your cats food. Learning which foods are the most beneficial for their carnivore diet as well as supplementing any vitamins they may need is the key to a happy, healthy, and long life for your feline. Whether you are new to preparing cat food or are a seasoned vet these simple yet effective recipes cater to the various needs of most cats! Among these 10 feline favorites, there are 5 raw cat food recipes as well as 5 cooked cat food recipes. Learning how to make cat food is simpler than ever! Be sure to look for any diet restrictions these recipes may have if your feline has sensitivities, kidney disease, or requires special senior food!
A Grain Free Cat Food Recipe For Raw Meat Diet
If you do want to go ahead and try making your own food, here is a recipe from Lisa A. Pierson, DVM. We fully recommend visiting her site for more information on homemade cat food and other great information for caring for your pet.
This recipe will make enough for one cat, for about 14 days, so divide into fourteenths and freeze. When you serve,keep in mind that cats prefer warm food, because of their carnivorous nature. For more information and a guides on making this food, visit her in depth article, Making Cat Food.
- 3 pounds of whole fowl or rabbit, including bones, organs, and skin
- 1 cup water
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Why Homemade Cat Food Gravy Is S0 Important
Some cats are more finicky than others- their tastes can be just as specific. Luckily, by making your sauces and stews from scratch you will know exactly what ingredients your cat food contains.
When you get things right you will know what satisfies even the most particular taste buds of your cat friends. This certainly will make them feel special when they have all of their favorite foods on hand. However, you will also get a sense of peace knowing that no matter how picky your kitty may seem they can be fulfilled.
Luckily our recipe allows for creativity without bounds or restrictions like those imposed by premade commercial products.
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!
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Cat Food Manufacturers Produced Taurine
When people warn that deficiencies are common among homemade foods, do they forget that taurine deficiencies werent recognized until the late 1970s, long after the pet food industry was well-established and churning out nutritionally inadequate kibble and canned food?
After recognizing taurines significance in 1976, the NRCs guidelines were still loose and vague on taurine, allowing more cats to die from heart disease associated with taurine deficiency.
A 1987 article in the Los Angeles Times says that thousands of cat deaths were caused by taurine deficiency. The affected cats ate food from leading brands like Hills Science Diet, Purina Cat Chow, 9 Lives, and Fancy Feast.
Tc Feline Nutritional Premix
You can buy TC Feline on Etsy and .
NOTE: TC Feline sells 3 different supplement mixes.
- Original without liver does not include liver, recipe requires fresh liver
- Plus chicken liver already includes liver, do not add liver
- Plus beef liver already includes liver, do not add liver
- 1/4 cup premix mixed with 1/2-1 cup water
- 2 raw egg yolks
- 2 lbs raw boneless meat
- 3.5 oz raw liver
You do not need to add a fish oil source because krill is included in the TC Feline mixes. TC Feline mixes also include a bone source.
Buy TC Feline on Etsy and .
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Safety Concerns & Tips
Homemade raw diets can potentially pose health and safety issues if not prepared correctly. Here are a few safety tips to keep top of mind:
- Pre-ground meat must be thoroughly cooked because its possible that surface bacteria can be ground into the meat.
- Always clean and disinfect all food preparation areas.
- Wash your hands with soap and water after handling ingredients.
- Deep clean all tools and equipment that were used to prepare the homemade cat food.
- Always be aware of the size of the bone pieces in the food. Large pieces can get stuck in your cats mouth or could cause them to choke.
- Before switching to a homemade diet, take your cat 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 cat unbalanced meals can cause health risks due to a lack of essential nutrients.
Different Types Of Grinders For Making Homemade Cat Food
At the lower end of grinders that can handle bones up to the size of chicken thigh bones is the Waring Pro MG855. You would not be able to do anything larger than a chicken thigh bone on this model, but it will get the job done.
Slightly more powerful is the STX-1800 MG Magnum which can handle thigh and most chicken leg bones.
The popular Tasin TS-108 is a mid-size grinder with a solid reputation for dependability and power for its size.
On the higher end, there is the Westin 22 Commercial Meat Grinder, which states that it can handle bones for pet food and will make short work of even chicken leg quarters and most turkey bones. It is also quieter than smaller grinders.
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Raw Cat Food Or Cooked
To quote a popular meme, Why not both?People who are against raw food are worried about parasites and bacteria. People who are against cooked food are concerned about the loss of nutrients in their cats diet. In this case, it’s better to look at the positive benefits each side has, use a little common sense and compromise. Consider par-cooking, heating it just enough to eliminate the surface bacteria.
Use the same food safety precautions you would for preparing raw meat for human consumption. Do not cross-contaminate by using cutting boards and utensils used for raw meat on vegetables, store the meat at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below and above all, wash your hands. Ground meat tends to have a lot of surface bacteria mixed in, but if you use your own grinder and keep it clean, it should be fine.
Keep in mind, your cat has different nutritional needs than yours. She can eat not only raw meat, but the organs that you might find disgusting. However, older pets being transitioned to homemade food diet and cats with sensitive or damaged gastrointestinal tracts might benefit more from a cooked food diet.
If you do cook meat for your cat, she might not only prefer it to be very rare, but it’s more nutritionally sound for her. Rare meat still has those healthy enzymes while all surface bacteria has been killed off, plus it’s still nice and moist.
Key Nutrients For Feline Diets
Before setting out to make homemade cat food, you need to understand the basics of your cats nutritional needs. After all, what good will it do to switch your cat to a homemade diet if it doesnt actually benefit him more than his previous diet?
All cats are unique, but their core nutritional needs have a common foundation.
Cats require the following five nutrients in their diet:
Protein is the most important nutrient for obligate carnivores like cats and it needs to come from animal sources. This may include poultry like chicken or turkey, meat like beef or lamb, or even fish. Decisions about which protein to use in your homemade cat food will come down to your cats preferences , as well as availability and pricing.
Like protein, fat should come from animal sources. When using poultry, you can use a mixture of white meat and dark meat to ensure appropriate fat levels. If youre using lean poultry like rabbit, you may need to add animal fats to your recipe.
Vitamins and minerals are essential for cats but are needed only in small amounts.
Though your cat may need less of these micronutrients than he needs of fat and protein, he has specific requirements to prevent nutritional deficiencies.
Animal proteins provide some key vitamins and minerals, but you may also need to include organ meats or a nutrient pre-mix to ensure nutritional balance.
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The Dangers Of Commercial Pet Food Especially Dry Food
With regard to the safety of raw meat diets, you will no doubt hear varying opinions on this issue. Many of my colleagues are adamantly opposed to the feeding of raw meat yet they think nothing of supporting the common practice of leaving bowls of dry food sitting out for pets to free-feed from which can be contaminated with fungal mycotoxins, bacteria, chemicals, or storage mites. It is very frustrating to witness this narrow-mindedness and lack of acknowledgement as it pertains to the contamination issues regarding dry food and treats many of which have been recalled as noted below.
I would like to see my colleagues stop reflexively telling their clients that all raw meat diets are dangerous and understand that there are ways to source and prepare this diet that will actually make it safer than the commercial foods that they continue to recommend without any thought as to feline illnesses that these foods contribute to due to their species-inappropriate composition/ingredients, as well as the contamination issues.
I dont think that a single cat or dog caregiver in the US is not aware of the thousands of cats and dogs that suffered tremendously and died or have been left with failing kidneys and a shortened lifespan/diminished quality of life due to the contamination of commercial foods processed by Menu Foods in the summer of 2007.
Dry food is simply not a very healthy or completely safe diet to be feeding to any cat.