Why Not Just Get Ground Meat From The Store
When you grind raw meat, you increase the surface area for germs to land on and in the meat. If this ground meat is not put in a freezer immediately, it increases the chances of contamination.
Grocery store ground meat is intended to be thoroughly cooked. Thus, the meat is not frozen immediately.
On the other hand, commercial raw cat food makers maintain very high standards. The meat is immediately frozen after grinding to keep bacteria from multiplying.
Ground store meats also dont contain the mix of organs and bone as suggested for homemade cat food. So, youll still need to do some grinding at home.
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How Do You Know Your Homemade Cat Food Is Nutritionally Complete And Healthy
Not all homemade cat food recipes are nutritionally complete, nor are they all balanced. When researchers from the University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine analyzed 200 different homemade dog food recipes in cookbooks and online guides, the team found that 95% lacked at least one key nutrient. Only four of the recipes analyzed were nutritionally complete and balanced.
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Set Up Your Workspace
Making cat food is so much easier when youre prepared! Ive found that covering the workstation with newspaper or another disposable covering is a great way to minimize cleanup time after youre done making the food.
If youre particularly worried about bacteria and infection, wear gloves. Remember to change the gloves throughout your process to avoid cross-contamination.
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How To Make Raw Cat Food
This article was co-authored by wikiHow staff writer, Jessica Gibson. Jessica Gibson is a Writer and Editor who’s been with wikiHow since 2014. After completing a year of art studies at the Emily Carr University in Vancouver, she graduated from Columbia College with a BA in History. Jessica also completed an MA in History from The University of Oregon in 2013.There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 290,795 times.Learn more…
Felines have been eating raw food for thousands of years. Even though cats have been domesticated, they still catch and eat mice, rats, and other rodents. This shows that they still need meat in their diets in order to get the complete nutrition that keeps them healthy. If you’re tired of buying expensive commercial cat food, consider making your own raw cat food. While you’ll need to do some prep work, making your own food can keep your cat healthy and happy.
Tuna And Catnip Treats
Every good kitty deserves a treat or two especially if it contains catnips! Cats absolutely love catnips, a herb from the mint family Labiatae. It contains an active ingredient known as nepetalactone, which may cause a high in your cat to help your furry friend relax! However, be sure to moderate your cats intake of this homemade cat recipe as too much catnip may cause nauseousness.
Prep time: 15 minutes
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Use A Big Cutting Board
This is a suggestion that sounds simplistic but can make a massive impact on your raw food preparation experience. Most cutting boards are too small to handle several pounds of raw meat at once, and this results in meat slipping over the edges of the board and you feeling disgusted by everything. Investing in a generously-sized cutting board allows you to chop up large amounts of meat with confidence. The one we use measures 18 x 12 x 1/3 and, while its currently unavailable on Amazon, is similar to this one.
Homemade Chicken Soup For Cat
Cat owners, we all know how hard it is to encourage your furry pal to drink up. Hydration is especially important for cats and even more so for those who depend on dry cat kibbles as their main source of nutrients. Dehydrated cats run a higher risk of getting urinary tract, kidney disease or other health issues. If regular water doesnt seem to appeal to your fussy feline, soups for cats can be a great solution. However, we recommend feeding soups to adults or senior cats only and ensure the soup contains little to no sodium. This chicken soup for cats is a tasty and easy-to-make alternative. Itll be sure to help your kitty hit their daily fluid intake!
Prep time: 5 minutes
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A Cooked Diet: The Risks And Rewards
Little scientific evidence exists either for or against a cooked diet for cats.
Some, like Cornell Universitys College of Veterinary Medicine, warn against making raw or cooked cat food at home because of the importance of getting the right quantity and proportions of nutrients.
Remillard says she has talked to many cat owners eager to switch to homemade cat food in the wake of melamine poisoning in commercial cat foods. And although she doesnt push homemade cat food diets, she says they can work — as long as cat owners consult a veterinarian-nutritionist to formulate one.
What Not To Do
- Don’t ignore it without making sure theres no problem. Although you dont want to reward meowing, sometimes cats meow for good reason – they cant reach their litter box, theyre trapped in a room, the water bowl is empty. Check on them when they meow to determine if its something you can safely ignore, or a problem that must be corrected right away.
- Dont punish a cat for meowing. Hitting, shouting, and spraying cats with water rarely work to quiet a meowing cat in the long run, but all those actions will make your cat distrust or even dislike you.
- Dont give in. If your cat is used to getting what they want from meowing, they are going to meow more, and louder, when it quits working. In other words, it will probably get worse before it gets better. Just keep rewarding quiet behavior and ignoring meowing, and eventually theyll get the idea.
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Chicken And Salmon Recipe
- Servings: 14-18
- 25 ounces chicken wings with bones
- 4 ounces salmon with bones
- 2 ounces chicken liver
- 2 whole raw egg
- 1,000 mg of taurine
- 1 small pinch of Lite Salt
Youll again need a meat grinder or a very strong blender like a Vitamix for this recipe. Blend all the organ meats with water first, then gradually add the chicken and salmon, eggs, and taurine. Divide into portions for 1-2 days and freeze the remainder.
Homemade Raw Cat Food
Making your cats food at home gives you the most control over what they eat, but it isnt as easy as you might think. Meat alone is not enough!
Cats need the correct balance of amino acids, fats, vitamins, and minerals to thrive. These nutrients are best provided by a combination of meat, internal organs, vitamin and mineral supplements, and other ingredients eaten in just the right amounts and proportions.
To make matters worse, numerous studies have shown that its virtually impossible to find nutritionally complete and balanced recipes for homemade pet foods online or in print.
And even if you do start with a good recipe, like one designed by a veterinary nutritionist to meet your cats particular needs, it can be hard to stick to it. A paper published in 2014 found that many owners who made their pets meals at home eventually strayed from the recipe, which could lead to nutritional deficiencies or excesses over time.
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Alternative Sources Of Calcium
Raw bones are considered to be the best source of calcium in a healthy cat’s homemade diet. You may find recipes that use alternative sources of calcium, either for variety’s sake or intended for cats with specific health issues. Here are some alternative sources, based on a discussion about bone alternatives held in our Raw & Home-cooked cat food forum. Note that replacing any part in your recipe should be done with caution as ratios and quantities may be different compared to the original recipe. Either find a reputable pet nutritionist to work with or a recipe that is based on the replacement. Still not sure? Post your question in the Raw & Home-cooked cat food forum.
Bone meal – Authors of recipes often provide instructions on how to use bone meal instead of fresh bone. But due to the bone meal being made from older animals, typically raised in less-than-ideal farming environments, TCS members do not recommend using bone meal as a bone alternative. Toxins can be concentrated in bone and the marrow. Even though human-grade supplements must meet certain standards for the allowance of heavy metals in supplements, given the high heat to which the minerals and marrow are subjected, there are superior options.
MCHA – this is simply freeze-dried bovine bone derived from younger animals raised in Australia or New Zealand, which have more stringent herd and farm standards.
Rotating Raw Foods For Your Pet
We highly recommend rotating the raw formula you feed . Just as with any type of food, feeding a variety of protein sources can help optimize nutrition and wellness. If the raw diet you use does not contain organ meats, rotating organ meats into the diet several times a week is a good idea.
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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.
Is Raw Cat Food Safe
It’s crucial to understand that giving your cat raw food has certain hazards. Pathogens such as Salmonella and E. coli can cause serious, life-threatening illnesses when consumed raw.
The majority of these infections are removed when food is cooked, which is why we typically prefer to thoroughly cook our meals.
But because cats’ digestive systems are shorter and more acidic than humans, they are able to digest raw meals easier. Many pathogens pass through a cat’s system without creating any problems.
Thus, the majority of cats can eat raw food safely. However, those with health issues may require pre-cooked food.
Cross-contamination from the raw ingredients that have not been cleaned properly is perhaps the most serious danger of feeding and handling raw meat. Hence, always be vigilant on how you handle raw food or get guidance from an expert or your veterinarian on how to do so.
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Raw Beef And Chicken Recipe
- Servings: enough for 27 days/52 serving
- 1 pound chicken wings with bones
- 2 pounds ground tuna
- 1 pound sardines
- 5 egg yolks
- 500 mg B complex
We love the simplicity of this recipe as there is no grinder or additional supplements required. Simply cut all the meat into small, bite-sized pieces, and then add in the tuna and sardines and mix thoroughly. Portion out a couple of servings and store the rest in the freezer.
Benefits Of Preparing Homemade Cat Food
Homemade cat food offers several notable benefits:
- You have complete control over the ingredients in your cats food. Some commercially available cat food brands include ingredients that arent necessary for your cat, such as vegetables, fruits or added grains. By making your own cat food, you can prioritize the meat, vitamins and 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 cat 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 and diabetes
- Are high in moisture, helping your cat get adequate hydration that promotes kidney health
- Provide efficient protein levels due do a lack of heat processing
- Promote dental health by decreasing plaque buildup, tooth loss and gum disease
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Commercial Raw Cat Food Vs Homemade Raw Food For Cats
Raw cat foods come in many different forms. Some pet parents prepare raw foods for their cats at home. Others choose commercially available raw cat food diets, which are usually sold as raw frozen or raw freeze-dried formulas.
Other options are also available, like premixes of vegetables, vitamins, and minerals that you add raw meat to, or there are ready-made, raw pet diets that can be purchased from local butchers. Which option is best?
A Safer Way To Feed Raw Foods
If you want to feed your cat raw chicken, then its important to take precautions to make it as safe as possible. When sourcing chicken for your cat, look for organic chicken and buy the freshest products you can. Feed these to your cat promptly the longer chicken ages, the more bacteria it can grow.
Try to avoid any excess handling of the chicken, which can also contribute to bacteria, and use good food preparation techniques. Cut the chicken on a clean, sanitary surface with a clean knife. Be sure to remove any bones before giving the chicken to your cat.
Once you feed your cat the chicken, youll need to promptly remove any leftovers. Throw out the chicken once it reaches room temperature feed only as much as your cat can eat in one sitting. Its also important to thoroughly wash your cats bowl with hot water and soap after hes eaten.
While giving your cat chicken that you buy at the store might be convenient, buying a commercially prepared product that contains raw chicken for pets has advantages. These products are prepared using processes like flash freezing, which helps kill off bacteria. Theres also minimal prep for you to do at home, which further reduces the chance of the food containing bacteria when you give it to your cat.
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Make Friends With The People Who Work In Your Grocerys Meat Department Or Butcher Shop
How many times have you gone to the grocery and found out there werent any livers or hearts available? While muscle meats are usually easy to find, these organs meats are often elusive. Becoming a regular buyer of organ meats requires a little thought and planning.
Go to your favorite place to buy meat and ask when they get their shipments, then come in on that day to pick it up. You might also ask them to set the meat aside so you can pick it up whenever youre ready.
Combining Evolution & Science
We lovingly blend our raw cat food in an approach which combines understanding what your cat has evolved to eat, boosting this with the latest science and focussing on the quality of each and every single ingredient.
Feeding your cat our Raw Cat Food provides them with the types of meals their bodies have thrived on over thousands of generations.
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Homemade Cat Gravy Recipes
Naturally, cats are carnivores, so daily servings of the same old kibble may not exactly motivate your felines appetite, and in most cases do not provide appropriate nutrition to your cat. Enriching their food with cat gravy can be the difference in encouraging your cat to maintain interest in their otherwise bland food and will help you add hydration to your cats diet. In addition, homemade gravy toppers can add to the protein content in your cats food making it a better option for a little carnivore.As you can see, toppers are a win-win, and surely these cat gravy recipes will have your cat meowing for more.
To start, here is a simple and healthy broth recipe that any feline would enjoy:
Other Factors That Determine How Much Raw Food To Feed Your Cat
An elderly cat that spends his days lazing around the house and only walking as far as his food bowl and litter box, for example, would require significantly less food than a young and healthy energetic cat that spends his days playing and racing outside in the fresh air.
Hence, because each cat is unique, you must consider a few factors when calculating how much raw food to feed your cat. The factors are as such:
- Current weight
- Exercise levels
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