Making homemade cat food can be a daunting endeavor. While there are hundreds of dog food recipes online, it seems that the small amount of resources that offer homemade cat food recipes have conflicting information on what should and should not be included in your cat’s diet. Making your own cat food is not something you can simply dive into, but if you are interested in taking the first few steps, here is what you need to know.
Avoid The Following Ingredients
There are a lot of websites out there boasting homemade cat food and treat recipes, but sometimes, they may include herbs or other ingredients that can be potentially harmful or lethal to your cat. We have a list of human foods that are toxic to cats, and here are a few more ingredients that should not make it into your cat’s food:
- Raw egg whites
Cats Need Meat
You might be vegan, but your cat cannot be. Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they need meat in their diets in order to stay healthy. Most experts agree that cats can have animal protein in the form of chicken or other poultry, beef pork, rabbit, fish, or liver. Liver is especially important, as it has high vitamin A content, a vitamin cats cannot produce on their own.
Make Sure The Calcium To Phosphorus Ratio Is Right
This may sound like gibberish, but it isn’t as complicated as it sounds. Calcium and phosphorus are minerals essential to a cat’s health. Calcium builds up your cat’s bones, and it also plays a critical role in muscle control and ion balance. Cats need phosphorus to repair their tissues and cells. Combined, the two strengthen your cat’s bones and teeth.
Many store-bought cat foods provide this balance in the form of ground up bone meal. If you choose to by bone meal, make sure it’s high quality. Some bone meal is used for gardening, and this will not give your cat the proper nutrition they need. Some people who have been making their own cat food for years grind their own bone meal, as well. If you don’t elect to use bone meal, you can use eggshell powder instead. Mixed in with meat, eggshell powder provides your cat with the same nutrition as if they were eating bone meal.
Keep The Carbohydrates To A Minimum
Ideally, your cat’s food will contain less than 10% carbohydrates. Some homemade cat food advocates completely forgo carbohydrates. If you do choose to add carbs to your cat’s food, consider using organic brown rice, cooked oatmeal, or whole wheat bread crumbs.
Try Out A Simple Recipe To Start
Many people who choose to give their cats homemade cat food will make large batches of food at a time. Unless you are ready to dedicate yourself 100% from the get-go, it might be a good idea to try a simple recipe or two to start. This recipe from Savvy Homemade is an excellent place to start.
Chunky Meat and Rice Cat Food
- 1/2 pound ground meat (chicken, beef, lamb or turkey are fine)
- 1/4 cup whole brown rice (optional)
- 1 large hard-boiled egg
- 4 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 cup chicken stock
- Mash the boiled egg.
- Place all the ingredients into a saucepan and bring to the boil over a medium-low heat.
- When the stock is boiling, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes or until the stock reduces. The rice will expand and swell and absorb much of the liquid.
- Remove your home made cat food mixture from the heat and allow it to cool completely.
- Blend the mixture in a food processor until all the ingredients are mashed together.
- Place into an air-tight container and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Consult Your Vet
Before committing your cat to a homemade diet with any recipe you find online, talk to your vet. See if your cat has any special dietary needs or vitamin deficiencies so you can adjust your cat’s diet accordingly. A homemade cat food diet can work wonders for your kitty’s health, but it is crucial to study up to make sure you are giving your cat everything she needs to stay healthy and happy.
What other tips do you have for making homemade cat food? Do you know any great recipes? Let us know in the comments below!