How To Make Your Own Cat Food

With multinational companies like Purina mass producing cheap cat food in places like China, where controls are limited even for products meant for human consumption, many people are beginning to go back to the basics for their pets.

If you would like to surprise your kitty with a wonderful treat, or even transition entirely to homemade kitty food, consider these guidelines, recipes, books and websites as a starting point.

Ingredients to Avoid

As tasty as a chocolate-covered mouse may sound, this is definitely a no-no for kitty. Chocolate, in general aggravates the tummies of many of our animal companions, not just cats. Some other ingredients to avoid in homemade cat food include:
  • Garlic 
  • Onions 
  • Raisins 
  • Raw Egg whites 
  • Tomatoes 
  • Grapes 
Click here to see more toxic foods for animals.

While the above ingredients must be avoided, any regular cat food diet must also include a number of ingredients, but especially animal protein. You may be okay being vegan, but your cat certainly will not thrive on a diet of tempeh and tofu! 

Your cat is a carnivore and there is no way around this evolutionary fact. Cats need between 60% and 80% meat protein in order to acquire enough essential amino acids such as taurine, arginine, lysine and cysteine. Not getting enough taurine, for example, will make your kitty blind.

The Essentials

Animal Protein:

The protein in your cat’s diet should come from chicken (or other poultry), beef, pork, rabbit, fish or liver. Liver is especially important because it is chock-full of Vitamin A and cats cannot produce this vitamin on their own. Variety is important, so you should not just feed your cat liver or straight fish on a daily basis. 

Animal Fats:

Not only does animal fat make food tastier, this essential ingredients is also mandatory for healthy skin and fur, as well the circulatory and urinary systems. Kittens need about 35% fat while adult cats thrive on a diet of about 30% fat.

Calcium to Phosphorus Ratio (Ca:P):

The ratio between calcium and phosphorus should be 1 part calcium to to 1.3 parts phosphorus. The easiest way to accomplish this ratio is to add calcium supplements. 

Commercial cat food usually uses bone meal. If you choose to use bone meal only use a product meant for human consumption, not one intended for gardening. Veternarian Dr. Piersons a supporter of grinding up bone herself and says it is much easier than it sounds.

Water:

Homemade cat food will ideally be 10% to 30% water weight.

Carbs:

All good recipes for felines should contain less than 10% carbs.



How to Make Your Own Cat Food

Basic Cat Food from Ecolife: A guide to Green living

To convert grams to teaspoons click here for the calculator
  • 1/4 teaspoon olive oil or salmon oil 
  • 2.7 grams of feline vitamin/mineral supplement 
  • 30 grams of potato, cooked without skin 
  • 50 grams of carbs (choose one: cooked pasta, white rice, barley, oatmeal, peas) 
  • 83 grams of cooked animal protein (whole meat chicken, lamb, rabbit, beef, pork, tuna, salmon) 
Mix all of the ingredients together (a blender works really well for this purpose) and store the food in the fridge until needed.

If you search online you will find dozens of recipes for homemade cat food as well as tips and warnings.

Quick and Easy Cat Recipes

The most thorough discussion that I found was at Cat Info run by Lisa A Pierson, DMV, where she does warn that if you decide to provide homemade cat food to your cat as its primary diet, you must do it right or not do it at all. 

It is not difficult, she says, to make cat food, but you must do your homework and you should not add or omit ingredients from a balanced vet-recommended recipe.

Of course, if you are providing a supplemental treat or just an occasional meal along side a commercial food diet, there is less concern for not getting the recipe or balance of nutrients exactly right. 

Article by Cherise Udell



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