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It is without a doubt that cats benefit from a raw diet and many pet owners actually choose to make cat food themselves. However, if you are a newbie at preparing cat food, it may be a bit intimidating as you would only want the best for your cat and do not want any nutritional imbalances.
There are probably many questions that plague your mind regarding raw cat food recipes and this article aims to address these concerns.
You control exactly what goes into your cat’s body when you make your own raw cat food. As each cat is different, it is likely that even if a direct recipe is provided, certain ingredients need to be added or subtracted to ensure your cat stays healthy. You can choose the types of meat and cat supplements for your cat.
Although commercially bought cat food is not bad, some brands have preservatives and toxic chemicals added, which is not exactly healthy.
Another major reason to make your own raw cat food is the health benefits that come with it. Cats that will benefit from homemade cat food include those that are suffering from allergies, diabetes and other illnesses and overweight cats.
Making raw cat food at home actually requires minimal supplements as most nutrients are already available via the food. However, this does not mean that there are no nutritional gaps and you should always observe your cat to see if it is healthy.
As obligate carnivores, cats need certain food to thrive such as taurine, a type of protein (which can only come from meat) and fatty acids such as arachidonic acid.
Carbohydrates are not a must in a cat’s diet and in fact have been linked with chronic health issues. However, small amounts are fine and it is always good to have some fibre in its diet to help with bowel movements and gut health.
It will be very handy if you have some equipment when handling raw cat food. For convenience’s sake, the following equipment will be a plus:
Ingredients you will need for this raw cat food recipe:
Recommended supplements to add
Optional raw cat food supplements you can add to your cat’s food:
If you want to switch it up and use different meats, you can. Other raw meat to feed your cat include:
Use turkey thighs if possible. Start with a whole turkey and just keep the percentage of bone included at around 7 - 10%.
If it is hard to get duck, pheasant or quail heart or liver, it is okay to use chicken heart and liver. Use the recipe as above except replace with these three birds for a change.
Rabbits are a common favourite for cats so kitty will be happy when you feed it rabbit meat. You can follow the above recipe if you are using just the meat (no head, entrails, fur and feet).
Feeding your cat fish like sardines provides an omega fatty acid boost for your cat. You can also use wild salmon in the recipe above.
At room temperature and following the original chicken recipe with no meat variations, first, remove the skin from half of the chicken thighs. If your cat is overweight, remove all of the skin and fats.
Next, remove the bone from 20-25% of the thighs. Weigh out the amount of raw food you need to feed your cat according to your cat’s weight or according to the recipe and rinse the meat thoroughly. The current recipe is for more than one meal so you can portion what you need and keep the leftovers in the freezer.
Add any supplements necessary according to your individual cat needs.
Add in the yolks and water to the mixing bowl and mix until it is well combined.
Weigh out the liver and heart and cut up the meat into cubes (it does not have to be precise). Then, start feeding the chicken thighs through the grinder. At intervals, add in the liver and heart to the grinder.
Once it is done and you have your ground meat, add in the yolks, water and supplements and mix it all thoroughly.
Portion the food, feed your cat and don’t forget to wash all your equipment! All the extra portions should be frozen immediately so it does not get contaminated. Take out to thaw a few hours before feeding your cat or you can thaw it overnight in the fridge.
For whatever reason, say there is no grinder available, raw cat food without bones can also be used but you will definitely need to add a calcium supplement. The bones in raw cat food is the calcium source for cats. Therefore, if there are no bones present, a nutritional gap will be present. Calcium supplements or egg shells can be used instead. Chicken or duck necks also make great sources of calcium.
Making raw cat food at home is fairly simple and with all the benefits of raw cat food, it is worth it. However, it can be rather time consuming and you will need to make the initial purchase of equipment. Follow our raw cat food recipe and observe your cat to ensure that it is getting the sufficient nutrients it needs to be healthy. If you have doubts, always consult with your vet before feeding. You can also try out Petcubes’ range of raw cat food as there is no guesswork involved and you can prepare food for your cat at your convenience!
Dr Francis is one of the top wildlife nutritionists in Asia. Originating from Montreal, Canada, he left at 21 to pursue his Masters and subsequently a PhD in wildlife nutrition at Oxford Brookes University. Instead of taking the path of common animal science to learn about farm animals, or through the veterinarian space and taking a certificate in nutrition, he took the road less travelled to dive deep into the world of animal ecology, metabolism and nutrition.
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