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DIY Cat Food – 5 Homemade Recipes Your Cat Will Love

Homemade Cat Food

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DIY Cat Food Considerations

Your cat may love a lot of different foods and there are many on the shelves; chicken, fish or pork, gravy or chunky, cooked or raw – the list goes on – or they might be an extremely picky eater, vet advice shows ‘a lot of their food preferences are formed in the first year’. Lots of people have reported their cat becoming addicted to tuna or salmon, causing them to turn down other foods.

Regardless of your cat’s preferences, you’ve probably considered making cat food at home at some point, and it might be easier than you think. There are a couple of important things to remember when taking the DIY path to feeding your cat though, probably the most important two to consider are the immediate health effects – your cat can get sick from bacteria on raw or poorly prepared meat (in some cases these diseases and infections, such as E. coli or salmonellosis can also be transmitted to you or your family) – and the long term effects – without proper planning your cat will be missing vital nutrients from their diet.

Nutrients that may be missing from homemade cat food

It doesn’t matter if your cat is delicate and cuddly or if they are rough and prefer being outdoors – all cats descended from carnivorous hunters, so you should give them a diet that simulates how they would eat in the wild. This means a majority of their diet should be mainly proteins from meat that provide essential amino acids, and fats which contain fatty acids (and improve the taste). Some carbohydrates can be added if required to make the food bind or to fill your cat’s tummy a bit - but this should be limited to a small proportion of their calorie intake.

Essential amino acids found in animal meat

Amino acids can be thought of as cell building blocks, they are used to repair muscles and for general body maintenance. ‘Essential’ amino acids are those that your cat’s body cannot produce – so they must ingest in their diet. There are lots of essential amino acids that your kitty needs, examples include arginine, which if deficient can lead to vomiting, seizures, coma or death, and taurine which prevents heart disease and blindness.

Essential fats found in animal meat

Similar to amino acids, fats are important to your cat and are used to keep skin and fur healthy, absorb vitamins and protect the organs. Again, ‘essential’ fats and fatty acids such as omega-3 can’t be made by your cat’s body and can be ingested from meat or plant oils. Fats also contain a lot of calories so contribute the most energy to your cat’s diet.

Your cat may indeed love fish, however, since felines did not evolve eating deep-sea fish be careful feeding your cat tuna or salmon – limit these treats to once or twice a week as too much unsaturated fat can lead to vitamin E deficiency or steatitis.

Vitamins and Minerals cats need

Also required to keep your cat healthy and mostly found in your cat’s diet are a bunch of essential vitamins and minerals. Things like calcium and phosphorus for bone and teeth strength, as well as potassium and sodium for muscle health - many others such as chlorine, iron, copper and selenium all play a part in ensuring your cat’s body continues to look after itself.

Getting your cat’s nutritional needs correct can be quite difficult, and getting it wrong can cause serious long-term health problems, veterinarian nutritionists advise you should consult your vet if you decide to switch your cat to homemade food. Research has also shown that many homemade recipes do not provide adequate nutrition analysis, to make it easier many people have had success with part commercial pet food (look for a complete and balanced pet food – this will be verified to contain all the nutrients your kitty needs) and part homemade food.

Since there’s nothing like a home-cooked meal and it would be mean to deny our furry friends from the treat, here are 5 of our favourite DIY cat food recipes;

5 favourite homemade cat food recipes

Gourmet Raw Rabbit

This recipe should provide around a week’s worth of meals for your cat.

Ingredients:

  • 1kg ground rabbit carcass (including bones, skin and organs)
    • If you can’t get rabbit carcass or don’t have a grinder, you can use boneless meat and skin cut into small chunks,
      • Also include 1 and ½ teaspoons of bone meal in step 2
    • If the rabbit meat doesn’t contain organs include 60g of chicken livers in step 4
  • 1 egg
  • 3000mg fish oil (from capsules is fine)
  • 200 IU vitamin E (powdered/crushed or from a capsule)
  • 25-50mg vitamin B-complex (start with less as it has a strong potentially off-putting odour)
  • 1000mg powdered taurine
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ cup of water

Method:

  1. Boil the egg for ~4 minutes so the white is lightly cooked but the yoke is raw.
  2. Add the vitamin E, vitamin B-complex, salt, fish oil and taurine to the water.
    1. If using capsules, poke a hole and squeeze into the water and stir.
    2. If using tablets crush and add to the water, stir to dissolve.
  3. Add the egg to the water and mix to combine and evenly disperse the ingredients.
  4. Add the rabbit meat and water mixture to a large bowl and combine evenly.
  5. Spoon into small containers so you can freeze.

Feeding instructions:

A serving of 100g will contain around 170 calories, if you feed your cat twice a day, each serving should be around 55-60g for an average cat diet of 200 calories per day. If your cat is larger or smaller than average or super active, consider adjusting as appropriate.

Chunky Chicken With Liver

This recipe should provide around a week’s worth of meals for your cat.

Ingredients:

  • 1kg chicken thighs
  • 60g of liver, cut into 1cm chunks
  • 1 and ½ teaspoons of bone meal
  • 1 egg
  • 3000mg fish oil (from capsules is fine)
  • 200 IU vitamin E (powdered/crushed or from a capsule)
  • 25-50mg vitamin B-complex (start with less as it has a strong potentially off-putting odour)
  • 1000mg powdered taurine
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ cup of water

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
  2. Boil the egg for ~4 minutes so the white is lightly cooked but the yoke is raw.
  3. Bake the chicken thighs for 20 minutes (leave half raw).
  4. Keep the drippings and add that in step 8.
  5. Bake the liver chunks for 5-10 minutes (until cooked through).
  6. Allow the chicken to cool and cut into 1cm chunks (try cutting smaller at first to get your cat used to chewing chunks).
  7. Add the vitamin E, vitamin B-complex, salt, bone meal, fish oil and taurine to the water.
    1. If using capsules, poke a hole and squeeze into the water and stir.
    2. If using tablets crush and add to the water, stir to dissolve.
  8. Add the egg and chicken drippings to the water and mix to combine and evenly disperse the ingredients.
  9. Add the chicken meat, liver and the water mixture to a large bowl and combine evenly.
  10. Spoon into small containers so you can freeze.

Feeding instructions:

A serving of 100g will contain around 175 calories, if you feed your cat twice a day, each serving should be around 55-60g for an average cat diet of 200 calories per day. If your cat is larger or smaller than average or super active, consider adjusting as appropriate.

Baked Salmon With Sweet Potato

This recipe will prove around 4 meals for your cat – salmon should only be given to your cat one or two a week or as a special treat.

If your cat absolutely loves fish, consider getting them a floppy fish cat toy instead.

Ingredients:

  • 125g salmon steak
  • 50g pasta (risoni works well because it’s small)
  • 30g sweet potato – skin removed
  • ¼ teaspoon olive oil
  • 200 IU vitamin E (powdered/crushed or from a capsule)
  • 25-50mg vitamin B-complex (start with less as it has a strong potentially off-putting odour)
  • 1000mg powdered taurine
  • ½ cup of water

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
  2. Cut the salmon steak and sweet potato into 1cm chunks.
  3. Bake salmon and sweet potato on a tray for 10-20 minutes, until the potato is soft and the salmon is flaky.
  4. Cook the pasta until it is extra soft.
  5. Add the vitamin E, vitamin B-complex, olive oil and taurine to the water combine until everything is evenly dispersed.
    1. If using capsules, poke a hole and squeeze into the water and stir.
    2. If using tablets crush and add to the water, stir to dissolve.
  6. Add salmon, sweet potato, pasta and the water mixture to a large bowl and mix to combine evenly.
  7. Spoon into small containers so you can freeze.

Feeding instructions:

A serving of 100g will contain around 175 calories, if you feed your cat twice a day, each serving should be around 55-60g for an average cat diet of 200 calories per day. If your cat is larger or smaller than average or super active, consider adjusting as appropriate.

Kitty’s Turkey Nuggets

This recipe should provide around a week’s worth of meals for your cat; however, it is calorie-dense so may not be filling enough for your cat – consider combining with different meals to keep your cat happy.

Ingredients:

  • 250g ground turkey
  • ½ cup carrot - grated
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese - grated
  • ½ cup water crackers - crushed
  • ¼ cup powdered milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 200 IU vitamin E (powdered/crushed or from a capsule)
  • 25-50mg vitamin B-complex (start with less as it has a strong potentially off-putting odour)
  • 1000mg powdered taurine

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
  2. Crack the egg into a large bowl and whisk to break the yoke.
  3. Add, salt, vitamin E, vitamin B-complex and taurine and mix to disperse evenly.
    1. If using capsules, poke a hole and squeeze into the water and stir.
    2. If using tablets crush and add to the water, stir to dissolve.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and knead together, ensure everything is evenly mixed.
  5. Shape the mixture into golf ball-sized nuggets and arrange on a non-stick baking tray.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the balls are nicely browned and have an internal temperature of 75 degrees C.
  7. Allow to cool and freeze as required.

Feeding instructions:

A serving of 100g will contain around 280 calories, if you feed your cat twice a day, each serving should be around 35-40g for an average cat diet of 200 calories per day. If your cat is larger or smaller than average or super active, consider adjusting as appropriate.
Break and mash the balls a bit so your cat can eat them.

Homemade Catnip Biscuits

These are a delicious treat for your cat but are not part of a cat’s normal diet so should be used sparingly (definitely not to be used as a sole source of nutrition).
This recipe will produce a lot of treats so consider halving if you only have one cat.

Ingredients:

  • 1 and ½ cups white flour
  • 1 and ½ teaspoons dried catnip
  • 1/3 cup powdered milk
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 egg

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
  2. Stir flour, catnip and powdered milk together in a bowl.
  3. Melt the butter and honey by stirring in a small pot on low heat.
  4. Add milk, butter, honey and egg to the bowl of dry ingredients and mix together forming a soft dough (add a small amount of flour if it’s too sticky).
  5. Roll out the dough to a thickness of about ¼ cm on a non-stick baking sheet.
  6. Cut the dough into bite-sized squares or try a cookie cutter.
  7. Arrange on a baking tray and bake for 15 - 20 minutes until golden brown.
  8. Remove from the baking tray and cool on a baking rack.
  9. Depending on the size, break the treats apart for your cat.
  10. Store in an airtight container, you can freeze as required.

Feeding instructions:

These should be used sparingly and as a treat only – even if your kitty loves them, ingesting too much flour and milk may make your cat sick.
The treats are also quite high in calories which is another reason not to overdo it.





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