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The Best Homemade Cat Food for Your Feline

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By BRA HIMRPublished about a year ago 8 min read
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Is Homemade Cat Food Better?

Yes, homemade cat food can be better.

As a pet owner, you want to provide your feline friend with the best nutrition possible, but with so many options available, it can be challenging to know what to choose. One popular trend is homemade cat food, but is it the right choice for you and your cat? Let's take a closer look.

While making homemade cat food can be a viable option, it's important to understand that it's not as simple as throwing together a few ingredients you have on hand. According to pet expert Dr. Karen Becker, cooking homemade cat food is complex, and it requires proper supplementation with vitamins and minerals to ensure your cat is getting a balanced diet. But, if you are committed and willing to work with a nutritionist, there are many benefits to making your cat fresh food.

One significant advantage of homemade cat food is that pet owners have complete control over the ingredients used. Fresh food tastes better, and cats are picky, so having control over what goes into their meals can be a game-changer. Additionally, pet owners can save money by cooking their cat's food at home, but whether it's cheaper than buying commercial food depends on various factors.

If you do decide to make homemade cat food, it's crucial to work with a nutritionist to ensure that you're providing your cat with all the necessary nutrients in the right amounts. For example, cats need vitamin A, but excessive doses can be toxic, so it's essential to get guidance on the appropriate amount.

Another important factor to consider when choosing cat food is moisture content. Cats need high moisture content in their meals, and wet or canned food is an excellent option. The moisture content of canned pet foods varies from 60% to >87%, while dry pet foods contain only 3%–11% water. As a result, cats that consume predominantly canned food generally drink less water than those consuming predominantly dry diets.

When it comes to making homemade cat food, protein is a vital component of a cat's diet. Recipes should include a variety of protein sources, such as meat, organs, fish, and poultry, as cats are obligate carnivores. Adding fatty acids or fish oils, fiber, bone replacement additions, veggies, cooked eggs, and sardines or salmon for vitamin D are other essential elements to consider.

Overall, making homemade cat food can be a great option for pet owners who are committed to providing their cats with the best possible nutrition. By working with a nutritionist and ensuring that meals contain all the necessary vitamins and minerals, you can help ensure that your cat stays healthy and happy. However, it's essential to understand that making homemade cat food is a complex process that requires time, effort, and proper guidance. If you're not willing or able to invest in these things, sticking to a high-quality commercial diet may be a better option for your cat's health and well-being.

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  • This healthy wet food is made with 100% human grade ingredients and is free of fillers.

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the Best Homemade Cat Food

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What is the Best Homemade Cat Food?

These recipes are developed by Debora Robertson and can be found in “Cooking for Cats,” a cookbook for cat lovers. According to Debora, developing a complex feline diet is complicated, “I feed my cat home-cooked meals 30 percent of the time, with a high-quality commercial wet food, making up the balance of her food.”

Disclaimer: These recipes are not meant to be fed as a substitute for daily meals and can be fed in addition to a balanced diet. Pet experts and vets recommend working with a board-certified vet nutritionist on a menu plan for your feline if you plan to cook.

*prep time varies for each of these recipes.

Recipe #1 Sardine Omelette

Equipment:

Non-stick frying pan or skillet

Spatula

Small bowl and fork

Frying pan for the eggs

Recipe Ingredients:

1 sardine, canned in olive oil with no added salt plus 1 tsp oil from the can

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 tsp chopped parsley is optional

Recipe Directions:

Blot the sardine with kitchen paper to remove excess oil

In the small bowl, mash it finely with a fork and stir in parsley if you’re using it

Tip 1 tsp of olive oil from the sardine can into a small non-stick frying pan.

Rub it across the surface using kitchen paper, so the barest trace is left on the pan.

Warm over medium-high heat and pour in the beaten eggs.

Use a spatula to lift the edges while swirling the pan, so the uncooked eggs run to the sides.

When the eggs are cooked through, tip them onto a plate and spread the sardine mixture over the top.

Once the omelet is cool, roll it up and cut it into thin slices of about ⅝ inches.

*For feline friends that dislike sardines, use cooked and shredded chicken or shrimp.

Recipe #2 Turkey and Squash Meatballs

Equipment:

Roasting pan with parchment paper

Steamer or strainer over boiling water

Baking pan

Recipe Ingredients:

1¼ cup peeled, deseeded squash cut into ¾ inch cubes

2 cups of minced turkey or chicken (ground)

1 tsp chopped fresh mint

Recipe Directions:

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees

Line the roasting pan with parchment paper

Using a steamer or strainer over a pan of boiling water, steam the squash until it’s very soft.

Transfer it to a bowl and mash it up. Leave to steam until it loses some of its moisture.

After it cools, mix in the turkey or chicken and mint until it’s all well combined.

Roll into meatballs and place in the pan with parchment paper.

Back for about 25 minutes until cooked through.

Meatballs can be kept in the fridge for a few days or kept frozen for up to 4 months.

*Pet owners can substitute turkey with chicken

Yield: Makes 30 meatballs

Total Cook Time: 40-minutes.

Recipe #3 Salmon Fish Cakes

Equipment:

Pan for boiling millet (grains)

Mixing bowl

Recipe Ingredients:

One 7-oz can of salmon with no added salt, drained or 7-oz cup of cooked salmon, finely faked

½ cup cucumber grated

¼ cup of cooked millet (cooked weight)

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley

Recipe Directions:

To cook millet, place one part millet to two parts water in a pan, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes.

In a bowl, mix it all together until it’s well combined.

Form this mixture into two or three patties and serve one patty as a meal and store the others.

The patties can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or in the freezer for 4 months.

Yield: 2 to 3 fishcakes

Total Cook Time: 30-minutes

What Ingredients Should be in Homemade Cat Food?

Cats are obligate carnivores and their digestive system is designed to process meat. Ingredients like protein are essential, and too little can lead to major amino acid deficiencies.

Experts at Merck Veterinary Manual say that cats require dietary sources of Vitamin A and have other advice for pet owners, “If pet owners wish to feed their pets homemade diets, the diets should be prepared and cooked using recipes formulated by a veterinary nutritionist.” Here is a list from Merck of ingredients that should be in a cat’s diet.

Protein sources may include meat, fish, and poultry.

Amino acids, particularly arginine and taurine, must come from the protein in their meals.

Fatty Acids such as arachidonic acid and linoleic acid are necessary and cannot be manufactured by a cat. Salmon oil can be used.

Vitamin A and niacin are essential vitamins that must be taken from dietary sources (and not with supplements).

Minerals like calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium. There are 12 essential minerals for cats – they are all very important for a cat’s health.

If you do choose to make your own homemade cat food you may want to invest in a food processor, meat grinder, or other kitchen tools to make the job easier!

Note that a healthy cat should never eat dog food and egg yolks always need to be cooked. A boneless chicken or turkey breast and ground meat are best for DIY meals. Also, stay away from raw bones.

What Ingredients Should I Avoid in Homemade Cat Food?

There are many human foods to avoid when you’re considering making your own cat food. Many fresh food recipes include a variety of veggies and there are a few you should never feed your pets. Cat owners should try chicken liver instead of onions!

Onions: Never feed onions as these will cause Heinz body anemia in both cats.

Raisins and Grapes: Both of these may cause organ toxicity in many pets.

Garlic: Some experts say small amounts of fresh garlic are ok, but it’s better to identify other ingredients and skip the garlic.

Foods with Xylitol: This artificial sweetener causes liver damage in pets.

If you want to feed fresh salmon, then always cook it. Salmon carry a parasite. Always remove the bones before feeding home-cooked fish. If you have questions, ask your DVM what ingredients to avoid.

Do I Need to Add Supplements to Homemade Cat Food?

Yes, the ingredients you put in your cat’s food will determine “what else she’ll need to help meet her dietary demands” and appropriate supplements, according to The Nest.

For example, taurine is an essential amino acid in the cat and must come from the protein you’re feeding in any recipe. So this can’t be added as a supplement, and this is a common topic in forums when you’re researching recipes. This is an example of why cooking fresh food for your cat can be complicated!

Pet owners need to make sure the right supplements are added to any homemade fresh food diet for felines. Feeding vitamins and mineral supplements along with the cat food you’re preparing are essential. Many pet owners benefit from working with a vet board-certified nutritionist to ensure they know the proper amounts and types of supplements to add either directly to the diet or separately in meatballs.

According to PetMD, when it comes to homemade cat food recipes, “Reputable sources will tell you exactly how much of each specific vitamin and mineral supplement needs to be added to the other ingredients in the recipe.” You don’t want to create health problems for a healthy cat by not following strict directions.

It’s important to work with an expert, DVM, or nutritionist to determine your cat’s needs. They can determine if cooked food, wet or dry food is best for your cat’s health. Raw cat food and raw meat (including raw chicken) are not a good option for many felines, especially those that have kidney disease. Your cat’s nutritional needs may result in commercial cat food.

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