You might be wondering whether or not you should start giving your cat homemade food since canned foods are way too expensive and sometimes these commercial foods do not suit your cat leading to the stomach and urinary infections.
Well! We must tell you that nothing is better than homemade food for your cat provided that you know how to do it right.
Let’s start the discussion with a little introduction about homemade cat food.
There are three ways you can serve homemade cat food. This can be in the form of a completely cooked, partially cooked or raw diet. In whatever form you are giving cat food, always remember to choose ingredients that are full of nutrients and good for your pet’s health and growth. Though not in all cases, sometimes raw meat is contaminated with bacteria which may cause food poisoning or urinary tract infection. Therefore partially or fully cooked meat is generally preferred by some experts.
Benefits Of Homemade Cat Food
Homemade food got numerous advantages over-processed canned pet food. Some of these benefits are elicited below.
- It contains all necessary nutrients for your cat including vitamins, minerals, and proteins.
- Most canned foods do not contain sufficient proteins, unlike homemade food where you can add just the right amount for the normal and healthy growth of your cat.
- Homemade food is a lot cheaper and can reduce the amount you spend on your cat food to half.
- You will notice a great improvement in your pet’s dental and urinary health and digestive system.
- It will reduce the smelly odor and volume of stool.
- If your cat is overweight then homemade food is the best way to gradually reduce its weight.
- Another great benefit is that your cat will have less hair fall and you will see a healthy and shining coat.
- It will protect your cat from a number of diseases like diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, diarrhea, and skin allergies mainly due to inappropriate ingredients in canned food.
Homemade Cat Food Recipes
Making food for your cat hardly requires 30 minutes but this will indeed save your time going to a veterinarian or taking care of your sick pet. Choosing the right ingredients is vital in this process. Cats are carnivorous animals and so they need to have a sufficient amount of protein in their diet to grow strong and healthy. So you can add some meat along with other ingredients to boost up its nutritious value.
Here we have given some easy-peasy homemade cat food recipes that need a few easily available ingredients and it won’t take much of your time. Also, these foods would be a treat for your cats. While trying these recipes, it is better to keep on replacing these meals with one another so that your pet will get all the desired nutrients during a specific period of time. But if you have been serving only commercial canned foods before then it is advised to gradually alter the eating habits as it may upset your cat’s stomach. Take a look at these recipes.
1. Mackerel Diet Ingredients
- Canned mackerel – 1cup
- Sunflower seed oil – 1 tbsp.
- Cooked brown rice (preferably organic) – 1 tbsp.
- Beef or chicken broth/water – 1 or 2 tbsp.
Directions Blend all the ingredients well using a food processor. You can either serve it right away or store it in the fridge for 2-3 days.
2. Tuna Diet
- Canned tuna – 4 ounces
- Canola oil – 1tbsp
- 1 hard boiled and chopped egg
- 1 multivitamin tablet
- Crushed bone meal grains or tablets – 2 tab / 10 grains
Instructions Mix well and then serve it immediately or store it in the fridge. It’s better to serve it fresh rather than storing it in the refrigerator for 1 or 2 days.
3. Salmon Diet
- Salmon – 1 can
- Brewer’s yeast – 1tsp
- Cooked and mashed broccoli – 1tbsp
- Bread crumbs made of whole wheat – 1/4th cup
Directions Mix all the ingredients well and serve it. You can store this mixture for almost 2-3 days in a refrigerator.
4. Chicken Recipe
Chicken broth – as required Cooked chicken – 1cup Mashed steamed broccoli – ¼th cup Mashed steamed carrots – ¼th cup
Directions Blend well in a food processor until the mixture turns smooth.
5. Beef Recipe
Ingredients Ground beef – 1cup Steamed brown rice – ½ cup Alfalfa sprouts (minced) – 6tbsp Cottage cheese – (small curd) ¾th cup
Directions Cook ground beef until it turns brown. Once it is done, let it cool completely for about 15 minutes. Then add the rest of the ingredients and serve it to your cat. You can also refrigerate it for 2-3 days.
6. Turkey Treat
Instead of giving pre-packaged and processed treats, you can prepare a nutritious treat for your cat at home with this simple and easy recipe.
Pureed peas – ½ cup. Rice flour – 2 cups. Pureed turkey – ½ cup
Directions Blend all the ingredients using a food processor to make a smooth mixture. Sprinkle some flour on your counter top and then knead the mixture. Make small bite-sized treats using a cookie cutter. Put then in a 325 degree preheated oven. After about 20 min flip their sides and then reduce the temperature to 175 degrees. Bake them for an additional 40 min. Once done let it cool for a few minutes and then serve it to your cat. You can also store these treats in an air-tight box for future use.
Things To Consider While Making Homemade Cat Food
While preparing food for your cat at home, you need to consider some necessary points to avoid any severe consequences. Never forget to consider these tips before serving food to your cat in order to prevent fatal health problems.
Maintain A Balanced Diet
A healthy and well-balanced diet is key to your cat’s good health and normal growth. Water is one of the keys and vital elements for a balanced diet. Many processed and commercially canned cat foods or kibble does not have enough water which ultimately leads to dehydration. In addition, your cat may not drink enough water. The condition can be fatal if the water intake is less than water loss due to vomiting, blood loss or urinating. This can even lead to heat strokes, kidney diseases or diabetes. So make sure to make hydrating food for them with appropriate water quantity. Other important ingredients include:
i. Vitamins – These are necessary for better health and the immune system. You can add vitamin supplements in your cat food but it is always better to give vitamins from natural sources that are easy to digest for cats. Cats cannot digest vitamins from plant sources. They cannot convert the beta-carotene into vitamin A if it is derived from a plant source. Animal sources like halibut, tuna, salmon, mackerel, kidneys, and liver are best for your cat.
ii. Calcium and phosphorus – These two ingredients are essential for strong teeth and bones. Phosphorus is needed to metabolize proteins in cats. Whereas calcium is important for quick muscle movements and for blood clotting. Good sources of phosphorus and calcium are small fishes including anchovies and sardines.
iii. Protein – Always remember not to give proteins derived from sources like nuts, wheat gluten, soy or lentils. These proteins cannot be digested by your cats. Only proteins from animal sources can be digested by your cats like meat, eggs, animal organs, etc.
iv. Fatty acids – Cats need an appropriate amount of fats for energy. But the fat must be easily digestible by your cat. You can add a little amount of krill oil, fish oil or flaxseeds or simply give your cat pork or beef to fulfill their needs for omega-6 fatty acids. Beware, do not give high amounts of fats if your cat is suffering from pancreatitis.
v. Amino acids – These are also essential as their absence may lead to poor eyesight or other heart problems. It is also important for good growth and development. You can add lamb, eggs, beef, cold-water fish, shellfish, dark chicken or brewer’s yeast as these are the natural sources of taurine amino acid.
Better To Customize
According to some expert veterinarians, it is always better to customize the ingredients for homemade cat food according to your pet. You have to consider the facts whether your cat is allergic to some ingredient or not. You can consult your vet to decide an appropriate diet plan for your cat.
Stay Away From Toxic Food
Stay away from those human foods that are toxic to cats. There is a complete list of such foods that are not toxic for humans but a small amount of them may prove fatal for your cat. These are:
ii. Raw meat, eggs, and fish or fat trimmings (should be avoided)
iv. Raisins and Grapes
v. Tea, coffee, tea, and energy drinks.
vi. Milk and cheese (if your cat is lactose intolerant).
vii. Garlic and onions
Consult Your Vet First
You should always consider your veterinarian first before replacing the commercial foods with homemade food. A sudden change in your cat’s normal diet plan may cause stomach problems or vomiting. If you notice your cat constantly puking then you should immediately consult the vet as it might be due to food allergies or intolerance. There could be many other reasons but only a veterinarian can tell you the root cause.
Avoid Intolerant Foods
Though not in all cases your cat might be allergic or intolerant to some ingredients. For example, we all know that cats love to have milk. But it might be possible that your cat is milk or other dairy products intolerant. In the same way, cats of all age groups may also be intolerant to grains in food. This might not be the case for your cat but it is always better to ask your vet first before experiencing different ingredients. This food intolerance can lead to severe cases including chronic ear problems, wheezing, flatulence, hair loss, coughing or inflamed skin.