These days, there’s a good chance the content of your cat’s bowl has been mass-produced by a multinational company, like Purina.
But factories are often located in countries with limited controls — even for products intended for human consumption. As a result, many people are returning to the basics for their pets.
If you would like to surprise your kitty with a wonderful treat — or even transition entirely to homemade cat food — consider these guidelines, recipes, and resources 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 generally aggravates the tummies of many animal companions, not just cats. Some other ingredients to avoid in homemade cat food include:
- Raw egg whites
While the above ingredients should be avoided, any regular cat food diet must also include a number of ingredients, especially animal protein.
You may be completely healthy as a 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 percent meat protein to acquire enough essential amino acids, including taurine, arginine, lysine, and cysteine. Not getting enough taurine, for example, will make your kitty blind.
Here are the 6 homemade recipes that you can give to your cat.
1. Kitty Breakfast
- Tbsp. nonfat dry milk
- Medium eggs
- Tbsp. cottage cheese
- Tbsp. grated veggies
- Mix together the milk powder with a small amount of water.
- Add the eggs and beat well.
- Pour the mixture into a small non-stick frying pan and cook on medium-low heat until done.
- Flip over like a pancake and spread the cottage cheese and veggies over half of the cooking surface.
- Fold like an omelet. Cool and cut into bite-sized pieces to serve.
2. Almost-Spot’s Stew
- 1 whole chicken, preferably “free range” or packaged with “no hormones or antibiotics” on the label
- 2 cups brown rice
- 6 stalks celery
- 8 carrots, scrubbed but not peeled
- 2 or 3 yellow squash
- 2 or 3 zucchini
- Small broccoli crown
- Handful of green beans
- Wash chicken, then cover with water in a large stew pot.
- Cut vegetables into pieces and add to pot.
- Add rice.
- Cook until chicken almost falls off the bone and vegetables are tender.
- Completely debone the chicken. This is extremely important, as cooked chicken bones can splinter and cause serious intestinal damage.
- Pour the stew into a blender and blend or chop until mixture is coarse (about bite-sized).
- Freeze in meal-sized plastic bags.
3. Basic Cat Food
- 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 carbohydrates — choose one: cooked pasta, white rice, barley, oatmeal or peas
- 83 grams of cooked animal protein, such as whole meat chicken, lamb, rabbit, beef, pork, tuna or salmon
Mix all of the ingredients together — a blender works really well for this purpose — and store the food in the fridge until needed.
4. Tuna Patties
From Healthy Recipes for Pets
- 1 can tuna
- 1/2 cup boiled rice
- 1/4 cup pureed liver
- 2-3 sprigs parsley chopped
Drain the tuna and mix all ingredients together. Make six to seven balls and then form them into patties. Store in the fridge, and serve to your cat. This is one cat treat recipe that your feline friend won’t be finicky about!
5. Rabbit Stew
From the book “Natural Cat Care” by Christopher Day:
This meal is also good enough for human consumption, so feel free to get out two plates!
- Rabbit meat — wild or domestic — boned and cut into small pieces
- A little olive oil
- A few sprigs of parsley, rosemary, marjoram, and thyme
- Vegetable stock — unsalted, so best home-prepared
- Sweet potato, carrot, celery, leek, turnip, and peas
Sautée the rabbit chunks in olive oil. Sprinkle with herbs. Add the stock water, and bring to a boil.
Cover with lid and place in a medium to low oven until cooked through. Add the chopped vegetables and return to the oven for another 45 minutes. Let cool, then dish out to your cat.
Chicken and Rice Diet
Provides 503 kilocalories, 43.4 grams protein, 28.6 grams fat.
- 1/3 pound boneless chicken breast (raw weight), cooked, then chopped
- 1 large egg, hard boiled, and chopped
- 1/2 ounce clams, chopped in juice
- 1/3 cup long-grain rice, cooked
- 4 tsp canola oil
- 1/8 tsp. salt substitute (potassium chloride)
- 4 bone meal tablets, crushed fine (10-grain or equivalent)
- 1 multiple vitamin-mineral tablets, crushed fine
Combine all ingredients and serve immediately, or refrigerate and warm slightly before serving.
If you would like more information regarding the obligate carnivore status of the cat, please see feeding your cat: know the basics of feline nutrition. If you would like to read a more in-depth discussion of this topic, please see Dr. Zoran’s wonderful paper entitled The Carnivore Connection to Nutrition in Cats.
If you decide that you are not comfortable preparing your own cat food, please feed canned food and get the dry food out of your cat’s food bowl.