How to Make Cat Food While We Have Good Access to Supplies
By Lynne Moquin
Here is a website authored by veterinarian Dr. Lisa Pierson. She discusses canned commercial foods and many issues related to cat food in a sensible and no nonsense way and is also sympathetic to pet owners with limitations to time and finances.
She also talks about many commercially made mixes and pre-made frozen cat foods that can be ordered or bought in stores.
And, she is a great advocate for us cooking for our cats, since we already cook for us, giving us a great recipe for homemade food with simple ingredients added to meat ground with its bones. While explaining there are many opinions out there about what should be in cat food, she offers great credibility for her own, and regularly updates her recipe and info as per her research.
Here is the recipe described at catinfo.org:
Homemade Cat Food Using Meat with Bones
2½ lb raw meat and bones (no skin) or 3 lb raw meat/bones/skin
1 cup water ( or more )
2 eggs use the yolk raw but lightly cook the white
2000 mg wild salmon oil or small fish oil
400 IU Vitamin E
100 mg. Vitamin B complex (you might want to start with a smaller amount until they get used to the taste)
2000 mg. Taurine powdered, capsule or loose
¾ teaspoon Lite Salt when using chicken parts, make sure it has iodine
Liver if grinding a whole carcass with liver, not needed but add 3 or 4 ounces chicken livers per 2½ lb raw meat and bones (or 3 lb of meat/bones/skin)
All the cat food making sites suggest meats that are close to what cats would eat in the wild: rabbit, mice and vole, and chicken, Cornish game hen, guinea fowl, quail.
One good company for buying frozen meat already ground, with or without bones, is Healthy Paws and there are others.
There are many options for cat food making around. Your main choice is using meat either with its uncooked bones or meat without any bone.
Powder Mix for a Home Made Recipe Using Meat without Bones
There is a great cat food making mix that can be shipped worldwide and there may be other similar products.
Add it to ground plain fresh meat, plus ground fresh liver or freeze dried liver powder.
Natascha's company has grown phenomenally and is very well endorsed. She also has a food mix for kidney problem cats.And, she kindly offers a recipe that does not use her product:
A Simple Homemade Cat Food Using Meat with Bones:
4 ½ (2 kg) whole fryer chicken/stewing hen, “dressed” carcass
7 oz. (200g) chicken liver
4 raw egg yolks
1 tsp. (4 gram) iodized “Half Salt” or “Light Salt”
4000 mg Salmon Oil or other fish body oil added proportionately per day if you can, so it's fresh. NOTE: Omega 3 dies in the freezer
800 mg Taurine
Yields 18 x 130 gram (½ cup) daily rations. Feed divided into 2-3 meals.
About the ingredients:
Our three cats are loving Instincts powdered premix added to plain ground meat and liver with no bones.
We add a bit of cranberry powder and a bit of apple cider to their food for pH acidity and kidney toning. The powder keeps a year in the fridge, so it has its emergency prep limitations, though it might work to vacuum seal portions too.
Stores currently have lots of ground turkey and chicken, but we grind meat ourselves to save some money. We have an ordinary meat grinder that was $10 at a flea market and we buy meat chunks, usually dark turkey or chicken, that we scald with boiling water for surface bacteria, then grind along with the liver.
CAT FOOD FOR EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS
Thinking of a possible life with no fridge, we are trying to build a supply of good canned food, but also aim to pressure can some ground meat for people and pets.
And we're building a supply of ingredients to add to the pressure canned meat, or to small meats that may be hunted.
If the meat you give has bones, cats may enjoy chomping on those, but you might want to cut off just muscle meat, (then throw the bones in with the peoples' stew).
To plain meat, add the recipe ingredients such as Dr. Lisa's recipe at catinfo.org, AND ALSO calcium in proportion to the phosphorous in the meat.
This feels a bit annoying to deal with, but it's important to be a bit more precise add calcium to phosphorous at the ratio of between 1.2 1.4 Calcium to 1 Phosphorous.
For example, goat mince (like a one pound pack from Healthy Paws) has 800 mg phosphorous per lb. so we grind up in a mortar and pestle about 1000 mg calcium carbonate (or whatever calcium you have).
How you find out what the phosphorous content of different meats is this: go to the USDA website and type in the meat to look up, hit return.
Oh, you can also use powdered egg shell for calcium supplementation, finely ground, which gives about 700 mg usable calcium per teaspoon.
If pressure canning meat for people, you could can some jars as well for cat or dog food but you would NOT include bone in pressure canning (cats can choke on cooked bone).
The Feline Instincts or some other powder mix, or, the ingredients in Dr. Lisa's recipe plus calcium, may be added to the ground meat and then canned.
And add a bit of fish oil when serving, if you have it, or a bit of canned sardines or fish.
WHAT TO STORE FOR CATS
Thankfully much of what we'd need for cats is very useful to people too, so we can share it. These items are easily found in stores and all have a long to indefinite (like alcohol tinctures) shelf life.
Possibilities for cat food making:
Possibilities for Calming Cats in Crisis and Travel (tried, true and famous):
Possibilities for Health Issues and Preventive Medicine:
If prone to crystals: (and add water to each meal)
Digestive & Inflammatory anything:
Asthma, Respiratory, strengthens lungs and expels stuff:
Parasites (lots in mice?):
- 2 drops a day of Wormwood tincture for about 10 days; or try Alpha Omega's parasite cleanse (which like their E-Z Rest tastes great to cats). The company also has lung, arthritis and kidney tonics. The bottles' best before date is 2012. hmmm.
Tons of other herbs are super useful, will store indefinitely if alcohol tincture.
One of our cats that had an entrenched cough was healed with herbs, after several vets could only offer steroids as if it was asthma.
The book, Herbs for Pets by Mary L. Wulff-Tilford & Gregory L. Tilford, has lots of info on cat and dog food, other pets' food, health issues as well as info on each herb out there that is great for pets and people too.
Method of giving a cat tincture drops, herbs or a pill:
Eye droppers are very useful to have for pets and us, and keep a couple of tiny jars handy and a bottle of water.
beef jerky, freeze dried meat and liver, dried catnip, dried anchovies or other fish.
A couple of books we like:
Herbs for Pets by Mary L. Wulff-Tilford & Gregory L. Tilford
The Nature of Animal Healing by Martin Goldstein, DVM (has the best anti vaccine info out there)
New Choices in Natural Healing for Dogs and Cats by Amy D. Shojai
Here is a a good website and forum for cat food and health issues and another website with a widely sourced bunch of recipes for cats with renal failure kidney problems because the melamine issue may be more widespread than we heard)
Info provided by Lynne, CatnipMusic.ca (not a cat food site !) and is just a sampling of ideas for your possible use and exploration, I'm not a vet but believe this is reliable info, and I have no commercial interest in anything here.