What should cats eat?
Your cat’s diet is the most important factor in your cat’s health. What your cat eats daily determines the nutrition it is able to make use of to do all the things a healthy cat requires. Unfortunately, most commercial cat foods are poorly made so that they can be sold cheaply, and contain unbalanced ingredients that are not good for your cat. These cat foods can (and do) lead to serious health problems. Most aging cats face health problems as a direct result of the poor quality of food they have been eating their whole life.
Some of the common health issues that come about as a result of improper diet include:
- Kidney Disease
- Urethral Blockage
- Urinary Tract Infection
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Hepatic Lipidosis (fatty liver disease)
- Dental health
These health problems can be very serious for your cat, some even resulting in death (such as kidney disease). They are also very costly to you when the problems surface. The money you save on cheap catfood now will be a small amount compared to the veterinary bills and medication required down the line. Money aside, your loving companion will be subject to a very unfortunate situation that none of us want to put our cats through.
In this article, I’ll be outlining options for making your own healthy cat food alternatives.
Is dry cat food bad for cats? Yes, although some dry foods are better than others, all dry food is bad for cats. Cheaper dry foods are unbalanced nutritionally, contain lots of bacteria and fungal toxins. Even if it is a healthier brand of dry food, it is still bad for cats because water content is essential for properly balanced cat food. The lack of moisture in dry food leads to health issues in cats.
Make Your Own Cat Food
When making your own cat food, there are some key aspects that you must understand in order to give your cat the nutrition it needs. The primary factor is using a balanced recipe that covers all the nutrition requirements for cats. It is extremely important that you stick to a fully balanced recipe in your cat food, and that you understand all the requirements in order to make it truly balanced. If you are unable to do this for cost reasons or do not have the time to study this information, then it is better to buy a prepackaged cat food instead, as feeding your cat an unbalanced diet is very bad for your cat’s health.
For some good commercial brand cat food options, take a look at our post on the best canned cat foods.
You want to create a diet for your cat that is close to what they would naturally eat on their own, or what their body is naturally designed to process. Since cats would naturally eat raw meat in the wild, many people believe purely raw meat is the best way to go. However the safety of this depends largely on the source of the meat, as raw meat from some sources may contain higher bacteria percentages than others. If you can obtain raw meat from a trusted source, such as a local farmer or trusted producer, then this is fairly safe. If buying meat from the supermarket, it is recommended to at least partially cook the meat to kill off bacteria. Always buy whole pieces and never ground meat. You always want to grind the meat yourself.
Whichever decision you make in regards to raw or cooked meat, both will actually be safer than dry cat food which actually contains a lot of bacteria and fungal toxins. Its also helpful to remember that your cat’s digestive system is designed by nature to handle large amounts of bacteria since they naturally eat raw meat caught in the wild.
Types of Meat for Cats
The best types of meat to feed your cat are Turkey, Chicken and Rabbit. These are the closest meat types to what your cat would be eating if they caught their own food in the wild. A cat would rarely take down a cow for lunch Pork is generally not good for cats and should be avoided.
Balanced DIY Cat Food Recipe
Ingredients per 3 lbs of meat:
- 1 cup water, or more to cat’s taste
- 2 eggs (raw yolk, lightly cooked white)
- 2000 to 5000 mg fish oil (to cat’s taste)
- 400 IU / 268 mg Vitamin E
- 50 mg Vitamin B-Complex
- 2000 mg Taurine
- 3/4tsp Morton Lite Salt w/ Iodine or 1/2tsp Regular Salt w/ Iodine
- Liver – 4 Ounces of Chicken Livers unless meat already contains Liver
Where to buy supplies:
The above ingredients can be bought at local stores, however the quality varies depending on the source and the above products are excellent, and very low priced compared to the equivalent product at retail stores. An example of quality issues is the B-Complex. Most retail forms of B-Complex use a synthetic ingredient which is actually the same as cyanide, the poison! You want to be sure to avoid these forms of B-Complex, obviously. The same applies to Vitamin E. Most forms of both these vitamins sold at retail stores are synthetic and harmful.
For your meat, I recommend buying this at a local market, preferably a local farmer’s market if possible.
Here is a selection of good quality meat grinders at different price ranges, ordered from cheapest to most expensive. The cheaper ones here work great, but you will not be able to grind any bones with them, so you would need to remove all bones from your meat prior to grinding. Other than this limitation, they will do the job well. The STX3000 is a high powered option that will grind it all with ease.
If you’re planning on using a lower powered grinder that can’t handle bones, mix some Bone Meal Powder with your ingredients instead.
- Norpro Meat Grinder
- Sunmile 1HP 250-Watt Electric Meat Grinder
- Sportsman MEG300 350-Watt Electric Meat Grinder
- STX 3000-Watt Meat Grinder