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Cats (Felines)

How do you make homemade cat food?

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August 22, 2012 8:02PM

Making cat food at home requires a lot of research in order to get right. It is important to know exactly what a cat needs in terms of nutritional requirements in order to provide your cat with a complete diet. However, it is thought that a homemade raw diet is incredibly beneficial for a cat, with the added knowledge of knowing exactly what is in the food and where it comes from.

To feed a balanced diet you need to feed your cat approx these ratios:

80% muscle meat, including intestines, gizzards, tongue; of which up to 15% heart;

10% bone;

5% liver;

5% offal (kidney, lung, brain etc).

Cats have evolved to digest raw meat. Fresh, raw meat provides them with all the nutrition they need, especially essential fatty acids such as Taurine. Cooked meat, in comparison, has little to no nutrients in it as all the nutrients are easily destroyed when the meat is cooked or even heated for a short period of time. It is highly advisable to never feed cooked meat as part of a cat's diet as this will not provide a cat with the nutrients it needs and can cause severe health problems.

A common concern is: What about bacteria?

Cats are carnivores. They are made just the same as their wild cousins and ancestors; even pet cats will often kill and eat mice and other small animals they catch, all with no ill-effects. A cat's digestive system is not like ours; a cat's stomach and intestines quickly break down the meat, organ and bone to the molecular level and absorb them, and the leftover parts are expelled as waste. Meat does not stay in the cat's intestines long enough to allow harmful bacteria to grow and harm the cat. In comparison, a human's digestive system is much, much slower and food spends most of its time in the gut where the food is processed. This allows harmful bacteria to multiply which makes us vulnerable to salmonella and ecoli.

Harmful bacteria such as salmonella can and has been found in processed pet foods - causing brands to recall their products. While raw has a small risk (as with feeding all foods), you can control where the meat you feed your pet comes from and greatly limit the chance of buying contaminated food.

Many commercially-processed meats are full of bacteria due to the animals kept in cramped and unsanitary conditions which is never a good idea to feed raw. If you wish to feed raw to your cat, Organic or Free Range meat is the safest choice as the meat would have come from hormone-free animals kept in sanitary conditions. Freezing the meat for a couple of weeks will help kill off any bacteria.

Always practice safe food handling techniques when handling ANY raw meat - whether it is for you or your pet. It might be advisable to take extra care with very young, very old or cats with compromised immune systems.