Home Cooked Diet Recipe for Cats
The following is our recommended homecooked diet. Gradually transition to the new diet over 1-2 weeks. Start by adding ¼ of new food into ¾ of old food. If this is well tolerated after 3-4 days feed ½ new food and ½ old food, after another 3-4 days of doing well feed ¾ new food and ¼ old food. After another 3-4 days of things going well, you can switch to all new food. All food should be cooked unless your cat is already eating a raw food diet.
Providing a fresh, home prepared diet for your pet is a natural way to reduce inflammation and help maintain proper health.
This recipe feeds a 10 lb cat for about 2-3 days; increase or decrease amount prepared according to your cat's size. Like humans, all cats will have different metabolic rates. Weigh your cat before using this recipe then every 2-3 weeks until they are stable at a good weight.
8 ounces meat
2 ounces organ meat
1 ounce of steamed, grated vegetables
1 tsp of NOW brand Calcium Citrate Powder (provides 600mg calcium)
1 capsule of NOW brand Kelp (provides 400mg kelp/dulse combination)
1/8 tsp of NOW brand Taurine Powder
1/2 teaspoon Beef Gelatin
1 gel cap Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil
Buy all the supplements you need for this recipe here: Home Cooked Diet for Cats Starter Pack
- Lightly cook the meat and vegetables together by boiling, steaming, sauteing with a little water, or slow-cooking (i.e. "Crockpot").
- Once cooled, chop meat, organ meat, and vegetables in a food processor. Do not pulverize. Add water as needed.
- Add chopped meat and vegetables to a bowl, add Calcium, Taurine, and Kelp powders, and mix. Add water as needed.
- Add Salmon Oil and Multivitamin to food daily. Pierce Salmon Oil gel cap and squeeze over food. Mix Multivitamin powder with food.
- Always feed the food room temp or slightly warm. You can warm it by adding a little hot water or floating the food bowl in a hot water bath for a few minutes (while you brush your teeth, make your tea, etc).
- Make preparing your pets food easy and fun. Turn on your favorite music and dance while you work. Give yourself a reward when you are done making your pets food. Making your pets food should not take you longer than going to the pet store to buy some.
- Once you know how much your pet eats, you can make a batch for 1-2 weeks at one time. You can also mix together the calcium and kelp for a few more batches and save them in a jar in a cool dark cabinet until the next batch. (I used to make 4 extra jars when I was out of calcium/kelp mix as a future time saver).
- Food should be stored in the refrigerator for no more than 3 days. If you make a bigger batch, divide them into containers that hold 2-3 days of food each. Freeze extra containers of food and move to refrigerator one day before feeding.
- Vary the type of meat and vegetables used to guard against food sensitivities or nutritional deficiencies arising from always using the same ingredients
- Be aware that raw meat poses a significant health risk to people; use caution when handling
- Use a variety of organs from the same or similar type of animal (i.e. okay to use chicken hearts, gizzard, or livers with turkey meat if turkey organs not readily available)
- Chopped meat is better to encourage chewing. If using ground meat, give at least some of the meat as chopped meat to improve dental health, if possible
- Lightly cooked meats have a higher nutrient content
- Vegetables are used to supply the right amount of carbohydrates and have a very high trace nutrient value. Any vegetable is okay: Carrots, broccoli, squash, yams, parsnips, spinach, kale, parsley, bok choy, lettuce, apples, and kelp. Grate, puree, and/or steam the vegetables to make them digestible
- Sweet potatoes, which have decent protein levels, are not too rich in starch and have several anti-cancer compounds. They make an excellent vegetable for home cooked diets
- Cats in the wild will eat the contents of their prey’s stomach. This provides fiber, probiotics and enzymes. In this recipe, we use the vegetables for fiber and prebiotic. Less pulverized vegetables will provide a more effective fiber, but cats may avoid them. Ok to puree the vegetables.
- Offer your cat fresh kitty grass. This provides fiber and digestive enzymes. Monitor that they do not overeat it. You may need to give for limited periods until their digestion is healthy, so they don’t overeat it.
- Avoid carbohydrates, unless your pet has trouble gaining weight and we have recommended it. Try to avoid wheat and grains, like corn and white rice.
- Avoid onions, grapes; minimize use of garlic
- Pre-prepared frozen meat and vegetable diets, sold to be fed raw, can be instead lightly boiled or steamed and fed as a home-cooked diet. Do not dry cook raw food diets that contain bone fragments
- Brands we recommend are: Primal, Nature's Variety, Darwin's, Small Batch
- This diet can be fed using raw ingredients. It has been shown that cats eating a raw diet have higher amounts of potentially pathogenic bacteria (salmonella, clostridium, etc.) on their fur than cats eating a cooked diet. For this reason, raw meat diets are NOT recommended for cats that come in contact with immuno-compromised individuals, children, or other susceptible individuals. For most individuals, the strongest benefit comes from feeding a whole food diet (unprocessed). Cooking does not generally reduce the improvements seen with a home-prepared diet. Certain constitutions and elderly pets generally do better with a cooked diet and will tend to experience diarrhea on raw diets. For more guidance regarding cooked vs. raw diets, or for help with transitioning to a new diet, schedule a phone consultation with our doctor.
- Warm the food to make it more aromatic and support healthy digestion
- Form the food into a pyramid shape in the bowl
- Put the new food on the old food so the new food has to be eaten to get to the old food
- Sprinkle a small amount of nutritional yeast on top