If you’d like more control over what goes into your precious kitty’s bowl, learning how your own cat chow could be for you. But don’t think you’ll just crack open a can of tuna and call it each day .Cat Food Dr. Anne Reed, D.V.M., of All All Paws Holistic Veterinary Clinic, says the DIY route can have myriad benefits, as long as you follow some crucial steps. Homemade food can help cats with sensitive stomachs avoid allergens and eliminate processed ingredients, also as encourage timed feeding rather than free-feeding, which may benefit cats’ digestion and weight management.
Making your own also can help your wallet. “While pre-made raw diets are convenient, like all prepared food, they’re tons costlier than homemade,” adds Margaret Gates, founder, and director of the raw food advocacy and education organization Feline Nutrition Foundation. “You are paying somebody else for the work of creating it.” able to provides it a try? Here’s what you would like to understand.
1 CATS ARE CARNIVORES
You may have gone vegetarian or vegan for your health, but Reed and Gates caution against your cat doing an equivalent. Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning their shorter, more acidic alimentary canal has evolved specifically to digest meat, not veggies, and carbohydrates. “A meat diet closely mimics what cats evolved to eat,” Gates explains. “This makes it much easier for his or her digestive systems to form proper use of the food.”
2 CATS NEED ADDED VITAMINS
Your cat needs some very specific vitamins and minerals to take care of proper health, including vitamin A and Taurine. Commercial cat foods accompany these already mixed in, but if you’re making your own, add them yourself to avoid health problems like heart condition or maybe blindness. While you’ll buy individual supplements online or at your local food store, Reed likes powdered mixes. She recommends Feline Instinct, which comes complete with all of the required vitamins for the typical cat.
Programs like BalanceIT also enable you to input your required ingredients and ensure you’re feeding a diet . Whether you select a completed powder or to blend your own supplements, don’t ignore this step. “A balanced and complete diet isn’t rocket science,” Gates explains. “You don’t got to be a nutritionist to properly feed your cat.”
3 DON’T THROW AWAY THE BONES
Think about your cat within the wild: She’d hunt and eat entire animals — including organs and bones — not find and devour a skinless, boneless pigeon breast . For this reason, meals made from solely muscle meat can cause tons of harm, Reed notes.”We highly recommend the feeding of meat chunks and raw meaty bones,” Gates adds. “This is great for dental health and mental stimulation. All that gnawing and chewing – really using those side teeth – is what keeps her mouth so healthy.”
4 HANDLE RAW INGREDIENTS SAFELY
Because of the way meat is processed within the U.S., it can carry pathogens which will make us sick. For that reason, safe handling is vital . Always wear gloves and canopy surfaces with newspaper or plastic to attenuate contamination. Carefully wash your preparation area, hands, cooking tools, and serving dishes with hot, soapy water after use. If you’ve got an immunocompromised person, young children, or elderly people within the house, raw food won’t be well worth the risk.
5 CONSULT YOUR VET WHEN CHANGING DIETS
While many tout the advantages of homemade cat chow , it’s not for everybody . Your cat may have unique nutritional needs or be sensitive to new food. Always consult your veterinarian before making major changes to your cat’s diet, especially if your cat remains a kitten, aged in years, or has health concerns that need a special nutritive balance.
“There is not any one size fits all for diet,” Reed explains. “That means most recipes are an area to start out , and sometimes changes are necessary, under the supervision of your veterinarian, to urge the right diet for your cat.”
6 GET the proper SUPPLIES
The Feline Nutrition Foundation offers a comprehensive recipe on its website that uses bone-in chicken thighs and includes several variations and adaptations. Necessary equipment includes a meat grinder, chrome steel mixing bowls, a dishwasher-safe chopping board , a really sharp knife, a kitchen scale that goes up to 10 pounds, and storage containers or bags.
If you’re making an outsized batch and can’t find enough bone-in meat or carcasses at your grocery , consider asking your butcher for help. Read through the whole recipe carefully before you get going, and don’t be afraid to ask an expert for help.
7KNOW THE RISKS OF RAW DIETS
There is opposition to raw and homemade diets within the food safety and veterinary establishment. The Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Veterinary Medical Association all advise against raw food diets because of the risk of transmitting pathogens. But veterinarians also caution that dry or prepared cat food can also carry bacteria that can make us sick. Always practice safe handling and hygiene, whenever handling food for you or your pet.