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Home made cat food!!! Beginner! Help!

This is the place to share your best homemade cat food and treat recipes with each other! Remember to use caution if your pet has allergies and to make any diet changes gradually so that your cat's stomach can adjust to the new foods you are introducing.

  
Hazel Basil

The most polite- cat in Germany
 
 
Purred: Sun Jan 8, '12 10:53pm PST 
Hello!!! I have done a lot of reading/research on making my own cat food. I am a bit nervous because I don't want my cats to miss out of any nutrition they might need and I've never done it before so I am a bit lost. First there is the decision between raw and cooked food. I am a but nervous to do the whole raw thing since there might be bacterias or other harmful things in uncooked food so I get nervous about that. What is the better option and why? Cooked or raw? Can I do both? Is there a good cook book for cat food out there for cats? I've only come across one website advertising a cook book but I would like to have options if they're out there. The next issue is I have an almost three year old cat and an almost 7 year old cat. Are the too old to start them on homemade food? Is it something you have to start them on as kittens or can they get used to it as adult cats? I know it upsets there systems when you switch food so I am afraid if I switch over to homemade food it will do a number on their kitty tummies. Also my cats have been strictly dry food kitties with a once a week wet can of food as a snack which neither of them seem too excited about but eat I think just to make me happy lol! Are any cat foods made at home hardened so it emulates the dry store bought food? I really want to make my own cat food but I am so nervous about it ! Thanks and have a great week!kitty
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BK

Ambassador at- the Kitty U.N.
 
 
Purred: Tue Jan 10, '12 10:15am PST 
Wow, so many questions here! Let me try to help. It seems like you've done some research but I'd like to suggest a website or two to help you further. The first is catinfo.org. On this site a vet explains why you shouldn't feed kibble and how to feed a proper raw diet. I don't recommend cooking or a cook book because frankly, I've looked around myself and I have seen recipes that really scared me. They are not balanced and some of them are downright dangerous. If you're thinking of just adapting raw by cooking it, most raw recipes contain bone and if you cook them the bones become dangerous, so I don't recommend that either. The risk of making your cat sick from raw food bacteria is really minimal. Their systems are much better at dealing with bacteria than ours are. And if you practice basic food safety steps you'll all be fine.

With regard to switching - anything is possible but some cats take to raw better than others. I have a middle age foster in the house who wants raw every single meal. I've had much younger cats look at raw and not even recognize it as food. I suggest seeing where your cats fall on the spectrum so you can anticipate how difficult it might be to switch them, and how long it will take. One good thing is that you really don't have to worry about stomach upset if you do it gradually. Raw food creates very small, dry and odorless stools.

I did an article for Alex's mom's website on how to go about raw feeding that might help you decide if it's for you and what's involved: http://ibdkitties.net/rawinstructions.html

I hope this helps and feel free to ask as many questions as you want. Whatever you do, the best thing you can do is get informed!
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Member Since
12/19/2011
 
 
Purred: Fri Jan 20, '12 2:32pm PST 
I just answered these concerns for myself, so I can relate!

Raw vs Cooked. I decided that I would transition slowly. So I started with cooked. Maybe some day I will cook the chicken thighs less and less. Besides, I use my hands to mix the vitamins and bone meal in.

Dr. Peirson at catinfo.org has a great easy recipe for raw and cooked. She would rather you do raw though. If you don't want to grind bones, you can use bone meal. She would rather you grind the bone though. So after I'm used to making cat food, I may buy a grinder. It's really easy to get the supplements she recommends. She tells you exactly what to buy, even the brands.

I have 18 rescue cats of all ages. The first day, I set only the homemade out for everybody in the morning, when they are the most hungry. Some took to it right away, but there was a lot of circling and sniffing for some. At night they had their choice of canned or homemade, so nobody went without food. Did that for a while until all except one was sold on homemade. Nobody had a problem with their tummies.

I did have one kibble-head. I put her in the bathroom with her kibble so the others wouldn't get at it. I put a dab of homemade on her dish, to get her used to the smell. Then, every morning, when she was very hungry, I would gently put a very small amount into her mouth with lots of pets and love. Finally I remembered FortaFlora. I love this stuff! Dr Peirson talks about it. That's what really worked. FurFur is eating entirely homemade or canned now. No dry!! Now, I have to get her to eat with the others in the kitchen.

I alternate homemade with canned in case something happens to me. I want them to be happy no matter what.
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Nadia

Lick, lick. I- love to lick...
 
 
Purred: Sat Jan 21, '12 9:41am PST 
Hi there Hazel Basil (what a cute tortie you are),

You might find some more info on homemade diets on Dr. Jean Hofve's Little Big Cat website . I believe she has info on cooked as well as raw diets. There's a lot of good info on the whole site under the nutrition and health areas, etc.

I think the kibble lovers just have to get used to a new food and there are also tips and tricks for getting kitties more interested in wet foods. Dr. Pierson has a whole page on transitioning kitties to wet food (canned, raw or homemade) at catinfo.org. One thing Mom does is sprinkle some freeze-dried chicken treats on our food if we are feeling picky, and that helps.

Good luck with the homemade cat food. You kitties are lucky that your mom is interested in homemade food and wants to give you a healthy diet. kitty
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Ajaxx- Anthony- Fisher

Big Man
 
 
Purred: Mon Apr 2, '12 9:36pm PST 
I would start slowly & see what your cat likes. As long as he/she's eating a high quality dry food, he/she can eat both. It's a shame that those of us who serve our cats dry food are made out to be terrible pet owners. There's always the risk of bacteria when you feed raw food to your animals so I'd cook the food & maybe down the road combine it with some raw but if you've got a good kibble, keep giving both.

Edited by moderator Wed Apr 4, '12 10:50am PST

Edited by forums moderator

BK

Ambassador at- the Kitty U.N.
 
 
Purred: Tue Apr 3, '12 7:32am PST 
Ajaxx, I think that language is uncalled for. For some of us, finding Dr. Pierson has helped save our cats' lives. The fact is she's an educated VET that has made it her mission to research proper nutrition. There are a lot of us that are educated about feline nutrition but she has an actual degree, which carries some weight. And speaking of educated, you need to be careful about giving out advice. You should never feed kibble and raw within 12 hours of each other, and the risk of bacterial infection to your cat from raw food is minimal, if not non-existent.
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