What meat source should I use?

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.


The Old Lady
Purred: Sat Jun 16, '12 8:20pm PST 
I am a strong opponent of feeding raw food, but I also have doubts about the quality of meat in canned foods. So I was wondering two things:

1. Is it OK to cook commercial raw cat food so they'll eat the same thing without getting bacteria and worms?
2. Can I use human-grade meat and gravy instead of the pet-quality stuff labeled cat food?

I don't want to settle for pet-quality meat and for me cooking is required!

Merlin - An Angel- Forever

Purred: Sun Jun 17, '12 6:07am PST 
These are my 2 cents smile

First question:

No, commerical raw pet food cannot be cooked. Cooking will change the nutrient profile of the food and your cat may end up not getting the right nutrients.

A good brand of commerical raw pet food will have strict quality control practices and sources of emat in place. There is no worry about worms or parasites or anything. An example, here is the Nature's Variety statement on their quality and food safety: http://www.naturesvariety.com/learning/raw/quality

Second question:

First, yes, you can buy raw meat at the supermarket or btucher shop to feed to your cat. But not ground meat. Ground meat has bacteria mixed throughout it which is fine for Humans because they will cook the meat which. You don't know how well sanitized a supermarket or butcher shop grinder is shrug It's better to buy whole cuts of meat (thigh, breast, etc) and grind or finely chop it up at home yourself.

Please be aware that plain meat on it's own, whether cooked or raw, does not contain any of the important vitamins and minerals. A vitamin and mineral deficient diet can result in serious health issues. You need to supplemlent meat in a way so that your cat gets all the important nutrients. For raw meat, you can follow a good reecipie that includes vitamins and mineral supplments or you can feed raw meaty bones and raw organs and stuff. Cooked meat will need to have vimtain and mineral supplements added.

Second, no, do not give a cat gravy meant for Humans. Canned gravies from the supermarket contain all sorts of seasonings which can be harmful to a cat, like garlic. Homemeade gravies tend to contain seasonings as well.

A better idea is to make broth: gently simmer some plain unseasoned chicken in plain unseasoned water until cooked. The water turns into broth and you can save the broth, even freeze it, for pouring over food. The cooked chicken can be cut up into pieces and given as treats.

Here is some info for reading:

I am aware of two cooked recipie cats. Here is one: http://rawmeatcatfood.com/2010/08/16/cooked-meat/ The recipie doesn't explictly say but it ideally shoudl be used with the TC Feline premix (link to purchase that is on that web site) so that your cat gets all the necessary vitamins and minerals. You can mix it in at the very end, after you take the pot off the stove and let the meat cool down.

The other one is http://www.mspca.org/vet-services/angell-boston/nutrition/recipes-for-your-pet.html Plese note that the recipie posted is a *sample* only. Cats of different ages, health status, nutritonal needs, etc may require a completely different recipie. You can contact the nutrition department for that hospital to get a customized recipie for your cat.

A raw food diet is great for cats smile A cat's digestive system can handle it after a little transition period. If you buy good quality raw meats from a reputable supermarket or butcher shop, there is no need to worry about meat contaminated with worms or other stuff. There are even online web sites that sell their own farm-raised high quality raw meats for pet food use, such as Hare-Today.com.


Ambassador at- the Kitty U.N.
Purred: Sun Jun 17, '12 1:14pm PST 
Jeez, where is all this worm concern coming from suddenly? Did I miss something? I've never heard of worms in raw. And honestly bacteria is not a concern. A cat's system is built to handle raw meat. That said, to each his own and if you're not comfortable with it, you shouldn't do it.

I just wanted to add one thing about cooking commercial raw. If the food is ground with bone (and it should be) you should never feed cooked bone to a cat. That's where the danger is - cooked bones can splinter and be harmful. Raw bones are perfectly safe.

Merlin is right - no gravy! And please do lots of research on what you'll need to provide a completely balanced diet for your cat. A variety of proteins is important, as are bones (or some calcium supply) and organs. A raw "Frankenprey" diet does not need to be supplemented but a ground diet or a cooked diet does.