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Make Raw Cat Food

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Felines have been eating raw food for thousands of years. Kept by humans in their homes and barns to catch, kill and eat mice, bugs, and other undesirables, all cat species have remained true carnivores. There may very well be a relationship between the health of these magnificent creatures and the fact that many of us are feeding them meat-flavored cereal that they were never meant to eat. While it is definitely some work, making your own raw cat food is manageable. Think of it as a labor of love and keeping your pet happy and healthy without serving him all the unnecessary additives that are in some canned food. The following recommendation will better suit your cat's body and health.

GATHER THE FOLLOWING PRIOR TO MAKING

  • 2 kg [4.4 pounds] raw muscle meat with bones (chicken necks are mostly cartilage, are easy to chop and easy for the cat to digest) thighs and drumsticks or, better, a whole carcass of rabbit or chicken amounting to 2 kg; if you don't use a whole carcass, opt for dark meat like thighs and drumsticks from chicken or turkey)
  • 400 grams [14 oz] raw heart, ideally from the same animal (if no heart is available, substitute with 4000 mg Taurine)
  • 200 grams [7 oz] raw liver, ideally from the same animal (if you can't find appropriate liver, you can substitute 40,000 IU of Vitamin A and 1600 IU of Vitamin D--but try to use real liver instead of substitutes).

NOTE: If you cannot find the heart or liver and decide to substitute with the Taurine/Vitamin A and D, then remember to replace the missing amount of organ meat with the equivalent amount of muscle meat. In other words, if you cannot find heart, you add another 400 grams of the meat/bones. If you can't find the liver, add another 200 grams of meat/bones.

  • 16 oz [2 cups] water
  • 4 raw egg yolks (use eggs from free-range, antibiotic-free chickens if you can)
  • 4 capsules raw glandular supplement (such as, for example, "Raw Multiple Glandular" from Premier Labs)
  • 4000 mg salmon oil
  • 200 mg Vitamin B complex
  • 800 IU Vitamin E ("dry E" works well) Buy Vitamin E in dry powder form. It's much easier to deal with than those little oil-filled capsules.

* OPTIONAL: 1/4 teaspoon of kelp and 1/4 teaspoon of dulse (1/2 teaspoon total) Try and get dulse and kelp in powder form that you can easily measure with a teaspoon rather than in capsule form. Taking apart those capsules is time consuming. If you can only find kelp in caplet form, youââ�¬â�¢ll have to spend time crushing the caplets with a mortar and pestle. Do yourself a favor and try to find the loose powder form.

  • OPTIONAL: 4 teaspoons psyllium husk powder (8 teaspoons if using whole psyllium husks)

**HINTS**
  • Use a needle to pierce or small scissors to open the salmon oil capsules .
  • Sharp knives. Dull knives make the whole process last too long and can be more dangerous to use than sharp ones.
  • Poultry shears or a good tough pair of kitchen scissors can sometimes be easier than a knife for cutting and chunking the meats.
  • An egg separator can make things a little easier and faster too.

 
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Step 1: Take Out The Grinder

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Get out the Grinder

Step 2: Assemble the Supplements

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Assemble the supplements. Keep all your supplements together in one place in the kitchen, so you can easily find everything as needed. Cut up the carcass (if using chicken, remove as much skin as possible).

Step 3: Cut Up The Meat And Grind

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Separate muscle meat from the carcass to be cut into chunks by hand (or ground using an extra-large grinding plate) from meaty bones to be ground. Put them in two different piles.
Cut the muscle meat into several chunks by hand. This is to give your cat something to chew on and get some good tooth and gum exercise.

Step 4: Weigh the Organ Meats

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Weigh the correct amount of organ meats.
Put all the meat and organs in the refrigerator until you mix up the rest of the ingredients.

Step 5: Separate Eggs and Whisk

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Separate the eggs and add the yolks to the mix of dry ingredients and water. Mix all together, adding the psyllium (if you're using it) last.

Whisk together the "supplement slurry." The strange bright-yellowish color comes from the B-complex and egg yolk. This mixture contains water, fresh egg yolk, salmon oil, a wee bit of kelp, a teensy bit of dulse, a glandular supplement, Vitamin E, psyllium, and B-complex. You can also add some Taurine supplement to make up for possible lost Taurine in the meat and organ from freezing.

Step 6: Take From Refrigerator and Grind

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Take the meaty bones and organ meats out of the refrigerator and grind.

Add the hand-chunked meat to the ground mixture and stir well, distributing evenly.

Add the "supplement slurry" to that and mix again.

Step 7: Spoon Into Containers

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Spoon the finished cat food into containers. Store the prepared food in manageable containers, like freezer baggies or one-cup plastic freezer containers. Wide-mouth Ball Mason glass freezer jars keep the food fresh longer. (Be certain to buy the "can-or-freeze" jars--not the plain canning jars.) Do not overfill. Leave at least a 1/2 inch gap or more at the top, because the food expands when frozen and you don't want the lids popping off.

Label the containers--with the type of meat and the date--and freeze.

Remove the food from the freezer during mealtime. Warm the food in a baggie. Do not serve the food cold straight from the refrigerator. Some cats will vomit raw food it if is very cold when it hits their stomach. Buy some cheap plastic snack-size zipper baggies, portion the food into them, and run it under hot water unti it has been warmed to at least room temperature or slightly higher. Don't use the microwave--see the Warnings in the next step.


Step 8: Suggested Tips To Follow

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*I f you will not be using the food immediately and freezing for more than a week or two, toss in 4000 mg of additional Taurine to make up for anything lost during storage. It is a good idea to sprinkle extra Taurine from a capsule on the food as you're serving it two or three times a week, just to be certain your cat is getting plenty of this critical amino acid.

  • The amount of time making cat food depends on how fast you are. If the family chips in to help make it, you might be able to make a batch for two cats in 30 or 40 minutes (including clean up time).
  • A bit of variety is helpful in keeping house cats interested in their food. Good options include: rabbit, chicken, Cornish Game Hen, turkey, and guinea fowl. Some cats also love beef and lamb, but not all cats that have been eating commercial food for a long time digest beef or lamb easily at first.
  • The most important thing to get right is the calcium-to-phosphorus ratio, which is most easily achieved by feeding whole carcasses.
  • If your cat turns up her nose at the stuff, try not to fret too much. Do not give up. Just start sneaking teeny amounts into canned food and increase the amount slowly. Some cats, especially older ones, are especially serious, dedicated, and stubborn kibble addicts. Do not give in! Do whatever it takes to get the cat eating the great new food. Sprinkle ground up kibble on top if you must, but persist.

*Don't try to guess the weights of meats organs but use a a scale.

  • There is no need to change the diet if you are feeding a kitten or an older cat. There is no such thing as special life stage food for cats in the wild, like those you see on the shelves of many pet food superstores. A kitten will need definitely need more raw food and more frequent feedings, but not a different food. A senior cat that is not t too active might need less food. But they all can thrive on good, healthy, fresh raw food.

Step 9: Warnings To Read Carefully

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  • An all-meat diet can quickly become frightfully unbalanced. Unless you understand feline nutrition, it is imperative that you follow the recipe without alteration or substitution. Many of us frequently prepare foods for ourselves and skip an ingredient we don't have on hand. You cannot do this in a proper feline diet. If you do not have all of the ingredients or cannot obtain all of the ingredients, don't try this. Nutritional deficiencies are much easier to cause than cure.
  • Don't microwave this food. This is especially true if you've used bones in your recipe. Cooked bones splinter and can be very dangerous to a cat. Raw bones are soft and are easily digested by a cat. Just warm it under warm water in a baggie
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  • Never risk feeding food that is slightly "off" or spoiled. Chances are your cat won't touch it in that condition, but to be safe, work out a thawing routine whereby the food you're about to serve is still just ever-so-slightly frozen. It's easy enough to complete the thawing quickly by running the food in a baggie under warm water to take off the chill, and this way you're assured that the food has not gone "bad" from being thawed for too long.
  • Don't over-do the use of "bribe foods" on top of raw to get your cat eating the raw food. Lots of tuna juice, for example, is a big no-no, as the flavor is so powerful that your cat may refuse anything that isn't tuna flavored later on. But a sprinkle of their favorite old commercial food is fine.
  • Some vitamins, are water-soluble, which means if you use more than the recommended amount, you're not putting your cat at risk for toxicity, as any over supply of water-soluble vitamins will be excreted. It's also possible to "over-dose" your cat on other vitamins. Some ingredients are a "polish" to the diet while others are not "supplements" at all, but are absolutely essential components that must be included in the ratios and amounts specified or you risk throwing your cat's diet dangerously off balance.
  • Salmonella and e. coli infections are very real risks when feeding raw diets. If a cat develops one of these infections, the people in the household especially children are at risk as well. It is well known that raw eggs can be contaminated with salmonella, as can poultry.
  • Intestinal parasites are also a concern; parasites can form cysts in the muscle tissue of livestock. Consider keeping your cat on parasite prevention available from your veterinarian.
  • Raw meat carries a high risk of toxoplasmosis for your cat. Toxoplasmosis can be deadly for unborn babies, and may cause problems later in life, including schizophrenia. If you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant, it is important not to switch to a raw meat diet as this can infect your cat and then infect you when you clean her litterbox.

Would raw chicken be okay?
rosewood5133 years ago
I only fed my cat raw a few times he is 21 y/o and am afraid but I feed my dog 100% raw.
If you freeze the meat for abut 2 weeks it will kill all the bacteria. Also remember animals have allot more acid in their stomachs to kill harmful bacteria, don't forget they were eating raw long before we came along. :o)
It is the healtiest way for your animal. My pug is not over weight at all, any more.
"If you freeze the meat for abut 2 weeks it will kill all the bacteria."

This is simply not true, while some may die the *vast* majority will not & any toxins they have produced will be entierly intact.

Pretty much the only thing that freezing will kill off are and parasites or eggs contained in the meat, a good thing but very diffrent.
edrin2 years ago
How many meals do i get from your recipe? and how many gm/meal?
bythepiece3 years ago
When I found out that commercial pet foods can be made with grade "d" meat, which stands for diseased, dying or dead, and is NOT fit for human consumption, I was ill. The prices are so high and the quality can be so low.
There are quality pet foods made with good meat (or ingredients) and no preservatives. I give my pets a quality food supplement and the best food I can afford and would rather give them people food than some of the commercial food available. And contaminated pet food from China that killed so many pets? They really need for us to look out for them. We have to do our research.
I see this has already been up for a while, but I have a question about grinding the bones - is it possible to have a butcher grind up a whole chicken, or should you do it yourself? We don't have a meat grinder, yet, but we're thinking of a stand mixer with the meat grinder attachment, and I don't know if the kitchen-aid grinder will handle chicken bones or not - what do you think?
So great to see this 'ible, past time we stopped feeding carnivores junk cereals. I'd really love to find a butcher willing to grind a whole chicken, but so far, no luck with that. As for a KitchenAid with the meat grinder attachment, well, sorry to say it can't do bones. Most meat grinders, even single purpose ones that cost a few hundred dollars, are not designed for bones and will break if you put bones in. Bones will usually invalidate the warranty on new ones too. Only a very few are up to this task. That's the reason I don't make cat food with bones, because a grinder that can do the job is simply not within my means. Instead, I use an excellent pre mix made specifically for cats. Feline Instincts is the brand, available online. You mix it with ground fresh muscle meat only, and it contains human grade ingredients, with all the calcium, other minerals, vitamins, etc., to make a compete and balanced food for cats. Makes raw cat food much easier to make if you can't afford a grinder. I'm working on switching two recently adopted 13 year old females from canned to raw. They like raw meat, but are pretty addicted to their canned junk, so I'm mixing a bit of the raw stuff with their canned meals, and with some time and persistence they'll get to all raw, I hope. Check out the Feline Nutrition Education Society, which was just started in 2010 by a vet, as they have excellent information on this topic.
edenlea3 years ago
Good stuff, very well done!
I hope many, many cat owners read your instructable.
I am a cat breeder and I feed my cats raw food - what a difference it makes to their long term health. There are some photos of what my cats eat here:
www.eden-lea.com/cat-health/natural-food-for-cats
locket4794 years ago
Thank you very much for remembering to mention Taurine in your recipe--even though cats can eat just about any raw food, they have to have Taurine to survive.  Good work!
_kira_4 years ago
hahaha i just give my cat smoked turkey
aseaheru4 years ago
give raw whole things...... gives more to do.....
we had chickens and the cats ingnored thim, but went after the local rodent life.....
total of 11 cats then, but only 3 there...
get your kids/husband to do it if your pregnit..... thats what my mum makes me do...
nate1215 years ago
i would think so i men my cats eat mice and moles all the time
dito.
CRYROLFE5 years ago
Our Bombay kitty eats only raw.....but I would love to get a meat grinder.
I feed him whole chicken parts and he eats them bone and all.
I also give him Primal food and mackerel. Here he is eating a chicken leg.....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWBVmkgSe-8
verry smart...
ReCreate5 years ago
too complicated recipes ingredients and warnings
jotos5 years ago
couldn't you just feed the cat a whole rabbit you snared? xD
katerlyn jotos5 years ago
the holistic vet i heard lecture said rabbits have very bad things in their intestines, I am assuming worms for one thing, as my cats used to get ear mites and other things from eating rabbits.
katerlyn5 years ago
It's too far to go (miles) and her office help, one person, is very nasty...but this vet is GREAT GREAT GREAT and she lectures about people now, too, raw meat for dogs and cats and veggies for people. www.drKarenBecker.com
Oscelot5 years ago
Very shiny! I was wondering though.. would it be just as good to cook it with a tiny bit of oil in the skillet and just putting a bowl of it in the fridge?
is it cat safe?
NE-Phil6 years ago
Growing up in the 60's and 70's, my parents were doing basically the same thing. Once every couple of weeks we would go to the butcher and buy 10 lbs of chicken necks. My brother and I would have to put them through the grinder and package them up for daily meals. No, did not we add any other ingredients or supplements. Just the chicken necks.. Our 17 year old Siamese never got tired of them. He lived on this his entire life (except for whatever he supplemented by foraging outside) until he eventually was run over. SondraC, I'm guessing whatever he caught and ate outside probably supplied those missing vitamins you're adding. Great job!
Must have been good stuff if he lived to be 17 and died of unnatural causes! Processed pet food can't be good if it makes our poor animals eke out the kind of gas they do after eating it.
Our cat also has some bad gas after eating the processed cat food. It smells real bad!
Hi Gwenieviere, Have you had your cat's teeth checked? I thought my cat had a gas problem but it turned out she had periodontal disease. Could be a health issue.
Yes I have checked his teeth, I think it was just the food lol. We did find out he was dehydrated tho, so thank goodness we took him to the vet in time =>.<=
My family's pets back home get chicken necks, heads, and the cheapest possible fish, but we cook them with rice (about 50:50). The rice hasn't hurt them despite being not "natural" but I must admit my dog's putting on some chub as she hits middle age. My cat here in the USA just gets Purina Cat Chow since I don't have the time, budget, or philosophy to spend on making fancy meals for her, but I've been giving her a few drops of cod liver oil on her kibble and it helps with her coat condition.
mensmaximus6 years ago
Thanks very much for this. Can the ground up chicken necks be frozen or did I miss this point? Should meat stores or pet stores or vets or grocery stores take more responsibility in informing and/or supplying this pre-mixed daily?
SondraC (author)  mensmaximus6 years ago
http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Raw-Cat-Food
check out this site for all further information. this is where I got the information for the article.

they are very nice and helpful..thanks
cavalaxis6 years ago
Where do you purchase your supplements?
SondraC (author)  cavalaxis6 years ago
http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Raw-Cat-Food

Check this site. this is where the information I used came from. they are very nice and will answer all questions.

thanks for asking.
that well give kittys worms
trebuchet036 years ago
Wow, your cats must eat the fanciest of all feasts :) Nicely Done.
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