Make Raw Cat Food




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.


  • 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)

  • 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.

Step 1: Take Out the Grinder

Get out the Grinder

Step 2: Assemble the Supplements

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

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

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

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

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

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

*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

  • 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
  • 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.



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    41 Discussions


    2 years ago

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    8 years ago on Introduction

    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?

    2 replies

    Reply 2 years ago

    Do NOT grind bones and give to pets. Any bones that they can chew up themselves is good enough. If the bone is too hard for them to "grind" with their own teeth, they do not need it. Grinding allows degradation by exposure to oxygen on thousands of surfaces. Give the cat a chicken wing or thigh, and the cat/dog will chew off the skin and then the meat, and will chew at the bone from the end. the pet will only be able to break off what he/she can swallow, and only that part will be exposed for a short time before it goes into the stomach. You can save yourself a lot of trouble, time and clean up by feeding them the meat with the bone and letting the cat eat what it can.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    2 replies

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    "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.


    Reply 2 years ago

    It is not really an issue, freezing and bacteria. You don't have to worry about toxins the bacteria have produced if you are feeding the pet fresh food. Feed them what you would eat and they'll be fine. They can even eat it if it's been out for a few hours total. Think of how animals will bury a meal to find for a snack later. They lick their own anuses. They are not as fragile as humans.


    3 years ago on Introduction

    Who is this person coming up with this cat food? I would think twice about feeding this to your cats before submitting it to your vet for their approval. What cat eats kelp? How fresh is the poultry you are buying? Cooking kills parasites. Personally I give 3 ounces of boiled chicken (brest meat only) a day in two servings with unlimited kibble every day. This menu plan was given to me by my vet. It works and I have a happy and healthy Gizmo.

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    The only problem I have with this instructible is suggesting that the meat needs grinding. The extra taurine is not necessary if the meat is not exposed to excessive amounts of oxygen and that happens with grinding. The meat can be fed as is. Cats have jaws that tear off the meat into the sizes they can swallow. Ground food can allow gulping and overeating. As to cooking, that is not necessary as cats digestive juice is much more acidic than humans and the bacteria and parasites on food that would harm us would not bother them. As to parasites that WOULD bother them, cooking do not kill those, such as trichonosis, but it is a rare bug in the US and only found in wild carnivores and animals pets would not be eating anyway, not the current pork supply.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    How many meals do i get from your recipe? and how many gm/meal?


    7 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    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:


    8 years ago on Introduction

    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!


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    we had chickens and the cats ingnored thim, but went after the local rodent life.....


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    get your kids/husband to do it if your pregnit..... thats what my mum makes me do...


    10 years ago on Introduction

    i would think so i men my cats eat mice and moles all the time