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Pet food in my area has gone up and the sales are not as good, if at all. The other day, the Kroger I was in had whole chickens on clearance, for 59 cents a pound. I will cook one, discard the bones and skin, dice it up and feed it to my cats, twice a day, instead of their can food. It's cheaper, and it's good for them. No fillers. I will store it in the fridge.
If you do not have multiple cats, as I do, simply put the diced chicken, in a big plastic, Ziploc bag, and get a handful out and zap it on defrost, each day.
By julrobs from North Augusta, SC Editor's Note: Be sure to feed your pets a balanced diet to ensure they are getting the proper nutrition. Chicken can supplement their normal diet but should not be the only source.
Raw chicken is a good treat for a cat; but, there are long term problems with what you are doing.
Cooking does remove some of the nutrients in the meat, many amino acids are destroyed in the cooking process.
Discarding the bones means that they are not getting any calcium or other minerals needed to keep their bones strong. Cooked bones are dangerous for cats; but, ground up raw bones are safe and necessary.
They need some fat so keep some (not all) of the skin.
Even if you are keeping the chicken heart for the cat; it does not have enough taurine to protect their eyesight. Cats require more taurine in their diet than dogs or other animals. So, add some extra heart (chicken, turkey or beef).
The same is true of the liver. Add a little extra.
Add a couple of raw eggs and if your cat is not allowed out - add some greens (grass, parley, or celery).
The reason some older cats have issues with protein is that their kidneys have been damaged over the years by trying to process grains - corn, rice, millet, etc. If they have not been fed these foods, they will be fine.
I fed my cats a raw food diet for many years and they stayed healthy. The only reason I had to go back to commercial food was that it was becoming difficult to locate heart to add to the meat in my area.
Cats need dessert too!
Mix milk, yogurt, mayonnaise, and syrup together well. Bring 1 cup water to boil and mix in Knox gelatin. Set aside. Mix egg yolk with small amount of milk mixture and beat well. Add gelatin and water to milk mixture and beat well. Add in egg yolk mixture and beat well. Pour into Tupperware or like bowl (with cover) and set in refrigerator. Pudding will last for two weeks covered in refrigerator.
Very rich in calcium, this pudding can be used as a supplement for kittens, from birth on, sick cats, and show cats to put on weight. Several veterinarians have approved this recipe as being balanced and nutritious.
Source: My Vet
By Jodi from Aurora, CO
I didn't think cats were supposed to have milk. I read it a while back and I think it said something about giving them diarrhea.
Make your own cat food by boiling 2 pounds pasta, 2 pound lentils, and 1 pound offal. Cool the mixture and blend to liquidize. Put in portion sized containers in the freezer. When it has thawed, it will have a meat-loaf consistency.
Don't forget to bake for the cat! Mix dry ingredients together. Add molasses, egg, oil, and milk. Roll out flat onto oiled cookie sheet and cut into small, cat bite-sized pieces.
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My cat Mamie is having a lot of trouble going to the bathroom; I've looked up her symptoms that are exactly like those of being constipated. I have to feed her wet cat food, because she only has 11 teeth now, and I need "actual recipes" that I can find in stores. I don't mean the "science labeled pills and what not" that I can't find at the store, Walmart, because it doesn't carry those items!
Can someone tell me or even show me a site that will give me an actual recipe to follow so I can make my cat something to help her? Maybe even something for the sassy and picky eater that is currently attacking my computer screen? I would use the food the vet would give us, but she refuses to eat it and literally pushes the bowl away from her and towards the stairs.
Hi Alyssa, my old cat also had problems going to the toilet after an operation to remove his teeth, I ground up 3 small pieces of all bran and added it to his food after 3 days of adding half the ground all bean, he was back to normal. Hope this helps,
You can also add pure pumpkin. Make sure it is not pie filling. You can add 1 tsp to their food. This helps with constipation.
You might try adding slippery elm bark powder to her food.
My fussy cat has taken to liking the new broths available for cats, but they are expensive for very little and packaged badly so that I always spill a bit getting it out of the vacuum pack. She loves texture and liquid as she tends to lick her food rather than taking bites.
If anyone has a good broth recipe suitable for cats I'd love to see it, please.
By Pauline D
I got tired of paying for broth awhile back and started making my own. I save all chicken or turkey parts in the freezer. I usually have a lot of backs(back bones hide a number of small glands - adrenal, kidneys et. I pop them out as they have an off flavor), wings and leg bones etc. When the freezer gets crowded I take them all out put them in a pot and fill the pot with water. Simmer for 1 to 4 hours, let cool and strain thru a seive or cheesecloth to remove any small bones. if boiled for 4 hours you will have extracted the mineral content of the bones (calcium, magnesium, phosphorus) Now you can reduce the stock until it is the way you like it. I pour my stock into 8 oz plastic cups and freeze it. I use it to make soup, rice or whatever needs a flavor boost. One difference you will notice with the store bought stock is that yours will gel when it is cold. I am not sure how manufacturers keep the store bought stuff from gelling. It liquifies quickly when brought to room temp or a little more. You can add anything you like to broth while it is cooking. Onions, celery etc can vary the flavor and nutrition. My cats love it and I use it by the ton. A container of broth is approaching $3 at the store.
I was told onion is bad for cats
We have a fussy Maine Coon and she loves anything with gravy. I looked at the ingredients of the store bought brands and was put off by the by-products that go into them, think about it, why would a pet food company put good human food in a can when they can use the cheaper stuff. I found a wonderful book "The Whole Pet Food Diet" by Andi Brown and it has a great approach to feeding your furry friends good healthy food without the risk of giving them something that is toxic. Our kitty now has a shiny coat, is more active and alert and no more dandruff, now that says a lot. The book from Amazon is well worth it.
Does anyone have a recipe for a cat gravy? I have a 19 year old and he will only lick the gravy from his food. I have worked for a veterinarian for many years, but we have yet to come up with a good recipe. Sometimes we need to "hide" liquid medication in the gravy mixture. Some medications can be compounded with a certain flavor, but some medications cannot. Thank you in advance.
By Sherri from CA
I am interested too - my 19 1/2 year old cat will only eat the gravy. I just tried a can of cat food, added water and ran it through the blender. She had no interest in it all.
Hello - when my 18 1/2 year old cat went off all solid foods, I began feeding her 'kitten formula' - 2 cups whole milk, 1 egg yolk, 1 tsp. corn syrup (opt), pinch of sea salt. Mix everything well and store in airtight container in the fridge. Take out only what your cat will drink for one meal, warm and serve. I also offered her normal cat kibble (or kitten chow) and fresh water at all times. She did well through the winter and passed peacefully during the next summer.
It is best to make the kitten formula with raw milk (either goat or cow) because it is far easier to digest.
I have to give vitamins & meds to a bunch of feral rescue cats everyday. I make "Special Gravy" and they go bonkers for it. I make it fresh each time and serve warm, but you could store it in the fridge. I put the following in a mayonaise size jar in this order: 1/2 cup kitten chow, L-Lysine powder, pro-biotic, fish oil, 2 scoops of Clear Science Powder Gravy, 1/4 cup milk, 2 cans wet can food and 1/4 hot water....i use one of those hand mixers for making smoothies to blend it into a liquid sludge, then add a cup or two of hot water to thin it out. Let it thicken as it cools. i then add a handful of easy to digest dry cat food for the few that like tidbits in the gravy. it makes about 1.5 quarts. I sneak in the meds for the ones I can't handle and it works everytime. good luck.
I have a cat with food allergies, which is hard to fight with processed cat food. Does anyone have a healthy homemade cat food recipe they can share without any added chemicals?
By Cris from Central CA
Turkey breast meat (app. 3 lbs), 1/4" dice
Sweet potatoes (3) (baked & mashed)
1/4 cup each, nutritional yeast, ground flax
3 capsules taurine
1 Tbsp. whey protein powder
2 Tbsp. fish or krill oil
Mix well. Feed about 1/4 to 1/3 cup twice per day.
I just found your recipe. Is the meat cooked or raw? I have tried giving my 17 yr old raw meat in the past and he wouldn't touch it.
Looks like a good recipe. Thanks.
My cat has always eaten canned food, but he is not eating now. What can I feed him? He is almost 18 years old.
By Pam R. from Fishers, IN
I have a 16 yo cat who we have recently had the same problem. I bought him some turkey from the deli section and although I do have to hand feed it to him, he loves it and that is ok with me!
Hello, I would suggest a visit to your Veterinarian for a "Senior" examination. Cats at this age require a different diet. Since cats at this age are not as active, they might require a diet that is lower in calories/protein. To make sure your "Senior" is healthy, please have your Veterinarian do a Senior health panel to make sure there are not any underlying issues that might affect his/her health at this age. Good luck with your fur-baby
Nature's Farmacy is the best place for nutritional help for cats, dogs and horses!
They also will give you help over the phone or by email.
Monday-Friday (770)893-1974 jeanette AT naturesfarmacy.com
FAX 24/7 (770)893-1229
Nature's Farmacy, Inc.
166 High Knoll Road
Jasper, GA 30143
I want to make some food for my cat, any suggestions?
By Rob from Boston, MA
I make an all raw diet for my cats. If you are making more than an occasional snack it is good to understand the nutrition requirements for cat food. I got started using the catinfo.org website (see "making cat food"). My cats are thriving after 5 years on this website's recipes. The woman who put this recipe together is a vet and really understands nutrition.
How do I make homemade cat food?
I'm against homemade cat food. It's near impossible to make sure your cat is properly nourished. I started out feeding my cat a homemade raw diet. You have to buy the meat/liver/muscles/fat, buy a scale, buy vitamins, raw meaty bones. I mean, the list is endless.
Now, after you've purchased your meat, intestines, bones, muscles, liver, and on and on and on, you have to make sure your cat eats it all. If it doesn't, it'll be missing the calcium it needs from the bones for example. What it'll do is eat the good parts like the liver and fat and nibble at the rest.
Now, if you passed all that, you have to worry about constipation. Cats are carnivores but they get some fiber. You can buy it some grass or maybe add pumpkin to the food. It's so much work and your cat will have to slowly adjust to the diet.
What I found to be the easiest thing for you to do is to go out and buy some grade A dry food. Not Purina or Whiskas. This one decision will make a difference of years in your cats life. No kidding. Buy something like Ajisen, Go, Dick Van Patten's or something of that nature. It'll be about 20 bucks for a bag. My cat goes through that in about 2 months. That's going to be 120-150 bucks a year on good food that will extend your cats life by years compared to whiskas and that other garbage.
Seriously, if you don't believe me, go ask a vet. Your cat will love the food, be SUPER healthy, have a beautiful coat and you'll be happier knowing that you don't have to worry about your cat's diet.
One last thing, cats like to eat many meals a day. Not one or two big ones. Even if you're a stay at home mom, you don't have the time to feed it 8 times a day throughout a 24 hour period. I free feed my cat and she doesn't gorge but if your cat does, just measure out a day's serving once a day. If you do it in the morning, it'll wake you up at the same time each day. It might pig out the first day or two but it'll quickly see that it has to conserve.
Animalmcburger is right. I am a raw feeder because one of my cats is epileptic and the raw food keeps the seizures under control. But it is a lot of work. I needed to buy a meat grinder ($200) and then find a consistent source of raw chicken hearts. Just keeping fresh food on hand is a weekly chore. I set aside a half day a week to take care of business.
Cat food has improved a lot in the last few years. My other cat loves Costco dry maintenance formula. It costs only $18 for a 20 lb bag. It is the best quality. I do share chicken and turkey and salmon on a regular basis with my guys. Remember cats are obligate carnivores.
Grains and veggies don't do them much good because they have a short digestive tract and cant digest them well. Some cats can't digest them at all and have real problems with diarrhea. If you do cook for your cats find a good supplement. I like the feline vitamins from Only Natural Pets.
I am looking for simple recipes for cat food and cat treats. Kitty is a new mummy at 8 months old with 4 kittens still nursing.
By Seamus from San Antonio, TX
Click on "Our Recipe Collection", then click on "Animal Treats".
Ther are some great raw food recipes if you are interested. It is a bit more work, but the cats thrive on it. If you want my recipe just let me know. There are several available on the web also. I have been feeding that way for 5 years now.
I am looking for recipes that my elderly and dog can both eat. I need to feed them the same diet.
By Rita C
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
How do I make cat food?
By Norma from Brooklyn, NY
Read the archives at the bottom of the page. Also, you can find pet foods by using the Google search engine. (09/29/2010)
Anyone have any recipes for homemade cat food that is cheaper than manufactured. I have several cats and spend about $100 a month feeding them and that is store brand!
Karen from Bolivar, TN
I have a source for free beef hearts and tongue. I boil them in water, cut into chunks, and chop fine in food processor. My two cats get some of this each night when I get home from work, and during the day they eat dry food. They love the beef! (12/03/2008)
If you plan to switch your cats to a 100 percent homemade diet, check out some of the nutritional information online, because there are certain vitamins and minerals which are very important to their health and might be missing in a diet a lay person would devise. Saving money on food doesn't accomplish much if you make it up on vet bills.
We've had several cats who didn't like canned food and who had long, healthy lives just eating a good supermarket brand of dry food. In other words, not the cheapest generic brand, but not the expensive kinds sold by vets, either. Stuff like Purina, in other words. (12/05/2008)
For about 6 months I made my own cat food. I bought a cat food cookbook in the cookbook section of one of the major bookstores. They loved it, but it is time consuming. I don't believe it was any less expensive, and you either need to supplement it with commercial canned food or find a place to buy things like taurine which cats need to have. They also cannot have all their meat protein cooked, I forgot why at the moment. (12/08/2008)
Today I began searching for dry cat food alternatives. As we can tell by this long thread, so are many of us. Here is just a little of what I have found so far that makes sense.
Cats do not have a physiologic requirement for vegetables and actually lack the enzymes needed to break down this food source for efficient utilization. You can find more info:
Avoid fish flavored foods or treats, which are said to be suspect in crystal formation/urinary problems in males.
Cats need very very little carbs. (ie rice/oats)
One of our 3 cats, Mia- she is not fat, just fluffy- 80% fur! As you can see she likes to eat her feet, perhaps she has found her own diet!
Please see this site! rexforhealth.com.
Click on the What's New tab, and at the bottom of the page is the simplest and most animal-friendly raw food recipe. I use it all of the time. This site also offers other valuable info.
I know one very nice blog with plenty of good homemade cat food recipes, I think you will find there all these recipes and more, here's the address:
More general information about how and what to feed your cat can be found in this blog:
I find all this business of adding supplements is more expensive than buying cat food. And adding taurine is surely unnecessary if you feed your cat freshly cooked or raw meat and chicken bones. Why buy bone meal when you can grind up the bones or just give then the bones? My two cats have been doing splendidly with eating bones, plus it's what is more natural for cats. After all what how do feral cats survive?
They get to exercise their teeth and get the wonderful bone marrow! I have heard if you cook bones in a soup it makes them more brittle and perhaps more dangerous. So I just buy the ready-cooked chicken from Safeway and feed them the meat and the bones. They seem completely satisfied with the meat I give them, the same stuff I eat. I too will experiment with homemade food with a little carbs. (01/14/2010)
I've read through all the comments, info., and suggestions here concerning homemade cat food. I've also done some online research on the topic. What I have found is conflicting info about certain foods and if they are good or bad for one's cat. For example, I've read recipes calling for vegetable oil, whereas I've also read that vegetable oil is not good for cats, both posted by vets. On a dangerous note, I've read onions are toxic to cats, but then I've come across recipes including onion.
I'm pointing out these inconsistencies as a warning: do your research. Don't take one person's advice, even if they claim to be a vet (online) or claim their own pet is healthy. Ask a few local vets, pet stores, pet owners, books, and online websites that appear to be written by experts. Figure out why some people say garlic is dangerous for cats while others say it's good for them. Then you can make an informed decision based on popular opinion or plain fact. Most importantly, you are being a responsible and loving pet owner. (06/05/2010)