Home Made Cat Food – Chicken2015-12-05
- Yield : 3 pounds (a little more) of cat food
- Servings : 10-14 days of cat food for one cat (3.5-6oz per day)
This recipe is very slightly modified from Lisa A. Pierson, DVM’s recipe for chicken or rabbit cat food. Dr. Pierson, a highly respected veterinarian, is considered one of the experts in home made cat food. I have removed (for the sake of your time) the majority of the conversation and discussion around making your own food, but you can find her entire set of information here.
As stated on my blog, the initial investment in making your own cat food seems a little steep – the supplements that you have to add to ensure a balanced diet cost me just over $70. However, they last a long time, and therefore, the total cost is spread over time, and the final cost of the food is actually far less than even the McDonald’s of cat food, Friskies. If you’re just not sure that the cats will make the transition, even Dr. Pierson when trying this out, left out the supplements in the first batch. However, do not leave them out more than once…these are critical to a balanced diet and leaving them out will cause major health issues over time.
This recipe is no harder than making a meal for your family…in fact, it’s easier – it just takes time. But the time is worth the excellent health, long life, increased energy, and shiny coat for your little furbabies! Added bonus? I’m saving over $3,000 per year to feed my babies a much healthier diet!
Do not feed this diet to a cat with severe kidney disease per Dr. Pierson. Do not allow your cat to go longer than 24 hours without eating. If s(he) doesn’t seem to want to make the transition to a healthy diet, please read here for suggestions to get them to eat.
- 1 cup water (or more if your cat will eat it with more water)
- 2 eggs - use the yolk raw but lightly cook the white (soft boiling them works well) (optional - if your cat won't eat the food, try removing the eggs. Some cats just don't like them.)
- 5000 - 10,000 mg fish oil (5-10 capsules of the average 1,000 mg capsule) Fish oil is a good source of essential fatty acids - if your cat does not like fish or is allergic like mine, I substituted vegan omega 3 which is made from kelp. Do NOT use cod liver oil! There is already plenty of vitamin A and D in the liver we are using.
- 400 IU (268 mg) Vitamin E (powdered E in capsules is the easiest to use)
- 50 mg Vitamin B-complex (capsules or tablets)
- 2,000 mg taurine (use powdered - either in capsules or loose)
- 1 tsp Morton Lite salt with iodine (contains potassium and sodium - make sure that it contains iodine)
- 4 ounces of chicken livers per 3 lb of meat/bones/skin.
- 2 1/3 tablespoons bone meal. That is 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon....or....7 level teaspoons. (1 tablespoon = 3 teaspoons)
- 3 pounds chicken thighs, with skin, bones removed (do not remove fat or skin - these are necessary ingredients for kitty health!).
Bake (at 350 degrees) the chicken/turkey thighs and liver leaving ~50% of the thigh meat raw. (The time needed varies depending on how thick the thighs are but is usually ~15 minutes, give or take.) The liver will be cooked more than the meat which is fine.
Remove from the oven and put in cold water to stop the cooking process.
Remove some of the raw meat from the bone for chunking (for the version in the picture, I used a grinder, if you use meat shears or a knife to "chunk" the meat - cutting it into small pieces about the size of a dime, it will look like the second picture). The bigger, the better. Keep in mind that raw meat is more tenacious (and better for teeth) than cooked meat. Make sure that you include the skin and all the fat!
If using eggs, make sure you cook the whites (the yolks can be cooked or left raw). Break the egg into small pieces so that it incorporates into the rest of the ingredients.
Mix together the meat/liver/skin, egg whites, and fat drippings in one large bowl. Placed mixture in the refrigerator while the supplements are mixed up.
Combine the water, egg yolks (if you only cooked the white versus the whole egg), vitamin E, vitamin B-complex, taurine, salt, bone meal, and fish oil with a whisk. Note that it is helpful to put the fish oil capsules in warm water in advance of mixing up the supplement slurry. It takes about 15 minutes for them to dissolve and I use my hand to make sure that all of the oil is squeezed out of each capsule. Some people poke the fish oil capsules with a pin. It is ok to leave the capsules in the water. Most cats readily eat them but if your cat is not fond of fish, then you may want to remove them.
Pour the supplement slurry into the meat/skin/liver/egg mixture. Mix very well.
Portion into containers and freeze. Leave at least 3/4" of head space to allow for expansion.
Ideally, the food should only be in the refrigerator (in a completely thawed state) for 48 - 72 hours so keep that in mind when choosing your container size. The average cat eats about 3.5-6 ounces per day. (With three cats, I separated into large yogurt containers and take one out of the freezer about every 3 days.) My cats and I are impatient and won't (yet) eat the meat raw or partially raw, so all of my cat food-warming is done in the microwave. Depending on the level of thawing, I heat it for 30 seconds at a time then stir. I repeat this several times until it's fully cooked, then they eat it once it cools. Ideally, eventually you'll be able to reduce the warming to just 10-15 second increments so that the food is not cooked but is just warmed to 'mouse body temperature'.