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Celestial Homemade Food for Cats

MY CELESTIAL RAW MEAT AND RAW BONE RECIPE
YIELD: Approximately two to four days worth of food for an average ten-pound (4.5 k) adult cat. Increase for kittens and pregnant or lactating queens who require more meals per day.

INGREDIENTS

1 lb. (0.45 kg) raw coarse ground, or diced beef or poultry, up to 25 percent fat (Do not use pork or fish) Try lamb, venison, elk, bison, ostrich, quail, and alternate and/or combine meats for variety if you wish.

1⁄4 lb. (100 g) raw diced organic, organ meat, such as liver, kidney, heart, and gizzard, spleen, etc. (turkey, chicken, beef, or lamb).

8 ounces (250 ml) purified water combined with 4 drops of grapefruit seed extract (GSE) liquid concentrate.

2 level tablespoons (20 g) of a feline supplement vitamin/mineral mix, made for a homemade raw meat diet which contains organic bone meal preferably from New Zealand. Note: Cut the amount of feline supplement in half if using bone-in ground meat or just add a pinch of organic spirulina and/or cholorella. Probiotics are also a wonderful addition as are digestive enzymes. (Follow the amounts recommended on the label)

One small tin of organic sardines in extra virgin olive oil,

or EFA (essential fatty acids) Oil supplement designed for cats,

And/or one cold extracted, organic, Omega-3 and antioxidant capsule containing a combination formula consisting of a marine lipid from New Zealand greenlip mussles, kiwifruit seed oil (which contains all the known forms of natural Vitamin E) and white grape seed husk extract.

Or if unavailable use 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of fermented Cod Liver Oil, or cold pressed organic salmon oil, which must be refrigerated after opening, plus 100 IU of Vitamin E oil.

One drop of liquid garlic extract such as Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract.
(Too much garlic can cause serious health consequences. Do not over-supplement and never use raw garlic or raw onions.)

1⁄8 to 1⁄4 teaspoon digestive enzyme supplement made for cats or one human digestive enzyme capsule.

500 milligrams taurine (powder or capsule).

OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS
Many people swear by adding 2 to 4 ounces (60 to 120 g) food-processed raw zucchini (or pureed steamed), food-processed or pulped raw or baked yams, canned organic unsweetened pumpkin, or organic baby food vegetables such as sweet potatoes (yams), carrots, or winter squash. (No corn or white potatoes, please.) However, I only feed the meat mixture as described above with the raw bone ground right into it. I have found a butcher who does this for me and he includes the appropriate organ meats, such as a bit of kidney, liver, heart, gizzards, etc.

PREPARATION

1. Because all whole bones (including vertebrae) can possibly splinter, (it is said by many that only cooked bones splinter) you can have your butcher grind chicken backs and necks or even a whole chicken. Be sure the butcher runs them through the grinder at least three times. This is what I have my butcher do for me with the organ meats included. You could also purchase your own meat grinder and grind your own meats and poultry.

2.You may also use a mallet to crush whole chicken necks and cut into thirds and tuck them into their food to give them something to “bone crush” which also serves to clean their teeth naturally. Do this if you are nervous about feeding them cut into good size chunks, but feed the chicken necks with food as it helps them to have food in their stomach already. This is the order in which they eat in the wild, bones are their desert!

3. Treat the raw meat/poultry with the purified water/ grapefruit seed extract liquid concentrate as described in the recipe above.

Note: Never use grapefruit seed extract straight (internally or externally). It will cause serious chemical burns. It must always be properly diluted.

4. Place the meat in a bowl and pour the liquid over it in small amounts, blending it into the meat as you go. Use only enough of this solution necessary to make the food the consistency of a thick chili. (Alternatively, you could let the meat defrost from its frozen state, in this solution, with your supplements included, placing it in the refrigerator, but again do not drain off this liquid.)

5. Cut the organ meats and any other larger pieces of meat into bite-size chunks. A combination of some ground meat helps the supplements mix nicely and then chunks of meat of cut chicken necks give them the chance to bone crush. Liver can be cut partially frozen and cut into cat size bites. Chicken necks can defrost and marinate in this solution as well rendering them a little softer until you are ready to serve them.

6. Mix all ingredients.

RAW FOOD RECIPE NOTES

SWITCHING FOODS can be dicey, if you are just starting your cat on raw meat and raw bones you will find that many cats and kittens immediately love their new homemade diet. It’s a good sign to have a cat with a hearty appetite. But for others it takes a bit of strategy to accomplish this goal. Here are some tips for making this transition.

For cats who have had food available day and night (free choice), the first step is to go to a timed meal schedule, where you leave the food out for an hour in the morning and again for an hour in the evening, but put it away the rest of the time. Believe me, your cat will not starve to death in twelve hours. The eat-fast-eat schedule is more natural to carnivores, and it gives them time to digest between meals. Also with this schedule, you don’t have to worry about restricting the amounts you feed; the cat will eventually self-regulate on this schedule. The other big advantage of timed meals is that your cat will be hungry at mealtime, and thus more willing to try new things. This is particularly critical when switching from dry food.

Increase portions or feed more small meals if your cat gobbles it all up and wants more; amounts can vary from meal to meal. About two heaping tablespoons per cat twice a day for adults, (3 to 4 times per day for kittens, pregnant queens and nursing mothers).

Do not overfeed because cats have a mechanism that will cause them to throw up their entire stomach contents if it is over filled even by a tiny bit and over 2 heaping TBSP’s at one serving, is over filling. Better to feed more often then risk this. But cats don’t always want to eat every meal you serve them. Give them a little flexibility to make their own decisions. Some times, at some meals, you are not so hungry, right?

Leave food down to begin with for approximately an hour. If it’s too warm in your home, or if flies are a problem, shorten the time. If ants are a problem set the cats flat plate on another slightly larger plate with a little rim, filled with purified water. Ants don’t like to cross the moat! Many people, myself included have left the food out for hours, even all day without incident but again err on the side of caution and do what you feel comfortable doing. So much of this is merely common sense.

I recommend that cats be fed on flat plates (a slight rim is fine as cats hate to have their whiskers touch the side of a bowl) and let them eat at their convenience in peace. If they walk away, so be it. They’ll be back when they are ready!

Cats and kittens want their food very fresh. Therefore, keep food in the refrigerator for no more than three to 4 days. Store the food in glass bowls with tight fitting lids. Plastic off-gasses organo-chlorines, which are toxic to people and pets and alters the taste for the cats. (Always defrost meat in the refrigerator, not on the kitchen counter. And never microwave it, (that is a whole other story). Keep in mind you can make up large batches of this recipe and freeze for later meals, too! Freezing is fine in plastic but change to glass to defrost.

Safe handling of raw meat is imperative. Wash hands, dishes, and utensils in hot soapy water. Clean surfaces with environmentally safe cleaning products, such as a solution of 1 drop of (GSE) grapefruit seed extract per ounce (30 ml) of water.

Try to use a vitamin/mineral supplement designed for a homemade carnivore diet. Because noting existed for this purpose when I began making my own food, I designed one with a holistic veterinarian formulator as I simply couldn’t find anything suitable and easy that met my requirements for my own animals and my clients. I will only use human grade ingredients and I am very picky about everything that goes into their body and mine. This particular supplement that I have used for nearly 20 years includes correct proportions of bone meal, super greens, plus gland and organ powder to balance this raw meat and raw bone recipe properly. Check my website or your own internet sources as new products come and go all the time.

Please remember that there is nothing better than a properly prepared homemade diet but nothing worse than an improperly prepared one! You may have already worked all this out for yourself, but if not and you need help…I’m here for you!

Read more: Pets, Cats, Diet & Nutrition, Pet Health, ,

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Celeste Yarnall

Celeste Yarnall, PhD shares musings on myriad of topics at her Celestial Musings Blog. She is the author of The Complete Guide to Holistic Cat Care with Jean Hofve, DVM and Paleo Dog. Celeste is an actress/producer/activist/writer and keynote speaker. She and her husband Nazim Artist created the Art of Wellness Collection and are the producers of Femme: Women Healing the World. They live in Los Angeles, California with their beloved Tonkinese cats. Join Celeste at her website or on Facebook.

119 comments

+ add your own
8:22AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

Some people need to get a life--cats are carnivores pure and simple and as much as some non meat eaters would like to, the cat cannot change their systems to go on a vegan diet just because this will end animal suffering. Purrhaps we should cull all carnivores so that only the vegetarian species will survive but since Nature created both meat eaters and those whom do not eat meat, well there was a reason.
Reality however dictates that cats and other carnivores are part of the natural order of things. They do not survive well by eating a non meat diet. Get over it, not all species can go vegan, they just exist in the world because Nature made them that way.

2:52PM PST on Feb 23, 2012

Lamby please feel free to contact us for help...we love it when we can. You can reach us at Celestial Pets http://www.CelestialPets.com. We’ve been helping people make this conversion for 20 years. CelestialPets@CelestialPets.com My business partner for all these years is Imelda Lopez Casper and we have help many a hand and paw through the years for both dog and cats parents!!! xxoo

2:10PM PST on Feb 19, 2012

thank you so much for this article. i have a 2 year old tomcat who has thus far refused the fresh raw meats that i have brought home. i've changed prey, different organic suppliers...he just smells the food and is not interested. occasionally i will bring home a piece of cooked chicken breast or turkey - sometimes he will have a little bit of it, but i can't help but wonder if he sees me get all excited about it that he just feels sorry for me! i want him to love his food like i have seen when i fed my beloved dog a raw diet. i have tried going slow, mixing it up and putting just a tiny bit in with his regular wet food - he honestly wont even eat his regular food at that point. anyway, this article has inspired me to try again. perhaps an animal communication session is next. thanks.

4:24AM PST on Dec 23, 2011

Celeste Y. i don't think the vegans care about biology. feeding pets is all about ethics to them. trying to give them a crash corse in zoology is considered bullying or trolling to them.

12:32PM PDT on Oct 11, 2011

(Trying to make the quote fit here is the rest)
What little carboyhydrate the cats do burn is broken down by hexokinase, an enzyme system that can’t speed up to handle large meals or slow down during a fast. Cats handle excess carboydrates by stoing it as fat, not gycogen. As a result, when a cat misses a meal, it has no source of fast fuel, so it must break down fat and protein stored in its own body--the same thing an omnivore does during starvation. On the other hand, cats are efficient at getting energy from protein, so the small constant, meaty meals of a predator suit a cat completely."

12:30PM PDT on Oct 11, 2011

Joanne Howl, DVM,Oct '98 Cat Fancy Carnivore in the House.
“One important biochemical quirk is the way cats get energy from food. Most animals use carbohydrates, the complex sugars found in plants, for their primary body fuel. In thee animals, the nergy factory is based on the enzyme glucokinase, which adapts readily to either feast or famine. For example, when a marathon runner eats pasta the night before a race his or her glucokinase system kicks into high gear and sends a steady energy stream to the body, which stores excess energy as readily usable glycogen. The next day, when the atlete can’t eat but needs a lot of energy, the glucokinase system nearly shuts down, allowing the body to burn glycogen for fuel.

Cats are radically different. They dpn’t use a glucokinase system, so they don’t handle carbohydrates as well as people can, says Rebecca Remillard, PhD., DVM, a veterinary nutritionisht at Angell Memorial Animal Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. What little carboyhydrate the cats do burn is broken down by hexokinase, an enzyme system that can’t speed up to handle large meals or slow down during a fast. Cats handle excess carboydrates by stoing it as fat, not gycogen. As a result, when a cat misses a meal, it has no source of fast fuel, so it must break down fat and protein stored in its own body--the same thing an omnivore does during starvation. On the other hand, cats are efficient at getting energy from protein, so the small constan

12:26PM PDT on Oct 11, 2011

Joanne Howl, DVM in the October 1998 issue of Cat Fancy and ref/ pg 29, 'Carnivore in the House.’
“One important biochemical quirk is the way cats get energy from food. Most animals use carbohydrates, the complex sugars found in plants, for their primary body fuel. In thee animals, the nergy factory is based on the enzyme glucokinase, which adapts readily to either feast or famine. For example, when a marathon runner eats pasta the night before a race his or her glucokinase system kicks into high gear and sends a steady energy stream to the body, which stores excess energy as readily usable glycogen. The next day, when the atlete can’t eat but needs a lot of energy, the glucokinase system nearly shuts down, allowing the body to burn glycogen for fuel.

Cats are radically different. They don’t use a glucokinase system, so they don’t handle carbohydrates as well as people can, says Rebecca Remillard, PhD., DVM, a veterinary nutritionisht at Angell Memorial Animal Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. What little carboyhydrate the cats do burn is broken down by hexokinase, an enzyme system that can’t speed up to handle large meals or slow down during a fast. Cats handle excess carboydrates by stoing it as fat, not gycogen. As a result, when a cat misses a meal, it has no source of fast fuel, so it must break down fat and protein stored in its own body--the same thing an omnivore does during starvation. On the other hand, cats are efficient at gett

12:23PM PDT on Oct 11, 2011

I found in my original research for my nutrition chapter in my book Holistic Cat Care, with Jean Hofve, DVM.
Joanne Howl, DVM in the October 1998 issue of Cat Fancy and refer/ pg 29, 'Carnivore in the House.’
“One important biochemical quirk is the way cats get energy from food. Most animals use carbohydrates, the complex sugars found in plants, for their primary body fuel. In thee animals, the nergy factory is based on the enzyme glucokinase, which adapts readily to either feast or famine. For example, when a marathon runner eats pasta the night before a race his or her glucokinase system kicks into high gear and sends a steady energy stream to the body, which stores excess energy as readily usable glycogen. The next day, when the atlete can’t eat but needs a lot of energy, the glucokinase system nearly shuts down, allowing the body to burn glycogen for fuel.

Cats are radically different. They dpn’t use a glucokinase system, so they don’t handle carbohydrates as well as people can, says Rebecca Remillard, PhD., DVM, a veterinary nutritionisht at Angell Memorial Animal Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. What little carboyhydrate the cats do burn is broken down by hexokinase, an enzyme system that can’t speed up to handle large meals or slow down during a fast. Cats handle excess carboydrates by stoing it as fat, not gycogen. As a result, when a cat misses a meal, it has no source of fast fuel, so it must break down fat and protein stored i

11:50AM PDT on Oct 11, 2011

oh wow, a vegan that sees cats do eat meat. most of them here would rather they not.

11:02AM PDT on Oct 11, 2011

Can this whack nut be banned from posting?!? Colleen, you are an embarrassment and a disgrace to all myself and my vegan, animal-rights friends and cohorts. And before you consider re-posting, do us all a favor and buy the book, "Animal Ingredients A to Z". It may be a true eye-opener for you. Unfortunately, you may start harassing more friends and family, if you have any left.

Thank you, Celeste, for the informative article and in hopes that the "reachable" learned that felines NEED meat to survive.

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