With multinational companies like Purina mass producing cheap cat food in places like China, where controls are limited even for products meant for human consumption, many people are beginning to go back to the basics for their pets. If you would like to surprise your kitty with a wonderful treat, or even transition entirely to homemade kitty food, consider these guidelines, recipes, books and websites as a starting point.
Ingredients to Avoid
As tasty as a chocolate-covered mouse may sound, this is definitely a no-no for kitty. Chocolate, in general aggravates the tummies of many of our animal companions, not just cats. Some other ingredients to avoid in homemade cat food include:
- Raw Egg whites
While the above ingredients must be avoided, any regular cat food diet must also include a number of ingredients, but especially animal protein. You may be okay being vegan, but your cat certainly will not thrive on a diet of tempeh and tofu! Your cat is a carnivore and there is no way around this evolutionary fact. Cats need between 60% and 80% meat protein in order to acquire enough essential amino acids such as taurine, arginine, lysine and cysteine. Not getting enough taurine, for example, will make your kitty blind.
The protein in your cat’s diet should come from chicken (or other poultry), beef, pork, rabbit, fish or liver. Liver is especially important because it is chock-full of Vitamin A and cats cannot produce this vitamin on their own. Variety is important, so you should not just feed your cat liver or straight fish on a daily basis. The other essential ingredients include:
Not only does animal fat make food tastier, this essential ingredients is also mandatory for healthy skin and fur, as well the circulatory and urinary systems. Kittens need about 35% fat while adult cats thrive on a diet of about 30% fat.
Calcium to Phosphorus Ratio (Ca:P):
The ratio between calcium and phosphorus should be 1 part calcium to to 1.3 parts phosphorus. The easiest way to accomplish this ratio is to add calcium supplements. Commercial cat food usually uses bone meal. If you choose to use bone meal only use a product meant for human consumption, not one intended for gardening. Veternarian Dr. Pierson is a supporter of grinding up bone herself and says it is much easier than it sounds.
Homemade cat food will ideally be 10% to 30% water weight.
All good recipes for felines should contain less than 10% carbs.
Next: Recipes to try
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