About six months ago, I decided to start making raw cat food for my cats. Until then, I have been feeding them a combination of high quality grain free dry cat foods with canned foods. At almost $2.50 per can, it was costing me a small fortune. On top of that, my cats still had flaky skin and one of the cat, Kirby, still had chronic stomach problems. After doing lots of research, I decided to convert all the cats over to raw cat food because of the health benefits. Cat who are fed a raw diet have stronger immune systems, resistant to infections & parasites, shows no signs of allergies and have healthy guts.

What Homemade Raw Cat Food Looks Like

homemade cat food

When I was first transitioning the cats over to a raw homemade diet, I was worried about them getting sick because the food was not cooked. After digging into lots of research, I discovered cat’s have a shorter digestive system than we do, which means the food doesn’t sit in their gut as long. In other words, cats do not get food poisoning from eating raw meat. Think of it this way: When did a tiger say, “I can’t eat this raw gazelle, I need it cooked.” Never. Feral cats eat mice, birds, and rabbits raw because that is what they are suppose to eat, not commercial dry cat food or cooked food. Cats are not humans and their body is very different than ours.

One of the study I found most impactful was by Dr. Pottenger from 1932 to 1942. Dr. Pottenger was conducting research on adrenal hormones in respiratory issues and used cats for lab testing. While conducting this research, she discovered cats who were fed a raw cats fed a raw diet were healthier and survived surgery more often cats who were fed a high quality cooked diet. Over the span of 10 years, Dr. Pottenger evaluated nutrition for over 900 hundred cat over the span of 10 years and the conclusion was all the same: Raw foods is better for cats than cooked foods.

One of the books I found to be very helpful in helping me understand more about cats and what to feed them is called “Raising Cats Naturally” by Michele T. Bernard. She does an excellent job explaining the nutritional needs of cats and has great raw recipes. I highly recommend picking up a copy. My raw cat food recipe is adapted from her book.

Trying to get four cats with very distinct preferences was a challenge. One of my cats, Chew chu, a 13 year old tuxedo female, refused to ever eat wet food. The look she gives me says, “Why are you feeding me this garbage?” The other 2 cats ate wet food but were all very picky about which flavor they would eat. I only had one cat, Hashbrown, who was 1 year old at the time and would eat just about anything. I knew I had a challenge on my hands.

But with a little time & patience, all of my cats transitioned into raw cat food. When I am in a hurry and don’t have time to “cook” then I would either give them some raw cut up chicken or use Stella & Chewy’s Raw Dehydrated Cat Food. Pick it up at your local healthy pet store and not on Amazon. I feel like Amazon’s quality is not as good as the ones at the store.

Equipment for making raw cat food

If you are making this at home, getting a good meat grinder is a good investment. After evaluating many meat grinders, I settle on the Cabela’s 3/4 hp meat grinder for $399, which was the 2nd most expensive purchase after my Vitamix. The Cabela 3/4 hp meat grinder had great reviews and was heavy duty enough to grind chicken bones to make raw cat food. At 50lbs, it is definitely heavy duty. I also picked up a Cusibox Digital Food Scale for $13 to weigh out the ingredients. You will also need 2 large bowls and some small glass containers with lids for put the cat food in. I recommend using a soup ladle or a very large spoon to transfer the mix into the glass containers.

If you want to make raw cat food without a meat grinder, I recommend using the Ninja because it has the largest blades compared to other blenders. Get the Ninja like the one in the link. Do not use the smaller Ninja Fit. You need the bigger blades. I have only tested with the Ninja in the link and it works very well.

If you want to make raw cat food in the Ninja, you HAVE to use Cornish Hens. Do not use chicken thigh or wings because blenders are not powerful enough to handle the load. If you want to use chicken, make sure to get a good meat grinder instead.

Raw Cat Food – Cornish Hen Recipe

  • 2 1/2 lbs of Cornish hen with bone
  • 1/2 lb (200 g) of raw chicken heart
  • 1/4 lbs (100 g) of raw chicken liver
  • 2 high quality raw egg yolk
  • 1 cup (or more) filtered water
  • 2000 mg salmon oil ( I use Nortic Natural Omega 3 Pets, which comes in original flavor. Do not use flavored salmon oil)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kelp
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dulse (look for it at your local health food store. If you can’t find it, then just omit it)
  • 50 mg vitamin B complex (Use the powder ones. If you can’t find them, look for capsules you can pull apart. Unflavored only.)
  • 400 IU vitamin E (Look for powdered capsules you can pull apart)
  • 2 Glandular Capsules

Defrost the Cornish Hens (they usually come frozen). Using a pair of heavy duty kitchen scissors or knife, cut the Cornish hens into 2 -3 inch sections. This makes it easier for the blender to handle.

Putting everything in to a mixing bowl (except for the supplements).

Fill the Ninja only 1/5 of the way. Do not fill it more than this, otherwise you will break your blender. Blend for a 3 – 5 seconds. Put the blended cat food in to another large bowl. Repeat and add in the powder supplements into one of the mixes. Take the powder out of the capsules before blending.

Once you are done, take a spatula & mix the mixture well together by hand to make sure the supplements are distributed in the entire bowl.

Take a large ladle and spoon the raw cat foods into small glass containers and freeze. Make sure to use containers small enough for a 1 to 2 day serving. This keeps the cat food fresh.

Put the cat food in the freezer and leave it in the refrigerator the day before use to defrost.

Raw Cat Food – Chicken Formula using a Meat Grinder

  • 2 1/2 lbs of chicken with bone
  • 1/2 lb (200 g) of raw chicken heart
  • 1/4 lbs (100 g) of raw chicken liver
  • 2 high quality raw egg yolk
  • 1 cup (or more) filtered water
  • 2000 mg salmon oil ( I use Nortic Natural Omega 3 Pets, which comes in original flavor. Do not use flavored salmon oil)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kelp
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dulse (look for it at your local health food store. If you can’t find it, then just omit it)
  • 50 mg vitamin B complex (Use the powder ones. If you can’t find them, look for capsules you can pull apart. Unflavored only.)
  • 400 IU vitamin E (Look for powdered capsules you can pull apart)
  • 2 Glandular Capsules

Cut the chicken in to small enough pieces to feed through the meat grinder. Sprinkle the supplements and mix in by hand, making sure to spread it out evenly. Mix well to make sure the supplements are evenly distributed in the cat food.

Changes in the litter box

One thing you will notice is a difference in the litter box. Instead of having alot of poop, you will notice a decrease in the amount of solid waste your cat produces. You will also notice that the poop will look like Tootie rolls, which is what healthy kitty waste looks like. You will also notice more urine out put, which is normal.

What I saw in my cats once I fed them raw cat food

Raw homemade cat food has given my elderly cats a spunky kitten energy level. My elderly 11 year old cat Kirby, who was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and had never had anything but runny stool now has healthy stools as well. If I can make raw homemade cat food in a travel van on the road, I am confident you can make it in your kitchen. =)

*Pottenger, Francis., Pottenger’s Cats: A Study in Nutrition, 2nd ed., Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, Inc.: La Mesa, CA 1995, p.1

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