Because they are carnivores, cats need to eat meat and avoid unhealthy foods full of indigestible carbohydrates. Serving your cat inappropriate food can cause health problems and shorten her lifespan. Cooking your pets' meals is a great way to ensure they get the protein they need, and it's also a good pastime for you. Just knowing what the cats needs and the culinary possibilities involved are enough for your pussy to receive the best nutrition possible.
Part 1 of 2: Understanding Cats' Nutritional Needs
Step 1. Familiarize yourself with the dietary needs of cats
Because they are very different from the needs of humans, it is necessary to be careful and plan when feeding the pussies. Cats need a diet high in protein and fat.
- About 85% of a cat's diet should consist of meat, fat, offal and bones. The other 15% is made up of herbs and herbs.
- Formulating a balanced diet for cats is very difficult, even for veterinary nutritionists. The cat may not show physical signs that the diet is not doing him good in the short term, but some problems can develop after months or years. Do not change your cat's diet without first consulting a veterinary nutritionist. Also, never trust your sense of security that your cat is okay if it looks healthy.
Step 2. Identify all parts of a healthy feline diet
A healthy diet for a cat should include: clean water (easily accessible and available 24 hours a day), protein (many cats do not eat foods that contain less than 20% protein), fat (cats eat fat for energy, training essential fatty acids, absorb vitamins and for taste), vitamin A (cats need considerable doses of this vitamin, which can be found in liver, eggs and milk, but these ingredients should be used with caution), vitamin B (if the cat shows signs of vitamin B deficiency, such as loss of appetite or fevers, it will even eat brewer's yeast willingly), vitamin E (important for breaking down unsaturated fats in the cat's diet) and calcium (important in training and maintenance of the animal's bones).
Taurine is an essential amino acid in the cat's diet available in sufficient amounts in processed cat food (both dry and wet). The cat can suffer from nutrient deficiency when fed homemade or vegetarian meals, causing retinal degeneration (irreversible blindness) and heart problems, making it essential to add the nutrient to the cat's diet
Step 3. Think carefully about when and how to feed the cat
Depending on age, the cat may need specific foods or times to meet its nutritional needs. While most cats are able to regulate their food consumption on their own, in some cases it is necessary to do it for them.
- Puppies need to eat three to four times a day between six weeks and three months of age. Reduce meals to two when the cat reaches six months of age.
- Adult cats can eat whenever they want during the day. If that's not possible, find a way to feed the cat several times a day.
- If you have a lot of cats with different diets, you need to organize a feeding system that prevents them from eating each other's food.
Step 4. Ignore your personal diet when planning your cat's feeding
Cats cannot live (or survive) on a vegetarian diet. As much as there is an intense and passionate debate on the subject, it is important to put the cat's natural needs at the forefront.
Although there are specific supplements that vegetarian owners give to cats, such as taurine, and several vegetarian diet suggestions for cats, maintaining a strictly vegetarian diet can cause blindness and heart problems in the animal. In addition to being a double job, serving your cat such a diet can shorten her life and cause illness if you include high levels of unhealthy carbohydrates in her pet's diet
Step 5. Be aware that cooking your cat's food requires research and is a process that should be done under veterinary advice
A completely homemade diet needs to be balanced to ensure the animal receives all the nutrients it needs. This process is not recommended unless you have extensively researched the cat's needs and raised the issue with a veterinarian.
Step 6. Remember that cats can get addicted to one way of eating
In case you haven't figured it out yet, changing a cat's diet can be a frustrating process. Don't be surprised if your culinary efforts are completely rejected! Try again until you get the animal's attention and remove the food it is used to before serving the new food to give it an incentive to try it.
- Try gradually adding homemade food to your cat's meals. This way, he will get used to the new textures and smells of the homemade diet.
- Do not leave food in the bowl for too long. If the cat doesn't eat it in an hour, discard it and try again later.
Step 7. Avoid serving toxic cat food
The fact that some foods are healthy for humans doesn't mean they are also healthy for cats. Do not serve onions, garlic, chives, grapes, raisins, chocolate (even white), sugar, fermented pasta and spices such as nutmeg, baking powder and baking soda.
Also avoid alcohol (it has the same effect as humans, but it works faster – 2 teaspoons of whiskey can put a 2 kg cat in a coma), dog food (dogs need completely different nutrients than cats do).), sweets (if sweetened with xylitol, the cat can suffer liver failure), caffeine (coffee, teas and other caffeinated products, such as energy drinks and analgesics, can kill a cat) and medicines for humans (Acetaminophen and ibuprofen can be lethal to cats)
Step 8. Limit non-toxic foods that can be harmful in large quantities
Cats need a correct diet, but that doesn't mean they need large amounts of all nutrients.
- Limit your consumption of bones and fat chips. Do not serve cooked bones and fat to prevent pancreatitis in the pussy.
- Cook eggs before serving them for salmonella. If you want to serve a raw egg, serve only the yolk, as the raw white cannot be digested by cats. As much as pussies are less susceptible to salmonella compared to humans (adult cats, with the exception of pregnant cats, are believed to be immune), they can act as carriers of the disease, passing it on to humans.
- Freeze raw meat before serving it, unless you are sure it is a healthy product.
- Serve the cat's liver no more than twice a week.
- If served in excess, tuna can become addictive and cause thiamine deficiency. The excess of any type of fish can cause this deficiency in the cat's diet.
- Milk and dairy products can bother cats, causing indigestion and itching. Consult a veterinarian if you wish to continue feeding these products to the animal, as opinions differ on the subject.
Step 9. Be cautious before cooking for the cat permanently
Unless you're sure you've found the nutritional balance, serving your cat homemade food can cause deficiencies and harm the cat. Many veterinarians do not recommend this option, because they know that, with the daily rush, owners can end up not following the plan to the letter, harming the cat's diet. In addition, many owners do not have enough knowledge about the nutritional needs of cats and may not pay as much attention to the animal's diet due to everyday concerns.
- If you feel like cooking for your cat full time, no problem, but remember that you will need to do a lot of research (with often conflicting results) and adapt to the options available in your area.
- Take your lifestyle into consideration. If you travel frequently and need other people to feed your cats, how will you ensure your cat's diet will be adequate? If you work late, are you prepared to spend a lot of time on the weekend preparing the cat's meals of the week?
- Also remember the need for raw foods in the cat's diet – if you cook everything, how will the cat receive nutrition from raw foods or fortified processed foods?
Part 2 of 2: Creating Your Own Cat Food
Step 1. Find, or create, a balanced recipe
Making a mistake in the preparation or choosing a recipe that does not have any essential nutrient can cause health problems for the animal. As with humans and other animals, you need to find a healthy balance in your cat's diet. Even essential nutrients, if eaten in excess, can negatively affect the animal's health.
Because this balance is so important, ask a feline health specialist or veterinarian to review the prescription, even if it was made by someone else
Step 2. Start preparing, or creating, your recipe
Once you understand the basics of feline feeding, you are ready to cook for your cats. The ideas below are suggested for variety only and do not represent a nutritional plan. It is important to conduct research to design a suitable diet for your cat that has the approval of a veterinarian if you want to replace processed foods with homemade meals permanently.
- It's possible that your cat doesn't like home-cooked food, but you'll find that out soon!
- Talk to a veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns, especially if the cat is growing, has a medical condition, is pregnant, or has indigestion.
Step 3. Start with protein
You can buy hormone-free chicken legs and antibiotics from a reputable source and serve them to the cat. It is also possible to serve chicken liver, turkey and egg yolks, among other options.
Cook the protein source or serve it raw. For example, you can cook the outside of chicken legs and leave the inside slightly raw. Remove your thighs from the hot water and place them in cold water immediately. Separate some of the meat from the bone and cut it into smaller pieces with a knife
Step 4. Grind animal protein to make it easier to eat
Place fleshy bones in a meat grinder with a grinding plate with 4mm holes. Add 115 grams of chicken liver for every 1.5 kg of raw chicken meat you grind. Add 2 hard-boiled eggs for every 1.5 kg of chicken meat you grind. Mix everything in a bowl and refrigerate.
Use a food processor if you don't have a meat grinder. Cleaning will be difficult and efficiency will be lower, but you will be able to break down the protein into small, digestible pieces
Step 5. Add the other ingredients
In a separate bowl, for every 1.5 kg of meat, add 1 cup of water, 270 mg of vitamin E, 50 mg of vitamin-b complex, 2000 mg of taurine, 2000 mg of salmon oil and 3/4 of teaspoon of light salt (with iodine). Mix all ingredients well.
Add supplement mixture to chicken mixture and mix well
Step 6. Remember other foods that also contain important nutrients
While the items below shouldn't make up the majority of your cat's meals – and shouldn't even be present in every meal – they can add some nutrients to your cat's food.
- Mix some steamed rice with chopped salmon and water. Place the soup directly into the cat's food bowl.
- Chop some vegetables and add them to meals (vegetable types are up to you).
- Add oats to foods. Boil 8 cups of water and add oats, following the directions on the package to find the amount needed for the water ratio. Turn off the heat and cover the pan, letting the oats soak in water for ten minutes to soften them.
- Other suggestions include: tuna snacks, whole grain recipes and raw oatmeal recipes.
Step 7. Separate food into small portions and freeze
Cats eat, on average, between 115 g and 170 g of food per day. Keep meals in the freezer until the night before you want to serve them. Transfer them to the refrigerator to thaw until the next day.
- Clean cats' food bowls often. Dirty containers can harbor bacteria and germs and are unpleasant for cats.
- Decide whether to serve raw food or not. There is evidence for and against diets that include raw foods, and while many people claim that meat served should be cooked, it is important to remember that raw meat is the natural diet of cats. Unfortunately, the great potential for transmission of parasites in raw meat causes many people not to serve them, mainly due to the inability to ensure that the meat has good origin and is clean. Many elements beneficial to cats, such as amino acids, are destroyed by the cooking process, making food less healthy.
- Cats are unable to digest lactose. Because of this, milk consumption can cause diarrhea in pussies. Despite this, some cats can consume it without problems, after all, it is a source of calcium that can be useful. Still, discuss the matter with your veterinarian first.
- As new veterinary research is released, more information about pet nutrition emerges, so keep studying the subject at all times.