Homemade meals are almost usually healthier for people than store-bought ready-to-eat meals. Isn’t it reasonable to assume that the same is true for our feline companions? Certainly not.
Before you go out and buy stuff, it’s a good idea to learn everything there is to know about producing nutritionally complete and balanced cat food. The procedure may not be as easy as you think.
Here’s all you need to know about making your own cat food.
Canned Food Vs. Homemade Cat Food
There are several advantages to making your cat’s food at home. To begin with, you have total control over the components you utilize. Do you want to avoid artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives in your diet? Do you wish to feed your cat an organic or grain-free diet? It’s all up to you.
For cats with dietary restrictions, homemade food can be an excellent solution.
It’s simple enough to avoid your cat’s triggers if they have a food allergy or intolerance. You might be able to persuade a sick cat to consume homemade food if they refuse to eat anything else.
Homemade cat food, on the other hand, is not always healthier than commercial diets.
Most of the benefits listed above can be obtained by being a discerning shopper and feeding your cat only high-quality commercial cat foods.
A natural canned cat food, for example, will be free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, as well as grain-free and manufactured from the same ingredients as homemade cat food. Organic cat food is commonly accessible from both online and local pet food retailers.
It’s also relatively easy to find solutions that will fit the demands of cats with dietary allergies, given the large selection of specialty cat feeds available, such as duck and potato. Moreover, commercial veterinary diets are prepared under the tightest quality control standards to avoid cross-contamination, which can cause symptom flare-ups.
Raw Homemade Cat Food
If you’re thinking of making raw homemade cat food, you’ll have a few more issues to deal with.
The level of contamination in raw animal parts deemed safe for human consumption is startling. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, about one-quarter of raw chicken parts in human food production facilities are infected with Salmonella and Campylobacter bacteria.
While healthy cats can fight off many foodborne infections, young, aged, or sick animals frequently cannot. Furthermore, even healthy pets can act as carriers and carry illnesses to humans.
Some proponents of raw food believe that complete raw bones should be used in homemade cat diets. However, chewing on any large bone puts cats in danger of broken teeth and gastrointestinal problems. While raw bones are less likely to break than cooked bones, chewing on any large bone puts cats at risk for damaged teeth and gastrointestinal injuries.
Things You Need to Check Before Making a Homemade Cat Food
For those who have the time, cooking for our pets might be enticing; however, there’s no evidence to back claims that home-prepared diets are healthier than commercial diets. Despite what you may have read, only a small percentage of pets require a home-cooked meal for health reasons, and a poorly prepared home-cooked diet can be harmful to your pet’s health, particularly in a developing kitten or puppy.
Preparing food for a pet isn’t always as simple as cooking for a human family, which many pet owners are astonished to learn. Despite the fact that all commercial pet foods must legally meet or exceed certain nutrient levels in order to be marketed as “complete and balanced foods,” studies have revealed that the vast majority of recipes created by pet owners or obtained from magazines, books, or the internet are deficient in one or more essential nutrients.
A significant issue is that in adult animals, low nutritional levels may not be apparent for weeks or even years until the pet develops a serious health problem that is difficult to repair.
However, if you’ve opted to create your cat’s food, use these rules to be sure you’re meeting all of his nutritional requirements.
Look for Vet Approved Products
So, where should you acquire your homemade cat food recipes? A board-certified veterinary nutritionist is your best bet.
These experts can create recipes that take into account your cat’s age, weight, and any health issues. A veterinary nutritionist might be referred by your primary care veterinarian, or you can search for one through verified sites.
Follow the exact recipe
Potential problems don’t go away just because you have a wonderful recipe. According to research, many pet parents gradually reduce or eliminate critical elements such as vitamin and mineral supplements from their pet’s diet. Always consult your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist before making any modifications to your cat’s diet.
Cats require a well-balanced diet. So, excess and deficiency in nutrients can cause significant health concerns.
Unfortunately, many homemade cat food recipes contain insufficient or excessive amounts of one or more critical elements. In a 2019 study, researchers examined 114 recipes for home-prepared maintenance diets for cats that they found in books and online. Their findings show that problems with nutritional adequacy were detected in all evaluated recipes.
Getting the Right Supplements
Making nutritionally complete and balanced cat food is nearly tricky without the additional vitamin and mineral supplements. Any recipe that claims to give all of the nutrients your cat requires without supplements should be avoided.
Reputable sources will advise you how much of each vitamin and mineral supplement to mix in with the other ingredients in the formula.
Time and Commitment
Preparing a customized diet for your cat takes extra effort and money.
Make a week or two’s worth of meals at a time and freeze meal-sized quantities to make life a bit easier. Before feeding, thaw the food overnight in the refrigerator and then warm it to body temperature.
After two hours at room temperature or a few days in the refrigerator, homemade food should be thrown.
Making a Gradual Switch
Any sudden food changes can cause gastrointestinal discomfort in cats. Allow a week or two to gradually introduce more of the new food while decreasing the amount of the old. If your cat doesn’t seem to like the new food, go back to the old one. Lastly, consult your veterinarian if the symptoms persist.
Take your cat to the Vet on a regular basis to be monitored. Cats on a homemade diet should consult a veterinarian twice or three times a year to check for diet-related health issues and to make sure your recipes are still meeting your cat’s needs.