Easy-to-Make Homemade Cat Food Recipe

Today I am going to share the recipe I use for raw, homemade cat food. I have been making my own cat food for over five years now (the lifetime of my cats) and they seem to thrive on it. It also is surprisingly affordable if your other options are a high-quality kibble or high-quality canned food.

First off… why do I feed my cats a raw diet?

I feed my cats a raw diet because this is what they eat in the wild. Cats are carnivores and eat meat. I am not willing to let a live rodent run free in my house for them to catch so the next best thing is making their food myself. Like with myself, I take a very preventative approach to their diet. I would rather pay now than pay later.

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My cats have been eating homemade cat food ever since they were born. They are four years old now, both have excellent energy, silky coats, and seem overall healthy. Of course that’s what most pet owners say about their pets, but I feel I am giving them the best diet I know of.

I have created a YouTube video covering in detail why I feed my cats a raw diet. The target audience of the video is for those that own Bengal cats specifically, but the information is the same. This dietary information is similar for all cats.

What’s wrong with kibble?

Many cat (and dog) owners feed their pets dry kibble. A lot of times this is what is advertised to us and even what some vets recommend.

According to veterinarian Lisa A. Pierson, veterinarians have little training in school regarding nutrition, and what is taught, is often taught by representatives of large pet food companies or curriculum is heavily influenced and sponsored by the commercial pet food industry. This would be a conflict of interest. Draw whatever conclusion you’d like from this! Three reasons kibble is not ideal are:

1. Water content is too low.

I have read that since in the wild, cats get most of their water from their food (meat) that they don’t drink a lot of extra. So take away the raw meat, and a lot of cats develop urinary tract issues (especially males) because they aren’t getting enough water. I had a scare with my young male cat, so I pay close attention to this.

2. Carbohydrate load is too high.

Too many carbohydrates in a cat’s diet can possibly predispose them to diabetes, obesity and diseases. Also, it is water-depleted and processed so highly that the food looses many nutrients (much like heavily processed human food).

3. Not enough animal-based protein.

The majority of kibble has a lot of plants and grains and cats are carnivores so this is not the ideal diet for them.

There are other dangers associated with a kibble-based diet and if you are interested further or have questions, I recommend reading this paper on catinfo.org for more of a scientific explanation.

How to Make Your Own Cat Food Using This Homemade Cat Food Recipe

Supplies

Waring Pro Meat Grinder

This is the one I have been using for 5+ years. It is affordable and I can say that I have had zero problems with it. This may be a good starter grinder. It’s also brand-name so most replacement parts can be found online.

Cleaver
Powdered Taurine

Buy this one, not any that are in tablets or capsules for reasons stated in the “tips and tricks” section.

Vitamin D Drops
Vitamin B-50 Complex
Vitamin E Drops
Pump-Style Salmon Oil

Buy the one in a pump, not the capsules, your future self will thank you!

Pump-Style Salmon Oil

Buy the one in a pump, not the capsules, your future self will thank you!

Immoplex Glandular Supplement
Lite Salt (With Iodine)

Homemade Cat Food Recipe

Here is a link to the homemade cat food recipe. This recipe is very thorough with notes and explanations. I don’t want to summarize it because it is lengthy and I might miss something.

If you want more information, I’ve heard that the book Home-Prepared Dog & Cat Diets is a great resource for homemade cat & dog food although I have not yet felt the need to purchase it.

Tips & Tricks to Make the Process EVEN EASIER

I’ve been making this for five full years and every year it seems that I learn a new trick to make the process easier! With a partner, we’re able to make three full chickens’ worth of food in just under an hour. I hope to help make this process as seamless as possible for you… unlock the tips and tricks using one of the buttons below!

Pictures of The Process

And here are pictures of the cat food making process!

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My kitties anxiously awaiting their homemade food.
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The supplements.
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Cutting up a chicken thigh. (I WISH the whole process appeared as clean as it does in this photo but that is not so.)
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Grinding the meat.
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Mixing the meat and the vitamin/egg/water mixture.
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I doubled the recipe in the link above and ended up with 20lbs of homemade cat food and 16 containers worth. This should last me a while.

Like I said, I have been doing this for two years and it really isn’t THAT bad. It does help if there are two people so it goes quicker and the mess is cleaned up sooner. This may not be the best solution in every way for every pet-owner, but this works for me and my kitties. If you have any dietary concerns, please speak with your veterinarian.

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What do you feed YOUR pets?

 

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I am an aspiring homesteader on a journey to become self-sustainable and free. In my past, I've worked corporate jobs to make ends meet and get ahead a little; it didn't make me happy or confident in my future. Since taking the leap to self-employment and living a more simple life, my happiness levels have increased greatly and I've never felt more alive. I finally understand what I want in life and how to get there, and that is what this blog is all about.

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Comments

  1. JC Brooks says

    Lots of good information, I think I’m going to try this – thank you! Your kitties are absolutely vibrant!

    • says

      sounds great iam going to try this . My cat has a tuma on his lower intestines. Poor thing cant keep solid food down any more so ive been putting water in his wet food its like soup but it seems to be working, i am feeding him more often. I think home made food will be better for him.

      • says

        I’d love to hear how the raw works for your kitty, Crystal. I believe raw food may be better for him as well… you can make it soupy, too.

    • says

      I can’t really make this cuz were I come from u cant really get all these and a lot of people here hate cats even my mum and dad but I love them but my mum says I can get a cat from my cousin who has one female anyway my best option now is to just buy cat food and love my future cat❤. Bye

    • says

      Yes I freeze the extra. I only pull out about 3 days worth at a time to avoid it going bad. How much vitamins per container really depends on the size of the container so I’d just make the batch according to the recipe and divide it after.

    • says

      Hey Alyssa! They probably eat 1/4 to 1/3 cup each per serving. However, if your cats still act hungry you can probably give them more. They shouldn’t overeat raw cat food like they do commercial.

  2. Dusty says

    Hello!
    I’ve read a few different recipes on home made cat food. Some included rabbit meat and/or turkey and chicken. Do you ever use different meats? What benefits have you noticed with making your own foods? Less waste? Do they eat less? More energy? Overall health? The cats look beautiful!!! (Are they bengals? They look like they are) I have 4 cats and I want the best health for them but commercial food is so expensive. I’ve looked into raw food and holistic at the pet store (I actually work at one) and it’s just so pricey, and the benefits are still not all that great for the price of the food. Even with a discount! I’d love to hear back from you! Thank you so much!

    • says

      Hey Dusty, sorry for the late response. I have not yet used different meats mainly because I have a fast-paced lifestyle at the moment so I don’t have the time to experiment but I’d love to experiment with rabbit/turkey etc. It’s also not readily available that I know of and I don’t want to order it online as it is spendy. Chicken is the most affordable option for me. I have noticed HUGE benefits. Less waste, they actually eat a bit (they are Bengals not a normal house cat) but they are extremely healthy looking. They never look pudgy even when they are eating a lot. I actually notice the biggest difference when I feed them dry food such as urinary tract infections, they seem addicted to the food and they don’t have great portion control. Yea buying raw food commercially is too pricey for most people but making it yourself is cheaper than buying high-quality canned cat food. Good luck on your journey, let me know if you have more questions!

    • says

      You can use ground chicken, but it is necessary to include the bone. They need the correct ratio of bone, muscle meat, organs, etc.

      The recipe provides proper ratios for a cat diet, but if you’d like to experiment with using ground chicken, then look up the Prey Model Raw diet. I’ve played with this a bit and it takes a while to get the ratios down, but I hear that practice makes perfect and it becomes second nature.

  3. Lyn H. says

    I have two cats. One is 17 years old, and has hyperthyroidism. The other was a stray that was found near starved, and was accidentally locked in a storage shed. She’s healthy now, and a fat thing. I’m sure her metabolism is completely messed up because of nearly starving to death. Would a raw diet be good for these two? Thank you for this post.

    • says

      If you are in doubt, first, I would contact your vet and see if they recommended it or not. If you’re comfortable with the idea I would try a batch and just give them a little bit at a time. Some transition their kitties slowly, giving maybe 1/4 raw and 3/4 dry, then 1/2 and 1/2, etc. Some older cats don’t like change (much like people, HAH!) but some take to the raw quite well. Best of luck to you Lyn!

  4. Rebecca says

    Thank you for this! I spend $35 every week on raw food from the pet store and have been wanting to make my own. Everything I’ve read says you need to add livers and hearts in addition to the meat and bones. Do you use the vitamins and minerals in place of the liver and hearts? How is it that you are able to omit those ingredients? Thanks so much.

    • says

      My kitties right now are eating probably 1/2lb each and I think that puts me at around $50/month on cat food, maybe $60, but it’s winter and they’re eating ferociously! I think that making your own would definitely save you a bit of money. The recipe I link to in the post does recommend to use real liver and heart, or else use vitamin substitutes. I did vitamin substitutes for the first few years but just recently have been using real liver and heart, and I’d think that that would be WAY better for them if you can source it. One thing I discovered is that I can get these for free from my local butcher. Butchers usually throw this stuff away as nobody wants it… best of making cat food!

  5. Carol says

    Hi, Alyssa! I have 4 cats and all eat commercial food, rather ferociously,I’m sure because they are not getting what they need. Just this weekend, they have up and decided that they don’t want to eat this food anymore. So, I tried fresh stuff from the fridge at the grocery store. Not only did they devour it, but weren’t hungry until the evening. Hmm! And I had this amazing idea about looking up homemade cat food, not knowing it was actually a thing! How cool! So now I want to try it, but I have questions! I don’t have a meat grinder, for one. I will get one. But how does it work? Do you put the bone and organs in too? Do I still put vitamins in if I include the organs? I’m afraid to overdose on say, Vitamin A… is that possible?

    • says

      Yay, I have yet to see people try homemade cat food and then go back to commercial food! Yes, the meat grinder will grind everything… bones, organs and all. The one I use is linked to from within the post… it was only around $100 I think but it’s still going strong after five years. The recipe is pretty clear on what organs to use and then what vitamins to use if you can’t find the organs… other vitamins are recommended whether or not you include the recommended organs like heart and liver. I do think vitamin overdoses are possible on certain vitamins… but I believe you should be safe if you follow the recipe. Every once in a while I don’t follow the recipe PERFECTLY because I’m short on vitamins, eggs, etc. nor do I measure the amount of chicken exactly, but once you start you will get into a rhythm. If you’re feeling really curious, feel free to check out Prey Model Raw. That focuses more on whole foods for cats rather than vitamin supplements. It’s what I’d ideally like to transition to but the wet cat food recipe linked to in this blog post is easier for most people. Best of luck to you Carol, I hope your kitties love it!

  6. Vicky says

    almost $30 for the book (used) on Amazon. Not on my buying list, for now!

    Here’s one of the reviews (some good, some bad): “This book should be titled ” Home-Prepared Dog Diets”. 90% of the book was focused on dog diets. The limited amount of information for cat diets was, in my opinion, not substantial or helpful.”

    Good blog post on your part, though. Very helpful information, thank you!

  7. Ann says

    I see you use vitamins a and d. They are not listed in recipe. How much do you use and are they a sub for the immoplex? Thank you

    • says

      You will find these in the recipe as a liver substitute. When available, it’s best to use real liver, but these two vitamins can be used as a replacement. They are not a sub for the raw glandular supplement. Hope this helps!

  8. Traci says

    So happy to have found you! We have been feeding our two dogs a raw food diet and have been wanting to go raw for our cats but haven’t found good information on what to feed them…until now!! Thank you so much for this, our cats are healthy but would like to get them OFF the dry kibble before any health problems arise. As we just started with the raw for our dogs and saw the AMAZING benefits we really wanted to get started with the cats asap. Im picking up the ingredients today!!! LOVE your blog and Im so happy for the two of you to be able to live your dream…we are working our way there as well!!

  9. Mary says

    I am very interested in your recipe. However I have searched everywhere on the site for a print option and cannot find one. Help LOL

  10. Mary says

    Hi again, oops! I forgot to ask. Is this raw? I don’t see where the recipe call for cooking the chicken.

  11. Nina says

    My question is regarding your guide (the book), is it only about raw foods for pets? I too make my furbabies food and like you I believe it is better for them.

    I started 3 years ago when our latest addition to the family “found” us one late October night running through our neighborhood, a Boxer (believe it or not a very high maintenance breed). The commercial brands exasperated his apparent allergies, i.e corn and wheat two of the most common ingredients, and seizures. Since being on a homemade diet no allergies and believe it or not, the seizures are down to 1 – 2 year. However, I cook my dog food, love my Instant Pot pressure cooker, as does all 3 of my dogs. Cost homemade vs commercial, honestly about the same.

  12. Greta says

    Just to let you know you can purchase Taurine in bulk for from Amazon. It is so cheap compared to the capsules. Thank you for the info. I may give this a shot. But first looking into equipment… Thanks again.

  13. Laura says

    Alyssa, your bengals are beautiful. My son has a Bengal and a Savanna. I have a Savanna. She has only ever eaten raw. At present I purchase my raw food for her, I am hoping in the future to make her own. When I am ready I will try your recipie.
    I really enjoy watching your homestead evolve. I have long aspired to live off grid perhaps one day it will happen. Enjoy the fruits of your labours.
    Laura

    • says

      A Bengal and a Savanna, wow! Sounds like a handful! Don’t be intimidated by the recipe (I was)… it’s really easy! Everyone I know that has tried it has stuck with it. Even when it’s a pain in the butt, we make cat food because they thrive on it so much. Yes, perhaps living off grid will happen one day but at least now, you can take small steps to be more self-sufficient!

  14. Laurelle says

    Fantastic article! I tried twice to get to the “locked content” by liking the Facebook button but it unfortunately didn’t unlock for me. Is there something else I should be doing? Thanks!

  15. Michelle D says

    I have three cats, I have one with a wheat allergy, one that has issues with dairy and chicken, and the last one has IBS. I have been feeding them the food that is suppose to be health and good to keep them healthier. Well you can see this is not working. I switched their food so that two eat a different diet, from the one with the wheat allergy. It’s not working, yes I know they can get diarrhea when changing their food. But it has been a couple of months, I still have diarrhea and two are pucking everywhere. Should I try this diet? No chicken what are my choices to give them a good balance diet?

    • says

      I’m not sure what type of food you’re feeding your cats, but take a look at the ingredients. Even high quality cat foods have non-meat ingredients such as fruits, vegetables, gluten, soy, artificial flavoring, etc. The raw diet works for my cats but it may not for yours. You could try introducing raw to them slowly. One of my cats gets constipated easily with to much bone in his diet while the other one has more runny stool with just a little extra organ meat… but I’m able to find a happy balance for both cats where stool looks good! If in doubt, talk to your vet as I would never give veterinary advice. That said, most will probably tell you to go on an expensive commercial cat food that can still cause problems. Best of luck to you and your kitties!

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