Making your own cat food only makes sense if the end product fits the cat’s needs. For example, a middle-aged animal needs a completely different food than a cat puppy or senior. However, this should not demotivate you: If you acquire the necessary knowledge and implement it skillfully, you can successfully barf your pet.
Barfen: Why some people prefer to make their own cat food
Most pet owners put all their trust in ready-made food, which they buy in supermarkets or pet supply stores. If you go by veterinary professional organizations, this is even said to be the best decision.
The reasons: The ready-to-eat foods available for purchase provide cats with everything they need. The so-called Barfen holds however a high risk for a lack nutrition. In addition, especially when feeding raw food, there is a risk of infection with germs.
Why do some cat owners barf anyway? There are many reasons, such as these:
- Owners want to feed their pet without sugar and grains.
- They want full control over the cat’s daily food.
- They want high quality food with positive health effects.
- They want to avoid diseases, intolerances or allergies in their pets.
- They are particularly concerned about the origin or source of the meat fed.
The justifications for barfing are often not tenable
On the above points, some ready-to-eat foods actually fail. For example, cat food may contain sugar and grains, be of inferior quality, and the meat often comes from cheap offal. However, this does not apply to every type of food, because there are also high-quality ones to buy.
Moreover, some of these characteristics are completely misunderstood. The sugar in cat food is used to create the typical dark brown color. And this is mainly to please humans. Sugar also leads to a longer shelf life. So the point is not at all to get the cat addicted to the product. Cats do not taste sweetness.
Most of the disadvantages of ready-made food can be invalidated. In contrast, barfeeding has more disadvantages than advantages. Cat owners can feed their pet downright sick while thinking they are doing it good. If you still want to barf, it is better to seek the help of an expert in cat nutrition.
Nevertheless: sometimes it is useful to barf the cat for a short time
There are moments when, despite the risks, there are certain benefits to understanding a little about barfing. Suppose you don’t have cat food in the house and the supermarkets are closed, so you can’t organize supplies. Or the cat suddenly refuses the food you serve it. Some cats quickly become too thin until a new variety is found that they will accept. However, the hunger phase can harm her already after one day. In such cases you can make cat food yourself. Provided you know how and have the right ingredients in the house.
Species-appropriate nutrition: How can you make cat food yourself?
Cats need one thing above all else in their diet: meat. The fur noses are significantly dependent on an amino acid occurring in it. It is taurine. While the metabolism of humans and dogs produce this substance themselves, this is not the case with cats. Therefore, they must not be fed a vegan or vegetarian diet under any circumstances. The best decision is to opt for a homemade cat food with a high meat content.
A cat food with high meat content is good for the cat. But this does not mean that the meat should be fed raw. Raw meat from retail stores is not comparable to a mouse from the forest. The cat consumes the mouse fresh, packaged meat is different. Chicken hearts, ground beef and co. can already be contaminated with pathogens before they even land in your shopping cart. It is not for nothing that meat should always be eaten well cooked.
The most suitable ingredients for homemade cat food
To meet your cat’s taurine needs, you need a cat food with a high meat content. It does not matter whether you feed muscle meat or offal. The meat should be in any case natural and unseasoned. You should only use these types of meat:
- Big game
In principle, you can also feed pork. But especially with this kind of meat it is even more important to pay attention to a complete cooking and a precise kitchen hygiene. Pork often contains germs that are life-threatening for cats. By heating for a long time you kill them. In the best case, however, you should choose a meat from the list for the cat food.
In addition, fish is well suited for a cat food with a high meat content. Again, it must be natural and unseasoned. For canned fish, it is best to choose a variety without oil. If you feed fish, you must make sure that it is free of bones.
Dairy products and eggs also provide protein. If you want to make your own cat food, leave milk aside and use cottage cheese, solid cheese or curd instead. Again, make sure that there are no undesirable additives in the products. Egg should always be fed cooked so that the cat can tolerate it.
If a homemade cat food with a high meat content is mentioned, it means that other ingredients are included. These may be gladly vegetable. Starchy ingredients such as cooked potatoes or rice come into question. Vegetables are also welcome. Cats tolerate cooked carrots well.
A little oil is healthy and adds flavor. But too much of it makes your kitty fat. Dose it therefore rather sparingly. A few drops are enough to round off a portion of cat food. Use linseed oil or salmon oil.
These ingredients must NOT be included in the homemade cat food
Unfortunately, some things that we humans like to eat have a sickening or even deadly effect on cats. Please do not experiment and only feed what you know for sure is good for your cat.
The list of absolute no-gos in cat food is long, so here are just ten examples:
- Spices like salt and pepper
- raw pork
- Soft and energy drinks
- Alcohol, coffee and tea
- Chocolate and anything with cacao
- Bread, baked goods and dough
- Spicy vegetables (e.g. onions, leeks, garlic chili)
- Dog food, as well as food for other animals
If your cat has eaten something wrong and develops strange symptoms, immediately alert the emergency veterinary service or take the animal to the nearest vet.
Cat food with high meat content: recipes for occasional barfing
At this point, we would like to provide you with three practical recipes if you want to make your own cat food for your darling. Unfortunately, you will have to calculate the actual amounts of ingredients per meal for your cat yourself, because every cat has different needs. You can follow the following basic rules:
Per kilo of body weight a cat needs about 35 grams of meat per day, whereby the meat should make up two thirds of the daily food quantity. If your kitty weighs three kilos, you should feed her 105 grams of meat per day. One third of the cat food should consist of other food. So, for a cat weighing three kilos, add 53 grams of rice, carrots or other suitable ingredients.
For a cat food with a high meat content, you can of course increase the amount of meat and add less vegetarian and vegetable ingredients.
Chicken hearts, carrots and rice
- Fresh chicken hearts
- Linseed oil
Wash chicken hearts and boil in water for 45 minutes. Drain, cool and cut into pieces. Grate or very finely chop carrots and cook in a separate pot with the rice in boiling water for 20 minutes. Drain and allow to cool. Fill food bowl with one to two tablespoons of chicken hearts and add one tablespoon of carrot rice. Finish with a little meat broth and a few drops of oil.
Liver, curd and potato
- Fresh chicken liver
- Small potato
- Salmon oil
Wash liver, cut into small pieces and boil for 30 minutes. Peel potato and cook in boiling water for 20 minutes. Drain everything and let cool. Mash soft potato with fork and add to bowl mixed with cottage cheese and about two tablespoons of liver. Serve with a few drops of salmon oil.
Chicken breast, pasta and cottage cheese
- Fresh chicken breast
- Cottage cheese
- Linseed oil
Rinse chicken breast and boil in water with noodles for 30 minutes. Remove chicken from water with a fork, drain noodles. Let everything cool down. Cut chicken breast into small pieces, mix with noodles and cottage cheese. Add to the bowl with a few drops of oil.
FAQ – Frequently asked questions about making your own cat food
There are many uncertainties about cat food and making cat food yourself. In case of doubt, you should consult your veterinarian, because the nutrition of cats is very important.
What do I feed my cat?
It is best to feed your cat a ready-made cat food with a high meat content, which is characterized by good quality. This also saves the time of cooking.
How often should I feed my cat?
Most house cats get two or three servings a day. However, in nature they would eat ten to 15 times a day. So it is possible to give very small meals several times a day.
How much does cat food cost?
Food for cats is inexpensive. In the month you have to reckon with 30 to 50 euros for an animal. If you barft or buy premium food, you can also spend significantly more.
How much does a cat eat per day?
An active adult cat needs about 65 grams of wet food per kilo of body weight. Dry food contains no water and is therefore lighter, so you can expect half the amount of wet food.
What do cats prefer to eat?
They prefer to eat meat. It is good for them and provides them with proteins. It is the best source of taurine, a vital amino acid for cats.
Can my cat eat my leftovers?
Much of what humans eat is incompatible to toxic for cats. Food scraps are therefore taboo for cats!
Are fruits and vegetables healthy for cats?
Fruits and vegetables are welcome in cat food, because they provide the animal with valuable nutrients. However, not every kind is suitable and you should not feed too much.
Good choices include carrots, broccoli and peas. When it comes to fruit, berries, apples and bananas score well. Make sure that you wash all food thoroughly. Especially fruits and vegetables are often contaminated with pesticides, which are not only harmful to you, but also to your cat.
Can I feed my cat a vegan diet?
No, cats must never be fed vegan and also not vegetarian. They are absolutely dependent on meat, because only this contains the vital amino acids that cats need to eat every day.
What does a cat eat in nature?
In nature, you can see that cats cannot do without meat. Their diet consists mainly of mice, birds or fish. If the hunt gives it, the predators are also happy about frogs and insects. Cats, by the way, eat their prey completely.
How do I recognize a food allergy in my cat?
In cats, an allergy manifests itself in a similar way as in humans. Typical are breathing problems, itching and skin rashes. Especially with cat food, an intolerance also manifests itself through digestive problems.