Raw Cat Food Diet
We get so many questions about how to go about feeding a cat or kitten a raw diet, that we decided it was long past time that we posted something on our website.
Keeping in mind that I am not a vet, it is reported that raw cat food diets have many health benefits for your kitty. Here are a few of the benefits of a raw diet; your cat will have less waste in the litter box, which is also less odiferous! (That alone is a benefit that should interest most cat owners. ) Cats on a raw diet tend to have more energy. They also have better weight management. Sibs are big, beautiful cats, not tubby mind you. But big, muscular and strong. Have you seen photos of the Sibs with the famous fluffy ruff? Raw helps cats have a more luxurious silky coat with less shedding. Cats also have fewer furballs on raw. Because eating raw has more moisture, cats also have better urinary health.
One last thing, you should consult with a veterinarian before you change your cat's diet. Also, raw diets may not be suitable for cats that have chronic kidney disease or other medical issues.
What you need to get started:
Grinder. You want a grinder that can handle bones. Do yourself a favor, buy the best grinder you can afford. The cost in what you will save vs. buying a quality cat food will more than for the price you pay. We started out with the Tasin TS-108. After about a year, one of us upgraded to the Weston Pro #12. WOW! What a difference! After watching it grind 20 lbs of chicken thighs w/ bones in a flash (and it’s MUCH quieter!) we all upgraded. Wish we had started out with it!!!
We recommend getting your grinder from Onestopjerkyshop.com. We are not affiliated with the store, nor do we receive any type of compensation. They are a great company, with excellent customer service.
Here are a few links to the grinders:
A very sharp knife.
Bowls - We make a slurry of the egg yolks, water, and supplements in a mediums bowl, use a large bowl for the chunked and another to catch the ground meat from the grinder. Freezer safe containers-I. We use to use stackable freezer containers, wide mouth mason jars, ziplock bags.
Ice Cube Trays - (Optional) - Make Raw Nuggets This makes portioning great!
Something to label your freezer container - Sharpie/masking tape etc.
Gloves. It’s poultry folks. To be safe, use gloves to reduce the chances of contaminating other surfaces. Wade and Megan are sticklers for this. They’re inexpensive and also help with the coldness of handling the meat!
Cutting board. Make sure it will fit in the dishwasher.
4.5 pounds chicken thighs with bone.
(Remove about 20 to 25% of the bone from the total amount of meat used)
7 ounces of raw chicken liver
14 ounces raw chicken heart.
(If you can't source chicken heart, then substitute with 4000 mg Taurin and add additional chicken thigh meat)
8 ounces of filtered water.
4 raw egg yolks
2000 mg Taurine.
(This is in addition to the taurine you may have added if you don’t use hearts. -You don't have to worry about your cat getting too much.)
4000 mg Salmon oil
(Use the capsules to avoid spoilage that happens with the larger bottled version)
200 mg Vitamin B
200 IU Vitamin E
1 ½ teaspoons Lite Iodized Salt
4 teaspoons Psyllium Husk Powder (optional)
**Supplements are not optional!!!
Remove the skin from half of the chicken thighs. Debone about 20-25% of the thighs. Rinse the meat with water to help remove any surface bacteria. Chunk up about a third of the meat. (Or as much as your kitty likes) You might need smaller chunks for the kitten. As they get bigger, increase the size to about ½” pieces. This helps work the jaws of your kitty and provides better dental health.
In a small mixing bowl, open up the supplement capsules (discard the empty gelatin caps). Put fish oil capsules aside to be added to the grinder later.
In a medium size bowl, mix egg yolks and water, mix in supplement mix. Set aside.
Put meat through the grinder. You may need to trim meat off the bone to fit it through the tube. Add the liver, heart and fish oil capsules at intervals to the grinder.
When it's all ground, add the chunked meat and the slurry mixture, mix thoroughly.
Portion out the mixture into your preferred freezer safe containers. We use three different methods depending on which location you visit. I prefer freezer ziplock bags. Wade likes freezer containers, Katherine portions her raw into ice cube trays. After a few hours pop them out. This is nice because you have instant portions. Each ice cube equals appx. 1oz. Tip: To help with portioning, a wide mouth funnel and measuring cup, might come in handy. (Don’t forget to date and label your containers.)
Remember to hand wash and disinfect your grinder parts. Don't put them in the dishwasher.
Ideally, cats want their food at "mouse body" temperature. The best way to accomplish this is to put thawed or partially thawed food in a Ziploc-type baggie. Squeeze as much air out as you can and then place the baggie in a bowl of warm water for five minutes or so. This warms it up without cooking it.
Cats usually prefer to eat off a plate, rather than a bowl. For feeding raw food, glass or metal is preferred because they won't get bacteria-harboring scratches the way plastic will.