So You've Acquired a Kitten
Treat Your Cat Like a Queen for Pennies a Day
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I have three cats and found that I am spending a lot of money on pet food. Does anyone have a recipe for cooking my own dry food?
Cats have fairly strict nutritional requirements in terms of protein, calcium/phosphorus, and especially Taurine, which is an essential amino acid. A taurine-deficient diet can cause severe and possibly fatal heart disease. A high quality commercial diet is worth the investment. Otherwise, you'll be paying out in veterinary bills later for skin problems, bad teeth, allergies, asthma, obesity, etc. If you're near a semirural area, check at feed stores for a better price or try buying in bulk. Even the premium foods can be found for about $1 per pound. Shelf life on dry food is about six to eight weeks once opened and after that the fatty acids begin to deteriorate.
Here is a great Kibbles recipe:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. In another bowl, mash the mackerel into small pieces. Mix in the oil and water. Add the mackerel mixture to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. The dough is tough, so use your hands. Roll dough out to about 1/4-inch thickness and cut into 1/4-inch bits, using a knife or pizza cutter. Mound the bits onto greased cookie sheets and bake for 25 minutes. During baking, occasionally toss the bits with two wooden spoons, so they brown evenly. Turn the heat off and allow the treats to cool thoroughly before removing. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This recipe freezes very well for longer storage.
Feed an adult cat as much as she will eat in 20 to 30 minutes. Refrigerate the leftovers promptly. It is recommended that you feed your adult cats twice a day. This recipe provides approximately three servings.
Choose one protein source (meat amounts given in raw weight):
About three times per week, include one chopped hard-boiled or scrambled egg. If you would like, once a week, substitute 4 ounces of organic liver for 1/2 of any meat source. Another option is to substitute a four-ounce can of tuna that is packed in water, a six-ounce can of sardines, or a five-ounce can of salmon with bones for any meat source once every two weeks. Do not use canned fish as a protein source for cats that are prone to urinary tract problems.
For cats needing a lower protein diet, add one cup of cooked white rice.
Other sources of books and web sites:
API also suggests that you obtain one or more of the following books, so that you have a more complete understanding of canine and/or feline nutritional needs. API does not sell these books. It is essential that you follow any diet's recommendations closely, including all ingredients and supplements. Failure to do so may result in serious health consequences for your animal companion.
Dr. Pitcairn's New Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats. Richard Pitcairn, DVM, and Susan Pitcairn. Rodale Press. ISBN 075962432. (This is very good)
Natural Cat Care: A Complete Guide to Holistic Health Care for Cats. Celeste Yarnall. Charles E. Tuttle Co., Inc. ISBN 1885203632.
Home-Prepared Dog & Cat Diets: the Healthful Alternative Donald R. Strombeck, DVM. Iowa State University Press. ISBN 0813821495.
It's for the Animals! Natural Care & Resources Helen L. McKinnon. C.S.A. Inc. Available from www.ItsForTheAnimals.com; P.O. Box 1913; Fairview, NC 28730; toll-free 1-888-339-IFTA (4382).
I have two cats and I find Iams cat food to be very economical. One four-pound bag costs me $6.87 (approximate price at Wal-Mart), and lasts about one month for two cats. That works out to $1.72 per week. An eight-pound bag costs $12.35 (approximate price at Wal-Mart), which works out to $1.54 per week for two month's feeding for two cats. The eight-pound bags usually have a $1 coupon inside, so the cost is reduced to $1.42 per week. I don't know how one can beat that price.
Other benefits include less odor and looseness of stool, an improved shine in eyes and coat, and a higher energy level. Since the cats are getting good nutrition, they don't seem to need to eat as much as the canned or other dry cat foods that I've used.
Try www.vegepet.com. They have a nutritional supplement product from which you can make your own kibble. I can't vouch for vegecat, but I use vegedog to make kibble for my dog and she loves it.
Would you be willing to pull out the raw meat and vegetables to feed your three felines? No cooking necessary. I have fed my cats a combination of raw meat, any vegetable that I would eat (and some I wouldn't), and various supplemental items, depending on the cat. I got my initial information from a website, www.petgrub.com. If you are serious about making your own food, check out this site. It's well written, thorough, and free!
Here is a quick recipe for No Cook Homemade Cat Food:
Mix one pound (or any fraction) of raw ground meat with one cup (or any fraction) of water. Add four tablespoons of eggshell powder, if you have it. Chop the vegetables as finely as possible. Mix the meat and vegetables in an approximate ratio of two to one. Add hot water until it is stew-like. If your cat takes vitamins, add them last. Let the cat eat it up.
My kitten loves this more than the Iams Dry Food. But please don't take my word for it. Check out petgrub.com, and convince yourself. You'll at least have fun reading the site. Have fun feeding your cats.
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