How to Make Raw Cat Food

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How to Make Raw Cat Food

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Preparing raw cat food at home can be a rewarding way to ensure your feline friend gets a balanced and fresh diet, closely mimicking what they might eat in the wild. However, it’s crucial to approach this with care, as cats have specific nutritional needs that must be met to avoid deficiencies or excesses that can lead to health issues. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to make raw cat food safely and effectively.

Understanding Cat Nutrition

Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning their diet requires nutrients found only in animal flesh.

The critical components include:

Protein: Essential for growth, repair, and maintenance.

Taurine: An amino acid vital for heart health, vision, and reproduction.

Vitamins and Minerals: Especially vitamin A, vitamin D, and arachidonic acid, which cats cannot synthesize from plant materials.


A balanced raw cat food diet typically consists of:

Muscle Meat: The primary protein source.

Organ Meat: Especially liver, for vitamins A and D.

Bone: Ground or whole small bones for calcium.

Supplements: To ensure all nutritional needs are met, especially taurine.

Equipment Needed

Meat Grinder: Capable of grinding bones.

Digital Scale: For precise measurements.

Storage Containers: For freezing and refrigeration.

Basic Raw Cat Food Recipe


800g of muscle meat (chicken, turkey, rabbit, or beef)
200g of raw organ meat (with half being liver)
100g of raw, ground bone
Water or broth for hydration
Taurine supplement as per product instructions
Other supplements (e.g., fish oil, vitamin E) as advised by a vet


Prepare the Meat: Chop the muscle meat and organ meat into manageable pieces for your grinder.

Grind the Ingredients: Mix the meats and bone together, then grind them using your meat grinder.

Mix Supplements: After grinding, add the necessary supplements and mix thoroughly to ensure even distribution.

Add Liquids: Mix in enough water or broth to ensure the food is not too dry, mimicking the moisture content of natural prey.

Portion and Store: Divide the mixture into daily meal portions. Store what you’ll use within 3 days in the refrigerator and freeze the rest.

Important Considerations

Consult Your Vet: Before switching to a raw diet, discuss it with your veterinarian to ensure it’s appropriate for your cat’s health status and nutritional needs.

Hygiene: Practice good hygiene by washing hands, utensils, and surfaces thoroughly after handling raw meat to prevent contamination.

Transition Slowly: Introduce raw food gradually to avoid gastrointestinal upset.

Observe: Monitor your cat for any health changes and adjust the diet as necessary with your vet’s guidance.

Making raw cat food at home can be a great way to enrich your cat’s diet with high-quality, natural foods. It requires careful attention to nutritional balance, cleanliness, and your cat’s overall health. With proper preparation and consultation with your vet, you can offer your cat a diet that’s both satisfying and beneficial to their health.

Additional Tips for Success

When making raw cat food, here are some additional tips to ensure success and safety:

Source High-Quality Ingredients: Opt for fresh, human-grade meats and organs. Organic or free-range options can reduce the exposure to hormones and antibiotics.

Freshness: Use ingredients that are as fresh as possible to minimize the risk of bacterial contamination.

Balancing the Diet

Variety is Key: Rotate between different types of meats and organs to provide a range of nutrients. This mimics the variety a cat would naturally consume.

Understand the Ratios: While the basic recipe provides a starting point, the ideal ratio of muscle meat, organs, and bones can vary. A common guideline is 80% muscle meat, 10% bone, and 10% organs (with half of that being liver), but this can be adjusted based on your cat’s specific needs.

Supplements: Even a well-planned raw diet may lack certain nutrients. Essential supplements often include taurine, vitamin E, B-complex vitamins, and fish oil for omega-3 fatty acids.

However, it’s crucial to get vet advice on this, as over-supplementation can be harmful.

Safe Handling and Storage

Avoid Cross-Contamination: Use separate cutting boards and utensils for preparing cat food and human food.

Safe Thawing Practices: Thaw frozen raw cat food in the refrigerator, not at room temperature, to minimize bacterial growth.

Portion Control: Freeze in appropriately sized portions to avoid having to refreeze thawed food, which can degrade quality and increase bacterial risk.

Monitoring and Adjustments

Regular Vet Check-ups: Annual or semi-annual vet visits are crucial for monitoring your cat’s health, especially when on a raw diet. Blood work can help identify any nutritional imbalances early on.
Be Observant: Pay attention to your cat’s energy levels, coat quality, stool, and overall wellbeing. These can be indicators of how well the diet suits them.

Adjust as Needed: Be prepared to adjust portions and ingredients based on your cat’s age, weight, and activity level. A growing kitten, for example, has different nutritional needs than an adult cat.

Making the Switch

If you’re transitioning your cat from commercial to raw food, it’s important to do so gradually.

Start by mixing a small amount of raw food with their regular food, gradually increasing the raw portion and decreasing the commercial food over a period of weeks. This slow transition helps your cat’s digestive system adjust without causing upset or refusal to eat.

The Bottom Line

Creating a balanced, homemade raw diet for your cat is a commitment that requires careful planning, preparation, and ongoing vigilance. While it offers many benefits, it’s not a decision to be made lightly. Continuous education, consultation with veterinary nutritionists, and attentive observation of your cat are essential to ensure they thrive on a raw diet. With dedication and care, feeding your cat a raw diet can be a deeply rewarding way to cater to their natural dietary needs and promote their overall health and vitality.

When crafting a raw diet for your cat, understanding the specific nutritional requirements and how to meet them is essential. Here’s a deeper dive into the nutritional components necessary for a healthy, balanced raw cat food diet.


Cats require a high-protein diet for muscle maintenance, enzyme production, and overall body function. Animal-based proteins provide all the essential amino acids cats need. The biological value of the protein (how easily it can be utilized by the cat’s body) is crucial, with meats like chicken, turkey, rabbit, and fish being excellent sources.


Fats are a dense source of energy and are necessary for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K). They also play a role in hormone production and provide essential fatty acids such as omega-3 and omega-6, which support skin and coat health. Sources can include the meat itself (particularly fattier cuts), fish oil, and chicken fat.


Taurine is an amino acid that cats cannot synthesize in sufficient quantities. It’s vital for heart health, vision, and reproduction. Taurine is found naturally in muscle meat and organs, especially the heart and liver. However, levels can decrease significantly during food processing, making supplementation necessary in a raw diet.

Vitamins and Minerals

Cats need various vitamins and minerals in their diet, including:

    Vitamin A: Essential for vision, growth, and immune function. Cats cannot convert beta carotene from plants into vitamin A, so they need a direct animal source, typically liver.

    Vitamin D: Crucial for bone health and calcium absorption. Cats obtain it from the liver and fatty fish.

    Calcium and Phosphorus: These minerals are vital for bone and tooth health, with a balanced ratio needed to support bodily functions. Bone content in the diet typically provides these minerals.

    Iron, Zinc, and Copper: Trace minerals important for blood health, immune function, and skin health. Organ meats are a good source.


    Hydration is crucial for cats, especially considering their low thirst drive. Raw diets naturally contain more moisture than dry food, helping to keep your cat hydrated and supporting kidney and urinary tract health.

      Balancing the Diet

      The challenge in homemade raw diets is ensuring that all these nutritional needs are met in the right proportions. While the base of the diet will be meat, organs, and bones, achieving the correct balance often requires the addition of supplements. Here are a few guidelines:

      Calcium to Phosphorus Ratio: Aim for a ratio close to 1:1. Since meats are high in phosphorus, adding calcium (usually through ground bone) is necessary to balance this ratio.

      Vitamin Supplementation: Depending on the ingredients used, you may need to supplement vitamins A and D if not enough liver or other organ meats are included.

      Taurine: Always ensure there is enough taurine, either through the diet or supplementation.

      Nutritional Analysis

      For those serious about feeding a raw diet, conducting a nutritional analysis can help identify any gaps. This can be done through consultation with a veterinary nutritionist, who can analyze your recipe for its nutritional content and recommend adjustments or supplements as needed.

      Properly balanced, a raw diet can offer numerous health benefits for cats, including a shinier coat, improved digestion, and better dental health. However, it’s essential to do thorough research, consult with professionals, and commit to ongoing education to ensure your cat’s dietary needs are fully met. Remember, each cat is unique, and what works for one may not work for another, requiring adjustments and close monitoring.


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