I’ve posted before about how we feed out cats a natural whole meat diet, but it has changed over time so I thought I’d give an updated version of our cats’ diet.
Feeding a raw pet diet isn’t any more difficult than feeding store-bought. It just takes a few hours of time for part of a day……every couple of months. Once the portions are separated out then it’s just a matter of taking out the next day’s food the night before so it an thaw in the fridge. Their food never goes bad before they eat it. One, or possibly two days in the fridge for raw meat is totally fine.
For a while we were buying a tube of raw cat food from Whole Foods Market and adding a few things to it. But we wanted a bit more control of what they are eating. After doing a lot of research on the nutrients and variety that a cat needs we’ve come up with a recipe that is working quite well for us. What we purchase lasts about 50 days for our two cats.
I found Hare-Today, Gone Tomorrow to be a great source for naturally raised, raw meat designed for pets. You can get whole ground animals or whole prey, depending on how you prefer to feed.
Here is our most recent order recap:
What we buy has grown over time. Our first order just consisted of: ground rabbit/bones/organs, ground chicken/bones/organs and ground boneless turkey thighs. When Isabelle came to live with us, however, we needed to buy a bit more at a time. So the rest has been added to increase the amount, as well as add in a bit more variety.
Hare-Today, Gone Tomorrow uses 2-day FedEx delivery. Our order comes packed in a styro-foam lined box (for added insulation) and the meat is inside a thick black garbage bag with cold packs.
So far the meat has still always been frozen solid when I open the box. I let it sit out in a bucket, which sits in the kitchen sink, for the afternoon then move it to the fridge to finish thawing over-night. The next morning all the packages get opened and I squish all the meat together so it’s all mixed up well.
There are a few supplements we add in that I buy from iHerb. <—— If you check out my link you’ll see a referral code to use to get $10 off your first order. It will also help me earn credits towards future purchases of my own. So it’s a win-win for both of us. Not exactly an affiliate, but a referral account.
Anyway, the supplements I add to our cats’ food are taurine powder, vitamin B, and vitamin E. I don’t take a lot of supplements myself, but when a cat is in the wild catching it’s own prey and devouring it whole it gets all that it needs. But we bring animals into out homes as pets and they aren’t eating quite like they are designed to eat. So we must take extra precautions to insure that they get all the nutrients that are so vital for them to not only survive, but have optimum health.
The Full Recipe
This is my doubled recipe since I’m feeding 2 cats now. If you have only one cat then by all means cut the amounts in half.
5 lbs. Rabbit, whole ground (includes all bones, organs, head, brain, eyes)
5 lbs. Beef, ground (organs/tripe/bones)
3 lbs. Chicken, whole, coarse ground
1 lb. Turkey Thighs, boneless ground
1 lb. Mutton, whole ground
1 lb. Sardines, whole ground
4 cups Water
8 Egg Yolks
3 tsp. Celtic Sea Salt (or Real Salt + Kelp for iodine)
1,600 IU Vitamin E
200 mg Vitamin B-Complex
8,000 mg Taurine Powder (my calculations came up with 3 tsp.)
If the rabbit doesn’t include heads, then add in 20,000 mg Fish Oil
Currently I only have Redmon’d’s Real Salt on hand, which does not contain a significant amount of iodine as Celtic Sea Salt does, so to that I add in a slightly smaller amount of Kelp powder than the salt amount, to make sure they have enough iodine in their diet.
The supplement amounts may seem a bit high, but keep in mind that this is for for nearly 2 full months of food. Over that span of time it’s not a huge amount per meal.
1. Separate egg yolks from whites (be sure to save the egg whites for other uses, such as facials). Beat the dry supplements into the egg yolks until blended. Whisk this into the water.
2. Once you’ve squished all the meat together pour the supplement slurry into it and give it a good mixing. It’s not hugely important that you make sure it’s 100% mixed, just what seems right to you is fine. There may be some parts of the mixture that has more meat or more supplement mixed in, but over-all throughout the days/weeks/months they will get all the nutrients in.
3. I use those small “snack” bags to divvy up the daily portions, which are then stuffed into zip-loc freezer bags for storage.
Each snack baggie is approximately one day of food for our two cats (combined, not each). As they grow that will change, they’re still pretty young now. Izzy eats much more than Kat does. Some days Kat just takes a few nibbles and is done till the next meal time. I feed them once in the morning and once in the evening. What food is not consumed in a feeding gets covered and stored in the fridge to finish the next feeding time. Of course it’s added to to give each cat a full meal.
With this current order of meat we ended up with 47 bags, which equals 47 days’ worth of food for 2 cats. Depending on how full you fill your baggies will determine how many days it lasts, but always keep in mind the amount of food your cat should have every day for his/her weight. There is even a handy-dandy calculator on Hare-Today’s website to help you figure that out, plus a lot of really great and useful information about feeding your pet raw food.
Currently I have to supervise feeding times or Izzy will bully her way into Kat’s dish to eat her food before her own bowl is even empty. Izzy is a few months younger, but she’s already our dominant cat in the household.
On top of your cats just generally being healthier and spending less, if anything, on vet bills….if your cat is an indoor cat, you’ll save on litter as well. Yep! Being that there’s no “crap” in this food their bodies actually utilize more of the nutrients. This translates into needing to use the litter box a lot less often. Plus when they do use it, there is literally no smell! “What? Can that be true?” Yes, really it is true! Within a week of being on this raw meat diet I noticed a HUGE change in the litter box area. I still clean it daily as I always have, but literally the only smell emitting from the box is the smell of the actual litter ~ and it smells just like it did when I pour it fresh out of the box. Their “poo” is a bit different as well. Instead of being really dark and sticky, it’s actually very pale as if there’s not much left in it, it’s a lot firmer (not so much to cause problems for kitty though) and there’s considerably less to clean out. The times we have had to buy crunchy, cheap store-bought food we were having to buy a new box of litter about every week. But almost as soon as we get the girls back on raw food, a box of litter will last for weeks. It just doesn’t get yucky anymore!
This has really been an amazing discovery for me. We have a very small place and the litter box is in our small bathroom. Unavoidably, there are times when we have to be in there and one of the cats will need to come use their litter box. Well, now we don’t feel like we want to run out of the room just because that cat is in the box.
Another thing we’ve noticed is their behavior. Both cats are more active and more well behaved on a raw diet. Processed cat foods contain grains and vegetables that our feline friends are just not designed to eat. Yes, they do eat grass on occasion, which is why we provide a wheat grass tray for them on occasion.
Do you feed your pets a natural diet?
I am not affiliated in any way with Hare-Today.com. This is the source we found to purchase food for our kitties and I like them so far.