The main benefits of homemade cat food are species-appropriate nutrition and you have complete control over the quality of your cat’s food.
Processed cat food contains questionable, low-quality ingredients that cats aren’t designed to digest.
I’ve been raw feeding Jericho since 2018, and I wish I started homemade sooner! Having complete control over his diet is my favorite benefit.
Plus, many veterinarians are realizing that properly complete fresh food is best for our cat’s health.
Homemade cat food provides many benefits to cats and their parents:
- Homemade raw cat food is species-appropriate. Raw diets are high in moisture, quality proteins, and easier-to-digest nutrients. This can help cats with sensitive stomachs and digestion issues. Commercial food includes low-quality ingredients that cats cannot digest easily.
- You have complete control over the ingredients. You’ll have control over the quality of the ingredients, how the food is made, and more control over the cost of your cat’s food.
- Raw meaty bones are better for cats. Chewing on raw meaty bones offers tremendous benefits for cats. Raw meaty bones can help keep the teeth clean, prevent obesity, and provide mental stimulation that keeps cats happy.
- You save money because your cat is healthier. Many cats today suffer from diabetes, obesity, urinary issues, and kidney disease. This is due to high-carbohydrate, low-quality meat, and synthetic supplement overuse in commercial food. A complete homemade raw diet relies on natural, whole food nutrition that supports your cat’s health.
Note: Cats are sensitive to dietary changes and require a complete diet.
Disclaimer: I earn a commission if you make a purchase through affiliate links below. No additional cost to you.
Homemade raw cat food is species-appropriate
The worst cat food brands are filled with high carbohydrates, low-quality meat ingredients, and loads of synthetic supplements.
This type of food is difficult for cats to digest and can cause many health issues including obesity.
However, homemade raw cat food includes biologically-appropriate meat ingredients that cats should eat.
Homemade raw cat food recipes typically follow BARF or PMR ratio guidelines. These ratios aim to mimic our cat’s natural diet: whole prey.
Homemade raw cat food ingredients include:
- Muscle meats: turkey thigh, beef chuck, chicken thigh, lamb, and small amounts of fish
- Muscular organs: heart, gizzards, and green tripe
- Raw meaty bones: chicken or duck necks, chicken wings, rabbit front legs, and quail
- Secreting organs: liver, kidney, and spleen
Keep in mind that 80 10 10 diets are not complete and balanced.
So we would fill in nutritional gaps with other whole foods like egg yolks, kelp, nutritional yeast, and supplements when necessary.
A species-appropriate diet offers many benefits:
- High moisture diets can prevent urinary issues and support healthy kidney function
- Chewing on raw meaty bones keeps the teeth clean and provides necessary mental stimulation
- Low carbohydrate diets can improve digestion and prevent obesity and diabetes
- Provides high-quality nutrition due to the lack of rendering and over-processing
These benefits will keep your cat happier and healthier in the long-run.
You have complete control over the ingredients
My favorite benefit to homemade raw cat food is the control I have over what Jericho eats.
I’ve been raw feeding Jericho since 2018, and I started homemade one year later.
Jericho’s complete raw food, RadCat, was excellent.
However, the FDA mishandled a sample, and it tested positive for bacteria. So they forced a recall, and the company went out of business.
The next raw company I found used way too many synthetic supplements. That’s what pushed me to try homemade cat food.
Homemade cat food gives you control over the ingredients, the quality of those ingredients, where the ingredients come from, how the food is made, and more control over the cost.
No more relying on someone else to tell you what to feed your cat!
I’ve also invested in my nutrition education to become a Clinical Pet Nutritionist.
So I take it one step further and take even more control of his diet. I formulate his diet myself!
Join my Homemade Made Simple membership to get access to complete homemade raw recipes, meal prep videos, and live coaching support every month.
Raw meaty bones are better for cats
The benefits of raw meaty bones go way beyond offering natural calcium and phosphorus.
Appropriate raw meaty bones for cats are great for dental health, provide mental stimulation, and can prevent obesity.
Wild cats chew on whole prey, and this keeps their teeth clean.
We can mimic YAH’s natural toothbrush indoors with raw meaty bones. No more fighting your cat to brush his teeth.
Mental stimulation is also important for indoor cats. Indoor cats don’t hunt. So we need to provide mental stimulation.
This keeps them happy and prevents boredom.
The Frontiers in Veterinary Science concluded from a survey that feeding raw meaty bones can prevent obesity.
Cats take longer to chomp and chew on raw meaty bones, and this prevents the cat parent from overfeeding the cat.
Additionally, the extra mental stimulation prevents boredom which can also prevent obesity.
You save money because your cat is healthier
You may think that homemade raw cat food is expensive. But the cost of homemade cat food is lower than you think!
You could save thousands depending on what you’re feeding now.
Also think about it like this…
- Spend more money now on high-quality, fresh food. Save money in the long run because your cat is healthier.
- Save money now on cheap, low-quality food. Spend more money, stress, and heartbreak in the long run because your cat is unhealthy.
More than half the cats in the US are overweight and obese (APOP data). And 70% of pet parents believe obesity is due to poor feeding choices.
Overweight cats are at higher risk for:
- Respiratory issues
- Fatty liver disease
- SHORTENED LIVES
Excessive fat puts a serious strain on organs and joints. This leads to so many other health issues.
Homemade raw cat food can help your cat lose weight and stay at an ideal weight.
Maybe your cat is “fine” now on processed food. But these serious health issues sneak up on us.
You’ll save more money in the long run with an upfront investment in healthy cat food.
Homemade cat food FAQ
Is homemade cat food healthier?
Homemade cat food is healthier because it’s species-appropriate and easier to digest. A properly balanced homemade raw diet provides natural essential nutrients, high moisture and protein, and has a low carb amount. This can prevent obesity and many other health issues.
Can I feed my cat homemade food every day?
You can feed your cat homemade food every day as long as you are feeding a complete and balanced recipe. Always monitor your cat’s food intake, weight, body condition, and behavior to make sure you are feeding appropriate food in the right amounts.
Which homemade food is best for cats?
The best homemade food for cats is raw including raw meaty bones. We want to do our best to mimic what our cats eat in the wild. But a lightly cooked homemade diet is still much better than overly processed commercial cat food. It’s also important to use a complete and balanced recipe from a nutritionist.
How can I switch my cat to homemade food?
If you’re currently feeding dry/wet food, an important first step is to switch to commercially available raw food. This will help your cat get used to eating fresh ingredients before you go through the work of preparing a batch of homemade.
You will have to introduce new food very gradually because cats are sensitive to and reluctant to change. Especially when they are eating dry food. My Switch to Raw Blueprint video course includes a clear map to get you from dry/wet to 100% raw.
You can switch to homemade gradually once your cat is used to eating 100% raw and you’re comfortable with meal prep and storing. My Homemade Made Simple membership includes recipes, meal prep videos, and live coaching with me every month.
Homemade cat food recipes
The easiest way to get started with homemade cat food is to use a homemade completer premix.
This will help you get into the routine of planning, shopping for ingredients, and making the food.
Alnutrin nutritional premix
You can buy all of the ingredients from Hare Today. Create an account and you’ll earn discount points on your purchases.
Hare Today homemade cat food recipe:
- Meat, bones, and organs chub
- Alnutrin for meat and bone supplements
- Fish oil supplements
There is a small Alnutrin bag that mixes with 5 pounds of food and a large bag that mixes with 35 pounds of food.
Do not use the “+ calcium” option since you are using a meat mix that includes bone.
Instructions for mixing are on the supplements bag and the product page.
You will add fish oil supplements fresh at mealtime according to the instructions on the bottle.
This is a very easy option, but you will pay more in shipping fees. This option works best for people who live near PA and OH.
TC Feline nutritional premix
NOTE: TC Feline sells 3 different supplement mixes.
- Original without liver – does not include liver, recipe requires fresh liver
- Plus chicken liver – already includes liver, do not add liver
- Plus beef liver – already includes liver, do not add liver
TC Feline homemade cat food recipe:
- 1/4 cup premix mixed with 1/2-1 cup water
- 2 raw egg yolks (optional)
- 2 lbs raw boneless meat
- 3.5 oz raw liver (only add fresh liver if you’re using the original premix without liver)
You do not need to add a fish oil source because krill is included in the TC Feline mixes. TC Feline mixes also include a bone source.
Know Better for Cats homemade premix
You can use Know Better for Cats premix for raw or cooked homemade cat food.
Know Better for Cats homemade recipe:
- 2 lbs. boneless meat
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 cup Know Better for Cats premix
You do not need to add anything else!
You can buy everything that you need on Raw Feeding Miami. Get 10% off your first purchase when you use that link. Create an account and earn discount points.
Or buy Know Better for Cats premix on Amazon.
5 homemade cat food recipes created by vets:
- Raw ground homemade cat food, Feline Nutrition Foundation
- Cooked chicken, cooked or raw beef, raw bone-in chicken, Dr. Karen Becker
- Raw and cooked homemade cat food, Dr. Lisa Pierson
All 5 recipes above require you to buy vitamins and minerals separately.
Meal prep supplies for homemade cat food on Amazon:
- Meat grinder. Note: The product description says it can handle soft bones. Most meat grinders cannot handle bone so always check the product details.
- Digital scale
- Nitrile gloves
- Sharp meat knives
- Meat shears
- Cutting boards
- Glass Tupperware
- Glass jars
- Food-grade silicone ice cube trays
Additional raw homemade cat food tips
- Introduce new foods very slowly and gradually
- Avoid pre-ground, thawed meat in grocery store display cases
- Frozen, ground meat chubs with opaque wrapping are better
- Only buy ingredients from trusted sources
- Thaw frozen food in the refrigerator at least 24 hours before feeding
- Never thaw frozen food in the microwave or at room temp
- Do not discard the liquid from thawed meat – it contains water-soluble nutrients that your cat needs
- Use gloves
- Clean all surfaces and utensils before and after making and serving raw cat food
- Ditch plastic plates and use stainless steel or ceramic
- Never leave raw food out for longer than 20 minutes
- Discard food that has an off smell
- Keep a diary of your cat’s litter box habits and behavior
- Introduce a variety of proteins, one at a time
How I balance Jericho’s diet and meal prep hacks:
Final thoughts on benefits of homemade cat food
Homemade cat food is better because you control the ingredients and how it’s made. Plus it’s healthier for your cat.
Benefits include better digestion, cleaner teeth, healthier weight, and more mental stimulation to keep your cat happy and healthy.
It may seem like it’s expensive at first.
But remember, you have 2 options…
- Spend more money now on better quality cat food.
- Spend more money later on trying to fix health-related issues.
Use a complete and balanced homemade cat food recipe, and introduce new food to your cat gradually.
Need help switching from dry/wet food to raw? My Switch to Raw Blueprint video course provides a clear, step-by-step plan specifically for picky cats.
Already feeding 100% raw food and ready to feed homemade? Join my Homemade Made Simple membership for complete recipes, live coaching, and a private community.