The cost of homemade cat food ranges between $0.90-1.52 per day depending on the recipe. I compared the cost of the best in each category of commercial cat food. And you could save thousands per year making cat food at home.
It will take more time to make your cat’s food at home. But the long-term savings and benefits are worth it!
I’ve been raw feeding Jericho since 2018.
I used to spend around $3 per day on commercial complete raw food.
And now I spend around $1.52 per day on Jericho’s homemade raw meaty bones and whole prey diet.
Here’s what we’ll cover on homemade cat food:
- Is making homemade cat food cheaper?
- Is it worth it to make your own cat food?
- How much should I budget for cat food?
- Which homemade food is best for cats?
Is making homemade cat food cheaper?
Yes! Making homemade cat food is cheaper. You have complete control over the ingredients and therefore more control over the cost.
Here are some tips to save more:
- Manager specials at grocery stores
- Talk to your local farm or butcher about specialty cuts
- Rewards points from online retailers
- Raw food co-ops to save on shipping costs
I was able to get a big bag of turkey giblets (heart, gizzards, and liver) for just $6 from a local farm.
The heart and gizzards were enough for 1 month. And the liver lasted about 3 months.
Plus, it’s always cheaper to make food yourself versus paying someone else to do it for you.
Cost of homemade cat food compared to commercial food
|Cost per day
This is based on feeding 200 calories per day to one cat.
I chose the best of the best within each category to do a fair comparison.
I know you want the best of the best for your cat. Or you wouldn’t be here reading this!
I used the cost of Jericho’s homemade raw meaty bones diet for this comparison. But you could probably spend less than this.
Jericho’s diet costs a bit more because I feed whole prey and lots of variety.
This is better for us because I only use 2 supplements. Both are whole foods – nothing synthetic!
Let’s look at those savings per year…
|Cost per year
So you could save thousands if you’re going from wet or freeze-dried raw!
Even going from ground raw to homemade is a nice chunk of savings.
What could you do with those savings?
Is it worth it to make your own cat food?
It is worth it to make your own cat food because you have complete control over the ingredients and how it’s made. Therefore you have more control over the quality and the cost.
Benefits of homemade raw meaty bones
The benefits of raw meaty bones are excellent. You can’t get the teeth cleaning, mental stimulation, and enrichment benefits anywhere else!
The biggest benefit for me is complete control over Jericho’s diet.
The first raw cat food I fed Jericho was RadCat. Unfortunately, the FDA mishandled a sample, and it tested positive for bacteria. The FDA forced a recall, and RadCat went out of business.
So I had to frantically find a new complete raw food. And this was back in 2018 when there weren’t as many options.
The next raw company I found had way too many synthetic supplements. But I didn’t have any other options. That’s what pushed me to go to homemade. And now that company doesn’t even make cat food anymore!
You may also have to work around out-of-stock proteins, formula changes, or the company could get bought out.
This happens all the time, especially with dry and wet foods.
Plus the recalls for dry and wet foods are much more severe. Like deadly aflatoxin mold, plastic choking hazards, pentobarbital (euthanasia drug), and the list goes on.
There are potential risks with all types of cat food. But you have way more control when you feed homemade raw meaty bones.
Save money on raw cat food
Raw cat food in general (but especially homemade) will help you save more money in the long run.
Cats cannot survive and thrive on dry food only. You may save money in the beginning because the food is cheaper.
But think about the long-term health issues that could happen.
For example, two of my mother’s cats developed a urinary blockage when they were eating dry food only.
A urinary blockage is a life-threatening emergency.
Cats have to stay at the emergency for several days to resolve this issue. My mom paid about $8k on each emergency trip.
I can’t tell you what to spend your money on.
But I look at it like this…
- Save money now on cheap low-quality food. Spend more money, time, stress, energy, and potential heartbreak in the long run because your cat is unhealthy.
- Spend your hard-earned money on actual food. Save money in the long run because your cat is at a healthier weight, has better teeth, and more mental stimulation from eating a species-appropriate diet.
I’ve learned the hard way over and over many times. Moving forward, I will only feed homemade raw meaty bones and whole prey.
How much should I budget for cat food?
Budgeting for homemade cat food is completely dependent on your situation. There are too many variables to put an exact number on it.
But a good range would be $1-2 per day per cat.
It depends on how many cats you have, the cat’s weight, and where you buy ingredients.
Going back to Jericho’s diet…
I spend a little more to feed whole prey and lots of variety. But that’s because I’d rather spend my money on whole foods and not synthetic supplements.
Additionally, I eat the same secreting organs and supplements. So I look at it as saving money since we share.
Which homemade food is best for cats?
The best homemade food is complete for your cat’s life stage.
A proper diet for cats should include lots of protein variety and various cuts of meat.
Raw meaty bones are a must if you’re looking for the absolute best. Whole prey is a great addition too!
I prefer to use whole foods instead of synthetic supplements. But sometimes additional supplements are necessary when you don’t have access to variety.
It’s important to get a recipe from a nutritionist or formulate your own using formulation software.
My Switch to Raw Blueprint video course will help you switch from dry/wet to 100% raw. This is an important first step before feeding homemade.
If you’re already feeding 100% raw, check out my membership Homemade Made Simple to get new raw meaty bone recipes, group coaching calls, meal prep videos, and more bonuses every month.
Final thoughts on the cost of homemade cat food
The cost of homemade cat food is way less than commercial cat food. You could save hundreds to thousands depending on what you’re currently feeding.
Plus, think about the long-term savings of your cat’s nice clean teeth from chewing on bones.
Making cat food at home is absolutely worth it to me.
My favorite benefits are having complete control over Jericho’s diet and the natural teeth cleaning he gets from chewing raw meaty bones.
I spend around $1.52 per day on Jericho’s diet. But you could spend more or less depending on what you decide to feed your cat.
Make sure you either get a recipe from a nutritionist or use formulation software to build your own.
Need help with your cat’s homemade raw diet? Join my Homemade Made Simple membership to get monthly recipes, live Q&A, meal prep videos, and more!