Pet Corner: Natural, Herbally Enhanced Cat Food

Skip packaged food with this herbally enhanced plan for make-it-yourslef cat meals.

| February/March 2011



DIY: How To Make Cat Food 

I once knew a cat who ate nothing but ground raw meat. When I was a child, my neighborhood was filled with cats. Most of the cats existed on canned cat food. But not Bootsie Anderson.

What possessed his “mom,” Millie, to feed Bootsie freshly ground raw meat, and raw meat alone, I can only imagine. I only know that Bootsie had the most spectacular glossy black coat I’ve ever seen, and he lived to a ripe old age without many of the ailments that felled the rest of our cats. Although Bootsie’s diet was highly unusual for that time, Millie was right on target. Today, a growing number of experts insist that a diet of raw or lightly cooked meat, close to what a cat might encounter in nature, is healthiest.

My favorite cat expert is Anitra Frazier, author of The Natural Cat, a classic book on cat care first published in 1983. Today, she provides holistic nursing for geriatric cats and consults with clients worldwide over the telephone. (She frequently quotes her friend, Richard Pitcairn, D.V.M., Ph.D., one of the best-respected holistic vets in the country, with whom she has worked closely for many years.) She believes a balanced kitty diet can be made by combining 4 parts raw or lightly cooked meat to 1 part veggies, but she emphasizes that there are certain vital nutrients that must also be added in supplement form to your homemade cat food. 



Bare Bones of Kitty Nutrition

1) Variety is important when making food for your cat. Rotating protein and carbohydrate sources will help cover all the bases from a nutritional standpoint.

2) Good sources of protein: human-grade raw ground round, chuck or sirloin; ground chicken or turkey (dark meat is best because of its higher fat content—cats have a higher requirement for fat than we humans do); and occasionally organ meats, all from animals raised without antibiotics or hormones. If you have misgivings about feeding your cat raw meat, then by all means, cook it lightly.



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