If you’re a cat owner, you know how expensive it is to feed your pet. Unfortunately, trying to find the right food for your furry friend can also be very confusing since there are so many different options on the market today. Here the question is;
is it cheaper to make your own cat food?
In addition, making homemade cat food might seem like a daunting task because it requires some cooking and preparation.
However, homemade food not only saves money over time, but it’s also better for your cat than store-bought kibble or wet food. This is because you can balance and provide nutrients that your furkid needs in actuality.
Any guide that will help owners prepare their pet food should include this information:
- What ingredients work best and which to avoid
- Quantity of each ingredient
- Tools needed
- Step-by-step directions
That anyone can follow along with at home.
- Is Homemade Cat Food Better Than Commercial Diets?
- Cooked vs. Raw Homemade Cat Food Which is Better?
- Is it cheaper to make your own cat food?
- The Hassle in Making Homemade Cat food
- What Cats Need to Eat
- Are nutritional supplements and vitamins necessary for homemade cat food?
- Should you use raw or cooked meat in homemade cat food?
- Homemade Cat Food Needs B12 Supplement and Fiber
- Use Vet-Approved Recipes from the Veterinarian
- Follow the Recipes Exactly and Monitor Your Cat's Weight
- Make Sure You Have the Time to Commit to Making Cat Food
Our experts recently discuss what causes hyperthyroidism in cats and also list the best cat foods for hyperthyroidism that can keep your cat active and provide a healthy lifestyle.
Is Homemade Cat Food Better Than Commercial Diets?
No doubt homemade cat food offers some benefits, like as a cook, you have complete control over the ingredients, and obviously, you can make it free from flavors and artificial colors.
Whether including grain or keeping it grain-free also resides with you, it can be a blessing for cats with dietary sensitivities, food allergies, or intolerance.
Yes, it is better than commercial diets, but only if you cook vet-approved recipes. The recipes circulating on the internet are not balanced so avoid them.
Cooked vs. Raw Homemade Cat Food Which is Better?
Think about the ingredients of raw food; the first one is a source of protein that can be chicken, fish, or meat. The contamination rate of raw animal parts does not seem fit for humans, but the cat may fight off many foodborne diseases, but young, old, and sick cats cannot.
But on the other side, if you use this option, there is a chance that healthy cats spread infections to people from Salmonella and Campylobacter bacteria.
Raw bones are not advised at all; it may result in broken teeth.
Is it cheaper to make your own cat food?
It greatly depends on the choice of your ingredients, but yes, it can certainly be cheaper if you make it at home. Like you can buy inexpensive ingredients to keep your cost at a minimum.
How expensive it can be, depends on you. I know many people who save money while going the homemade route. You also can save the branding and advertising cost.
The Hassle in Making Homemade Cat food
Cooking food for your furkid at home may add a lot of work to your routine life. Moreover, you always have to cook it fresh and made up in advance that is time-consuming and requires a schedule to follow.
After some days, you may feel tired, or you may regret your decision.
Buying a branding food is simple and doesn’t involve any time-consuming efforts, and comes in ready-made form so you can serve it any time.
The hassle of replacing the food you made yourself may be discouraging at times.
What Cats Need to Eat
If you choose to make the food for your cat at home, you can better take care of your cat’s dietary needs, and it’s a fact it can improve the overall health of your cat.
But be warned – its time consuming, exacting business. In addition, you need to properly balance it with minerals, vitamins, and nutrients, which are very important for felines.
As an obligate carnivore, a cat needs:
- Protein from fish or meat
- Amino acids such as arginine and taurine (from fish or meat)
- Fatty acids
Always prefer to include a small number of carbohydrates; it will be beneficial for your cat and also help to lower the cost.
Are nutritional supplements and vitamins necessary for homemade cat food?
The simple answer is yes, but there are some exceptions.
If you plan to use a supplement, always check with your vet or a qualified animal nutritionist as they need it for a particular reason, and it is not merely to make the food taste better.
Should you use raw or cooked meat in homemade cat food?
It is up to you if you use raw or cooked meat for your cat.
Many people claim that all the nutrients in the meat are destroyed when it is heated, so they prefer to cook it first. On the other hand, there are some health benefits of cooking meat before cats eat, but it’s really about preference and if you are comfortable, go for it.
Homemade Cat Food Needs B12 Supplement and Fiber
B12 is a water-soluble vitamin essential, which means your cat needs it for survival but cannot make it on its own.
It must get this from either the small amount in cat food or giving the homemade diet; you must include a supplement, which is easy to find.
It’s because the cat has lost the ability to absorb it from food due to their diet being primarily carnivore.
Fiber is essential for your cat’s digestive system and will help add bulk to their stool. If you are using commercial food, then it may be present in the meat.
However, if you are using homemade, add some vegetables or fruits containing fiber to the meal.
Use Vet-Approved Recipes from the Veterinarian
It is always a good idea to use vet-approved recipes from your veterinarian. However, it will be more beneficial if you know nutritional information about cat food. This will help keep your cat healthy, and you can live a long life with your pet.
Follow the Recipes Exactly and Monitor Your Cat’s Weight
It is important to note that cats and people have different dietary needs. So though the recipe may be good for you, it might not suit your cat because maybe it contains something that can cause an allergic reaction or make them obese.
When following a recipe, always follow it to the letter and monitor their weight, activity, and behavior changes after you start the new diet.
Is your cat healthy and thriving on a homemade diet? If so, continue feeding them what they like and if there is a problem, then look into switching to something that will benefit their health.
Make Sure You Have the Time to Commit to Making Cat Food
Making your cat food is time-consuming, even if you are cooking for one—plan to do it at least once every two weeks.
It will take quite a bit of time to shop, chop up veggies, and cut up portions of meat, let alone the actual cooking itself.
If your work schedule does not allow you to cook for your cat, then it is probably not the best option. However, if you have the time and are willing to put in the work, then go ahead, but do so responsibly.
To educate new furkid parents we recently added a few new resources; Why do dogs eat cat food? That discusses what dogs like in cat food and why they prefer to grab it as well as how you can stop them.
Lastly, we make a list of 30 human food that cats can eat besides cat food so we can choose to feed when out of cat food.
Done right – it is not cheaper to make cook food for you at home, mainly when you include the cost of your time.
Moreover, finding the right recipe that your cat likes can be challenging; most of the recipes available online are not adequate sources of nutrition for the cats.
Just throwing some meat and carb together with the over-the-counter vitamin supplement does not make good food at all.
Cats require a diet with the appropriate supplements and, if you remain to fail to get the right balance, then it may adversely affect your four paw family member.
I suggest consulting with your vet and getting advice about homemade food.