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Raw Food Recipes for Cats?

BashaC

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Honestly, please DO NOT use the Only Natural Pet supplement. I argued against making it at all. It doesn't have enough of anything, because it is designed to go with a complete commercial diet. Just because I formulated it doesn't mean I like it, lol! (I did make a few good ones, my favorite is Complete Gut Health, it has prebiotics, probiotics AND digestive enzymes all at once.)
Good to know, thank you!
I'm left trying to figure out a reasonable facsimile!
It sounds like we're all trying to figure it out :)
But you still have to add almost as much calcium, as if there is no calcium at all in the food or supplement. As far as I have been able to figure out (and I have spent many sleepless nights fretting about it!), for healthy cats on a meaty diet, you really can't over-do calcium because of all the phosphorus in the meat.
It's good to know you can't over-do calcium.

  1. @Dr. Jean Hofve - When you say there is no calcium at all in the food, does this apply to raw food with bones included in the grind?
  2. Is there a form of calcium you recommend (calcium lactate, calcium gluconate, citrate, carbonate, etc.)?
Standard Process Catalyn and Calcifood
Is this what you used for a multivitamin and calcium supplement
For a little cheaper option for many cats, you could make Dr. Pitcairn's Healthy Powder in big batches.

Thank you for naming this option. This is what I used the first years of making raw food. Instead of the kelp, I used Solid Gold Sea Meal (using the dosage on the Sea Meal bottle). With one of the cats having a diagnosis of hyperthyroidism, is the kelp/SeaMeal okay to use? This is the main reason I'm looking to understand and find a balanced and appropriate recipe. All five cats eat out of each other's bowls so the recipe needs to work for all of them. I don't want to throw anyone's body out of whack (at least do my best not to).

If you want to feed one dose to one cat per day, it depends on how much food that cat will eat -- 4 oz, 6 oz, 3 tons (my cat Spencer would have preferred this option!).
Sounds like Spencer liked his food! We feed them twice a day and each cat gets between 3-4 ounces of raw food per meal (plus a couple of tablespoons of homemade bone broth in the food dish).
For BalanceIT, since they don't have raw meat or even cooked meat with bones as an option for a protein in their recipe creator, I don't feel confident about the dosing of their supplement (not sure if they can have too much of a vitamin/mineral).
  1. With your recipe, what protein option(s) do I choose for a raw food recipe? For example, they have cooked chicken (no option for bone-in) in several forms - stewed, roasted, fried, etc.

@Dr. Jean Hofve - could you clarify how to figure out dosage on the BalanceIT recipe maker, since they don't have a raw food with bones option? Would it be the same as say a baked chicken without bones?

Thank you! And thank you to @Dr. Jeff and @Dr. Christina for any other raw food recipes for cats!
 

Dr. Jean Hofve

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LOL, yes we *are* all trying to figure it out! I learn new things every day!

And yes Spencer loved his food, but even more than that, he loved MY food, especially if it involved cheese!

It is hard to over-do calcium in a healthy cat, but for a cat with kidney disease or a few other uncommon conditions, then you have to be careful.

On the BalanceIt, yes, just use for raw the same as you would for the same chicken parts (e.g., thighs, breast), cooked any which way. Cooking actually doesn't change nutrients hardly at all, though it does destroy some B vitamins and enzymes. The method of cooking is irrelevant since you're using raw. Because you are using whole foods, I would not be at all concerned about giving too much BalanceIt (other than the effects on your wallet!). It would be pretty hard to dose anything to a dangerous excess using their products.

I'm still not quite clear about what exactly you are feeding, but if it is something like 1 chicken neck in a pound of food, then that calcium would not make a significant contribution. If it was all chicken necks, then we'd have to figure that out. It depends on how much bone in proportion to how much meat. I'm investigating this further, and it's already grown into a spreadsheet, so be on the look out! :eek:

Yes, I used Catalyn and Calcifood for the main supplements, plus the other things I mentioned.

No I would not use any product containing any seaweed for a hyperthyroid cat.

Did I catch everything this time?
 

BashaC

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@Dr. Jean Hofve Thank you! A few more questions:

On the BalanceIt, yes, just use for raw the same as you would for the same chicken parts (e.g., thighs, breast), cooked any which way. Cooking actually doesn't change nutrients hardly at all, though it does destroy some B vitamins and enzymes. The method of cooking is irrelevant since you're using raw. Because you are using whole foods, I would not be at all concerned about giving too much BalanceIt (other than the effects on your wallet!). It would be pretty hard to dose anything to a dangerous excess using their products.
Great, thank you! So the iodine levels with the BalanceIT supplement would be fine for the hyperthyroid diagnosis and I wouldn't be overdoing it with the calcium (with the diagnosis) since I grind up whole chickens, including all of the bones?

I'm still not quite clear about what exactly you are feeding, but if it is something like 1 chicken neck in a pound of food, then that calcium would not make a significant contribution. If it was all chicken necks, then we'd have to figure that out. It depends on how much bone in proportion to how much meat.

I grind up whole chickens, all bones are included in the grind. Every so often, I'll include a whole duck in the grind, including all the bones. With all of the bones of the whole chicken included in the grind, is that sufficient calcium?
I'm investigating this further, and it's already grown into a spreadsheet, so be on the look out!
I'm looking forward to reading your research!
No I would not use any product containing any seaweed for a hyperthyroid cat.
So would you suggest not using Dr. Pitcairn's Healthy Powder since it contains kelp?

This is the recipe I've been using the past year or so, except I use whole chickens and grind up all the entire bird, including all of the bones. (I was previously using Dr. Pitcairn's Healthy Powder with whole raw chicken ground up, including bones) StackPath. This feline-nutrition recipe doesn't have seaweed, but it does call for iodized salt and egg yolks. I'm wondering about the iodine levels of this recipe I'm currently using and whether it's too much. Any thoughts about this particular recipe in general, and the recipe for a hyperthyroid diagnosis?

Many thanks for continuing this conversation and education!
 
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RuthR

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Basha, what do you use to grind up whole chickens with the bones? Would the meat grinder that attaches to a Kitchen Aid work? If I have a way to grind up the meat myself, I can purchase whole chickens from a Bell and Evans store nearby.
 

BashaC

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Basha, what do you use to grind up whole chickens with the bones? Would the meat grinder that attaches to a Kitchen Aid work? If I have a way to grind up the meat myself, I can purchase whole chickens from a Bell and Evans store nearby.
I use a Tasin ts-108 meat grinder. It's a grinder that was recommended to me by someone else that makes their own cat food with bone-in.. It looks like it's been discontinued (Tasin TS-108 Electric Meat Grinder, #12, Stainless Steel, Raw Pet Food Making) but maybe you could find one on eBay, if you're interested. It's been a great investment. I've only used it with chicken and duck, but rabbit bones are likely soft enough to go through it too. I don't know about the Kitchen Aid, but I suspect it's only made for boneless meat.
 

RuthR

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Thanks, Basha! I can't find that particular grinder, but I've found some similar ones. How much time and work is it to grind up your own chicken meat? Do you find it is worth it, as opposed to buying chicken meat that is already ground up?
 

BashaC

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I have five cats and find it's easier to make large batches (to cut down on cleanup time). I typically make make food every two weeks (a total of 23-30 lbs of chicken). It takes me about 2 hours from setup to cleanup, but longer when I was first figuring it out. I buy whole chickens and usually have the butcher cut them up for me (8 pieces + the back), but sometimes butcher them myself, which adds a little time. With so many cats, it's definitely worth it to grind it myself. I put the finished food in pint size canning jars and freeze them. If you end up going with grinding your own chicken/meat, I'm happy to share more specific things I've found helpful in the grinding/setup/cleanup process. The two hours of work is work, but I listen to music or podcasts and infuse love into the food and gratitude to the chickens feeding my loved ones.
 

RuthR

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I really appreciate everything you've shared so far. If you have time, I'll definitely take any advice and helpful hints you have. I don't think the chickens will be cut into pieces when I purchase them, but Bell & Evans might do that for me if I ask. I don't have any experience cutting up chickens myself. After the meat has gone through the grinder, can you even tell there are bones in it?

Teddy has periodontitis, so I would be able to give him the raw chicken necks to chew on and help clean his teeth.
 

BashaC

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I didn't have any experience cutting up chickens either, I just figured it out by doing.

After the meat has gone through the grinder, there are very small pieces of bone in the mix. They're small enough that it would be hard to pick them out of the mix but you can feel them if you put some of the ground mixture between your fingers. The size of the bones wouldn't take the place of raw chicken necks. The bones in the ground food are too small to really chew.
 

LaurenHW

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This is a great thread…thanks everyone!
If you need an additional recipe or 2…DrJudyMorgan.com has recipes under her Courses and Resources. The handoust are free even tthough the site makes you put them in a cart like your making a purchase, but the total is $0! She has 2 Cat Recipes. Good luck!
I highly endorse and recommend Nordic Naturals Fish Oil!! Top quality standards in the insdustry! My Husband is the former head of research!
Romeo my Cat loves Standard Process Vitamins and Minerals! He eats it out of my hand like a treat and I ask, “would you like your Vitamin”?!!
 

BashaC

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@LaurenHW Thank you for the reference and supplement endorsements. Where I live, I have two Nordic Natural fish oil options for pets: Cod Liver Oil and Omega-3 (it's sardines and another small fish). Since your husband worked in research, does he (or you, in your experience) recommend one over the other? One of my cats has a hyperthyroid diagnosis so I'm interested in iodine levels and thyroid support.
 

BashaC

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Hi @Dr. Jean Hofve - I'm just following up on some follow up questions I left last Monday (see above). I'm really wanting to figure out a recipe that is good for Charlie and the rest of my crew at the same time. I don't want to be a bother asking all these questions, I just want to learn and understand as much as I can :) I'm also not sure about the appropriate amount of time for a response, so please let me know if it just takes more than a week and I'll stop following up and wait a bit longer. Again, many thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience!

Does anyone, including the other Doctors here, have thoughts about this recipe for cats, including one with a hyperthyroid diagnosis? StackPath It's the recipe I've been using the past couple of years, except I grind whole chickens with all the bones and no psyllium husk powder.
 

LaurenHW

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@LaurenHW Thank you for the reference and supplement endorsements. Where I live, I have two Nordic Natural fish oil options for pets: Cod Liver Oil and Omega-3 (it's sardines and another small fish). Since your husband worked in research, does he (or you, in your experience) recommend one over the other? One of my cats has a hyperthyroid diagnosis so I'm interested in iodine levels and thyroid support.
@BashaC We like the Omega 3 as its good for the Heart as well as skin, coat, joints and immune system! You can also rotate each bottle. There is also one for just Cats and one for Med-Large Dogs. Go to All Products | Vitamins, Minerals & Supplements
and click on Pets to learn more!
The Lemon Omega 3 is awesome for Humans!
Let us know how you do and the changes you notice!
 

BashaC

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We like the Omega 3 as its good for the Heart as well as skin, coat, joints and immune system! You can also rotate each bottle. There is also one for just Cats and one for Med-Large Dogs
Thanks! I've been giving them the Omega-3 for some time now but I can start rotating it with the Cod Liver Oil. I often buy the bottle for large dogs, as it's more cost effective and in reading the ingredients, looks like the same as the bottle for the small dogs and cats, it's just the dosage that's different. Is this understanding correct, or is the formula in the large dog bottle different from the small dog and cat bottle? Many thanks for sharing your knowledge!
 

LaurenHW

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Thanks! I've been giving them the Omega-3 for some time now but I can start rotating it with the Cod Liver Oil. I often buy the bottle for large dogs, as it's more cost effective and in reading the ingredients, looks like the same as the bottle for the small dogs and cats, it's just the dosage that's different. Is this understanding correct, or is the formula in the large dog bottle different from the small dog and cat bottle? Many thanks for sharing your knowledge!
I believe you are correct Basha. Rotating each time you buy is a good idea that way they get all the benefits. The Cat Omega 3 says its also good for the Heart which not allmof the product’s description of benefits mention. You can always call Nordic Naturals and talk with someone on the Pet Team!
 

Dr. Jean Hofve

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Marine (not plant) Omega-3s are "da bomb"! They are good for every organ because they are incorporated into every cell membrane. Personally I think it's the most important supplement to give, because it's absent (or too little, or rancid) in most pet foods. Even homemade raw--unless you're using grass-fed/pastured, the Omega-3s all get converted to inflammatory Omega-6 in the feedlot/finishing phase prior to slaughter. I used to work for Nordic Naturals and their products are excellent. The only difference between products is size of dose, the contents are the same.
 

LaurenHW

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@Dr. Jean Hofve Absolutely agree! There is so much research on Fish Oil and it helps almost everything….its mind boggling and amazing!

Now wonder our Grand Parents and Great Grand Parents gave it to their Kids daily in the “olden days”!!

I feed Grass-Fed Raw and still give it and I see a difference in Romeo when I give it!

Be sure to keep your Omegas/Fish Oil in the Refrigerator!

Nordic.com has lots of products and info! They are the number 1 Fish oil Co. & the quality is impeccable with 3rd Party Testing and extensive Research Studies!

My Husband helped develop a Fish Oil Gummy with Probiotics for Kids!!! Kids love it!

Their Fish Oils/Omegas are in Blue Glass Bottles!
 

Dr. Jean Hofve

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Aha! I keep looking back over this thread to check if I've missed something, and I found the little dickens! So, when you are grinding up birds raised for meat, the meat-to-bone ratio is skewed toward much more meat and fat compared to wild prey. Poultry today are MUCH bigger than they used to be. But of course their bones are bigger too. The figures I'm seeing estimate 25-30% bone in an eviscerated chicken carcass. Because this involves numbers, I'm still slogging around in it. Will keep trying!
 

BashaC

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I believe you are correct Basha. Rotating each time you buy is a good idea that way they get all the benefits. The Cat Omega 3 says its also good for the Heart which not allmof the product’s description of benefits mention. You can always call Nordic Naturals and talk with someone on the Pet Team!
Thanks so much! I never thought about rotating the fish oils but can see the benefit of diversifying.
 

BashaC

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Aha! I keep looking back over this thread to check if I've missed something, and I found the little dickens! So, when you are grinding up birds raised for meat, the meat-to-bone ratio is skewed toward much more meat and fat compared to wild prey. Poultry today are MUCH bigger than they used to be. But of course their bones are bigger too. The figures I'm seeing estimate 25-30% bone in an eviscerated chicken carcass. Because this involves numbers, I'm still slogging around in it. Will keep trying!
It's getting to be along thread :)

@Dr. Jean Hofve So do you think it's necessary to add in extra calcium when grinding up entire birds?

Also, what are your thoughts about this recipe in general and for a hyperthyroid diagnosis? StackPath. It's what I've been using the past couple of years, except I use whole chickens and grind up all the entire bird, including all of the bones. This recipe doesn't have seaweed, but it does call for iodized salt and egg yolks. I'm wondering about the iodine levels of this recipe I'm currently using and whether it's too much.
 

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