Since we started sharing our journey into raw feeding, many readers have contacted us saying they have been considering feeding raw but don’t know where to start OR they want to give it a go but need help with a raw recipe.
We currently feed a ground raw recipe because our cats have just transitioned from commercial raw food which is a similar texture and it’s easier to include the organ meat in their meals when it’s mixed together. Over time, I plan to introduce chunks of meat to give their teeth and jaws a better workout.
There are many different raw feeding recipes available on the internet, but we follow one from the Raw Feeding for IBD Cats Facebook group. You can find the original recipe on their Facebook page under files: ‘Balanced Raw Recipe with Nutritional Analysis’.
Please note: this raw recipe is balanced and complete for adult cats. It is not intended for growing kittens who need additional calcium and phosphorus.
Ground Raw Recipe
We purchased a basic mincer (meat grinder) to mince the protein and muscle/organ meat. Note: This recipe does not use bone for the calcium source so a powerful (and expensive) meat grinder is not required. You could also use a food processor to turn the boneless meat into mince. We advise against purchasing pre-ground mince from your butcher or supermarket as there is a higher risk of bacteria in pre-packaged mince.
737g (1 pound, 10 oz) boneless protein e.g. chicken, turkey, kangaroo, beef etc.
170g (6 oz) heart
45g (1.6 oz) liver
45g (1.6 oz) kidney
1 tsp (6.1g) finely ground eggshell powder
7 capsules of 500mg salmon oil
1/2 tsp vitamin supplement
1 large egg yolk
Based on a 55g (2 oz) portion size, this recipe makes 18 individual meals. This provides an adult cat with a raw food diet for nine days based on feeding two meals per day.
This is the process we follow when making the raw recipe.
It is easier to get everything ready and have what you need within arms reach before you start. We use a plastic chopping board with an absorbent kitchen cloth underneath which soaks up any meat and organ juices and minimises mess. TIP: A red coloured chopping board is better than a white one if you’re a little squeamish.
Cut the boneless meat and organs (heart, liver and kidney) into pieces that will fit through the feeder on the meat grinder. Mince everything and place in a large stainless steel mixing bowl. TIP: Slicing organs is our least favourite part of the process, it’s also the messiest – so we deal with them first. We also use a carving fork and tongs to minimise the ‘icky’ factor of handling raw meat and organs.
Using a pin, pierce the salmon capsules and squeeze the oil onto the meat and organs, and add the egg yolk. TIP: Alternatively you can melt the salmon oil capsules in hot (not boiling) water and the water/melted salmon oil can be added to the food.
Place the powders (ground eggshell, vitamin supplement) together in a glass jar and shake to combine, then add to the meat and organs. If required, add a small amount of water to ensure the supplements are mixed evenly throughout the raw food.
Mix everything together thoroughly using a fork or spatula. Once the raw recipe is well combined, spoon meal-sized portions into zip-lock freezer bags (expel as much air as possible when sealing) and freeze until required. TIP: We use a permanent marker to label all the zip-lock bags so we can easily identify the raw protein source in the freezer e.g. a capital K on the outside of the zip lock bag = Kangaroo, T = Turkey, B = Beef etc.
If you are feeding multiple cats or preparing raw food in bulk you may prefer to use plastic freezer food containers or Ball Mason freezer glass jars instead of zip-lock bags.
Place a meal sized portion in the fridge for 12 hours to defrost, or alternatively (if you forget to take it out of the freezer) you can defrost quickly by submerging the zip lock bag in warm water for 10-15 minutes to bring it to ‘mouse body’ temperature. Never use the microwave to defrost raw food as it can destroy essential nutrients.
The balanced raw recipe includes ground eggshell powder and a vitamin supplement mix:
Ground Eggshell Powder
Finely ground eggshell powder works well as a calcium substitute, and it’s easy to prepare. Save your eggshells, wash them throughly to remove the egg residue and leave them to dry. Once they’re dry, place on a baking tray and bake them in the oven (150 C / 300 F for 10-15 minutes) until they are brittle. We buy organic eggs from the supermarket, which come date stamped, so we break off the bits of eggshell that have ink on them just to be on the safe side. The next step is to place the eggshells in a clean coffee grinder (we used a Nutri Bullet which worked well too), and pulse them until they resemble a finely ground powder. Wait 10 minutes for the dust to settle before opening the grinder, then transfer the eggshell powder to a glass jar and store in the pantry.
Vitamin Supplement Mix
- 1,000mg Taurine – 30 capsules
- 150mcg Standardised Kelp – 20 tablets
- 10mg Chelated Manganese – 10 capsules
- 400iu Dry Vitamin E – 5 capsules
- 50mg B Complex – 2 capsules
Add all supplements (including gel caps) to a clean coffee grinder and pulse until finely ground. Again, wait for the dust to settle before opening the grinder, then transfer to an airtight glass jar.
Where to Buy Supplements
Australian law doesn’t require full disclosure of ingredients in nutritional supplements, which makes us cautious particularly with a sensitive IBD cat. We now purchase our supplements directly from iHerb in the United States who offer fast and direct shipping to Australia and elsewhere in the world. We personally recommend their products and service.
Click here to view the supplements and products we use in the raw recipe and save 5% on your order. Use code “GSP403” at checkout.
Note: One capsule of the Natural Factors Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil is 1000mg.
Are you ready to make the balanced raw recipe for your cat? If you do, we’d love to hear your feedback.