Do you want to make your own raw cat food? This is the homemade raw cat food recipe that we used when we first switched our cats to a raw food diet, and continue to use and recommend today. We include instructions for making eggshell and vitamin supplement powder, and where to buy the vitamins you need to get started.
This recipe is nutritionally balanced for adult cats. If you are raw feeding kittens please follow the instructions to adjust the recipe.
Equipment needed to make raw cat food
This recipe does not use whole bone for the calcium source. If you plan to only make this raw cat food recipe, a less powerful grinder or food processor will be adequate to mince the protein and muscle/organ meats.
We advise against purchasing pre-ground mince or pet food mince from your butcher or supermarket. There is a higher risk of bacteria in pre-packaged mince.
In addition to the meat grinder, we also use the following items when making this raw recipe:
- a large chopping board
- stainless steel mixing bowls
- small kitchen scales
- sharp knife for cutting meat and organs
- fork and tongs for handling the raw meat
- spatula for scraping the bowl.
Raw recipe ingredients
You will need the following ingredients for this recipe:
- 737g (1 pound, 10 oz) boneless protein e.g. chicken, turkey, kangaroo, beef etc.
- 85g (3 oz) heart
- 45g (1.6 oz) liver
- 45g (1.6 oz) kidney
- 1 tsp (6.1g) finely ground eggshell powder OR 26 capsules of Calcium Hydroxyapatite (freeze-dried bone)
- 7 capsules of 500mg salmon oil*
- 1/2 tsp vitamin supplement mix
- 1 large egg yolk
NOTE: When using eggshell as a bone substitute, this homemade cat food recipe is balanced and complete for adult cats only. Growing kittens need additional calcium and phosphorus. For kittens, you must replace the eggshell with calcium hydroxyapatite (freeze dried bone).
* One capsule of the Natural Factors Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil is 1000mg. Use 3-4 capsules per batch of raw food.
How to make ground eggshell powder (adult cats)
Finely ground eggshell powder works well as a calcium substitute for adult cats, and is easy to prepare.
Save your eggshells. Wash them throughly to remove the egg white but leave the membrane inside which has nutritional benefits.
Once the eggshells are dry, place them 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. These are usually date stamped, so we break off the bits of eggshell that have ink on them to be on the safe side.
Next, place the eggshells in a clean coffee grinder (we used a Nutri Bullet which worked well too), and pulse 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.
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Vitamin mix for raw cat food recipe
You must add 1/2 a teaspoon of the vitamin supplement mix to every batch of homemade raw cat food. This will ensure the recipe is nutritionally balanced.
The vitamin supplement mix includes:
- 1,000mg Taurine – 50 capsules
- 150mcg Standardised Kelp – 20 tablets
- 10mg Chelated Manganese – 10 capsules
- 400iu Dry Vitamin E – 5 capsules
- 50mg B Complex – 2 capsules
To combine, add all supplements (including gel caps) to a clean coffee grinder (or NutriBullet) and pulse until finely ground. Wait for the dust to settle before opening the grinder, then transfer to an airtight glass jar.
Where to buy vitamin supplements
We purchase the supplements to make this raw food recipe directly from iHerb who offer a convenient service and fast shipping around the world. We personally recommend their products and service. Click on the product links below and add them directly to your shopping cart. You can save 5% on your order if you use code “GSP403” at checkout.
Note: *You must use the Calcium Hydroxyapatite if you are making this raw cat food recipe for kittens.
Raw cat food recipe step-by-step instructions
Based on a 55g (2 oz) portion size, this recipe makes 18 individual meals. This provides an adult cat with enough raw cat food for nine days based on feeding two meals per day.
This is the process we follow when making the raw food recipe for our cats.
Set up: Raw recipe preparation
It is easier to get everything ready and have what you need within arms reach before you start. Now is also a good time to put your cats in another room, otherwise you’ll have extra paws in the kitchen wanting to help.
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.
Make sure you have prepared your eggshell powder and vitamin supplement mix.
Step 1: Cut raw meat and organs into pieces
Cut the raw boneless muscle meat and organs (heart, liver and kidney) into pieces that will fit through the feeder on the meat grinder. Mince everything and place the ground meat in a large stainless steel mixing bowl.
Chicken heart, liver and kidney are often the easiest organs to source but you can use any mix of organs when making this raw recipe.
TIP: Cutting up 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 with long handles to minimise the ‘icky’ factor of handling raw meat and organs.
Step 2: Add salmon oil and egg yolk
Using a push-pin, pierce the salmon capsules and squeeze the fish oil onto the raw meat and organs, and add the egg yolk.
Alternatively, melt the salmon oil capsules in hot (not boiling) water and add the water/melted salmon oil to the raw food mix.
Step 3: Add eggshell and vitamin powders
Ground eggshell powder (for adult cats only) and a vitamin supplement mix must be added to this homemade raw cat food recipe to ensure it is nutritionally balanced.
Place the powders (ground eggshell and vitamin supplements) together in a glass jar and shake to combine. You can then add to the raw meat and organs. If required, add a small amount of water to ensure the supplements are mixed evenly throughout the raw food.
Alternative calcium source for kittens
Kittens need additional calcium and phosphorus in their diet. If you are making this raw cat food recipe for growing kittens, you must use freeze dried bone. Substitute 26 capsules of Calcium Hydroxyapatite (freeze-dried bone) instead of the eggshell powder.
Step 4: Mix and package raw food
Mix everything together thoroughly using a fork or spatula. Once the raw cat food 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, C = Chicken, 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. Some people also freeze smaller portions of this raw recipe in ice cube trays.
Step 5: Defrost raw cat food – ready to eat
Place a meal sized portion in the fridge for 12 hours to defrost. We usually get the morning portions out the freezer the evening before and defrost overnight. We get the evening portions out the freezer that morning to defrost during the day.
If you forget to take the raw cat food out the freezer, you can defrost quickly in warm water. Simply submerge the zip-lock bag in warm (not hot) 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.
Why we recommend this raw recipe
There are many homemade raw cat food recipes available on the internet. We trust and follow this recipe which was developed by Laurie Goldstein and Carolina Lima, founders of the Raw Feeding for IBD Cats Facebook group and Food Fur Life where they developed EzComplete, a premix supplement for homemade raw cat food. Pawesome Cats are sharing this recipe with their permission.
If you want to understand the nutritional analysis of this recipe, you can view the original ‘Balanced Raw Food Recipe with Nutritional Analysis‘ page on the Raw Feeding for IBD Cats website.
Raw recipe questions
Please read the comments section, as we may have answered your question previously. Comments are now closed, but you can ask questions about this raw recipe in the Raw Feeding for IBD Cats Facebook group.