Cat food recipes & ingredients list

Novus888

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I have been collecting recipes, and researching good/bad ingredients. As to the latter, there is much conflicting opinions which are good and which are bad. For example, I have seen Lemongrass touted as good, bad, and fatal on various site. Anyway, here is the list I have compiled so far:

BAD FOR CATS:
Bay leaf, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, Lavendar, Lemongrass, Marjoram, Oregano, Tarragon,
Addenda: Grapes, raisins, currents, cherries, citrus fruits, rhubarb, onion, garlic, chives, coffee, tea, alcohol, potato, Blue Cheese,

OKAY FOR CATS:
Basil, Catnip, Cayenne, Dandelion root, Dill, Ginger, Licorice, Mint, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Silvervine, Thyme, Tumeric, Valerian
Addenda: Apples, Apricot, Asparagus, Banana, Broccoli, Blueberry, Carrots, Celery, Corn, Green Beans, Mango, Pear, Peanut Butter, Peas, Pinto Beans, Pumpkin, Raspberry, Spinach, Strawberry, Sweet Potato/Yams

I'd welcome opinions on these, additions, etc., to help me fine-tune this list. Thanks.
 

LTS3

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Some peanut butters contain xylitol, a sweetener that is known to be toxic to pets.

Fruits and veggies and herbs might be "ok" for a cat to eat but they're useless in a cat's diet. Pet food companies put those into cat food as fillers and as a marketing gimmick to appeal to what people perceive as healthy to eat.
 

daftcat75

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Cats are not small dogs. They are not omnivores. Cats are obligate carnivores. This means they must get their nutrition from animal sources. Just because an ingredient won't kill them doesn't mean they can get anything useful out of that ingredient. Cats lack the enzymes to utilize certain nutrients from plant sources. For example, they cannot convert beta-carotene to vitamin A. Therefore, carrots are not a source of vitamin A for cats. Likewise, flaxseed is not a useful source of omega-3's for cats because they cannot convert the plant-based omega-3's into forms they can utilize. Grains, starches, and certain fruits and vegetables can also be potential irritants. It won't cause acute organ damage to rise to the level of toxicity. But over time, these irritants can cause inflammation. Fed long enough, that inflammation can become chronic leading to conditions like IBD and lymphoma.

I would stick to meat, moisture, organs, and supplements for your recipe. Pumpkin is okay for digestive issues. Eggs are also a good source of nutrients that cats can readily absorb and utilize. Don't think you can replace the supplements with fruit and vegetable sources though. In many cases, these are either inferior sources or cats can't utilize them at all.

I would trust recipes from these two sites:
Home
StackPath

Likewise, I would not trust any recipe that has a lot of fruits and vegetables or doesn't use any supplements. Cat food requires some supplements because some nutrients degrade with preparation and storage and others just aren't included in high enough quantities with meat and organs alone.
 

fionasmom

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Every single dog I have owned has eaten a home prepared recipe. My mother did the same for her dogs and it never crossed my mind not to simply cook for them. However, I have never done it for a cat....and that is not to say that it cannot be successfully done. I am sure a number of people on TCS do this and they might chime in. Make sure that everything is balanced and in the proper amount for a cat and don't get pulled into the idea that cats can eat a lot of fruits and vegetables and remain healthy. If you are in any way influenced by PETA's belief that cats can be vegetarian or omnivores, ignore that advice.
 
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Novus888

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Some peanut butters contain xylitol, a sweetener that is known to be toxic to pets.

Fruits and veggies and herbs might be "ok" for a cat to eat but they're useless in a cat's diet. Pet food companies put those into cat food as fillers and as a marketing gimmick to appeal to what people perceive as healthy to eat.
Thanks, the xylitol probability in peanut butter slipped by me. Unfortunately it seems I can't edit it out of the post, but I'll amend the list I have.

I'm well aware that cats require meat, but I'm also aware that vegetables and spices add flavor to meat-based recipes, and I don't believe vets that say cats cannot taste much. When growing up around cats, it was always necessary to put out their catfood before we even started cooking our meals, otherwise the cats would collectively refuse to eat their food, and pester us for ours. Afterwards, none of our food could be left out unguarded, nor dishes/pots left unwashed, without becoming their obsessive target. The only explanation I can see is that human food tastes/smells better than any canned/dry cat food. All cat food is worthless if the cat won't eat it, so taste is important.

I've decided I'll cook for the cat on the weekend meals, and through the weekday it will be two meals of canned food, and one of dry food. The dry food will be in an automatic feeder to prevent feline wake-up calls, before I have had eight hours of sleep. Beyond that, I will likely give out samples of my food if the cat is persistent enough. So I need to know what ingredients I can and cannot put in the weekend recipes, and which ones will preclude samples.
 

Maurey

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I'm well aware that cats require meat, but I'm also aware that vegetables and spices add flavor to meat-based recipes, and I don't believe vets that say cats cannot taste much.
There is next to nothing that will be more appealing to a cat than straight animal protein, ime. Some cats will like veg, and other additives on occasion, but your average cat is more likely to not.
Adding filler will provide nothing of benefit to their diet. If you really want to spice things up and add some aromatics, try something like brewers yeast. A small amount of egg yolk or pumpkin daily can be good for digestion, as well.
Fermented dairy can also be a good source of variety with a bit of nutritional benefit -- I typically use kefir as it's widely available where I live.
 
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LTS3

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There's a forum here on TCS with info and recipes on home cooked diets: Raw & Home-Cooked Cat Food Plain cooked unsupplemented meat can be up to 10% of the diet. Err on the safe side and add in supplement to ensure your cat's diet isn't unbalanced. The easiest way to do this is to add a pre-mix such as EZComplete. Veggies, fruits, etc are not needed.
 
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