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Homecooking Newbie & Supplementation

Discussion in 'Raw & Home-Cooked Cat Food' started by sidneykitty, Jul 15, 2019.

  1. sidneykitty

    sidneykitty Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Hello! I am just exploring the idea of trying home cooking for Amber and I'd like a little more info. I'm sort of just starting to experiment a little/just beginning to think about it...

    Tonight, I boiled a chicken thigh and sliced up the meat, added some of the broth/water it was cooked in and added all Amber's usual supplements. I know this isn't a complete meal for a regular basis, but I wanted to give it a try to see if she'd even eat it first before moving on to buying supplements, liver, etc. (the things I've read about here and elsewhere)

    I also considered popping the chicken into a food processor and pureeing it. I did this exact thing for my first cat, Sidney (in my avatar) when she had cancer at the end of her life and wouldn't eat anything else. She only lived a mere two weeks after her diagnosis, so it wasn't a long term diet. I wasn't concerned about nutrients, just about her eating something.

    It all depends if Amber will eat it. I am considering it even as not a regular thing, but a couple of times a week, in which case I'd want it to be a nutritionally balanced meal.

    I'm wondering if you can recommend me a nutritional supplement to be added to the food? So far, I've found EZ Complete, Alnutrin and Feline instincts. Any pro's or con's to these? Other products to recommend?

    Do you chop/slice or puree your home cooked food?

    Anything else you'd like to add?
     
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  2. Furballsmom

    Furballsmom Cat Fan especially Black Cats Staff Member Forum Helper

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  3. lisahe

    lisahe TCS Member Top Cat

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    Our cats eat both EZ Complete and Alnutrin with calcium instead of bone. Our pickier cat particularly enjoys Alnutrin.

    The biggest upside to EZ is that it's more complete -- it includes liver. It's more expensive than Alnutrin but it's a great product.

    The biggest upside to Alnutrin is that it's Ireland's favorite. Plus it's considerably cheaper than EZ. I can't say I enjoy dealing with having to buy and cut up the liver, though I find that buying roast chickens fairly regularly keeps us in small amounts of liver.

    Both companies offer free samples. And both companies ship pretty quickly.

    As for what I do with the meat after it's cooked: it depends. Chop/slice/dice/process/chunk/puree/hand-pull and a combination of the above. I also often put two kinds of meat into one batch of food. I think today's Alnutrin is pork chop and chicken breast and today's EZ is chicken breast and chicken thigh.

    Those are the only supplements I've tried but I'm thinking (very casually at this point!) about another. Our cats really love their homemade food and do very well on it, though I'm not sure how much more time Cat Mom wants to spend making food. That said, I can't say canned food, which is what more homemade would replace, is always easy: the cats are picky about it, often preferring foods with ingredients I'd prefer not to feed, plus I can't buy all their canned brands in the same place. All of which means the time commitment would probably be about the same to make more food! :eek: The big thing is that they're so into variety that I don't think I could get away with feeding them three meals a day made with just two supplements. I'm afraid to even try that option, lest they decide they're tired of everything and go on strike!
     
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  4. daftcat75

    daftcat75 TCS Member Top Cat

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    I made a meat stock for Krista with a couple each of turkey drumsticks and wings cooked on low in a crockpot for several hours. Long enough for the meat to drip off the bone. Not so long as to make bone broth. In my case, as the crock pot is also new, I did a first cook of 3 hours but 45 minutes of that was bringing the water to a simmer. So I cooked it another cycle for 3 or 4 hours. I don’t eat turkey myself but it smelled and looked perfect. Krista loves the stock! I add a small amount (about a teaspoon or half teaspoon) to her wet food in a baggie and warm both up in a hot water bath for a few seconds. Best of all, I think the stock is actually helping her as intended. Her ear which flares up with food allergies is cooling down. I can actually give her scritches without setting off a head shake. She’s also become perky and pushy at meal time. She’s only been taking stock with meals for a day.

    I don’t cook or eat meat myself (except fish.). But the crockpot makes it super easy to cook for her. While I have stock enough for months now, there’s a store here that sells dressed rabbits. I think she might like a rabbit stock and some of the slow cooked meat.

    Question for the more experienced ones: does meat stock leech enough calcium from the bone to count as a bone-in or does it still need calcium to be balanced?
     
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  5. lavishsqualor

    lavishsqualor TCS Member Top Cat

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    I'm so glad you started this thread, sidneykitty!

    After Hare Today's rabbit shortage a few months ago, Thirteen, my picky female tuxedo, almost starved herself into a feeding tube. After trying everything under the sun, she eventually deigned to eat Super Premium Fussie Cat's chicken. Even after HT's restock she still won't touch raw rabbit. She won't eat it from any other supplier either. All my cats are on Fussie Cat now, but I want them back on either raw or home cooked. Thirteen loves boiled chicken so I was thinking about trying a cooked diet.

    For those who cook their proteins as opposed to feeding them raw, how do you cook them? I'm wondering what the best way is.
     
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  6. Furballsmom

    Furballsmom Cat Fan especially Black Cats Staff Member Forum Helper

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  7. lavishsqualor

    lavishsqualor TCS Member Top Cat

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    :thanks::rock:
     
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  8. Furballsmom

    Furballsmom Cat Fan especially Black Cats Staff Member Forum Helper

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    :thumbsup:
     

  9. lisahe

    lisahe TCS Member Top Cat

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    I'm not sure why but I cook the meat in a toaster oven! :lol: I put the meat in a glass dish with some water (1/4-1/2 cup, depending on how much meat I'm cooking), cover it tightly with aluminum foil, and bake it at 325-350. For 20-30 minutes, depending on how much meat there is.

    There aren't any real rules to this other than that it's good to use water to retain some of the nutrients in the meat -- and it's best to use all that water, which is why I bake rather than boiling -- and to not add the supplements until the meat has cooled.

    If Thirteen likes plain boiled chicken, I'd definitely give Alnutrin a try. EZ has a stronger smell (and flavor, too, I suspect) and our vet loves that EZ has pancreas in it, but I wonder if that stronger smell/flavor might not appeal to all cats.
     
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  10. darg

    darg Gizmo Adult Cat

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    Jan 13, 2014
    I've been using freeze dried turkey liver as the liver source with Alnutrin. Freeze dried turkey liver comes in hard chunks. I put it in an old coffee grinder and grind it into a powder.

    I just purchased a couple of the small packets of the Young Again CarnivoreRAW with calcium to try. Because I believe my cat has an issue with chicken, I've avoided chicken and any of the supplements that use ingredients from chicken and just stuck with Alnutrin. But the first batch of home-made I made was Turkey and chicken liver and he had no issues with just the liver. The Young Again contains chicken ingredients ... "Natural chicken flavor (poultry liver and hearts)" . I'm going to try a small batch with it so see how the cat does with it. He's only lukewarm on the homemade with Alnutrin and it looks like the Young Again has more ingredients that add some flavor so I thought I'd give it a shot. I'll report back after I have a chance to try it. Worst case is that the outdoor ferals get some homemade if it doesn't work out.

    Not posting the above to hijack the thread. Just thinking maybe some of my thoughts could help.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2019
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  11. lisahe

    lisahe TCS Member Top Cat

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    I meant to answer this yesterday... though I don't have an answer except to say that my uncertainty about this is exactly why I don't make bone broth for our cats. The calcium/phosphorus balance feels delicate enough as it is! I know I tend to be overly cautious about some of these questions but our cats' systems are pretty quirky.
     
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  12. sidneykitty

    sidneykitty Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Wow! I'm kind of overwhelmed by all the responses so far... thanks everyone!

    @Furballsmom - thanks for that link! I'm going to take some time to read it through thoroughly.

    @lisahe - thanks so much for your responses! Its good to know EZ complete is indeed complete with liver. That could be a useful factor for deciding for me. It could be good for me as a beginner anyway to not have to add the liver separately.

    Ok, good to know the meat can be done any way. I thought Amber always liked sliced meat better, but I'm wanting to try a pureed version as well. I also find it interesting you use both supplements. My czt tends to like stronger smelling foods, so I wonder if she would prefer the EZ Complete.

    @daftcat75 - I don't eat meat, either, so its a bit interesting to cook it for my cat. I really like the crock pot idea, that way I can prepare it ahead of time a bit more easily. Do you tend to do a big batch at once then?

    @lavishsqualor - oh good I'm glad you're glad :) I hope it helps you! Sorry to hear the rabbit shortage was so hard on you and Thirteen. Glad you found Fussie Cat works.

    @darg - no worries about hijacking the thread! We can all share questions/knowledge :) Interesting idea about the freeze-dried liver! I like that. I hope your experiments go well for you.
     
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  13. daftcat75

    daftcat75 TCS Member Top Cat

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    I’m new at this cooking meat broth for my cat. The first time I got two turkey drumsticks and two wings. It made a huge batch. I put a couple jars in the fridge, froze one, and made ice cubes out of the rest. But it looks like something got lost in the translation on the frozen batch. I thawed a tray of ice cubes and she likes the taste well enough. But it seems to be weaker medicine. And the second jar in the fridge, I just don’t trust. It’s been too long. I should have frozen it. Oh well. I learn. Krista ate through a pint jar in four days. She’s a fur pig! I am currently cooking a new batch for her. It’s 1 drumstick and one wing. The first time it took me two cooks of 4 hours and 3 hours to get it right. But part of that time is just getting the pot up to temperature. So this time I tried 5 hours and that’s still not enough. But you should have seen Krista pop up from wherever she was when I opened the lid. “What is that? Give me some of that!!!” Two more hours maybe? I did reserve just a little of that liquid to give her over the next couple of meals until the full batch is finished.

    The crock pot is awesome. It’s from Hamilton Beach. I got it at Big Lots for $30. I can program the time and high or low heat. It will switch to warm when the time is up. Honestly that may have been the secret to the last broth. I fell asleep and it switched to warm overnight. But that probably still continued to extract goodies from the meat and bones.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2019

  14. Tobermory

    Tobermory TCS Member Top Cat

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    I’m currently making some of my batches with EZ Complete, and all three of mine really like it, even “No I Won’t Eat That” Iris! In fact, it’s the only way she’ll eat pork. I rotate chicken and turkey using both individual supplements and EZC and feed an occasional pork meal with EZC. I’ve tried Alnutrin with Eggshell Calcium, and they liked that, too.

    When I first started making food, I used my food processor because I didn’t want to buy a grinder until I was sure they’d eat homemade food. But they loved it from the start so after a month or so, I bought a grinder. It takes way too long to make food for three cats using a food processor. :)

    When I fed canned, they really only liked pâtés, but I sometimes take out some of the meat before I grind and cut it into small chunks with scissors and add it back in. They really seem to enjoy chewing on the pieces.
     

  15. Chrissy66

    Chrissy66 TCS Member Young Cat

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    We too have slowly started Candi on a Cooked Diet. We used to feed her Nulo Canned food which she loved only to find out from our vet she seems to be a bather from missing hair on her lower tummy between her legs. Also we noticed she just seemed to throw up more frequently along with drainage from her eyes. From research on the web I learned that she probably has an allergy. So we started and elimination diet and it seems she has an allergy to fish. "Go Figure that" A Cat that loves fish is allergic to it.
    We then swapped her to Merrick Rabbit that she loves. Then here in the past few months, my mom got me more to thinking about cooking for her instead of giving her canned food. I tired boiled Chicken as that is what my mom was feeding her little dog and Candi would just turn her nose up at it. I couldn't understand why being we knew she loves chicken because I have given her chicken canned food. Then when my mom saw her little dog was allergic to chicken she started feeding her Turkey so we decided to give Candi some to see if she would eat it and she liked it only she seemed to still have a want for something so we swapped back to her canned food.
    Then as a treat I would buy her a couple cans of Canidae Canned food. Now that she loved and she isn't a cat that likes gravy but the gravy in this she did. Still wanting to get her to eat nothing but a cooked diet, I tired some Applaws Cat Food which is nothing but meat and meat broth. She is a finky cat so I would only buy like one can. LOL!!!
    Then we got to figuring up how much it would be to feed her the Applaws Cat food along with her Vitamins from Only Natural Pet that we got her would cost more than the canned food.
    We are optimistic with her and plan to continue to ween her off of her canned food and go only with a cooked diet.
     
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  16. Furballsmom

    Furballsmom Cat Fan especially Black Cats Staff Member Forum Helper

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    :thumbsup:. :vibes::goodluck:
     

  17. Chrissy66

    Chrissy66 TCS Member Young Cat

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    Does anyone seem to notice that their cat drinks more water on a cooked diet. We have noticed that Candi will drink more water than she did with her canned diet.
     
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  18. lisahe

    lisahe TCS Member Top Cat

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    No, but I use more water before and/or after cooking than the supplements suggest using.
     
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  19. Chrissy66

    Chrissy66 TCS Member Young Cat

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    Thanks @lisahe today I added more water to her Turkey so that seems to be helping.
     
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  20. lisahe

    lisahe TCS Member Top Cat

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    Glad to hear it!
     
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