Is homemade cat food better than store bought? Homemade food is preferred by many people. However, homemade cat food will be deficient in adequate amounts of vitamins, fiber, fats, and carbohydrates. This is the major limitation of homemade cat food in comparison to store-bought.
It may contain a lot of consideration and love, but can it fulfill the dietary requirements of a cat? Giving cats a bowl of meat would not still satisfy their needs. They still require a balanced meal. A meal that consists of all the necessary nutrients for a cat to carry out its day-to-day work.
Table of Contents
- Nutritional facts of a Cat
- Making Cat food at Home
- Is Homemade Cat Food Healthy?
- Store Bought Cat food
- Can cat food be made at home?
Nutritional facts of a Cat
The very basic information you need when considering homemade food over store-bought food is the number of nutrients required by your feline friend, and the source of the nutrients. This will help you prepare balanced diets for your cat at home.
Proteins and Amino-acids
Cats derive most of their protein from fish, meat, and other animal products. The animal-based protein is easily digested by them, rather than the plant-based protein.
Concluding them as obligate carnivores.
The dietary protein contains about ten types of amino acids that cannot be produced by cats themselves. They may be able to provide carbon chains to break those amino acids into suitable products for themselves. For example, breaking down the carbon chains into glucose
for energy consumption. It is therefore suggested that providing them with a high-quality protein meal is a necessity for cats.
A single deficiency of amino acids can lead to multiple health issues in a cat. Their main requirement is taurine, an amino acid that is involved in multiple body processes in cats. Mostly, taurine is produced by mammals themselves, but for cats, it is not possible.
They depend on meals that can help them get taurine and carry out their day-to-day lives as usual. If enough taurine is not provided to cats, they can get sick. Sick to an extent that they might go blind from retinal degradation and even suffer from some heart diseases.
Other nutrients necessary for them are arginine. Arginine, if proven deficient, can lead to high levels of ammonia in the blood of cats. Arginine is an essential component that helps excrete ammonia
via urine in felines. Taurine is either absent or not present in plants, but it can be found in large amounts in fish and meat.
Fats and Fatty Acids
Dietary fats that are obtained from animal fats and plant seed oils are considered the most concentrated source of energy in the diet. Fats contain more than twice the amount of energy per gram than proteins and carbohydrates.
These dietary fats provide the essential fatty acids that can act as carriers of fat-soluble vitamins, which cannot be produced by the body itself. The maximum amount of fat in the cat’s diet can be relatively high with no known negative consequences.
Fat accounts for 50% or more of the energy in many cat foods. According to
research, cat foods with even higher fat content are safe. Cat foods should have a minimum fat content of 9 percent dry matter.
Omega-3 is one of the essential fatty acids. Its deficiency can lead to multiple abnormalities. They help maintain the skin of a cat. Followed by other significant psychological effects in the
body of a cat.
Vitamins are organic compounds that participate in a variety of metabolic processes. Vitamin deficiencies can result in a variety of health issues. Some vitamins cannot be synthesized by
cats from dietary precursors (pre-vitamin structures). For instance, they must obtain all of their vitamin A and niacin requirements directly from the
food they consume.
Vitamin A deficiency can have a negative impact on eye health. Adult cats deficient in niacin will lose weight and may die as a result. Many cats’ diets, particularly canned food containing fat-laden fish products, make them more susceptible to vitamin deficiencies, such as vitamin E. Vitamin E, as an antioxidant, protects against oxidative damage.
Some vitamins are not only necessary in small amounts, but they are also toxic in large amounts. Too much vitamin A, a natural result of feeding growing kittens large amounts of liver, can cause hypervitaminosis A, a condition characterized by a variety of skeletal lesions.
Making Cat food at Home
Making a nutritionally balanced diet is a necessity when it comes to cats. One can make them with proper guidance from a veterinarian that has been licensed to make nutrition-balanced diets for domesticated animals. There is a certain composition that needs to be fulfilled to
convert homemade diet into a healthier and better diet.
This requires consultation with veterinarians that are board-certified. Yes, there are many people claiming to know the perfectly balanced diet on the internet. But that is not true. They may not know exactly about what’s required to keep a cat healthy since it is not their field of work.
Those meals in the long run can lead to disastrous effects on your feline.
This is something you don’t want your dear cat to go through. However, if you’re still interested in providing your cats with a diet suitable for them from your own kitchen, then it’s highly necessary
to consult a veterinarian certified in making food for the feline. Therefore, it is well recommended to provide commercial food to your dear cat.
Is Homemade Cat Food Healthy?
Homemade cat food can be healthy if prepare with the cat’s nutritional requirements in mind. When we prepare a homemade meal, we only make use of what is available, the food may look beautiful in your eyes, but they don’t meet the cat’s nutritional needs.
The drawbacks in commercial foods are artificial colouring and flavors, preservatives, and the presence of grains. If you are discerning enough to source out natural canned food–the best for you.
Homemade cat food can be beneficial to your cat if you know enough about the illness your cat could be susceptible to–you can then make tailored meals to keep your cat healthy and prevent those diseases. You also need proper knowledge of the cat’s calorie needs–this will ensure you keep your cat energized daily with its proper calorie requirements.
What homemade food can cats eat?
The homemade food your cat could eat includes proteins like a rabbit, lamb, duck, pork, chicken, eggs, and turkey–for cats who won’t let you brush their teeth, the neck of a chicken or turkey will help clean out plaques, making their breath fresher.
The fiber requirements include foods that can aid digestion and metabolism. Some cats are okay eating fruits and vegetables, get expert advice from your vet. Bones, ligaments, and cartilage could be used as animal-based fiber.
The vitamins needed include A, D, E, K, B1, B6, B12, niacin(also known as Vitamin B3, they can be gotten from the liver, chicken breast, tuna, salmon, and turkey), riboflavin, folic acid, pantothenic acid, and taurine. The thing with homemade food is: that you may not be able to measure the vitamins in their right quantities.
Store Bought Cat food
Cat food is made to suit the dietary needs of a cat. It includes vitamins and amino acids based on the daily requirements of the cat itself. Cats are known as obligate carnivores, which means that our domesticated cats can readily eat the meat of rats, birds, and fish followed by cooked meat, proving themselves as opportunistic feeders. Therefore, their food does not contain vegetables.
The commercial food, which has been divided into certain types, is all balanced and set as per the requirements of the feline creatures. They are divided into Dry, Semi-Moist, and Canned.
Dry Cat Food
Dry cat food can also be referred to as kibble. It is one of the far easiest to feed and manage portions. It can be measured with ease and provided to cats. Being available in multiple shapes, sizes, and flavors, you can choose with ease what your dear cat prefers.
However, it is not recommended to buy big bags of dry cat food, this is one of the common mistakes made by cat owners. Until the bag is opened, the nutritional value of the kibble is stable. But once, opened, the food is subjective to oxidative stress, which can degrade some nutrients of the food making it stale. Hence, it is recommended to buy enough food or the size of bags that can last about six to seven weeks at maximum.
It is still recommended to consult the veterinarian regarding food choice, which will change based on your cat’s nutritional needs as it ages.
Semi-Moist, which contains about thirty-five percent moisture by weight. It however contains more sugar and salt when compared with dry and canned food. This means that this type of food is
not suitable for all types of cats. It should be kept in mind when picking out some semi-moist food for cats that most of the semi-moist cat food is loaded with artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, they may be best as an occasional treat but not suitable for a daily diet.
This type of food may be convenient in opening a pouch and pouring it into the bowl, but it is well recommended to discuss it with your cat’s veterinarian.
The most expensive canned food, with about seventy-five percent moisture can be suitable for some cats.
The high-water content means that the cat can enjoy a larger portion per meal to
provide calories equivalent portion of kibble. Some cats prefer the palatability of canned food over dry cat food. These canned diets can be proved therapeutic.
They can be effective at managing diseases such as diabetes and kidney failure. However, they ought to be used to canned food. Because of a sudden change in texture food may not be what every cat prefers.
These canned may contain more energy per calorie than kibble, but they may lead to a periodontal disease in some cats. It is well recommended to convert open canned food into an air-tight container and refrigerate it. To feed canned food, it is recommended to use a combination of dry cat food and canned food.
While ensuring consultation with a veterinarian regarding daily portions for a cat. Overeating can lead to obesity in cats.
Can cat food be made at home?
Yes, cat food can be made at homes. However, maintaining a good nutritional value of cat food at home can be difficult.
To make an efficient and effective healthy food for cats, it is recommended to consult a vet certified by the board. They will help you pick out the perfect ingredients to make a healthy diet for cats at home.
Provide your cat with homemade foods only when you understand their required vitamin, fat, and carbohydrate needs. An only chicken or only fish diet will be sufficient for your cat.
We could write you endless recipes of things you could make, but you need to make meals that are best for your cat’s breed type or your cat’s health. If you have any questions, let us know in the comment section.