Monday, August 13, 2012

An Introduction to Home Made Cat Food

First I figure that the Clower needs to give an opinion on my efforts at providing them with a higher quality food. So I turn it over to the illustrious leader of the pack, Timmy Tomcat!

Thanks Pop
OK we have had some time to get our fangs into this new fangled, MEOW, I break me up! We now have a good idea on what we think of Pops Chicken Meals. Rumpy why don’t you go first.

Rumpy: Thanks Tim: Well I must say the Old Guy has been pushing his concoction for over a week, and, and, AND. I admit its not bad. Actually it is pretty good.
Yeah I know. I know, who would have thought. He does mix our tasty fishy food in with his mix which was a bit strange at furst, but, it is nice to have a bit of a choice. I can pick what I want and there we are. And the best part is... WHAT! WHAT’S THAT! YEOW I’M OUTTA HERE!

Timmy: Rump? It’s just the television! Come out from there.

Rump: No way. You stay out there. Me I keep friends close and my skin closer.

Timmy: Rumpy is a bit Jumpy. Ah well who’s next? Fitz? Toby? Buddy?

Buddy: Ah willz tellya. Purdy goodz. Yessir.And ah doan hav no probs wit blockage. Yessir

Timmy: Uh, right. I do not think everycat wants to hear about your constipation Buddy.

Buddy: Jus da trute. Nuttin but da trute. So halp me Bast.

Timmy: Right. Who else.

Toby: Yes, well, sirs, I agree. I must say it makes my coat nice and shiney. I think it is a good addition to our diet for this reason alone. One must stay sharp and looking good.

Buttons: Hey! Are you leaving me out? I like it. So does my girl Fitz.

Fitz: I am NOT your girl. Just because we were fosters together do not make ANY ASSUMPTIONS! Meow!

Buttons: Sorry Honey... Uh. I mean Fitzy girl. I am sorry. Forgive your little Buttons boo? 

Fitz: Oh My Cat...
Timmy: Well there you have it. Pops we like it.

Pops: I am really glad Tim. I worry about you cats and want you each to have the best health you can. This diet has much less residue and is very nutrient dense. Meaning you guys Poop less  and get more out of each meal.

Timmy: I thought so.

Pops: Yes You all have been really good about this. Lets share this with other Pawrents!

Homemade Chicken Cat Food

Hi there you lucky cat owners you. Thanks for stopping by to see what me and Tim are up to. So lets get on with the show.

I decided to try homemade cat food almost a year ago. I read about Raw and decided to give it a go. I bought a grinder on Amazon for about $110.00 if I remember correctly. Pretty good deal for an 1800 watt model. Mine has reverse and 2 speeds. 

So the grinder came and I bought some breasts and... Yuck! What a mess. They needed to be cut up. They got stuck and would not go through the grinder. A real P-In The-A. And the boys. Hah. They would not have anything to do with it. So best planned and all that the grinder went in the back of the closet.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago. I was reading a great site and started thinking about making my own food again. Why? Glad you asked.

I worry about my guys. I will list some issues we have around here although who has what shall remain secret due to HIPAAF. (Humans Inserting Asinine Assumptions of Felines) 
  1. Aggression: I have noted that if I give a big handful of treat(I use dry food as treats) some become very animated. As we have a play session at night there is a reward for the excellent chase and catch behavior. So why were they still all wound up? I fell it was the dry. Cats do not metabolize carbs like we do. They do not store them well. They use them. I feel this equals the wild bunch I have some nights.
  2. Constipation or Diarrhea: I have an older gentleman who was getting constipated every couple months. He mopes around and I can tell he does not feel good. He is also a bit over weight. I have a guy who has had runny stools on and off since he came to live with me. Very messy as he never learned to keep his BUMP up when doing his duty. He also sometimes has hangers-on. He turns around and there you go: Smoosh-Yuck
  3. Health. I have a FIV fellow. I want to give him the very best of the best so his immune system is as good as can be. Now if you check the true information on cat foods you see that even the high cost brands may not be that good. Nutritional wise that is. Yeah they love the taste but...
Now at the same time I had some issues with Raw.

  1. Bacteria. I am a Nurse. OK cats eat prey out in the wild that is raw, and, may even be a few days funky. Truth is they say to remove the food in a few hours and throw it away. Well... My dudes eat at night. They like a nice snack at 3am and if it is not there all hell breaks loose    Dad-DAD-HONGRY-DAD-DAD. Sheesh. 6am is fine. 3am HISSSSSS.
  2. Ginding: I got a grinder that is actually more powerful than that most recommend. First time was a real pain in the hindquarters. I had to back up and cut it smaller and again again. No Fun.
  3. Will they eat it? NO. You would think it was, gee, I don't know, food. I went through the work of getting them off the dry and onto wet. I have no wish to repeat a similar endeavor. 

So what to do. Modify. I read the info at Cat Info dot org and modified the way I was making the food. No more big part. Parts is parts so I got Legs. I also decided to cook my legs. I cooked them pretty well. Wow what a difference. They just went right through the grinder without a problem. Actually it was fast. The cleanup was way more time consuming than the grinding.

Pops Cat Food Recipe
I did not add all the vitamins and Taurine. Why? This is in addition too regular cat food and is not a complete replacement. Now I will most likely start adding the other ingredients now that I know they will eat it. Which by the way only took a few hours with this cooked recipe.

  • I make at least a pack at a time of Chicken Legs. This was about 4 pounds in the first batch. They are from a local Giant where they were $1.99. The web site uses Whole Foods but that is a bit out of my league. If I do not eat Organic this and that my guys can pass too. Now that I was successful with the first batch I started watching for sales. I just got 10 pounds for $0.99.
  • I cook just as you would any baked chicken. I like a big Pyrex pan. I take out some bone and skin so the fat calcium ratio is correct. The photo is scrap from about 4 pounds of Legs.
  • After you cook the chicken there is quite a bit of juice and fat which I took the time to separate. I had added a cup of water to the pan. The first batch I was thinking that much fluid would make a runny mess. Not even! Don't bother with the separating. You will need more fluids added in later anyhow. This is the first pass with a large grinder plate. You use the big hole grinder plate for the first pass. Zoom. 5 minutes tops. DISCARD Bone Fragments when you change plates!

  • Here is the second pass. This is the large round hole grinder plate. It just goes right through.  DISCARD Bone Fragments when you change plates!

  • The third pass I added in the fat and liquid. Add it slowly! If you add too fast you get a river and it needs to be mixed later by hand.  DISCARD Bone Fragments when you change plates!

  • Remember each pass to  DISCARD Bone Fragments when you change plates! I stress this as I care about all cats. For the little bit of meat that may be mixed in so what. Just throw it out. I take all my scraps right to outside so no one gets into it at night. 
  • From 4 pounds I got about 8 cups of fully ground meat. It was so thick I added another 2 cups of water. I used small freezer bags and put a cup in each and froze the mixture.

You can thaw the mix in the microwave for 1 minute. You will see it still needs more fluids. This is from the bone in the mix. The first night I put it out by itself. Well there was some reluctance. I next put it over regular cat food. This worked well. The chorus was: "Hey Dad we LIKE it! "

I also had to really adjust how much I feed the guys. There are 6 cats here. All adults. 2 big guys. I was giving them 6 cans a day. Quite the cost even on sale. They love Friskies but it has gone to over fifty cents a can. I have been getting PetSmart Store Brands that are similar which is 0.43. I have cut back to 3 cans a day with one cup of my Chicken Mix. They get can and some chicken in the morning. Then we have a nice big dinner at 8PM. 2 Cans and the rest of the bag of Chicken.

So I have cut back 3 cans a day. The cup of Chicken is maybe fifty cents. So I save a buck a day. Not a whole lot but it make the difference in being able to feed your cats and maybe not.

I will keep you informed about how it works with the vitamins and Taurine added in.


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