Should I make my cat’s food at home rather than buy from a shop?

If you're a cat parent interested in giving your feline friend homemade meals, this guide is for you. Homemade cat food allows you to have total control over your cat's diet and can help you avoid potential allergens. This can be a rewarding experience, but it's vital to do it correctly to ensure your cat gets a balanced diet.

## Understanding Feline Nutrition
First, let's understand that cats are obligate carnivores. They require a diet that primarily consists of meat, as they metabolize animal protein and fat more efficiently than carbohydrates. However, "meat" doesn't just mean muscle meat. Cats in the wild consume their prey whole, including bones, organs, and sometimes the contents of the prey's stomach. This provides them with a variety of nutrients not found in muscle meat alone.

Among these nutrients, taurine is an essential amino acid that cats cannot produce in sufficient quantities. They need taurine for heart health, eye health, reproductive health, and digestion. Taurine deficiency can lead to serious health problems like dilated cardiomyopathy (a heart disease), vision issues, pregnancy complications, and issues in kitten development.

## Resources for Homemade Cat Food
For balanced and vet-approved homemade cat food recipes, check out websites like ``, ``, and ``. These websites offer a wide range of articles on pet health, including cat nutrition, and advice on preparing homemade cat food.

## Preparation, Freezing, and Flavoring Tips
Cook large batches of cat food, let it cool, and then divide it into single-serving sizes. Use freezer-safe containers or bags for storage and defrost portions as needed in the fridge. Remember, never microwave cat food as it can create hot spots that may burn your cat's mouth.

To make food tastier, use ingredients cats naturally love, like sardines. They're a great source of protein and fatty acids and have a strong flavor that most cats enjoy. Boiled or steamed plain, without oil or spices, is best. Remember, though, that fish should only make up about 10% of your cat's diet, as an exclusive fish diet can lead to deficiencies or excesses in certain nutrients.

## Balancing Time and Nutrition
While homemade food can offer numerous benefits, it can be time-consuming. If you find it difficult to consistently prepare balanced homemade meals, consider combining homemade food with high-quality commercial cat food. This can provide your cat with a balance of the benefits from both homemade and commercial food.

However, regardless of the route you choose, it's crucial to consult with a vet or pet nutritionist before switching your cat's diet to ensure they're getting all the necessary nutrients.

Homemade cat food can be a labor of love, but it's essential to approach it with an understanding of your cat's nutritional needs. With proper guidance and research, you can provide your feline friend with meals that are not only tasty but also packed with the nutrients they need for a healthy and happy life.