Author: Zhanna Korsunskaya, journalist (Samara)
As far as nutrition, vitamins and minerals are concerned, the most balanced food for the cat as a strict predator is the food the cat eats in the wild, that is mice, rats, birds, etc. Cats growing in our houses don’t have an opportunity to get everything they need from their food. Therefore we’ve developed for your (and our) domestic cats a menu which totally satisfies their needs.
Using all the components of the recipe is not obligatory; if your cat doesn’t eat some products listed below don’t worry and don’t insist. Almost all components are replaceable. All meat products must be frozen first; then after defrosting they are given in raw condition without any heat treatment.
Meat constituent makes 80% of all menu. It must consist of:
By-products: heart (porcine, chicken), chicken liver, neck (without skin!), head (without beak!), gizzard, back with cartilage, turkey gizzard, beef tripe, pork snout, lungs, cockscomb.
Meat: beef (cuts from head, abdomen), chicken red meat (thigh, chicken shank), turkey, rabbit meat.
Additives make 20% of all menu; they consist of:
Dairy products – kefir, yogurt, curdled milk.
Cottage cheese 4%, 5% and 9% .
Vegetables: zucchini, squash, carrot, beet (with caution), cauliflower.
Chicken eggs /quail eggs.
Fish constituent: oil-rich sea fish, such as salmon bellies, trout, herring (a little), mackerel, etc.
Now let’s talk about each product separately, what they are salubrious for, what amount to give.
Meat itself is a source of protein.
Heart is a source of taurine and calcium. It’s better to give porcine or chicken heart. Beef heart is harder to digest and therefore not recommended. Heart is one of the most salubrious kinds of food; the share of heart in total meat constituent should be 30-40%.
Liver is a source of vitamin A and amino acids essential for your cat. To avoid an overdose of vitamin A and a laxative effect which liver may cause, it’s recommended to give about 1 tsp per serving.
Neck and head are an excellent source of calcium and many other nutrients. Rich in calories. Natural teeth cleaner. Only fangs do not participate in gnawing, so to cleanse fangs weekly wipe them with a bandage soaked in a good tomato paste or brush the teeth with tomato’s skin.
Gizzard and beef tripe are a great source of useful intestinal flora; they are very useful for digestion (tripe is very rich in calories and fat, it must be given in small amounts).
Pork snout, cockscomb, chicken cartilage are а source of collagen. Nutritive value of its protein is small, but collagen is important for bones, cartilage and tendons. It’s highly recommended to cut these products into thin strips and add to the meat mixture.
Lung has no nutritional value, but contains well-balanced calcium and phosphorus, as well as cartilage. It is an irreplaceable product during active growth, but only as a supplement to the main meat menu.
Dairy products are the most valuable products in the cat food; besides bacteria useful for digestion, they contain vitamin B, which is very good for skin and hair, as well as micro-and macroelements. It can be kefir, curdled milk, fermented baked milk, low-fat sour cream, yogurt. Yogurt (natural, no additives) is particularly useful.
Cheese and farmer cheese are a source of calcium. Curd should not be fat, hard cheese such as parmigiano must be used. It is made from raw milk and very easy to digest, relatively low-fat, it contains lactic acid bacteria beneficial for the intestinal flora, essential amino acids, phosphorus, zinc, calcium, vitamins A, B2, B6, D, so its value is much higher than that of other hard cheeses. Quantity – about 15 grams per day (the normal slice for a sandwich, grated to the meat mixture).
Vegetables: zucchini, squash, carrots, beets, broccoli, cauliflower. They should make about 10% of the daily meals. Can be given in raw form or stewed in olive oil (in this case oil is removed from the menu). Improves peristalsis, help digestion.
Olive oil is a source of valuable fatty acids and vitamin E, antioxidants, oleic acid, has a beneficial effect on the skin and hair, normalizes metabolism of fat. Very good for the digestive tract, improves the function of the stomach, intestine, pancreas and liver. 1 ml per day (0.5 ml per day for kittens). The oil must be refined.
Sesame oil is rich in calcium, vitamin A, it is (in this recipe) responsible for the exchange of calcium-phosphorus in the organism. Should be given once a week, instead of olive oil, 1 ml for an adult, 0.5ml for kittens.
Wheat bran is a source of fiber. Improves digestion, helps to cleanse the intestine. Add bran to the meat mixture as salt. If there are any problems with the gastrointestinal tract, or the tendency to constipation, bran can be steamed.
Kelp stimulates the digestive system, removes harmful substances from the body, even lead and radio nuclides. It has sorptive properties. Laminaria softly, physiologically stimulates the peristaltic movements of the intestine, so the right rhythm of digestion is restored, and congestion in the gut is eliminated. This is a real storehouse of minerals and biologically active compounds. “Powder” a portion of meat with 0.1 gram of dry kelp per 1 kg of live weight approximately, which is the maximum dosage.
Fish must be marine, oil-rich. It is a natural source of vitamin D. Examples of types of fish are mentioned above. If the cat eats the fish well, you can once a week arrange a “fish day”.
For example: fat sea fish of inexpensive varieties (Pacific autumn herring, mackerel) 85%, 15% vegetables, dried seaweed (powdered), 1 quail egg, also you can “powder” the food with chopped dried shrimp shells.
Or: salmon (bellies), tuna, anchovies 75%, squid or blower 10%, prawns (meat) 5%, vegetables 10%, seaweed (kelp) to taste.
Or: tuna, anchovies, shrimp meat – 90%, avocado grated into a mass (ripe, soft). You can add a few drops of oil from canned tuna.
If the cat doesn’t eat fish just as it is, you can add a piece of fish mentioned above to the meat diet every day.
Small, but very useful product for pregnant cats, as an addition to the basic diet, is a pinch of dried crushed raspberry leaves.
Now let’s talk about those products that are not included in our list.
Chicken breasts (fillets) are a dietary product, their nutritional value is low. Good for too plump animals who need to lose weight. Red meat is much more useful for a healthy animal.
Brains are high in phosphorus, so give it to actively growing animals with great care.
Kidneys. Renal fat contains a lot of vitamin A, which is highly digestible. To avoid an overdose of vitamin A, you should give a small amount of kidneys previously soaked in cold running water.
Testes. Large amounts are not recommended, continuous feeding with testes in unlimited quantities may disrupt hormones.
Udders. Contains a lot of easily digestible protein and fat; it can be given, but in small quantities. In addition to diarrhea, it can cause obesity and impaired liver function.
Meal of milk thistle is a very useful product for the liver. Add to food for one week, one week break.
Tykveol (pumpkin-seed oil) is very useful. You can give it once a week, 1 ml for adults, it prevents infestation, supports the liver.
Olives are very useful. You can give olives previously soaked in water.
Now let’s go to the most important thing. How to transfer a cat on a natural diet.
Begin to transfer gradually, always using probiotics, for example, lactoferon, lactobifid.
Probiotics should be given half an hour before meals; rotate them, i.e lactoferon in the morning, lactobifid in the evening. Half of the tablet of both drugs should be given for 5 days. You can also use Vetom – smear cat’s tongue half an hour before meals.
It’s good if you already know what product your cat will eat with pleasure. Start with it removing dry food totally.
Prepare for the worst. Cat can refuse the new food at all for a long period of time. Be patient and do not indulge it. Offer meat again and again. According to our experience, no cat went hungry for more than 5 days, and a 5-day starvation diet does not affect the cat’s health.
Make sure for a couple of days that the cat eats well the proposed food, and the cat’s defecation is OK, then slowly add a small piece of other food to the plate. Add next product in a couple of days. And so on…
The liver can be ground in a blender, mixed with dairy products and added to the meat mixture.
Do not feel desperate if the cat refuses to eat some food you suggested. Our recipe is universal, all the products are interchangeable. If it does not eat beef – it will eat turkey, if it does not eat chicken heart – it will eat pork heart, etc.
Many cats do not like oil. In this case, you have to give oil from a syringe without a needle. Grab the cat, pick up its lip and pour 1 ml of oil. You can do the same with kefir. It is highly possible that your cat eventually gets used to the taste of oil or kefir and starts to eat it. It should be mentioned that cats are night hunters, and they often eat everything that is left in the bowl at night, but categorically refuse to eat it during the day.
As for vegetables, I want to say that zucchini is the most harmless. It has no smell; the cat may simply not notice it in the total mass of meat products. Many individuals love pumpkin, carrots and cauliflower. Vegetables can be finely grated and given raw or stewed in olive oil (in this case olive oil is removed from the diet).
If your cat refuses to eat raw food, you can attract its attention with oil from canned Pacific saury, for example, or tuna, or cod liver. Many cats like this smell, so they are happy to eat food, “marked” with it, it is enough to drip a couple of drops on a product proposed to cat.
Let your pet enjoy its meal and be in good health!