Editor's Note :
In March 2007, a massive recall of over 90 brands of cat and dog foods resulted in many cat owners considering feeding their felines a noncommercial diet. For more information regarding the tainted food, read the article titled Menu Foods Recall.
If anyone is looking for a home-cooked alternative safe food recipe to use during these uncertain times surrounding the massive cat food recalls, I have a circa 1980's official sheet from Hill's Pet Foods that gives a home cooked version of their KD (kidney diet) prescription canned food.
The theory of feeding a kidney diet is lightening the workload of the kidneys via reducing protein amounts slightly while increasing fat and carbohydrate levels, producing fewer by-product compounds for the kidneys to filter out.
I substituted highly digestible human-grade meats to provide more natural sources of taurine. The original recipe used ground beef and pureed pork livers.
I make a batch with ground turkey and another batch with ground chicken to provide flavor variety, and substituted pureed chicken livers for the pork.
I fed this as a mono-diet for over 5 years to all my non-pregnant cats, and my cats' coats never shone as much on any other diet!
I did not feed any dry kibble with this diet.
The Recipe For A Home Version
of Hill's KD Canned Food For Cats
Below is a list of the ingredients to use in preparing your cat a home-made diet.
- 1 lb Fresh Chicken Livers: Organic is preferred
- 4-5 cups water
- 1 Cup Natural Brown or White Uncooked Rice
- 1 lb Frozen ground Turkey or Chicken: The meat is available in tubes in the frozen foods section or grind your own organic/free range deboned raw chicken or turkey in your food processor.
- 1/4 Cup Olive or Peanut Oil (monosaturated)
- 3 Tablets Crushed Unflavored Tums: Provides 1500 mgs of Calcium Carbonate.
- 1/2 Cup Natural Wheat Bran (from Health Foods store): Substitute 1/2 Cup Natural Rolled Oatmeal for cats that have allergies to wheat bran.
- 1/8 Cup Lecithin Granules (from Health Food store)
- 4 Capsules Taurine: Each capsule contains 1000 mg of taurine. Capsules are available from Revival Vet Supply. Taurine is an essential amino acid that cats cannot synthesize in their bodies, contributing to heart health and prevention of blindness.
- Multivitamin: Kitty Bloom or other quality powdered or crushed multivitamin for cats. Add an amount according to the product's package insert or your vet's instructions.
- Add the raw chicken livers into a blender.
- Puree into a liquid form.
- Cook the first 6 ingredients in a large, covered, heavy stockpot on the stovetop: liquefied Chicken livers, Water, Rice, and thawed ground Turkey or ground Chicken, Oil and the crushed Tums tablets.
- Bring the mixture to a full boil for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally to break up the clumps of ground meat.
- Allow the mixture to simmer covered with a lid for about 40-50 minutes, or until rice has cooked thoroughly.
- Remove the pot from the stove and allow it to cool slightly.
- Put the mixture into a food processor.
- Add the rest of the ingredients into the food processor: uncooked Wheat Bran or Oatmeal, Lecithin Granules, Taurine powder, and appropriate amounts of Kitty Bloom or cat vitamins.
- Adjust the amount of Wheat bran or Oatmeal to make the mixture similar in consistency to regular cat food.
- Pack into washed plastic yogurt cups with lids.
- Recipe makes enough to feed 2-3 cats for one week, or about 10-12 yogurt cups worth, 8 oz/cup. You may also double the recipe.
- The mixture keeps in the freezer safely for 1-2 months.
- Thaw safely overnight in refrigerator.
- Feed an amount similar to what you would feed using canned Hill's KD.
- Make sure to thaw enough cups in the fridge at least overnight, for the next day's use.
- One yogurt cup is about 8 oz and feeds up to 5 cats for one feeding, and should be presented for about 30-40 minutes each morning and each evening
- The remainder should be refrigerated promptly.
- Once thawed, the mixture is good for 1-2 days when refrigerated.
- Add one small can cooked pumpkin to help prevent diarrhea problems or to moisten the mixture if the cats' stools are too hard. Pumpkin provides a good source of palatable fiber that helps to equalize bowel problems.
- Add 2-3 pats of softened butter to the finished recipe to improve flavor and reduce hairball formations.
- Use Ricotta or Cottage Cheese in place of some of the calcium carbonate.
- Omit Wheat Bran and/or Oatmeal to simplify the carbohydrate source, by increasing uncooked rice amount to a total of 1 1/4 cups.
- Add Brewer's Yeast to provide a natural source of B vitamins.
Stir in 1-2 whole raw eggs to the hot mixture just before removing it from the heat, as the eggs will cook via the residual heat. Hard boiled eggs may be substituted. This increases the protein levels and adds valuable nutrients for the health of skin and coat.
- For feline food allergy sufferers, substitute a single novel meat protein such as venison, duck or lamb with a single carbohydrate source.
Before feeding any home diet, please check with your own vet as to the appropriateness for your particular kitty!
This diet is safe for all adults cats. Although not tested on pregnant females or kittens, it is probably appropriate for any cat being fed commercial cans of Hill's KD.
While some cats may take a bit of time to adjust to their new diet, most cats love the home-cookin'!
About The Author:
Candice Massey has been breeding and exhibiting GC and Supreme GC Havana Brown cats under the Acapella cattery name in both CFA and TICA since 1987.
Innovator of the Havana Brown Outcross Program in CFA for genetic diversity, she cares deeply for the future of her breed of the heart.
GC Acapella Heavens To Betsy, pictured on the right, is the first F2 from the CFA Havana Brown Outcross Program to become a Grand Champion (May 2003).
Candice also volunteers as a CFA Havana Brown Breed Rescue contact.