There are a ton of cat food brands, and while some are better than others, many of them can be less than nutritious. High-quality cat food needs to contain a lot of protein while being animal-based and free of artificial additives. You can research the more nutritious brands to find the right fit for your feline, or you can ensure your cat's health by making your own cat food. From making your own food, you are able to completely control what goes into your pet's diet, which can lead to a happier, healthier kitty.

What Does Your Cat Need?

Before you get cooking, you need to understand the health needs of your cat. It's important for cats to have a diet that is animal-based because they require protein to supply their bodies with antibodies, enzymes, hormones and amino acids such as taurine for a proper pH balance. Cat foods that are based on legumes, grains and vegetables do not contain all the essential amino acids a cat needs to remain healthy. A meat-based diet also supplies your pet with their needed fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. It's also important that you reduce or eliminate carbs in your cat's diet -- as eating too many carbohydrates can lead to an obese kitty and many health problems.

cat licking its lips on gray background

Cooked Or Raw?

Cats digest raw meat better than humans, but raw meat also comes with a high risk of pathogens that are removed through cooking. Though their bodies are generally able to handle these pathogens with no effects, if you choose to feed your cat raw meat, make sure that the meat is from a reliable source and supervise your cat during and after they eat. All cats are different, and some might not have stomachs that can handle eating raw meat. It's also important to talk to your veterinarian before changing your cat's diet so drastically. Alternatively, you can serve your cat cooked meat, but the cooking process can sometimes remove the nutrients that your feline needs from the meat. If you don't want to feed your cat raw meat, try lightly cooking the meat instead.

Foods To Avoid

Cats are different than humans, which means that there are some foods that are safe for us to eat that would be harmful when ingested by cats. When shopping for ingredients to make homemade cat food, there are certain foods you should avoid. This includes:

  • Chocolate
  • Raisins
  • Grapes
  • Cooked bones
  • Onions
  • Caffeine
  • Tomatoes
  • Garlic
  • Mushrooms
  • Raw dough

Another food group to avoid, and that might be surprising, is dairy. Despite the old cliché of feeding cats milk and bowls of cream, cats should not drink milk after they are weaned from their mother. Their bodies have trouble digesting lactose, which can lead to digestive issues.

cat licking its lips and eating cat food
Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Tuna Patties

This recipe mixes tuna with eggs, bread crumbs and margarine to form moist patties that will make your cat purr. Simply shape the patties and cook them on a skillet for a decadent meal for your kitty. Before you serve, crumble the patties up into smaller, bite-sized pieces -- after all, cats have tiny mouths.

Easy Raw Cat Food

Making this raw meat recipe is simple, and you can change up the recipe with nearly any kind of meat to give your cat's diet variety. Simply combine the meat, liver and heart with the additional ingredients, puree, place them into ice cube trays and freeze. If you want to provide additional nutrients to your feline, add some supplements before blending the ingredients together.

gray and white cat eating cat food from silver bowl
Svetlana Popov/Shutterstock

Salmon Delight

It's no secret that cats love fish, and these salmon snacks are a healthy treat for any house cat. And at only three ingredients, this is a very simple recipe to make. Just take a can of salmon and mix it with eggs and flour, roll out the mixture and cut out pieces your cat can easily snack on. It only takes about 20 minutes in the oven for this delicious meal to be ready to serve.

Chunky Meat And Rice Cat Food

This recipe mixes the meat of your choice with rice, a hard-boiled egg and chicken broth for a delicious and healthy meal for your cat. And, when sealed in a container and stored in the refrigerator, it can last for up to three days. Make a batch of this and keep your cat happy for a few meals.

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