It doesn’t have to look like this when you do it. Folks new to this claim that seeing pictures eases their fear that mere mortals could not possibly be capable of making cat food. Below is What it looks like in still pictures below. With captions yet.

Click on a thumbnail to view the pics and captions.  Or mouse over the first pic and PLAY to run slideshow without manually advancing.

I’m no whiz in the kitchen. Nor do I always cherish spending lots of time there. But making homemade cat food is something that’s much easier than you might think. It’s certainly much easier than I thought it would be when I started this adventure way back in the olden days of 2002.

Trust me: Everything’s going to be okay.

Look at it this way: the so-called professionals who put those fancy labels on their cans and bags with AAFCO nutritional guarantees are the same ones who let tainted wheat and heaven knows what else get into food and poison thousands of cats and dogs in early 2007. You know you can most likely do better than that.

It’s a matter of being organized about your foodmaking supplies and then:

  1. Turning on some music to keep you company.  We opted for Bob Dylan during the photo session above.  We were Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues.  Again.
  2. Getting out the grinder.
  3. Assembling the ingredients from the recipe.
  4. Chunking the muscle meat (i.e., cutting at least some of the meat into chunks that will not be ground)
  5. Grinding the bones and other remaining meat on bones together with the organ meat (heart and liver).
  6. Adding the vitamins, egg yolks, and other ingredients in the recipe to the water and whisking that all up.
  7. Mixing it all together.
  8. Spooning the mix into freezer-safe containers.
  9. Crowing righteously about how cool you are for making healthy cat food.

That’s all. You’re done.

It’s that simple. Now go clean up your kitchen, serve up some food — warm it in a baggie under warm water — to your grateful cats, and go listen to some soothing Sinatra or John Prine or the Wailin’ Jennys .

Total time? Obviously, that depends on how fast you are. I’ve been making cat food for over 14 years now and I have the process of making a batch that lasts two cats for about two weeks down to just about exactly one hour, including cleanup, taking out the trash, pausing for stretches humming John Prine songs, etc. Truth be told, since my husband joined the cat foodmaking staff a few years ago, together we whip out a big ol’ batch (triple or quadruple the recipe on this site)  in 30 or 40 minutes together, particularly if we buy whole cut up chickens.

My hot ‘new’ tip – which I can’t believe took me a decade to figure out – is to not open individual capsules (so time consuming) but to put them in a cup of warm water and let them dissolve. If you get impatient, use an immersion blender to emulsify quickly.  

The family that makes cat food together stays together and spends a lot less time and money in veterinary clinics.  If you can get a helper, go for it.  Maybe hook up with a local friend and enjoy some special time together hacking up meat and grinding it and listening to show tunes.  Beats cleaning your garage, doesn’t it? 

Time spent making cat food is considerably less than I used to spend fretting about my sick cat and trekking him to the vet when he had a digestive disorder. So yes, while it is definitely some work, it’s very manageable. Think of it as a labor of love. That’s exactly what it is.

Ordering your non-meat supplies using the iHerb banner to the right helps this site – you get a discount on your first order and I earn credits to make more cat food.  

By Snow Angel Latte

By Eunyoung Lee and Eunsoo Lee