Is Homemade Cat Food Better? What You Need to Know

Updated: Oct 22

Krutika wants to save money on commercial cat food and switch to a homemade diet for her cat.

Rohan feels that feeding his cat homemade food is healthier than giving her commercial pet food. So, he’s looking up quick and easy recipes for homemade cat food online.

It is possible to give your cat homemade food that’s healthier and more wholesome provided you follow certain guidelines. However, as with anything, there are both advantages and disadvantages to making your own cat food. For example, consulting a vet for recipes is highly recommended.

Do I really need to consult a vet nutritionist? I can look up easy and nutritious recipes online!

Unlike commercial food, home food does not undergo standardized tests to ensure that it’s complete and balanced for your cat. Researchers from University of California found that at least 40% of the recipes for preparing cat food at home lack essential nutrients.

Cats are primarily carnivores and prefer eating meat. (Yes, some cats prefer leafy vegetables too but a major portion of a cat’s diet must contain meat.) Some cat owners assume that shredded chicken breasts are enough to satisfy their cat’s nutritional requirements and keep them healthy. Cats need a mix of meat (phosphorus), bones (calcium), liver (necessary vitamins & iron), heart (taurine), and intestines (fibres) for a balanced diet.

Cats especially need the taurine for a healthy heart and great vision. An absence of taurine in their diets can cause blindness and issues like cardiomyopathy. Arginine is another essential vitamin present in meat whose absence can make your cat sick from ammonia toxicity.

Contrary to popular belief, cats mustn’t be fed tuna and adult cats are lactose intolerant. So, adding milk to their diet is a big “no”.

Moreover, the nutritional requirements of your cat vary if they have other health conditions and only a vet nutritionist can explain these to you in detail.

Ok, but homemade food is more affordable than commercial cat food, right?

It depends on the ingredients.