Cat food has to address the specific nutritional requirements of cats. For this reason it is difficult to produce true ‘home made’ natural cat food recipes for general feeding.
Cats must eat meat in order to survive. They may consume other products presented to them, especially animal products like eggs and bone marrow or sweet sugary substances like honey and syrup, but, as these items are not essential, they do not consume these on a regular basis.
However, most commercial cat food contains both animal and plant material, supplemented with vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.
Vitamins and minerals need to be present, in balanced quantities, in feeding your cat. There are 12 minerals known to be essential nutrients for cats. Chief amongst these is Taurine, as a deficiency leads to blindness.
Please do not consider feeding your cat a vegetarian or vegan diet. They require nutrients (including arginine, taurine, arachidonic acid, vitamin A, vitamin B12 and niacin) found in meat sources that cannot be obtained in sufficient amount in plant sources.
Vegetarian cat diets may lead to dietary deficiencies which may take months or years to develop and may be untreatable. We do not recommend relying on supplements because they may not contain necessary co-factors and enzymes and have not been studied for long term implications.
You should also be aware that cats fed exclusively on raw, freshwater fish can develop a thiamine deficiency. Those fed exclusively on liver may develop vitamin A toxicity.
In many cases use of published recipes has led to cat malnutrition because the levels of nutrients provided have only been crudely balanced.
Generally, most formulations contain excessive protein and phosphorus and are deficient in calcium, vitamin E, and microminerals such as copper, zinc, and potassium. Also, the energy density of these diets may be unbalanced relative to the other nutrients. Commonly used meat and carbohydrate ingredients contain more phosphorus than calcium. Homemade feline diets that are not actually deficient in fat or energy usually contain a vegetable oil that cats do not find palatable; therefore, less food is eaten causing a calorie deficiency.
In broad terms then we cannot recommend feeding cats a home made food for their main diet.
However, we do have a recipe for cat treats which you can make and which cats love:
1/2 can of tuna (in oil)
4 oz (1/2 cup) whole wheat flour
5 fl oz* (1/2 cup) powder non-fat milk
2 fl oz water (1/4 cup)
1 tablespoon cod liver oil**
1 beaten egg
*This is a volume measure of the dry powder
** You could use vegetable oil but your cat may not like it
Mash the tuna in a bowl and add the dry ingredients. Stir well to mix. Add the water, oil and egg and mix together well into a sticky mixture. Add more water if needed. Roll small pieces into balls about 1/2 inch across and put onto a greased baking tray. Press down on each ball to flatten into a circular biscuit. Bake at 350 degrees F (180 C, Gas mark 4) for 10 minutes. Remove tray from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Turn the biscuits over and return to oven for another 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Store them in an airtight container in a refriderator.