Raw Diet & Recipes

All felids, including domestic cats, are obligate carnivores.  Read More Here

The digestive systems of cats have also become specifically adapted to eating raw flesh. They have the shortest digestive tract compared to the body size of almost any mammal. Raw prey is highly digestible and there is no need for a long gut and the fermenting bacteria that animals that eat plants need. Cats have lost some metabolic abilities simply because they don’t need them anymore. You don’t need to be efficient at breaking down carbohydrates when your diet contains practically none. 

One of the defining characteristics of an obligate carnivore is a requirement for a high amount of protein in the diet. Cats meet their blood glucose requirements from gluconeogenesis, using protein, rather than from the breakdown of carbohydrates in their diet. They are so dependent on the protein that if their diet is lacking an adequate amount to supply their energy needs, they will break down their own body muscle and organs.

Many like us have discovered “Raw Diet” and observed medical issues that virtually disappear as well as the loss of fat and gain of muscle.  There is absolutely no question to us, if you own felines you should feed them Raw.


Where do you get all your ingredients?

We use the local H.E.B. store but most communities have a store that carries chicken hearts & livers.  They also carry the large cans of sardines we like.  H.E.B. gets trucks daily so we always get the freshest ingredients. (We also like their brand of litter)


The Raw Diet will save you money but the peace of mind it should bring is priceless!

We are very passionate about raw feeding our cats!

(We’re always open to suggestions)  There are many different ways to feed raw and we have families that do them all with huge success.  The love is real and amazing.


Basic Bone-in recipe  

This is the basic recipe we use. You can multiply or divide from this to make bigger or smaller batches. We do experiment with different natural additives. This requires a grinder –  The grinder we use is mentioned below along with other information you may find helpful.

  • 10 pounds of chicken (whole chickens or leg quarters)
  • 1 pound of chicken livers (chopped in 1-2 Inch chunks)
  • 1 pound of chicken hearts (cut in half)  *major taurine source
  • 1 Tablespoon of Salmon Oil 
  •  2 eggs (with shell ground up if deboning chicken or without shell if grinding bones in chicken.)
  • 1 large can of sardines in tomato sauce. 
  • After reading more we learned that there are some fruits and veggies in the stomachs of prey in the wild.  We now add some fresh carrots and blueberries to our grind to simulate that effect in the wild.   You can also add other organs, just keep the organ meats to 10% of the total weight with livers being at least 5% of the organ weight total. 

Optional ingredients:

  • We are currently adding a small amount of Sea Kelp Granules (NOT A MEAT but similar to their eating grasses as needed) ( 1/4 teaspoon per 10 lbs of chicken)  
  • Periodically we add chicken feet (about 1/4 lb, ground is best but can chop very small) They are a fantastic source of glucosamine and biotin though.

Basic Boneless recipe

We start with Bone Free and move to the Bone-In version at about 2 months –  If you don’t have a grinder the Bone Free is fine for all.  We do find the bone in version to be better. 


NEW – Bone Free – (Immersion Blender) recipe – can be multiplied for larger batches. 
  • 9 pounds of ground chicken or turkey  (Our Leesi is allergic to Turkey so if you see them gag or have issues please consider not using Turkey)
  • 1 pound of chicken livers
  • 1 pound of chicken hearts  *major taurine source
  • Tablespoon of Salmon Oil
  •  3 eggs – whole with shell
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 small can of sardines (water or tomato) include all sauce
  • Optional – 1/4 Teaspoon – Sea Kelp Granules

Using a very large bowl (We use a stainless mixing bowl) add whole eggs first and water – liquefy shells using the immersion blender (many styles shown below) add all other ingredients and blend again until mixed.
Separate into appropriate portion bins and freeze, thaw as needed


What Grinder do we use?
We currently use a Weston pro series #22 which allows whole chicken leg quarters and we grind over 220 lbs in around an hour easily.  (The #22 is key here because it’s the larger throat option)   This was a huge step for us.  We bought it refurbished on Amazon for about $400 and it’s the best money we’ve ever spent related to feeding.  Our first grinder was an MTN gearsmith 3000w grinder that we bought on eBay.  There are many generic ones similar.  It was wonderful except we had to first chop chicken into smaller pieces to fit in the smaller throat.  It was less than $100 and fine for smaller batches. I think the generic ones on eBay or Amazon are fine if they have a 3/4 HP motor and I would buy a warranty if offered.  We liked it so much that we actually have one of these on the shelf as a backup to our larger one for emergencies.   Using a cleaver to chop the chicken first seemed like an accident waiting to happen for us and the time saved is amazing with the series #22 Weston.

This is an excellent group about feeding raw.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/CatCrap/
I highly recommend everyone considering raw or feeding raw join it.  Keeping in mind that I don’t agree with everything I read or everyone that’s a member there.  You must always take all the information in then use good judgment, research, and education.
FAQ about Raw:  (All our answers are our opinion, based on our experiences, and not intended to be taken as the only accepted answer)
How often do you feed?  We feed our babies every 12 hours and have it adjusted to our schedule 
Typical Serving Size?  adults get 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup –  kittens should get all they want for the first 6 months and your recipe will cause more variation than the appetite of the cat after they are on the Raw Diet. Watch their bodies closely because it tells if you need to adjust portions but overfeeding is no more healthy than underfeeding.  Our Queens get all they want due to their different needs.
Won’t they be hungry without free feeding?  They will get hungry at feeding time and can either read the clock or have amazing internal clocks!  On a more serious note, it actually takes 12 hours for their raw diet to digest so this is by design.  
We have seen cats that would normally always seem to be starving completely change and get into the routine.
(Keep in mind that much of what you may think is hunger is often boredom and old habits die hard.  Make sure you play with them often, we always play with our babies pretty aggressively before feedings and they love the “hunting” or “prey” time. )
Snacks or Treats?  You can give raw treats such as a heart, chicken wing segment, chicken, or turkey neck.  We also use the normal cat treats it’s just done in moderation, much like fast food or junk food should be for humans.  We also like lysine treats which are very good for them.

Why not kibble or canned pet food? 

You may not want to know this because you will never look at pet food the same again.  Once I learned that a common ingredient is rendered animals I was done with it forever (keep in mind that like all things in the USA they are using many completely innocent names to label this ingredient also).  Also; You will have a hard time finding a pet food company that has not been involved in a controversy about using rendered animals and that’s only because that hasn’t been caught.  Human Greed has no limits. Pet food companies use things not good enough or legal to sell in any other way at all.  

If you take the view that it’s better to utilize the animals than waste them I’m fine with that opinion I just believe we all have a right to know what we are buying and changing the names of things to deceive people is wrong.  This goes for all things, especially food.

 “Meat rendering plants process animal by-product materials for the production of tallow, grease, and high-protein meat and bone meal.  Plants that operate in conjunction with animal slaughterhouses or poultry processing plants are called integrated rendering plants.  Plants that collect their raw materials from a variety of off-site sources are called independent rendering plants.  Independent plants obtain animal by-product materials, including grease, blood, feathers, offal, and entire animal carcasses, from the following sources:  butcher shops, supermarkets, restaurants, fast-food chains, poultry processors, slaughterhouses, farms, ranches, feedlots, and animal shelters.”  


How do Animal Shelter’s Dispose of the Bodies?

(sadly it’s much more likely these animals are sold to rendering companies for use in Pet Food than other methods)

Animal Shelters vary in the ways they dispose of the bodies according to what they have available. There are three general methods of body disposal: Cremation, garbage, or sale.  In any case, the bodies are contained in special heavy duty plastic bags, sometimes many animals will be in the same bag.

Cremation allows for the shelter to burn the bodies of pets. However, not all animal shelters can afford this so many send the bagged bodies of animals to a special part of the city landfill (garbage dump). The third option is not as common as it used to be, and generally not done in the charity run shelters, but more common in city-run “pounds” – this is when the bodies are sold to research labs, dissection supply companies, or rendering facilities where they may actually be rendered down and put into pet food (on the ingredient list – dead pets may be in meat meal).

Author Brenda Nelson worked in an animal shelter for five years and learned the basic workings of animal shelters, how they cared for pets, and what they did with the bodies of the deceased pets.