Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Meow, meow, meow, meow

Remember the cat food that cats ask for by name? This is way better.
I am not a crazy cat woman, but we do have a nice pet cat that we care about. We brought Romeo home from a shelter about 7 years ago, so I am guessing he is about 10 years old. The workers at the shelter named him Romeo because of his loving personality, and we kept the name. He has been a fun, playful, snuggly cat. And he may have superpowers.
A few months ago we noticed that Romeo was drinking a lot of water. He would jump on my bathroom counter and beg for me to turn the faucet on. He'd drink the water on the bottom of the shower. His water dish was often dry by the end of the day. He was losing weight but still eating the same amount of dry cat food. We fed Iams, a pretty good brand. Doing a little online research, we discovered these symptoms could indicate kidney failure, a common occurence in older cats for which there is no cure. The only recommendation was to feed wet food instead of dry because the dry food would absorb water in his gut and cause him to want even more water. This posed a problem. Romeo hates wet cat food. Dh tried in the past to give him a special treat by buying one of those fancy cans of wet cat food and he wouldn't touch them. He never ate tuna or milk, or anything we had tried feeding him before. But, feeling concerned for the cat, dh decided to make up his own recipe and cook some homemade cat food.
Complete success! The silly cat loves the stuff. We figure it has to be way more nutritious than any dried cat food. Most cat foods contain corn as the first or second ingredient. Who in their right minds thinks corn is a good nutrition source for cats? And, calculating costs per pound, homemade is quite a bit cheaper than higher-end cat foods - the kinds that actually list some type of meat by-product as the first ingredient.
So here it is, the delicious and nutritious cat food recipe. Warning- the first thing you may need when making this recipe is a clothespin. And lots of open windows.
This is a cooked recipe and makes about 15 lbs.
4 lbs. beef liver
3 lbs. chicken -meat, skin, fat, and organs
3 cups rice (9 cups cooked)
6 boiled eggs with shells
5 cups cooked macaroni or other pasta
4 large carrots unpeeled
2 cups high-quality dry cat food, soaked in water until very soft
Cook all indgredients. Dh pan frys the meat, boils the pasta and carrots and starts the rice cooker. Send each cooked food item through a food processor, blender or meat grinder. We include the dry cat food to provide trace vitamins, minerals and enzymes. You should NOT feed your cat onions, garlic, salt, green tomatoes or potatoes, chocolate, or nuts.
You may have a hard time finding liver in grocery stores. Lets face it, liver is just not popular anymore, though dh occasionally gets a hankering for liver and onions and the rest of us get a hankering to leave the house. We buy beef liver at a local carniceria for $1 per pound.
Mix the whole mushy mass well in a large bowl and divide into small freezer-safe containers that are clearly labeled CAT FOOD. We don't want any surprises with our frozen foods. Keep one small container at a time in the refrigerator for daily feeding.
Many people advocate a raw diet for cats, but this one is more convenient for us. Romeo kills an occasional bird in the backyard (and brings it into the only carpeted room in the house) so I figure he is getting the trace enzymes and raw food fix that he needs.

Romeo has put on a little weight and doesn't need to drink as much water. I think these are good signs. We hope to keep our kitty around for many more years - as long as he keeps those laser eyes under control and only uses them for good.

This post is linked to Kelly the Kitchen Kop's Real Food Wednesdays.


chanelle said...

I found you on real food Wednesday today! I think your cat probably does have super powers, maybe x-ray vision?
Love the pic of the kids- too cute!

April@The 21st Century Housewife said...

I love that you are making your own cat food - that has to be so much better for your lovely Romeo! And it is wonderful that he is making such an improvement! By the way, it could be worth taking Romeo to your veterinarian as although there is no cure for kidney failure it is very easily treated with tablets. Both our cats suffered from kidney failure from age 15, and we medicated them both for three years really successfully. It can be diagnosed with a simple blood test, so our cats had no trauma around it either - except taking the tablets once a day - they really were not too keen on that, but it kept them going :)

Maxmomma said...

I love that photo with the laser eyes...

I'm glad to hear it is improving- we like Romeo, and I'm not much of a cat person- so that is saying a lot :).

Way to go on the homemade cat food- quite the undertaking!

Penny said...

Love the photo with your laser eyed kitty!

We have had many adopted cats over the years. One had symptoms similar to what you have described and it was a thyroid problem. You may want to check with a vet. The healthier diet is most likely very helpful but if there is a medical problem it might take a daily medication to allow Romeo to enjoy all of his 9 lives :)

Currenly one of our 5 cats has serious skin issues that seems to be food related. What we have learned along the way is that cats are carnivores. They do not need any type of grain product in their diet. They usually obtain their carbohydrates from the small creatures they would normally eat if they were in the wild. The best dry foods will have a very low carbohydrate content in them. Since you have already discovered that your cat enjoys homemade food (mine refused to eat it) here are a few sites that have some great information on cat food and nutrition: http://www.catnutrition.org/pictorial.php and http://www.catinfo.org/?link=makingcatfood