Newer, millennial-aged pet owners tend to be more cost-conscious than their predecessors. They also tend to be more concerned about the nutrition their pets are getting, as well as how that nutrition is sourced. This has resulted in a boom of new products and services catering to this segment – from subscription services for human-grade pet food to DIY cat food kits that allow you to make your own meals at home.
Is It Cheaper To Make Your Own Cat Food?
This is a difficult question to answer because there are so many variables involved. The first thing to consider is the cost of ingredients for making your own cat food. Then you must account for the cost of labor, equipment, and storage space. If all of these things add up, it may be cheaper to buy commercial cat food. However, if you do decide to make your own cat food, it can be very rewarding knowing that you are providing your kitty with the best possible nutrition.
How To Make Your Own Cat Food At Home On The Cheap?
Be smart about the proteins
Some of the most common ingredients in cat food are proteins like chicken, fish, and eggs. Beans and grains are super cheap, but they’re not proteins. Because cats are obligate carnivores, they need the right amount of animal proteins. Beans and grains are a very low-quality source of protein, but they’re a great source of carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Cats can’t digest grains alone, so they need a source of protein to help break them down. If you’re mixing beans and grains with a small amount of animal protein, like a bit of chicken or eggs, your cat will get the protein she needs. If you’re trying to feed your cat a vegetarian diet, you will definitely need to supplement with health and essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals to ensure she gets all the nutrients she needs.
Beans: Cheap and nutritious
Beans are a great source of protein, vitamins, and minerals, and they’re super cheap. They’re also very easy to mash so they can be used to make cat food or kitty treats. Kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, navy beans, and lentils are just a few of the many kinds of beans you can use in your cat food. Beans contain lots of B vitamins, which are essential for a healthy metabolism. B vitamins are also great for supporting the nervous system, which can be helpful for kitties with behavioral issues. Beans are also a good source of iron and copper, which help to keep your kitty’s metabolism running efficiently. Iron and copper deficiencies can lead to anemia and lethargy, respectively. Beans are also full of magnesium, which is good for the nervous system and helps with muscle relaxation.
Use grains as a base
Whole grains make a great base for cat food since they’re full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. You can use wheat, oats, barley, or rice in your cat’s homemade diet. Cats need a lot of fibre in their diet. It helps maintain a healthy digestive system and keeps them regular. A high-fiber diet can also help manage obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Oats are particularly nutritious for cats. They provide a lot of B vitamins, which are essential for a healthy metabolism, and fiber, which can help control blood sugar levels. Oats also contain a lot of zinc, which is important for a kitty’s healthy skin and coat.
Mix in some healthy veggies
Corn, peas, carrots, sweet potatoes, green beans, and other vegetables are great sources of vitamins and minerals. They can be added to your homemade cat food in small amounts. You don’t want to overload your feline friend with vegetables, but they can be a great addition to your kitty’s meal. Carrots are a great source of beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is essential for a kitty’s healthy vision, immune system, and skin. Sweet potatoes are also a good source of vitamin A. They’re also full of fiber and vitamin C, which can help support your kitty’s immune system. Beets, spinach, Swiss chard, and collard greens are all rich in vitamins and minerals, and they’re easy to add to your homemade cat food.
Boost the nutrition with a few key ingredients
There are a few ingredients that can help boost the nutritional value of your homemade cat food. Adding a small amount of fish oil can provide essential omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for the heart and help support healthy skin and coat. Fermented soybeans are rich in probiotics, which help support a healthy digestive system. You can also add supplements to boost the nutritional value of your homemade cat food. If you’re trying to keep your kitty’s blood sugar levels balanced, you can add small amounts of cinnamon, which has been shown to help with insulin regulation. If you want to support your kitty’s immune system, a small amount of vitamin C can help.
Try making your own cat food without any meat initially
If you’re worried about switching your kitty’s regular commercial diet to homemade, you can try making your own cat food without any meat initially. Start by mixing in some beans and grains with your kitty’s regular commercial food and slowly transition to homemade meals as she gets used to the change. If you’ve been feeding your cat mainly commercial food, you may notice that she has loose stools. This is a good indication that she needs more fiber in her diet. If you transition to homemade cat food slowly by mixing commercial and homemade, you can help prevent those loose stools and give your kitty’s digestive system a little boost at the same time. Once your kitty is used to eating homemade cat food, you can transition to a meat-free recipe.
Why Making Your Own Cat Food May Not Be Cheaper?
- The biggest reason that making your own cat food may not be cheaper is that it takes so much time.
- If you’re spending five hours a week making cat food, you’re not spending that time doing something else that could earn you money.
- If you’re spending more time making your own cat food, it’s definitely not cheaper.
- Making your own cat food takes a lot of effort, and it’s a lot of work. You need to be careful about the number of carbohydrates and proteins in the food, and you need to be careful to feed your cat all the right vitamins and minerals.
- If you skimp on any of these things, it could be dangerous for your cat. Making your own cat food is not for everyone, and it isn’t something everyone can do. It’s not something that can be done on the fly – you need to plan things out and make sure you’re providing your cat with the correct nutrients.
- Making your own cat food can be a great choice, but only if you have the time to do it, and the money to do it well.
Pros Of Making Your Own Cat Food
- There are several reasons you may want to make your own cat food. If you have particular dietary restrictions, allergies, or health issues that make it impossible for you to feed your cat certain foods, making your own can help you avoid those ingredients altogether.
- Certain allergies are difficult to avoid, but if you make your own food, you can control what goes into it. If your cat has a sensitive stomach, you may want to make their food at home.
- It’s a common misconception that cats have no dietary restrictions and that anyone can eat anything. Cats are actually quite selective about what they eat, and if you’re feeding them the wrong diet, it can lead to all kinds of health issues and gastrointestinal problems.
- Making your own cat food at home also allows you to control exactly what your cat is getting nutritionally, and you can make sure they are getting the right amount of essential vitamins and minerals.
Cons Of Making Your Own Cat Food
- The downside of making your own cat food is that it takes a lot of time, effort, and money. In order to be sure your cat receives all the necessary nutrients, you have to be really careful about combining proteins and carbohydrates, and vitamins.
- If you want to make a balanced meal that meets your cat’s nutritional needs, it’s going to take a lot of time and effort. Making your own cat food requires a lot of planning.
- It also requires a bit of money. If you plan to purchase supplements and vitamins or invest in special equipment, the costs will add up. Plus, you’ll have to find a place to store large amounts of cat food, if you plan to make lots at once.
- It can be difficult to store large amounts of cat food in your home.
Keep in mind that making your own cat food does have some benefits. You can make it in large batches, and store it for long periods of time. You can freeze excess portions, and it can be very helpful if you travel often and need to leave your cat with a reliable source of food. Precooked, dry ingredients can be purchased in bulk and stored easily.
However, it does take some effort and a bit of money to do so, and it may not be cheaper than buying prepackaged commercial cat food.