Pets, and Foods for Pets

Homemade Foods for Pets

Charlie Cat

Photo, right, by Catherine Haug

This menu includes the following categories:

  • Foods for Cats and Dogs
    • Commercial Cat Foods
    • Homemade Foods for Cats
    • Homemade Foods for Dogs
  • Homemade Remedies, Treatments for Cats, Dogs
  • Risks and Other Info For/About Pets

NOTE: Cats are obligatory carnivores (they only eat meats, and can be harmed by consuming most plants/herbs; exceptions include catnip and slippery elm syrup). Dogs are also carnivores, but not obligatory, and can tolerate more plant foods.

Commercial Foods

Canned Cat Foods

I’ve slowly been reducing the amount of kibble (and increasing amount of canned foods) so they get more moisture. I tried stirring water or broth into the kibble, but they don”t like that.

I use Friskies (5.5 oz cans) and Fancy Feast (3 oz cans) brands because they do not contain toxic sodium selenite; see my article Beware: Sodium selenite in pet food is toxic for more about this.

Daily amount of canned foods for adult cats

(from Purina, re their Friskies brand): 

“Feed adult cats 1 to 1-1/4 oz per pound of body weight daily. Divide into two or more meals. Adjust as needed to maintain ideal body condition. Kittens need up to twice as much food as adult cats and should be fed all they will eat two or three times daily.”

  • My new 1-year old Teddy weighs about 8 lbs (Oct 2020), so needs 8 – 10 oz (up to two 5.5 oz cans).
  • My 16+ year-old Charlie has early-stage kidney disease and other health issues. He used to weigh about 11 lbs but I think he’s lost some weight because he doesn’t eat much. As of Oct ’20, he eats ½ – 1 can of Fancy Feast (1.5 – 3 oz). Nov ’20 update: turns out he had a sick tooth which is why he wasn’t eating much; it finally fell out and now his gums are healing and he eats more canned or homemade cat food (sodium-selenite-free). Hooray!

Kibble for Cats

For your pet’s health, kibble should NOT be their primary food. I feed them raw-frozen food and sodium-selenite-free canned foods if I don’t have any homemade food on-hand, as their primary food, but keep a bit of kibble in their kibble bowl for snacks.

I use Orijen and Acana brands of kibble because they do not contain sodium selenite; see my article Beware: Sodium selenite in pet food is toxic for more about this. Their favorite is Orijen’s Cat and Kitten kibble, but I also give them other Orijen and Acana kibble mixes.

I keep about 1 small handfuls of kibble in the kibble bowl for them to snack on throughout the day, in addition to the canned foods.

Homemade Wet Foods for Cats

Homemade Wet Foods for Dogs

  • (not yet)

Commercial Frozen, Raw Foods for Cats

A new pet-food store recently opened in my small community, and they carry frozen raw foods for cats and dogs, so I will start introducing my two cats to this option that is far better than canned or kibble foods. See The Spruce Pets for the 8 Best Brands of Raw-Frozen or Freeze-Dried foods.

Commercial Freeze-Dried Foods for Cats

Most brands suggest using these dried bits as snacks. Unfortunately my cats don’t like the ones I’ve tried, except for Cat-Man-Doo, Life Essentials brand of Freeze-Dried Wild-caught Alaskan Salmon which they LOV. See The Spruce Pets for the 8 Best Brands of Raw-Frozen or Freeze-Dried foods.

Homemade Remedies, Treatments

Risks and Other Info for/about Pets

Risks:

  • Beware: Sodium selenite in pet food is toxic (see Using Seleno-methionine supplement for Cats for a better selenium option)
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  • Other sites:
    • How to Help your Cat Live a Longer Life (Mercola article); here’s highlights of the top 8 ways:
      1. Species-specific diet: Cats need a high moisture, high protein, low carb diet;
      2. Maintain a healthy weight – don’t overfeed, especially with carbs. “Calculate calorie requirements for your cat’s ideal weight, measure his food portions using a measuring cup or scale.” [link goes to another Mercola article].
      3. Consistent daily exercise: “includes at least 20 minutes of high-intensity activity such as playing and chasing will help your cat burn fat and increase muscle tone.”
      4. Indoor living: even tho it is not their native habitat, cats have evolved, and an indoor life has far fewer health risks.
      5. Environmental enrichment: The more comfortable your feline family member feels in your home, the lower her stress level.
      6. Crate training isn’t just for dogs; being crate-trained helps when you have to take your cat to a vet, for example.
      7. Grooming: while your cat is naturally a good groomer, “it’s a good idea to teach your kitty to accept regular gentle brushing or combing.”
      8. Veterinary health checkups: most young healthy cats only need a checkup once a year, cats 7-years or older, or those with chronic health issues should have two visits annually.
    • Supplements “Potentially Lifesaving for You, Poison to Your Pet” (Mercola’s Health Pets site)
    • Synthetic vitamin K (Menadione or K3) may be Toxic to your Cat’s Liver (Mercola’s Health Pets site); from the article: Menadione (synthetic vitamin K), widely used in all types of pet food, has been identified as a liver toxin, even in very small amounts. Check labels, even in raw pet foods, for presence of this nutrient; look for menadione, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (MSBC), or vitamin K3. I just checked the 2 canned cat foods I use (Friskies and Fancy Feast); both use MSBC. Fortunately, the 2 kibble brands I use (Orijen and Acana) do NOT contain either form of menadione.
    • Many cat and dog foods contain grains or soy as a first or second ingredient; yet cats are obligatory carnivores, meaning their diet must be animal-foods (meats, organs, etc) and  dogs are regular carnivores, meaning they can utilize a small amount of carbs, but rely mainly on animal foods. One brand that breaks those rules is Hill’s Science Diet, which they tout as “Veterinarian Recommended.” Their foods also contain sodium selenite, a toxic form of the essential mineral, selenium (see my article: Beware: Sodium selenite in pet food is toxic for more). See Hill’s Science Diet website for list of ingredients in each of their pet foods
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Other Info: