How do I make a cat food mix? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

My personal Meow Mix, Tigre, Mamma, Luckey, Sam, Holly and One Eye, all want me to be ready to feed them no matter what. So, what is a good mix to cook for them? Four Paws Committee Chair Person

-- Four Paws (, December 13, 1999


I've heard cats must have a particular vitmin (mineral?) in their food or they will go blind. (That's why you shouldn't feed cats dog food.) Maybe your best bet is to buy some cat food now.

-- Pearlie Sweetcake (, December 13, 1999.

MEAT, Four Paws. Cats are total carnivores and cannot live on a diet without meat, unlike dogs - who can, in a pinch. Taurine is the essential ingredient in a good "complete nutrition" cat food, without which cats can and do develop serious problems including blndness. Your main source for taurine is meat.

You can, of course, prepare home-made "recipe" cat food, and many people do it quite well,but if the one essential ingredient is hard to come by, you won't be able to do that. MEAT. I have stored enough canned catfood to last my cats a year, as well as dry - a premium brand, less waste and more meat. If things are bad or more is unavailable after that, any meat I can get my hands on will go to them. Some of the forum folks think I'm crackers over this, but we all have our personal priorities.

You can supplement catfood with rice/broth/gravy type home mixes if required, ideally adding hamburger if you have it, but I hope you will stock them up with the real thing or at least buy a lot of cheap canned mackeral to mix with rice later on. NOT canned tuna meant for people - it's an incomplete source for their needs and can cause other health problems if given exclusively.

It's late, and my advice would be to go to Petsmart and buy every can of catfood they've got. Yes, I sound like the crazy cat lady I am, but you asked.


-- Scat (, December 13, 1999.

I'll mud-wrestle with you for the crazy cat lady title, Scat! And let me underscore what you said about taurine and meat.

Now, when we first realized Y2K might create problems, my husband and I asked ourselves, what would we hate to run out of most? CAT LITTER!!! Followed by cat food, toilet paper and coffee. We went out the very next weekend and started a cat litter stash. We also have enough litter and food to last about a year--Hill's Science Diet Light, the old lady's Hill's KD, the long-haired one's Hill's hairball, cheaper chow for the neighborhood moochers and any strays--and cases of Friskies and Fancy Feast to mix with the dry stuff. (Cases of cat food fit nicely under the dressers, armchairs and one of the sofas.)

We also got first-aid stuff from Drs. Foster & Smith (on-line somewhere) and I just loaded up on carpet cleaner and other accesory type stuff. Oh, and I stashed lots of plastic grocery bags for litter box clean-ups (they're stored in the attic).

I recommend Hill's or other premium chow because of its longer shelf-life--the last lot I bought is good until November 2000. I shall buy another couple of sacks at the end of this month--but I don't have to if I can't get to the store. You might want to look at the low-fat or light premiums because they last longer than regular fat content foods. The canned food is good until sometime in 2001. Pet chow should be stored in either galvanized metal garbage cans or food-grade plastic bins or totes. If you're storing in a little used basement, choose the metal. Those who use metal cans for storage recommend placing them off the floor, perhaps on pallets or concrete blocks.

Four Paws, if you search on the Net under "Pet food recipes" I think you'll come up with some recipes. But, as Scat said, they are to be used on a temporary basis only, perhaps to stretch food if it comes to that.

Please, those of you who think such pets are frivolous, save it, would ya? We took responsibility for these cats when we rescued them and we're not about to throw them to the dogs now. Um, let me rephrase that. . .

-- Old Git (, December 13, 1999.

Four Paws; I don't have much to say about the feeding of cats, we have dogs which at what we eat. But as far as cat litter, go to the auto parts store and get oil dry, usually comes in 50 lb bags. It's ground clay just like cat litter except it doesn't have the sweet smell of perfumes... When we had cats I bought oil dry and used a soap powder to mask the smell. The cats didn't know the difference, besides that they still used it... This could save you some $ $ $ concerning the litter box.

-- Furie (, December 13, 1999.

Mackeral will not satisfy a cats needs(per previous post). Cats must have red meat. Originating in dry mid eastern countries, cat's affinity for fish is a funny phenomenon. They can do without water if food is sufficiently moist, as they were built to withstand the severe dry of their home regions. However, they must have MEAT. Not fish.

-- Sue (, December 13, 1999.

Take two mice, put in bowl. Beat briskly. Feeds one.

-- smfdoc (, December 13, 1999.

Two questions: is it possible to buy taurine? (and if so, where, and how would it be used?), and, I *think* I remember reading years ago that organs are better in that regard than muscle meat. If so, which organs, and how should they be prepared?

We've got 11 indoor-only cats (and several barn cats that we feed but won't let us approach), and we'd like to keep them healthy and happy.

-- Ron Schwarz (, December 14, 1999.

What a wonderful pride of cat lovers! Thank you! WIll do as suggested. Heck, I will can organ meats for them. Have mackeral need oil dry. Four Paws

-- Four Paws (, December 14, 1999.

It won't do much good if you can't get fresh or frozen liver after the rollover, but this is the recipe my vet gave me years ago, and my cats adore it (one has lived 15 years on the stuff):

Cook 2 lb.liver with 1 cup water at 350 for 1 1/4 hours. Cool.

Fry 3 slices bacon until crisp, reserving grease. Fry one egg, shell and all, in reserved grease.

Simmer 1/2 cup brown rice in 1 1/4 cups water for 30 minutes.

Grind the whole mess together. I use my great-grandmother's old hand grinder, but it will grind in a blender or food processor about 1/4 batch at a time.

Keep refrigerated.

-- yerfdog (, December 14, 1999.

Come to think of it, I don't see any reason why it couldn't be canned and opened as needed.

-- yerfdog (, December 14, 1999.

Just curious, since I have 2 cats (GREAT for mouse patrol!)---in case I run out of cat litter, couldn't I use plain old sand? (I've got tons in a pile in my yard) I realize it wouldn't cut down much on the smell...but wouldn't the cats still use it?

-- Ruby Tuesday (, December 14, 1999.

I would be surprised if the local cats weren't using it now! That considered, you might want to sift it before you bring it indoors.

-- yerfdog (, December 14, 1999.

I'd consider roasting it in the oven (or pressure cooking it) too, to kill parasites, flea eggs, germs, and so on.

-- Ron Schwarz (, December 14, 1999.

Sand is great, Ruby, and I'm sure would meet with your cats' approval. We humans haven't always had indoor litter boxes ourselves! But as Ron suggests, if outdoor cats have been using it, it could easily be contaminated with disease organisms & other small beasties you sure don't want your own to be exposed to.

Yerfdog, I love your recipe! Organ meats are great for cats & one of mine is a chicken liveraholic - her fav treat. VERY well cooked.

I don't honestly know if you can buy taurine, Ron, other than as an ingredient in those big kitty-vitamins that mine wouldn't touch with a barge pole. I think liver is cheaper than those. Mice are certainly acceptable too, but I don't know the official level of taurine in a mouse (grin).

Admittedly, cats are adaptable - more so when young. (That's why they like fish, Sue.) My cats didn't come from the desert; they came from Arkansas & East Texas - damp. My oldest went through a particularly hard winter with me when she was young. She lived on table scraps of the worst sort and small game in the woods. It's all there was. She's 17 now and going strong.

Sorry to be so talkative - my fav subject.

-- Scat (, December 14, 1999.

Old Git,

Dear Heart, I hope we get to come back next year and toss for the title, don't you?

-- Scat (, December 14, 1999.

You have no idea how relieved I was when I read the title of this thread.

Finally, we're going to get down to details.

Only to be bitterly disappointed.......

-Someone who is not Greybear

-- Got ID?

-- Greybear (, December 15, 1999.

smfdoc's answer might actually be the closest to being correct - blending whole mice. Cats aren't simply meat eaters, they are carnivores. That means they eat more than just the muscle and organ meats of the prey. There are vitamins in intestines, calcium and phosphorus in bone, etc. I worked in a bird of prey rehabilitation facility in Minnesota years ago. Take a nestling hawk that is growing at supersonic speeds, feed it just hamburg for a few weeks, and voila, rickets!

Taurine is an amino acid, and since cats can't manufacture it, it is an "essential" amino acid for them. Haven't tried this, but I assume that cat food labels indicate whether taurine has been added or not. You might try checking out different kinds of canned cat foods (poultry, fish, beef, liver, etc.) and see if there is a type that does not require taurine. That might be a start towards ensuring that your home recipe include enough. Still does not resolve whether the food is otherwise balanced, however.

Good luck.

-- Brooks (, December 15, 1999.

Naturally, I'm old enough to remember Life Before Cat Litter. Sand, sawdust or shredded newspaper were the media most employed--ugh! Stinky! And for some perverse reason, some cats like plastic bags. . .

As for water, leave it out AT ALL TIMES. Besides being prone to urinary tract problems, cats very often die from kidney failure. A preliminary sign of early failure is more frequent drinking. If your older cat has started to drink frequently, take it to the vet, get it checked out and started on Hill's Kidney Diet. If your cat has a habit of pawing at the water bowl to watch the pretty water flow interestingly all over the floor, either purchase a heavy water bowl or keep the container in the bathtub.

Searching on taurine, I found the following site (among many others), where taurine is available for sale:

Search also on Foster & Smith--they probably sell taurine too and I can recommend them.

-- Old Git (, December 15, 1999.

Sorry forgot to add the following.

Cat litter: scoopable cat litter, although initially more expensive than regular litter, is much preferred for constant indoor use by multiple cats. (I find Scoop Away best for my cats.) The litter box rarely needs to be scrubbed, odor control is vastly improved, and disposal is less of a problem because the litter clumps so easily--all important considerations. If there are only a couple or three cats to be cared for, I can recommend the new white crystal stuff as well as the pine nugget types--but the recycled newspaper sort could use a great deal of improvement, don't try it. If you are new to litter, be sure and buy a deep-sided litter box with a lid. Some cats seem to be attempting to reach their Australian cousins when they dig, throwing litter out the sides with gay abandon. Those little litter mats work too.

-- Old Git (, December 15, 1999.

Reminds me of the old man that had 9 holes in the sides of his house. When asked why, he replied, " I have 9 cats....and when I say scat....I MEAN SCAT!!

Taz...who is also hip deep in kitty litter and food.

-- Taz (, December 17, 1999.

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