Study: Homemade, DIY Cat Food Recipes Could Potentially Kill Your Cat

Davis, California – Using homemade cat food may save you money and give your beloved cat a delicious meal, but it may actually do more harm than good. A study conducted by researchers at the University of California, Davis has revealed serious health risks when it comes to making your cat’s food from scratch.

Researchers examined 114 cat food recipes found online and in books, and found that many of them fail to include the right ingredients that provide cats with all the nutrients they need. They also found that some recipes, which included those written by veterinarians, may lead to accidental poisonings.

Interestingly, 40% of the recipes did not provide any feeding instructions, an important piece of information when preparing cat food at home. The authors say that 60% of those who gave the instructions were not clear or lacking in detail.

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“Only 94 recipes provided enough information for a computer feeding analysis, and none provided all the essential nutrients to meet the National Research Council recommended allowances for adult cats,” says lead author Jennifer Larsen, a veterinary nutritionist at UC Davis College. Veterinary medicine in a statement.

While the recipes written by the vets had fewer nutritional deficiencies than others, all of them still had some problems, with most lacking in concentrations of three or more nutrients. Some were lacking adequate amounts of up to 19 or more essential nutrients. Others had less than 50% of the recommended daily value of several essential cat food ingredients such as choline, iron, zinc, thiamin, vitamin E and manganese. Whether feeding cats using these recipes will harm them depends on the feeding instructions, among other things, being largely absent or insufficient.

Although only 7% of recipes included foods considered toxic to cats, the findings highlight a lack of awareness of these dangerous ingredients, including garlic or garlic powder, onions and leeks. Others haven’t warned about ingredients like raw animal products, which can cause bacterial infections, or ground animal bones, which can rupture their digestive system.

“Homemade diets are not necessarily better,” Larsen says. “If you are going to use one, you need to make sure it is done safely and it should be balanced and appropriate for your individual cat.”

The study was published in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

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