DEAR READERS: As promised last week when I presented my dog food recipe after having been deluged with requests, I am posting the recipe for cats. May all enjoy!
DR. MICHAEL FOX'S HOMEMADE DIET FOR CATS
1 whole chicken, cut in pieces, or 1 pound hamburger, ground lamb or turkey
1 cup chopped chicken hearts and gizzards
1/2 cup peas, chickpeas or lentils
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon fish oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped canned clams in juice
1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon calcium carbonate, calcium citrate, lactate or human-grade bone meal
Combine all above ingredients. Add enough water to cover ingredients. Simmer, stir and add more water as needed until cooked and thickened. Add an egg or 1 cup of cottage cheese. Immediately after cooking and cooling, debone the chicken parts, but do not feed your cat the cooked bones since they can splinter and cause internal injury. Add a few drops of fish oil after the stew has cooled to room temperature. Stew should be thick enough to be molded into 1/2-cup muffin-size patties. You can add a little oatmeal, bran or mashed potatoes to thicken if needed. (Note: Some cats are allergic to fish, corn, beef and dairy products.)
When the food has cooled, put the portioned food in the refrigerator, where it should be good for three days. If you have cooked a larger quantity, freeze the patties and thaw as needed. Serve one patty to your cat three times per week with regular food. This recipe can also be put into a food processor and fed raw.
For variation, substitute 1 pound lightly cooked and mixed equal parts ground or chopped pieces of calf heart, kidney and liver. It is advisable to change up the basic ingredients to provide variety and to avoid possible nutritional imbalances.
If you are feeding only this recipe to your cat, it is safe and beneficial to add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of spirulina to the food two to three times a week.
Transitioning your cat onto the new diet should be done gradually to allow for adaptation and avoid aversion and digestive problems that a sudden dietary change may cause. Mix increasing amounts of your cat's new food with decreasing amounts of the old food over a seven-day period.
A daily multivitamin and multimineral supplement is also advisable. One that supplies essential amino acids and is recommended by feline vets is called Platinum Performance Feline Wellness. Designing Health Inc. also makes excellent animal (and human) supplements under the label The Missing Link. In a pinch, crush up one human "one-a-day" complete multivitamin and put a light sprinkling (about one-fifth of the pill or less) on the cat's food at one of the daily feedings.
Since obesity is so prevalent in companion animals today, weigh your cat at weekly intervals when putting him on a new diet, and adjust the amount being fed according to any decrease or increase in weight.
Note: Different animals have slightly different nutritional needs according to age, temperament, amount of physical activity and health status.
Keep teeth clean by giving a scalded raw chicken wing tip with skin on, thin strips of scalded raw beef heart or scalded shank meat to your cat to chew every three to four days. The tougher the meat, the better! Make sure it's scalded to kill the bacteria. Avoid addictive and potentially harmful dry foods that do little to keep teeth clean.
(Send all mail to email@example.com or to Dr. Michael Fox in care of Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106. The volume of mail received prohibits personal replies, but questions and comments of general interest will be discussed in future columns.
Visit Dr. Fox's website at DrFoxVet.com.)