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'Holistic' sometimes seems like the current buzz word in the cat food industry, but the term holistic, if used correctly, really relates to feeding the whole cat. In other words, holistic homemade cat food considers the cat as a whole system. The ingredients are whole and natural, nothing artificial or chemical is added, and they are geared towards the benefit of the cat. Homemade cat food cooking is the perfect place for holistic cat food. All one needs to start is a great holistic low protein cat food recipe.

General Cat Care #1: Before You Bring Your Cat Home
You will need food, food dish, water bowl, interactive toys, brush, comb, safety cat collar, scratching post, litter and litter box.
General Cat Care #2: Feeding
An adult cat should be fed one large or two smaller meals each day. Kittens from 6 to 12 weeks need to be fed four times a day. Kittens from three to six months need to be fed three times a day. You can either feed specific meals, throwing away any leftover canned food after 30 minutes or free-feed dry food (keeping food out all the time).

Feed your cat a high-quality, brand-name kitten or cat food (avoid generic brands) two to three times a day. Kittens can be fed human baby food for a short time if they won’t eat kitten food softened by soaking in warm water. Use turkey or chicken baby food made for children six months and older. Gradually mix with cat food. Cow’s milk is not necessary and can cause diarrhea in kittens and cats. Provide fresh, clean water at all times. Wash and refill water bowls daily.

A good holistic cat food recipe is balanced and nutritious but also steers clear of unnecessary additives, colorants, preservatives, etc. These are not naturally occurring or provide any health benefit for a cat.

The following two holistic cat food recipes are adapted from the Halo Pets Website: halopets.com

Bijoux's Seafood Gumbo for Cats

1 ½ pounds wild shrimp (fresh, if possible or frozen, never canned)

½ pound celery, coarsely chopped

½ pound sweet potatoes, coarsely chopped

¼ pound yellow squash, coarsely chopped

¼ pound collard greens, chopped

3 ounces canned clams with juice

2 ounces whole oats

1 tablespoon kelp powder

4 to 6 cups spring water

Combine all of the ingredients in a stainless steel pot with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are tender. Remove from the heat and let cool. With an electric hand mixer, or using a food processor and working in batches, blend all the ingredients into a nice puree. Using Ziploc bags or plastic yogurt containers, make up meal-sized portions and freeze whatever you won't use within 2 days.

Makes approximately 20 servings (1/2 cup per serving)

Jack the Cat's Turkey Tetrazzini

1 ¼ pounds ground turkey

½ pound yellow squash or pumpkin, coarsely chopped

½ pound celery, coarsely chopped

General Cat Care #3: Grooming
Most cats stay relatively clean and rarely need a bath, but they do need to be brushed or combed. Frequent brushing helps keep your cat’s coat clean, reduces the amount of shedding and cuts down on the incidence of hairballs
General Cat Care #4: Handling
To pick up your cat, place one hand behind the front legs and another under the hindquarters. Lift gently. Never pick up a cat by the scruff of the neck (behind the ears) or by the front legs without supporting the rear end.
General Cat Care #5: Housing
Cats should have a clean, dry place of their own in the house. Line your cat’s bed with a soft, warm blanket or towel. Be sure to wash the bedding often. Please keep your cat indoors. If your companion animal is allowed outside, he can contract diseases, get ticks or parasites, become lost or get hit by a car, hurt in a fight or poisoned. Also, cats prey on wildlife.

¼ pound chicken or turkey liver

1 tablespoon kelp powder

5 to 7 cups spring water

Combine all of the ingredients in a stainless steel pot with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Remove from the heat and let cool. With an electric hand mixer, or using a food processor and working in batches, blend all the ingredients into a nice puree. Using Ziploc bags or plastic yogurt containers, make up meal-sized portions and freeze whatever you won't use within 3 days.

Makes approximately 20 servings (1/2 cup per serving)

The following holistic cat food recipe is adapted from Dr. Tracy Lord D.V.M and her blog at vetlord.com. It allows you to mix and match proteins and carbohydrates and add variety.

With this recipe, it needs to be 4 parts protein to 1-2 parts carbohydrates per daily meal.

One part of protein is equal to:

2 ounces meat or fish

1 medium egg

½ cup yogurt (1/2 cup of yogurt also counts as 1 unit of carbohydrate)

1/3 cup cottage cheese (1/2 cup cottage cheese also counts as 1 unit of carbohydrate)

2 ounces of organ meat (can feed up to 1 unit of organ meat several times per week if desired)

One part of carbohydrate is equal to:

1 cup of vegetable such as broccoli, brussel sprouts, green beans, peas, cabbage, spinach, or squashes

½ cup of fruit like melons, berries, tomatoes, apples, bananas, and also carrots

¼ cup cooked lentils, chick peas, or beans

1/3 cup of grains like oatmeal or barley, if desired. If deciding to use grains, limit them to the smallest part of carbohydrate use.

Supplements:

½ teaspoon human grade bone meal

Cat multi-vitamin

50-100 mg taurine (if not supplied in the cat multi-vitamin)

500-1,000 mg fish oil

Feline antioxidant

Food can be fed raw, finely minced or lightly cooked. Remember not to feed cooked bones to your cat!

Any fine quality, whole foods, homemade cat food can be holistic in nature. These are just a few of the possibilities for holistic cat food recipes.

General Cat Care #6: Identification
If allowed outdoors (again, we caution against it!), your cat needs to wear a safety collar and an ID tag. A safety collar with an elastic panel will allow your cat to break loose if the collar gets caught on something. An ID tag or an implanted microchip can help insure that your cat is returned if he or she becomes lost.
General Cat Care #7: Litter Box
All indoor cats need a litter box, which should be placed in a quiet, accessible location. A bathroom or utility room is a good place for your cat’s box. In a multi-level home, one box per floor is recommended. Avoid moving the box unless absolutely necessary. Then do so slowly, a few inches a day. Cats won’t use a messy, SMELLY litter box. Scoop solids out of the box at least once a day. Dump everything, wash with a mild detergent (don’t use ammonia) and refill at least once a week, less frequently if using clumping litter. Don’t use deodorants or scents in the litter or litter box (especially avoid lemon scent).
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