You will discover the true benefit of feeding a homemade diet when feeding your cat meat RAW. The nutrients in raw meat are not de-natured by harmful heat. Many vitamins don’t survive heating, and most molecular structure of proteins and fatty acids change when heated. Heat breaks molecular bonds, and essential long chain amino acid or fatty acids can be lost. Beyond that, one should consider that especially heated fats can be carcinogenic.

HOWEVER, before you abandon the whole idea of homemade cat food altogether, I want to say, that making a homemade cat food using cooked meat is MUCH BETTER than not doing it at all. How to cook the meat will be discussed here. Refer back to the cat food recipe page or the instructions of the premix to finish making the cat food.

Hesitation to feed meat raw is natural, as are concerns about germs. After feeding my cats with raw meat, and teaching people to do the same with their cats for nearly two decades, I can assure you, that there is no more risk to feeding cats raw meat than there is to feeding cats dry cat food! However, if your cat has specific health concerns, or YOU need a transitioning time from cooked to raw, here are my suggestions on how to prepare cat food using cooked meat.

Pictorial Preparation Instructions:

1. Since using cooked meat adds an additional preparation step to your cat-food-making, make your life a little easier and purchase the meat of your choice already ground. If you are concerned about bacteria in ground meat, don’t be, because we are going to cook it!
2. Place the required amount of meat as outlined in your preparation instructions or recipe in a pot and add enough water to create a stew-like consistency once water and meat are thoroughly combined.
3. Place your pot on the stove top and turn the element to LOW heat. Put a lid on your pot and allow the meat to come to a boil very slowly and allow to simmer for 30 – 45 minutes, depending on amount of meat being cooked. Do not stir!

This slow-cooking process on low heat will render the meat very tender and aromatic – almost like canned meat. Cats love it!

4. The meat is finished when the meat has formed a what looks like “cake” in the pot. The previously soupy ground meat has formed a semi solid form and has come away from the outsides of the pot and is surrounded by broth.
5. Break the meat “cake” apart with a fork and mix the broth back under the meat.
6. Allow to cool to at least room temperature before adding the cooked meat to the cat food premix, or combining the cooked meat with the other ingredients outlined in the cat food recipe.

It is IMPORTANT, that you allow the cooked meat to cool to at least body temperature before adding it to the TCfeline cat food premix or before adding the other ingredients of the cat food recipe to it. Mixing the other ingredients or the premix with hot meat might compromise them.

Do not burn the meat. If you have burned the meat, throw it out and start fresh. Unless you forget about the pot on your stove top, this method should not burn the meat.

Do not add oil to the meat or the pot to prevent it from sticking. We do not want to fry the meat!

Since cooked meat does not freeze as nicely as raw meat does, it is my suggestion to cut the preparation instructions or recipe in half (or less) and forgo freezing the food altogether. Cooked meat is more stable in the refrigerator than raw meat, and can be stored there for up to four days.

If you are using a premix or recipe that calls for liver, puree or grind the fresh liver and add it to your meat before cooking. The vitamin A (retinol) and Vitamin D in liver are heat stable at normal cooking temperatures.

For once-in-a while, on occasion, or during the transition period, the finished raw cat food can be cooked in the same fashion.

It is necessary to mention, that my feeding trials are entirely based on feeding meat raw, and that I possess no data on the premix or recipe being fed with cooked meat for any long term.