A few days ago, this little bundle of fur made its way into my life. Although I have denied my kids the opportunity of having a kitten due to my health, I could not resist this cuteness, especially since my son rescued her. To see your teen’s eyes light up and promise to feed, groom and train his own pet is quite touching. He is even buying all of the grooming essentials, bedding, and toys. He begged and promised, and what do you know; now I have a kitten for the first time since I was a child. I have to admit that watching him develop from being bottle-fed by my husband to chomping down on chicken livers has been fascinating, and I’m sure it has helped me lower my cortisol levels, lol.
My son named him “Amigo,” which means friend in Spanish. You see, he found him the day after my father’s birthday. My sweet dad taught my son to call him “amigo” from before he turned one year of age. He wanted his grandchildren to see him always as their friend. My son, I guess, was feeling a bit melancholy, as we all do every year his birthday comes around. He was the light of my life and loved his grandchildren dearly. “In honor of my ‘Amigo’, I want to name him Amigo,” my son said. It was heartwarming, to say the least! And how the heck do you say no to that? I mean, I would have to be the worst mother ever.
So I’m sucking it up, and we have ourselves a little fur ball which made me panic a bit because I hadn’t raised a kitten since the days we had about 8 of them when we lived abroad.
Here we were, all mesmerized by this little creature when it became pretty evident that after a few days of drinking kitty milk, he was ready to eat real food. So this grain-free mamma cooked him up a batch of kitten liver pate, Paleo & GAPS style.
This is a pretty simple recipe to prepare for both cats and dogs. Here is what I used:
Kitten Liver Pate
1 small organic carrot (unpeeled and chopped)
1.5 cups of bone broth (bones simmered for 24 hours in water and rosemary with a few Tbsp. of apple cider vinegar)
1 pound pastured chicken livers
To cook, simply place everything in a small pot and cook on medium heat for about 45 minutes. Once cooked, I placed everything in the food processor and pulsed for about a minute while still leaving a few small chunks. For dogs and older cats, you don’t have to puree. Our rescued lab enjoys his livers several times a month, along with his bone broth. Since I am making the pet food myself, I am giving our kitten a vitamin which I crush in the morning and at night, then mix it in with his food.
Another great recipe for multiple pets that can be made monthly and frozen is meat stew. Here is what I use for the cats:
Hearty Meat Stew
2 pounds grass-fed ground beef
2 pounds pastured ground turkey (dark meat)
1 pound pastured chicken livers
3 pounds marrow bones
6-8 cups bone broth cooked in water with a few celery stalks and rosemary.
1/4 pound chopped carrots
For dogs, I add in 1 pound of chopped sweet potatoes and 1 pound of chopped carrots instead of 1/4 pound.
To prepare, simmer the marrow bones first in the bone broth until the marrow comes out. Set marrow aside and leave bones in the pot, then add in the rest of the ingredients and cook for about 45 minutes to an hour. Once cooled, add in the marrow, stir, and remove bones. Our lab likes chewing on the bones and burying them.
To store this yummy pet food, just scoop it into freezable containers or quart-size zip-lock freezer bags, and presto! Do not toss the liquid, as cats need an ample amount of liquid in their food to keep them free from UTIs and other health issues. I keep about a week worth of food in the fridge, and the rest gets frozen. To serve, leave the frozen container in the fridge overnight and serve the next day. To warm, place the bag or container inside a pan with warm water since animals should never have cold or hot food. Lukewarm is just about right for both cats and dogs.
So why all the fuss about making my own cat/dog food? Well, for starters, when we lived abroad, we never ever, ever purchased pet food. Our dog (half Siberian Husky/half wolf) and our eight cats ate wet food we prepared each week for them. My mom and dad would stew bones, chicken fat, livers, fish heads, carrot scraps, herbs, and quinoa for the pets. They ate their stew for years and never visited the vet once for sickness. They were healthy and beautiful.
I also believe in making my own cat food because I agree wholeheartedly with Dr. Lisa A. Pierson, who intelligently reminds people that “all dry foods are dangerously low in water which wreaks havoc on your cat’s urinary tract and puts him at great risk for life-threatening and excruciatingly painful urethral obstructions and possibly cystitis.” I really dislike dry food and find that it constipates and doesn’t sit well with our pets.
Although I do not give our cats totally raw food as Dr. Pierson suggests, I do agree with her rationale and experience. You can read more about why she makes her own cat food here. Her site has a fantastic amount of helpful information on everything cat related. She explains how cats should really only get about 5% of carbs, with the rest of the diet consisting of protein.
“Cats are obligate (strict) carnivores and are very different from dogs in their nutritional needs. What does it mean to be an ‘obligate carnivore’? It means that your cat was built to get her nutritional needs met by the consumption of a large amount of animal-based proteins (meat/organs) and derives much less nutritional support from plant-based proteins(grains/vegetables). It means that cats lack specific metabolic (enzymatic) pathways and cannot utilize plant proteins as efficiently as animal proteins.” Source
Making your own anything takes time and effort, but it is well worth the time and even produces a saving each month. Aside from food, I have also made our pets salves, herbal baths, and flee oil. This has also saved us money and time. Last week an older cat who showed up on our doorstep a few months back came meowing with a swollen eye. I applied an herbal compress while my husband held her down and then applied my Thyme to the Rescue salve. In about two days, her eye was almost back to normal.
Now it’s your turn. Do you make your own pet supplies and food?
Thanks for stopping by. May the pets be with you!