How to Make Kitten Food

Two Parts:Preparing Kitten Food with BonesPreparing Kitten Food without Bones

Most cat food is specially formulated to take advantage of a cat’s natural ability to metabolize protein better than carbohydrates along with other nutrients. Making your own cat food for your pet is possible, but can be very exacting and time consuming. The mixture needs to be accurate or you risk the cat becoming deficient in several key vitamins—leading to illness.[1][2][3][4]

Part 1
Preparing Kitten Food with Bones

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    Purchase the main protein product. You’ll need either chicken, turkey, or rabbit. Commercially available products should be relatively safe for food preparation and the kitten’s consumption.[5]
    • One option is to use three pounds of poultry (chicken or turkey) thigh meat including the bones and skin. Another option is to purchase a mix of 2.25 lbs of a whole carcass ground rabbit plus 0.75 lbs of boneless chicken or turkey meat including the skin and fat.
    • This recipe will last 10-14 days for a cat eating 4-6 ounces per day.
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    Prepare one cup of water. You may need to prepare more water if you cat needs more to drink. Have water set aside in separate cups for mixing and drinking.[6]
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    Collect two eggs. You will use the yolk raw, but lightly cook the egg white. Soft boiling the eggs is a good solution.[7]
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    Buy 5,000 - 10,000 mg fish oil. Fish oil can come in five to 10 capsules averaging 1,000 mg per capsule, and are a good source of fatty acids. Poke holes or cut off the tips of the capsules to pour out their contents into the water.[8]
    • Avoid using cod liver oil as this will be included in other ingredients.
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    Get vitamin additives. You will need vitamins E, B-complex, and taurine (an amino acid) to further augment the food you are making. You’ll need to get 400 IU (268 mg) of vitamin E. Also have on hand 50 mg of vitamin B-complex. Have 2,000 mg of taurine ready.[9]
    • Vitamin E should be prepared preferably in powdered capsule form. Vitamin B-complex is best used in capsule or tablet form. Taurine should be added in loose powdered or capsule form.
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    Get some simple table salt. You’ll eventually use 1 teaspoon of table salt with some iodine for potassium and sodium boosts.[10]
    • Add salt only if you are using poultry protein product and no rabbit.
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    Add a portion of chicken liver. You’ll need to add four ounces of chicken liver for every three pounds of poultry.[11]
    • This is only to be done if you are not using rabbit protein which contains liver already.
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    Add a source of fiber. Try guar gum at 1/16 teaspoon twice daily mixed into the food. You can fill 1/8 of a teaspoon halfway each time.[12] This will help prevent constipation in the kitten.
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    Thaw the rabbit meat and mix in the ground and chunked poultry meat. First, use a meat grinder or food processor to grind the poultry meat and skin. Next, combine the meat into a mixing bowl. Combine by hand and knead the meats together for a few minutes to make sure everything is thoroughly mixed.[13]
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    Add the supplemental ingredients to the water. Once they are all dissolved, add the vitamin mixture to the meat mixture. Continue mixing the meat and supplements and then use knives to portion it off into other containers you can store in freezers.[14]
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    Bake the poultry. If you’re using poultry only then putting your chicken or turkey product in the oven and cooking the liver will be necessary. Bake the poultry and liver at 350 degrees for approximately 15 minutes (time will vary). Remove the meat from the oven and pour on cold water to halt the cooking process.[15]
    • You want the meats only half raw, though the liver will end up slightly more cooked than the poultry.
    • Save the fat drippings as additives to the ground meat.
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    Cut the poultry and liver into chunks about the size of a die (half-inch cubes or larger). You can use knives or scissors. Put the ground meats and fat into the refrigerator temporarily. This step is optional.[16]
    • Use a meat grinder for the more meaty bones and any meat not chunked. Include the liver and eggs.
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    Mix up the supplemental ingredients including vitamins into the water. Pour the supplement mix into the meat mixture. Make sure the meat and supplements are mixed well then portion them out into containers and put them into the freezer. Leave 3/4" of space for the food to expand.[17]
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    Use the refrigerator for defrosting. You’ll need to move the frozen portions to the refrigerator a couple of days ahead of use. The new kitten food you made should be in the refrigerator for approximately 48 to 72 hours in a defrosted state.[18]
    • Consider using large plastic containers on the order of 1 - 1.5 pounds in capacity. Adjust for the number of kittens and other cats you have.
    • If you want to warm up the food then apply some hot tap water or heating in the microwave for 10-15 seconds.

Part 2
Preparing Kitten Food without Bones

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    Purchase 3 pounds of raw muscle meat. This should ideally be some kind of poultry or rabbit. Get chicken thighs and/or drumstick meat. Rabbit also can work. Leave approximately half the skin.[19]
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    Get 14 ounces of raw heart. If you cannot get heart then you can use a supplement of 4,000 mg of taurine powder or capsules. You will also need to substitute the amount of meat to the total of raw muscle meat. In other words add 14 ounces of raw meat.[20]
    • The heart can be chicken heart
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    Acquire 7 ounces of raw liver. The best kind of liver in this case would be chicken liver. Alternatives to chicken liver would be vitamin A and D supplements. You need to add 40,000 IU of vitamin A and 1600 IU of vitamin D. You will also need to add 7 ounces to the raw muscle meat total.[21]
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    Prepare 16 ounces (2 cups) of water. You will need this for mixing. Have additional water prepared for drinking in separate containers if your kitten needs more water with the meal.[22]
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    Prepare 3.08 tablespoons (9.25 teaspoons) of bone meal. Make sure this is the variety meant for human consumption. This is an important calcium source in cat food and essential for your kitten’s growth.[23]
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    Ready 2 tablespoons of unflavored gelatin and 4 raw egg yolks. This will be part of the supplement slurry later. Select eggs that are from free-range, antibiotic-free chickens preferably.[24]
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    Buy supplements. You will need several other vitamin and nutritional supplements to add to the food mix. You need to get 4 capsules of raw glandular supplement such as the multi-gland supplement by Immoplex. Get 4,000 mg of salmon. Buy 800 IU vitamin E. Have 200 mg of vitamin B-50 complex. Have 1.5 teaspoon of Morton Lite salt (with iodine).[25]
    • The salmon oil, B-50, and vitamin E should be in capsule form. You don’t need the Morton Lite salt with iodine if you are using rabbit meat.
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    Remove half of the skin from the meat. Do this for all the poultry but not the rabbit. Use a peeler or your hands to remove the skin.[26]
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    Cut the raw muscle meat into chunks. Have several knives or scissors ready to go. Cut the poultry or rabbit into chunks the size of dice or slightly larger than half-inch cubes. Save the chunked pieces. Do not grind them. You can cut off the skin if its poultry, but leave on the skin if you are cutting up rabbit.[27]
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    Grind the liver, non-chunked meat, and heart. You’ll need this for mixing later. Combine these meats thoroughly and store them temporarily in a refrigerator. Use a meat grinder or processor to grind and combine the meats.[28]
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    Prepare the supplement solution. Fill a bowl with 2 cups of water. Mix in all of the supplements except the gelatin. If you had extra vitamins to replace the heart and/or liver put them into the water at this time. Whisk the mixture briefly and add the gelatin at the end. Stir well.[29]
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    Mix all three batches. Retrieve the refrigerated meat mixture for this step. Combine the supplement mix into the recently refrigerated meat combination, and then add in the chunked meat cut earlier. Mix these thoroughly. Portion out the final mixture into containers and put them in the freezer.[30]
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    Set up your freezer containers correctly. Leave enough space for the food to expand. Use the refrigerator for defrosting for a couple of days before use.[31]
    • This recipe makes 4.4 pounds (2 kg) of food which can last 12-14 days for the average cat.


  • Consult your veterinarian for more advanced care of your kitten and to check that your cat is getting proper nutrition.
  • An average 7 pound cat needs to have 1/25th the meal size of a human or 0.6 to 1 ounce of food per meal. This also could be thought of as 24-35 calories per pound the cat weighs per day.
  • Exposing kittens to a larger variety of food types and textures early can make the cat more agreeable to changes in diet that might be needed later in life.
  • Bone or bone meal is a source of calcium in cat food.
  • Add capsules with dry ingredients by opening them up and dropping the powder into the water.
  • Dissolve tablet products in the water directly.
  • Balance your container size with how much your kitten eats per day. Too big may see the food spoil and too little may be a lot of work to prepare.


  • Using raw food you prepare yourself for a cat’s diet can risk bacterial contamination or nutritional imbalance.
  • Do not use dog food or dog diet pills on a cat. Both are harmful for cats.
  • Cats cannot easily digest carbohydrates.
  • Cat diets are usually extremely low in fiber.
  • Only use cat supplements and vitamins to correct deficiencies under your veterinarian’s guidance.
  • If you have a cat with other health problems you should consult with your veterinarian before proceeding with making your own kitten food.
  • Avoid using onions, chives, garlic, alcohol, grapes, raisins, caffeine, chocolate, candy, gum or yeast.[32]
  • If your cat ever eats something it shouldn’t you can take it to an emergency animal hospital or call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center currently at phone number: (888) 426-4435.

Things You'll Need

  • Mixing bowls
  • Measuring cups
  • Mixing spoon or fork
  • Meat grinder
  • Food processor

Sources and Citations

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Article Info

Categories: Feeding Cats