In my last post about the myriad benefits of transitioning our carnivorous pets to carnivorous diets (and preferably raw, whole animal products), I was just re-starting out myself, and didn’t have a good way of explaining my monthly food prep for Lucky. Nor did I have enough time to have a reliable routine worked out.
So now that I’ve been at this for a few months, here it is in pictures!
Here we have some purchases from a small, local Asian market: duck gizzard, chicken heart, “economy” beef tendon cuts, pork heart, and pork spleen. Up above are two cans of not-raw wet food; they’re supposed to be for dogs, but seeing as how there’s nothing in them that a cat shouldn’t also be eating, there’s no point in spending extra on smaller kitty-sized cans. One of them is a “shepherd’s blend” of parts, and the other is turkey, fish, and something else. The important part is that they both have liver, which is a necessary part of a cat’s diet, though like I said in the previous post, it only needs to make up a small percentage of the overall diet.
Oh, and all of this cost me about $20 at the most, and should last me 3-4 weeks.
Chicken hearts are a good size and don’t need to be cut up, so here they are, spaced out on a cookie sheet to go in the freezer.
The spleen once I took it out of the packaging. My cat LOVED this stuff.
Cutting, cutting… It’s best to leave the pieces as large as possible to keep your pet’s jaws strong and give their teeth something to gnaw on. Bite-sized is only good if you’re just starting out.
And contrary to what I just said, I usually cut up duck gizzards even though three of them are a meal. My cat is pretty apathetic towards duck gizzard (which is different texture-wise from chicken gizzard), so I’ve found if I halve them, there’s a better chance she’ll eat them.
And this is how I handle the wet food. I just get heaping spoonfuls and freeze them like the other meat.
And as soon as they’re all frozen (to the touch – they don’t have to be frozen all the way through, just enough for them to not stick together) I organize them into freezer bags and tupperware containers. Then all we do is run the kitchen faucet until the water’s hot while we dig out a couple cuts of meat, throw it in her bowl, fill it with hot water, and let it sit for a minute to just barely thaw. Our cat does not mind eating still mostly-frozen food, otherwise we’d have to let it thaw in the fridge overnight/all day and that would be a pain.
Do note that bones are a pretty essential part of your little predator’s diet, but my cat is really finicky about them, and we’re trying to figure out how to buy RMBs (raw meaty bones) without paying lots of money for popular cuts like chicken thighs or spending an hour chopping up a chicken carcass with knives not meant for butchering. Take my word for it: don’t try to hack up a frozen chicken bone. It will permanently ruin your average kitchen knife.
Hope this little guide helps!